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Victo Hugo and Intellectual Property

January 30, 2007

Tags Legal SystemMonopoly and Competition

In the copyright equivalent of mummies rising from the dead, Hugo heir plans to make life miserable for the 'moneymaking' author of sequel reports the attempt for the heirs of Victor Hugo to "ban a contemporary sequel to Victor Hugo's Les Misérables for betraying the spirit of the 19th century classic." Even though Les Misérables is in the public domain, Hugo's great-great-grandson, Pierre Hugo, seeks to enforce dead Victor's "moral rights" in the work.

For goodness' sake.

Yet another example of how intellectual property rights allow partial enslavement—one person can veto what another may do with his own body and property (explained here, pp. 25, 42, 44, et pass.).

I guess this is Disney's back-up plan once Mickey Mouse cartoons someday come into the public domain (luckily, moral rights are more in vogue in France than in America).

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