In one of the more impressive examples of upstaging that I can remember, geneticist J. Craig Venter announced that he and his team had created the first synthetic form of life back in May 2010. You see, the DNA of Mycoplasma capricolum was replaced with a DNA that was created by the team that used famous quotes as the basis.
Here’s where the upstaging comes in. Rather than discussing the announcement that man has created a synthetic life form, we’re talking about the fact that said synthetic life form is at the heart of a cease and desist quandary between the researchers and the estate of James Joyce. You see, one of the quotes used was from Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:
To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life.
So, now that this thing, which apparently violates copyright, is alive… what do you do with it? I don’t mean to panic, but we’re getting pretty close to Repo territory, here.
That book was published in 1916 which means that it’s in the public domain(at least in the USA), so no, it isn’t in violation of copyright.