The Globe and the Bible

Some stuff and nonsense here:

Dominic Dromgoole, the artistic director of the theatre on the South Bank of the Thames, was astonished when he was told that he would have to pay the monarch royalties for his planned Easter performances of extracts from the King James Bible.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he tells Mandrake. “It is read out by priests in churches all over the country every Sunday, but I was told that the Queen owned the copyright, which is renewed after each accession.”

Dromgoogle comes over as a little dim here: it\’s Crown Cupyright, the King James and the Book of Common Prayer. It\’s a pub quiz type of thing, not some exoteric arcana.

Dromgoole has, however, managed to negotiate his way out of paying.

You don\’t have to negotiate very hard there. I managed to get a licence out of them years ago: they never charge royalties.

I have the whiff of the PR department here: how do we get a story about our new Easter plays into the press? Ah, that\’s it, make up some bollocks about Crwon Copyright.

5 thoughts on “The Globe and the Bible”

  1. I believe you’re right. Dromgoole’s comment that “On that basis, if we had to pay the descendants of Shakespeare they would be the richest family in Britain” also shows a shaky grasp of history as well as copyright: the direct line from Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway died out some time around 1620.

    But in PR, why let a few facts get in the way of spin?

  2. I don’t normally pick on spelling – but “Cupyright”, “Dromgoogle”, “Crwon”?

    Couple of drinks that night Tim by any chance?

  3. But Tim, this is a wholly absurd state of affairs, isn’t it? Why should the Crown have permanent copyright on the Bible? How does society benefit if they own the copyright but do not charge royalties? Isn’t this another supply-side reform waiting to happen?

  4. pressed too fast….why do they need to retain copyright in the King James Bible, and not any other edition, anyway?

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