Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain (Modernist Literature and Culture)

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9780199927876: Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain (Modernist Literature and Culture)

The names of James Joyce and Ezra Pound ring out in the annals of literary modernism, but few recognize the name of Samuel Roth. A brash, business-savvy entrepreneur, Roth made a name--and a profit--for himself as the founding editor and owner of magazines that published selections from foreign writings--especially the risqué parts--without permission. When he reprinted segments of James Joyce's epochal novel Ulysses, the author took him to court.

Without Copyrights tells the story of how the clashes between authors, publishers, and literary "pirates" influenced both American copyright law and literature itself. From its inception in 1790, American copyright law offered no or less-than-perfect protection for works published abroad--to the fury of Charles Dickens, among others, who sometimes received no money from vast sales in the United States. American publishers avoided ruinous competition with each other through "courtesy of the trade," a code of etiquette that gave informal, exclusive rights to the first house to announce plans to issue an uncopyrighted foreign work. The climate of trade courtesy, lawful piracy, and the burdensome rules of American copyright law profoundly affected transatlantic writers in the twentieth century. Drawing on previously unknown legal archives, Robert Spoo recounts efforts by James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Bennett Cerf--the founder of Random House--and others to crush piracy, reform U.S. copyright law, and define the public domain.

Featuring a colorful cast of characters made up of frustrated authors, anxious publishers, and willful pirates, Spoo provides an engaging history of the American public domain, a commons shaped by custom as much as by law, and of piracy's complex role in the culture of creativity.

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About the Author:


Robert Spoo is Chapman Distinguished Chair at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He has published extensively on the intersection of copyright law and literature. He is the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Review:


"Readers who think they know Ulysses, even those who imagine themselves to be fairly well versed in the legal wrangling that surrounded the book before World War Two...should turn immediately to Robert Spoo's outstanding Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain. The story Spoo tells about Ulysses, modernism, and twentieth-century publishing is nothing short of gripping." --Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History


"This is a major study of forces that shaped literary modernism, and a book that few people apart from Robert Spoo could have written. ... [Spoo's] long involvement with Joyce's
work makes this study especially valuable, and it is worth noting that he probably has given us as accurate and evenhanded an account of Joyce's case against Roth as we are ever likely to see." --English Literature in Transition, 1880 - 1920


"...[A] meticulously researched and compellingly argued study of the American public domain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.... Comingling discourses of the law, economics, protectionism and piracy as they were articulated and altered over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Without Copyrights offers a truly interdisciplinary, socio-legal account of the disseminative conditions under which Anglophone modernism flourished." --Literature & History


"Spoo commands a comprehensive understanding of both copyright law and the delicate structure of informal courtesies-- not laws--that for decades governed the publication of books written overseas yet read and often printed in the United States." --Common Knowledge


"[D]oes a masterful job of exploring the intersection between European and American publishing, economics, and copyright law in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.... Spoo's book is a must for anyone interested in the history of copyright law or the publishing industry. His clear writing style makes the book accessible to every audience. Summing Up: Highly recommended." -- J. D. Graveline, CHOICE


"A riveting account of U.S. copyright law's 'Wild West' origins. Highly recommended." --Library Journal (starred review)


"No work better puts copyright in its place. This beautiful book is essential reading for the remaking copyright will need." --Lawrence Lessig, author of Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It


"The many pitfalls and paradoxes of copyright are the subject of Robert Spoo's Without Copyrights, a wonderfully detailed study of how transatlantic modernism was shaped by laws surrounding the production and distribution of texts. What emerges is a revolutionary account of the ways that copyright and obscenity laws determined if, when and where modernist works could travel." --London Times Literary Supplement


"[A] remarkable tale.... Careful and definitive." --Caleb Crain, The Nation


"Fascinating." --Publishers Weekly


"This book is beautifully written. It is authoritative in its coverage of the advent of modernism in the United States, the workings of the publishing trade, and the development of copyright law.... An exemplary account of an important period." --American Historical Review


"A quite fascinating exploration.... Makes for interesting and quite good reading. From its perfect opening anecdote--James Joyce responding to a Society of Authors complaint about an unauthorized performance of a Shaw play--to its focus on the fascinating story of Ulysses, it's full of entertaining titbits, and includes a variety of complex characters.... Without Copyrights would seem essential reading for anyone dealing with copyright, but it is certainly also of interest to those with only a more casual interest in the law, the times, the authors, and these works." --Complete Review


"The public domain is the battleground for some of the fiercest and most consequential struggles in the entire world of intellectual property. By delving into its unexpectedly rich history, Robert Spoo's revelatory book shows why. As we strive for policies, laws, and norms to preserve the public domain and facilitate its creative potential, we need books like this to remind us of how high the stakes really are." --Adrian Johns, author of Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates


"Spoo is a great scholar of both copyright law and literature. He is also a gifted storyteller. This book takes readers on a splendid journey through publishing houses, courtrooms, and legislatures, illuminating the path of American copyright law." --Lior Jacob Strahilevitz, author of Information and Exclusion


"Robert Spoo's magisterial survey of the legal conditions that both frustrated and enabled the emergence of modernism is many books in one: a previously unwritten chapter in the making of our literature; a unique insight into the complicated dance between intellectual property and cultural production; a subtle exploration of the freighted concept of literary 'piracy;' and--ultimately--a compelling plea for the recognition of a universal public domain. Spoo's deep research and narrative grace make Without Copyrights a deeply satisfying reading experience: the story boasts colorful characters, unexpected incident, and surprising measures of both humor and pathos-and it is told in a voice that is as lively and unexpected as the episodes it recounts." --Peter Jaszi, coauthor of Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright


"A true expert illuminates what is often obscured: how isolationist US laws conditioned the reception of modern writing. The much maligned pirates and their world come alive in this elegant and just book. Spoo's clearheaded unravelling of some arcane technicalities is a delight. A liberating addition to Joyce studies." --Justice Adrian Hardiman, MRIA, Supreme Court of Ireland


"Spoo is not just a brilliant historian but a writer whose prose is lucid and inspired, the kind of writer whose sentences you have to marvel at as often as you marvel at his keen intellect. Both are important in equal measure in telling this story, which takes us through the winding and dimly-lit alleyways of professional courtesies and the narrow passageways of intellectual property." --Popmatters


"[A] deeply researched case study of the complicated American copyright situation surrounding the great literary landmark of the 20th century, James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses." --Los Angeles Review of Books


"Spoo's book brings to the reader the written, personal correspondences between James Joyce, Ezra Pound and attorney John Quinn in which they debate copyright, censorship and trade regulation. Spoo's book is full of modernist gossip and addictive particulars of early versions of great books.... Spoo's book demonstrates that a robust public domain establishes rich cultural landscapes despite complaints about piracy and pilfering." --The Tulsa Law Review


"Robert Spoo's book is essential reading for scholars of James Joyce and for anyone interested in the mutually constitutive relationship of literature and law. Spoo provides assiduous research with raconteur acumen and molds it into a stirring argument backed by his sophisticated understanding of legal theory and literary history." --James Joyce Broadsheet


"For someone with my interests who is used to reading dry and seldom sprightly legal prose, this book presented a welcome change of pace. Not only is it free of jargon, but there are numerous striking turns of phrase that make for a pleasant journey through its pages."
--Journal of Scholarly Publishing


"The legal, historical, and philosophical framework of Without Copyrights will satisfy both legal and historian audiences, and the flowing narrative and use of memorable cases will reward any curious reader." --College and Research Libraries


"A fascinating legal-historical study of the American public domain in the nineteenth and early twentieth century...with care, flare, and brilliance, Without Copyrights substantially reduces our ignorance of that history." -- James Joyce Quarterly


"Spoo's study decisively moves beyond the romance of piracy and the moral outrage of copyright advocacy to show how British and American modernist literature was centrally shaped by the United States' robust (and aggressively defended) public domain...With nuance and clarity, [Spoo] fills in the considerable middle ground between legitimate and pirate publishing, detailing the complex intertwinement of law and practice in a world that will feel alien to twenty first-century readers" -- Critical Inquiry


"Robert Spoo's Without Copyrights lucidly unpacks the evolving story of modernism's engagement with copyright and piracy in the American public domain, relying on decades of literary and legal erudition, practice, and pedagogy. Delivered in the fresh and exciting prose of a scholar emerging triumphantly from the archives, Spoo offers a perspective that alters our perceptions of modernist authorship and production, asking us to rethink copyright in the present day, and fundamentally reframing some of modernism's canonical heroes." -- Journal of Modern Literature


"A fascinating and skillful treatment of the intersection between law and publishing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America." --SHARP News


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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This book tells the story of how the notoriously protectionist American copyright law impacted transatlantic modernism by encouraging the piracy of works published abroad. From its inception in 1790, U.S. copyright law withheld protection from foreign authors, creating an aggressive public domain that claimed works just as soon as they were published abroad. When Congress finally extended protection to foreign works, legal technicalities caused many authors to continue to lose their copyrights. The American public domain made vast numbers of foreign works freely available to American publishers. In order to avert ruinous competition for these unprotected resources, publishers evolved trade courtesy, whereby the first house to announce plans to issue a foreign work acquired informal rights in the work-a kind of makeshift copyright grounded on unwritten norms and elaborate professional etiquette. Courtesy was a form of order without law that safeguarded publishers interests, punished deviants from the code, and remunerated foreign authors for the exploitation of their works.Drawing on previously undiscovered archives, this book reveals the convergence of law, piracy, and courtesy in the dissemination of transatlantic modernism in the United States. The chief actors are James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and the New York pirate-pornographer Samuel Roth, with their very different attitudes toward intellectual property. Joyce s growing reputation in America, Pound s proposals for copyright reform, Roth s activities as purveyor of a hybrid modernism compounded of verbal experiment and entertainment for men-these and other developments cannot be understood apart from the contemporaneous American law and the voracious public domain it created. The book also tells the untold legal stories behind key events of modernism. When Roth reprinted the uncopyrighted Ulysses without permission, Joyce retaliated by drawing upon the punitive dimension of trade courtesy and by filing a lawsuit seeking damages for Roth s exploitation of his valuable name. Later, the courtesy tradition enabled Joyce to enjoy informal protection for Ulysses after Random House published the authorized American edition in 1934. Publishing norms, not copyright, kept pirates from Ulysses. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780199927876

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