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James Joyce Estate Pays $240,000 In Attorneys’ Fees To Stanford Scholar And Her Counsel In Connection With Copyright Dispute

Publication Date: 
September 28, 2009
Source: 
Stanford Law School

STANFORD, Calif., September 28, 2009—Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project announced today that the Estate of James Joyce agreed to pay $240,000 in attorneys’ fees to Stanford University Consulting Professor Carol Shloss and her counsel in connection with her lawsuit against the Estate to establish her right to use copyrighted material in her scholarship on the literary work of James Joyce.

This payment marks the resolution of the final chapter in the case, which sought to establish Shloss’s right to use copyrighted materials in her biography of Joyce’s daughter Lucia, titled Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake. A substantial amount of source material was excised from that book in response to threats from the Joyce Estate. Following publication of the book, Shloss sued the Estate to establish her right to publish the excised material. The parties reached a settlement regarding that issue in 2007, which permits the publication of that material in the United States. Following that settlement, Shloss asked the Court to order the Estate to pay attorneys’ fees of more than $400,000. The Court ordered the Estate to pay approximately $326,000 in fees, but the Estate appealed that decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In order to avoid further litigation, Shloss and her counsel agreed to accept an immediate payment of $240,000 in return for the dismissal of the Estate’s appeal.

 

“I’m really proud of what we accomplished here,” explained Shloss. “We vindicated my rights as a scholar, and we also demonstrated that authors and literary estates need to be careful. If they don’t pay attention to the rights of scholars, authors and researchers, they may end up paying just as the Joyce Estate did.”

 

Shloss was represented by Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project along with attorneys from the law firms of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, and Keker & Van Nest. The case was originally filed in June 2006. Under the settlement, Shloss’s lawyers will split the fees and Shloss will be allowed to keep a portion for a research fund.

“This case shows there are solutions to the problem Carol Shloss faced other than simple capitulation,” explained Fair Use Project Executive Director Anthony Falzone, who led the litigation team. “The playing field can be leveled and the tables can be turned. I hope this fact is impressed not only on other scholars, but also on the institutions that need to support them when they are faced with threats like these, as well as lawyers who are in a position to donate their time to help.”

“This is a breakthrough for all scholars, said Shloss. “In the past we haven’t had easy access to the legal system, or the means to vindicate our rights in the face of legal threats. Now it turns out maybe we do.”

About Carol Loeb Shloss

Carol Loeb Shloss is a Consulting Professor of English at Stanford University. She spent the 2007-08 academic year as the Ellen Andrews Wright Senior Fellow at the Stanford Center for the Humanities. The author of five books, numerous essays on literary modernism, the current recipient of a Collaborative Research Grant to do further work on the unpublished work of James Joyce, she is currently writing the second volume of a trilogy, Modernism’s Daughters, about Lucia Joyce, Mary de Rachewiltz, Anna Freud and the issues of inheritance that modernism poses to succeeding generations. Along with Paul St. Amour, Robert Spoo, and Michael Groden, she served on the International James Joyce Foundation’s Commission to examine James Joyce and Copyright; their work is published in the summer 2007 (Volume 44, Number 4) issue of the James Joyce Quarterly.

About the Fair Use Project

The Fair Use Project (the “FUP”) was founded in 2006 as part of the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. Its purpose is to provide legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of "fair use" in order to enhance creative freedom. The Project’s homepage is at: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/taxonomy/term/374

About the Center for Internet and Society

The Center for Internet and Society is a public interest technology law and policy program at Stanford Law School and a part of the Law, Science and Technology Program at the law school. The Center’s homepage is at: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/

 

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, and write books and articles for academic audiences, as well as the popular press. Along with offering traditional law school classes, the school has embraced new subjects and new ways of teaching.

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EDITORIAL CONTACT

Judith Romero
Associate Director of Media Relations
Stanford Law School
650 723.2232
judith.romero@stanford.edu

COMMENT

Anthony Falzone
Executive Director, Fair Use Project
Stanford Law School
650.736.9050
anthony.falzone@stanford.edu

Bernard Burk
Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin
415.677.6510
bburk@howardrice.com

Carol Shloss
Stanford University Consulting Professor
847-204-5494
cshloss@stanford.edu