Copyrights and Symonds’ Obituaries

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Thanks to Frater FS for this…

Interestingly, the UK’s most well-respected daily newspaper, The Times, published a short piece a couple of days ago in follow-up to its John Symonds’ obituary:

John Symonds
Lives Remembered
The Register

The Times, Sec. Features, p 58
4 December 2006

Hugh Sullivan, of Gersten & Nixon Solicitors, London, writes: Your interesting obituary of John Symonds (November 10) stated that he became the holder of the copyrights of Aleister Crowley’s literary works under Crowley’s will, which also named him his literary executor. This is not the case. Mr Symonds was named in Crowley’s will as one of two literary executors (jointly with Louis Wilkinson) but not as beneficiary of the copyrights. Crowley’s will left his copyrights to his religious order Ordo Templi Orientis.

However, Crowley died bankrupt, as a result of not paying the costs of a libel action that he had lost, and his copyrights became vested in his trustee in bankruptcy, from which they were acquired in 1991 by our client, Ordo Templi Orientis, successors of the original order, a religious organisation incorporated in California.

The ownership of the copyrights by this organisation was confirmed by a decision of the High Court in London in 2002.

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