Joyce works free from EU copyright
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Irish writer James Joyce’s work are available for publication and quotation now.Copyright on Irish literary giant James Joyce’s works in the European Union expired yesterday, the Irish Times reported. Writings published during Joyce’s lifetime including “Dubliners,” “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” “Ulysses” and “Finnegans Wake” are now available for publication and quotation without reference or payment to the James Joyce estate.
Joyce died in 1941; originally, copyright in these works in Britain and Ireland extended for 50 years, until 1991. However, some two years after that date, EU copyright law was harmonized to bring it into line with German practice and the period was extended to 70 years.
The end of copyright protection will enable creative artists and theater companies to stage adaptations and re-enactments. Public broadcast will also be possible. Joyce’s solitary play, “Exiles” can also be freely staged, and productions are likely.
The Pan-Pan theater company is interested in an Exiles -related project around next Bloomsday, while the play Gibraltar by Patrick Fitzgerald, which opens in the New Theater Dublin tonight, draws heavily on the text of “Ulysses .” Another project well in train is publication of a special edition of Joyce’s short story “The Dead by the James Joyce Center.”
The freedom will be celebrated with a series of literary events throughout the year. But despite the freedom, grey areas remain, the Irish Times reported.
Some of Joyce’s manuscripts were reproduced in 1979 in the James Joyce Archive, but others have never been published. The National Library of Ireland is directly involved in this issue, since it is the holder of the largest collection of unpublished Joyce manuscripts in the world.
The legal position over these manuscripts remains unclear. Recently a group of scholars wrote to the library seeking clarity on the issue, while well-known Joycean Senator David Norris has tabled a motion in the Seanad calling for a statement on the issue.