SNIPPET FROM: An end to bad heir days: The posthumous power of the literary estate
The question of rights in Joyce's work was a fraught one even during his lifetime. Fearing prosecution, no one would publish Ulysses complete and unabridged until Sylvia Beach, the American bookseller in Paris, bravely did so in 1922. But Joyce's notoriety attracted pirates , and at one time he was unprotected by good contracts or good law. In November 1925, he found that without his permission Ulysses was being published serially in the magazine Two Worlds by Samuel Roth, the New York pornographer. His protests went unheeded. Roth simply sent a cheque for $1000 which Joyce refused to cash.
Among his literary friends and supporters, only Ezra Pound and Bernard Shaw were unsympathetic. Pound said that Joyce had only himself to blame for not registering his copyright in America. He advised him "to write letters to the press denouncing Roth", or alternatively, "organise a gang of gunmen to scare [him] out of his pants". But Roth, he warned, was a ruthless capitalist driven by avarice, not easily stopped.
Joyce was incensed, and with the aid of friends composed a letter of protest which was circulated among writers, attacking unjust American copyright law. Pound refused to sign, as did Shaw, who suspected a Joycean stunt.
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