Friday, March 23, 2007

Can't find my Russian dictionary

But need it for an appropriate expletive in response to this alarming story reported by Matthew Guerrieri yesterday, with a link to the Arizona Daily Star which has the details. It seems that Rachmaninov's great-great grandson is planning to have his famous forefather's works rearranged so that they can be re-copyrighted. This is deeply unsettling.

I'm not convinced that Jane Austen's descendents would have been quick to scribble adverbs all over Pride and Prejudice in order to declare it a new work and pull in even more £££s. And can you imagine a member of the Shakespeare clan rewording for similar purposes - "To exist or to exist not, that is the decision..."

Though I'm as prone as any writer to get stewed up about authors' and composers' rights, a sensible line does need to be drawn, doesn't it? Shades of the Hyperion-Lionel Sawkins case...where will the issue go from here?