a period of exclusive control...

a period of exclusive control by a literary estate after an author’s death creates the opportunity, and the financial incentive, to assemble fully prepared editions, made by specialists often informed by the author’s instructions. Once work enters the public domain, it can be published by anyone in any form, and the financing of editions requiring editorial care becomes, once again, at the pleasure of benevolent institutions rather than readers.
Google & Books: An Exchange by Edward Mendelson, Paul N. Courant, and Ann Kjellberg | The New York Review of Books

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