6.0476 OTA Halting Distribution of E-Joyce (1/26)

Thu, 4 Feb 1993 12:23:21 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 6, No. 0476. Thursday, 4 Feb 1993.

Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1993 18:03:52 +0000
From: Oxford Text Archive <archive@vax.ox.ac.uk>
Subject: OTA ceases distribution of electronic joyce texts pending copyright

The Oxford Text Archive recently received a letter apparently on behalf
of the Estate of James Joyce which asserts that the bulk of Joyce's
works are still covered by copyright, despite the widespread impression
that they are not. The letter points out that Joyce's posthumous works
are copyright for fifty years from the *date of first publication* in
Europe, and for 75 years after their first US publication in the US.
Since Joyce's major works were not legally published in the US for
several years after their appearance in Europe, the Estate asserts (for
example) that Ulysses remains in copyright in the US until at least
1997, the Wake until 2014 etc. The position with respect to Canada and
other countries outside the EC is entirely unclear. The letter asks us
to confirm that we will cease providing texts by network or diskette
into territories where those works remain in copyright. It is my belief
that to ignore this request would be extremely foolish, though there are
clearly several aspects of the situation which need to be more carefully
examined. For the moment, pending their resolution, I deeply regret to
have to announce that we are ceasing distribution of all Joyce texts in
electronic form, despite their continued appearance in the catalogue. We
hope to resume normal service as soon as possible!

Lou Burnard
Oxford Text Archive
1 Feb 1993