FROM RITUALS TO ROYALTIES by Richard Wincor

FROM RITUALS TO ROYALTIES

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A chatty, Socratic treatment of an amorphous area of adjudication that raises more questions than it answers. ""The law"", claims Wincor, ""deals very well indeed with land and stray cows, but the realm of imagination is not so easily divided into estates."" The idea that non-corporeal property is nevertheless property and in someway ""owned"" by its creator or creators is traced back to the Eleusinian Mysteries, through to the first formally construed Statute of Queen Anne, right up to the ingenious contracts drawn between artist and producer for television rights. These skillfully made agreements, according to the author, are the best way to cope with the elusiveness of just what it is that belongs to whom. He includes discussion of international copyright (Soviet Union the worst offender), what it is that is not amenable to copyright (if laws were too stringent, Lear might have remained in the posthumous hands of Holinshed), and how far one can go in extricating literary part from literary sum. (Is a paranoic Captain who rolls steel balls around in his hands all right if we put him at the helm of the Exodus?). Interesting, philosophical rather than legal, a somewhat disjointed book.

Publisher: Walker