Subotnik Quoted in the NY Times

On July 4, 2017, Professor Eva Subotnik was quoted in a New York Times article by Michael Paulson entitled “Edward Albee’s Final Wish: Destroy My Unfinished Work.”


Eva Subotnik

The article concerns renowned playwright Albee, who died last fall and instructed his executors by will to “destroy such incomplete manuscripts” he left behind. Subotnik has written about the enforceability of such instructions.  Her remarks in the NYT were paired with the contrasting view of Professor Lior Jacob Strahilevitz of the University of Chicago Law School:

Eva E. Subotnik, an associate professor at St. John’s University School of Law, argued for some skepticism about such provisions.

“There is something special about these kinds of assets — they’re not just like a mansion or a fancy watch, but they’re socially valuable, and that has to play into the calculus,” Ms. Subotnik said. “I definitely argue against full-throttle enforcement of artistic control after death.”

But another expert on the subject, Lior J. Strahilevitz, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, disagreed. “Part of what we value in a great artist is not just raw ability but the ability to curate, and it’s frequently the case that artists build great reputations by being selective about what they show to the world,” he said. “It’s problematic to force Albee to share these plays when he didn’t think they were good enough.”


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