The Last Station depicts Tolstoy’s copyright struggle

  The Last Station
The Last Station depicts the end of Leo Tolstoy’s life in 1910. There’s even a website dedicated to honoring the Tolstoy Centennial.

Here’s the IMDB listing for The Last Station. It was released in 2009.

Excerpt (with small changes) from the description at user TrailerDelivery’s YouTube channel. Tolstoy is played by Christopher Plummer.

“When Sofya (Countess Tolstoy, played by Helen Mirren) discovers that Tolstoy’s trusted disciple, Chertkov (Paul Giamatti)—whom she despises—may have secretly convinced her husband to sign a new will, leaving the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian people rather than his very own family, she is consumed by righteous outrage.”

The film describes how the Czar changed Tolstoy’s will after Tolstoy’s death. I’ve heard that the Soviets nationalized the copyrights later, but haven’t found an online reference to that effect yet.

The debate over IP rages on a hundred years later, with the recent example of new “Fair Use” exemptions to the DMCA by the Library of Congress, see “Why Fair Use is Not Just Acceptable, It’s Essential for the Future.”

The Last Station trailer at YouTube.

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