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Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: December 30, 2002 01:31PM

What is the position about quoting poems still in copyright on this site?


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: Desi (---.clientlogic.ie)
Date: December 30, 2002 01:41PM

I think the more practical outlook. As far as I can tell we post and quote them, but always put in a reference to both the source where you found it, as the writer of course.


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.sdsl.cais.net)
Date: December 30, 2002 02:37PM


I say, do whatever you want, until they yell at you. Then apologize.

In theory, one cannot do it without the author's permission, but in the real world, where is the problem? No money is being made, and the worst case scenario is that the work gets more attention. Surely any poet would be happy to have that happen.


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: December 30, 2002 03:46PM

My sister did some research for a college paper on copyright issues raised by the internet. Her conclusion: IT DEPENDS.

Here is a brief swipe at her work, plus some of mine on intercultural perspectives on "ownership" of intellectual propery."

==== (Here's your chance to get out of this thread NOW.) -----

There are at least these two tenets of copyright involved:

FIRST TENET: According to basic copyright law: It is ALWAYS perfectly legal to make ONE COPY of ANYTHING for your own use as long as you don't SELL it.* This protects students making a photocopy of a whole book for a nickel a page, if buying the book would cost them seven cents a page--as long as each student makes ONLY ONE COPY and never SELLS IT. Publishing it (with or without giving credit) counts as SELLING IT.

BUT ON THE INTERNET, when you copy from one site and post on another, or email something to a friend, there are many different "copies" in various electronic formats, not even counting the "copies" that appear on the screens of everyone who reads your post.

Which begs the question: WHAT DOES "COPY" MEAN IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE?

. . . . IT DEPENDS!!!

SECOND TENET: According to all the copyright conventions of the western publishing industry, copyright "inheres." (One of the few times we get to use the root of INHERENT as a verb!) That means that when you create something original, you automatically own the copyright.** The whole purpose of registering a copyright or documenting your authorship is SO YOU CAN SUE SOMEONE IF he/she VIOLATES YOUR COPYRIGHT. To put it another way:

      "Love isn't love till you give it away."
      (Oscar Hammerstein)

and likewise

      "Copyright doesn't exist until somebody sues somebody else over it."
      (Marian Bock)

And THAT raises the issue of whether, by posting someone else's work on the internet, you are making it more likely that the work will be mis-appropriated. MAYBE Joe Poet would be delighted if someone posted his poem about the birth of his daughter on eMule, and someone who'd never heard of Joe Poet then put the poem on a birth announcement. But MAYBE someone would copy it from the birth announcement and post it on their own website, and someone else would publish it in an anthology of baby poems and Joe Poet would be uncredited and unpaid.

That's a lot of maybes! And MAYBES are stuff that lawsuits are made of!

The chances are very slim that Joe Poet would sue eMule or any particular eMuleskinner for lost royalties... or that he would sue to baby poetry editor and the editor would come after us...

But it's a good thing, ethically AND legally, to make a good faith effort to give the source of anything we post here. Plus it's more useful to anyone who visits the site. Plus, it's what we would want done unto us.








* Exceptions exist for certain classified gov't materials, but since ALL government product belongs to "the citizens of the USA," the TOP SECRET stamp is theoritically done on our behalf. And when (for example) a film script is in development, it may carry a warning against making copies; that's more about etiquette than law. It means that someone is REALLY going to sue you if you steal even a tiny bit of the material, so you don't want to be caught with a photocopy of even one page.

** Unless you are employed TO CREATE IT, in which case you sell your employer the copyright, in advance. This includes all government publication, which belong to the citizens of the U.S. no matter who writes them.


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: Chesil (---.neo.rr.com)
Date: December 30, 2002 04:35PM

I have heard arguments, put forward on a poem a day newsletter I used to subscribe to, that 'fair use' would cover most posting situations on the internet. I find that a hard concept to accept personally, but there may be merit to it - I am no lawyer and have not consulted a lawyer regarding it.

From my lay understanding of copyright law I would argue that, for fair use to apply, the posting would have to be along the lines of:

A student posts a homework question on a Seamus Heaney poem. In response, a poster uses a few pertinent extracts to demonstrate the points being made but not the whole poem. This, I believe, would not fall foul of copyright law.

Sometimes the copyright position would be unknown. As I suspect you know, there is much of John Clare's work still under copyright and Simon Kovesi has been under legal threat for breaching the copyright for several years, though I believe no action has been commenced:

[human.ntu.ac.uk] />
There may be many other cases where a poet has been deceased very many years but publication has been within the present statutory copyright time frame. I think this is an acceptable risk, for the most part.

I try to post URLs wherever possible rather than the material to avoid the possibility of copyright breach - though I am inclined to think that, for poetry, the practical likelihood of being asked to cease and desist is remote. However, if, by posting, we stop anybody from buying a book with the copyrighted material in, then, given that poets tend to earn little from their published work, that would be a bad thing.


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.sdsl.cais.net)
Date: December 30, 2002 05:12PM


Since Clare died so long ago, I thought he must now be in the public domain. Not so, accoring to one of the links on Chesil's pointer above:


[www.guardian.co.uk] />

Under the 1842 Copyright Act which was in force at Clare's death, in the case of published works copyright endured for 42 years after publication or seven years after the author's death, whichever was later. Thus three of Clare's published volumes came out of copyright in 1871, and the fourth in 1877. For unpublished works, however, copyright was a very different matter. Under common law, an author, or after his death his personal representative, retained perpetual control over his work as long as it remained unpublished. This is particularly important in Clare's case, since his four published volumes contained only about 10% of his total output - some 300 poems out of more than 3,000 he wrote in his lifetime.


Apparently this bozo bought the unpublished works for almost nothing and now claims he is entitled to royalties on them! Strange world. I am sure only the lawyers will end up ahead in this dispute.


Re: FAIR USE
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: December 31, 2002 02:10PM


Even intellectual property lawyers have trouble keeping up with all the twists in the laws ... even if they are only interested in U.S. laws! The whole issue of PIRACY is complicated by overlapping and conflicting "conventions" worldwide!

About FAIR USE -- When I handled Rights and Permissions at a small publishing house, Fair Use referred to HOW MANY WORDS (OR LINES) OF SOMETHING YOU COULD QUOTE WITHOUT GETTING OFFICIAL PERMISSION. Official permission was sometimes free and sometimes costly.

I worked at both ends of permissions deals. If someone wanted to quote a paragraph from one of our authors in his/her book, we had a formula for coming up with a fee (often zero, never very high). The formula involved the number of words/lines requested, the number of copies expected to be printed, etc. And if one of our authors wanted to quote a few paragraphs from someone else, we'd negotiate for that, likewise.

Anyway, FAIR USE always means giving credit and a full citation. And its a subjective thing, so "better safe than sorry."

It gets especially subjective where poetry is concerned, since three lines of poetry may constitute an entire poem, whereas three lines of a long novel is usually a tiny bit--nless it's the three lines in which the detective names the murderer....

Critics never seek permission to quote from a book they are reviewing, because it's understood that the value of the publicity is worth the permission.


Re: FAIR USE
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: December 31, 2002 02:24PM

I wasn't thinking of Eric Robinson and Clare when I raised the question, but, in fairness to Professor Robinson, his purpose is not to make money but to stop people doing what Clare's first publishers did: prettying, simplifying and distorting his writings. He may be too harsh in his requirements of editors and reluctant to let others use manuscripts before he has used them, but there seems to be no personal profit involved.


bozos with copyright
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: December 31, 2002 02:28PM

The standards for "public domain" keep changing, too, so look before you leap!

Chesil and Hugh's information about John Clare illustrates one way that writing can be held as property when it "should" be in the public domain.

Another -- MUCH nicer -- way is for the author to bequeath all rights to a non-profit organization. I'm not sure what the U.S. and U.K. laws are, exactly, but they generally make a point of extending those rights "indefinitely" or at least much longer than they would last if left to human heirs.

Here are two pleasing examples:

"With no heirs, [DOROTHY PARKER] left her literary estate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She'd never met the civil rights activist, but always felt strongly for social justice. ... Within a year of her death, Dr. King was assassinated, and the Parker estate rolled over to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. To this day, the NAACP benefits from the royalty of all Parker publications and productions."
[ [www.fitzbrothers.com] ]

James Barrie left all the rights to PETER PAN to a children's hospital, and "Section 301 of the UK Copyright, Designs & Patent Act of 1988 (here) granted the Hospital for Sick Children an inalienable right to receive royalties, without limitation as to duration, for "the public performance, commercial publication, broadcasting or inclusion in a cable programming service" of James Barrie's play Peter Pan following expiry of copyright in the work on 31 December 1987."
[ [www.caslon.com.au] ]

And here is a not-so-pleasing example:

"The German Welfare Council (GWC), a charity based in London, is said to have received more than 500,000 from publication" of MEIN KAMPF in the U.K. Their spokesperson said, ""When we agreed [in 1976] to the arrangement the generally accepted view was that there was a moral obligation to pass the money to Holocaust victims - but no Jewish charity would take it." ... "In Britain for years the identity of the charity which received royalties ...was not made public." The Red Cross once returned a large donation when they found out it came from MEIN KAMPF. "The book's British publisher, Random House, has announced that it will redistribute the royalties to other 'appropriate' charities"--but it may be hard to find any that will accept the money!
[http://society.guardian.co.uk/voluntary/news/0,8371,508750,00.html]

============

I feel fine about posting the material quoted above,

MOSTLY because I trust the owners of the material to APPRECIATE it, not resent it, and

ALSO because I have made a good faith effort to credit them by citing the web sources.

I feel NOT SO FINE about posting poetry that I think is still under copyright, so I usually refer to a webpage and pass the buck that-a-way.

MARIAN


bozos with copyright
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: December 31, 2002 02:36PM

The standards for "public domain" keep changing, too, so look before you leap!

Chesil and Hugh's information about John Clare illustrates one way that writing can be held as property when it "should" be in the public domain.

Another -- MUCH nicer -- way is for the author to bequeath all rights to a non-profit organization. I'm not sure what the U.S. and U.K. laws are, exactly, but they generally make a point of extending those rights "indefinitely" or at least much longer than they would last if left to human heirs.

Here are two pleasing examples:

"With no heirs, [DOROTHY PARKER] left her literary estate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She'd never met the civil rights activist, but always felt strongly for social justice. ... Within a year of her death, Dr. King was assassinated, and the Parker estate rolled over to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. To this day, the NAACP benefits from the royalty of all Parker publications and productions."
[ [www.fitzbrothers.com] ]

James Barrie left all the rights to PETER PAN to a children's hospital, and "Section 301 of the UK Copyright, Designs & Patent Act of 1988 (here) granted the Hospital for Sick Children an inalienable right to receive royalties, without limitation as to duration, for "the public performance, commercial publication, broadcasting or inclusion in a cable programming service" of James Barrie's play Peter Pan following expiry of copyright in the work on 31 December 1987."
[ [www.caslon.com.au] ]

And here is a not-so-pleasing example:

"The German Welfare Council (GWC), a charity based in London, is said to have received more than 500,000 from publication" of MEIN KAMPF in the U.K. Their spokesperson said, ""When we agreed [in 1976] to the arrangement the generally accepted view was that there was a moral obligation to pass the money to Holocaust victims - but no Jewish charity would take it." ... "In Britain for years the identity of the charity which received royalties ...was not made public." The Red Cross once returned a large donation when they found out it came from MEIN KAMPF. "The book's British publisher, Random House, has announced that it will redistribute the royalties to other 'appropriate' charities"--but it may be hard to find any that will accept the money!
[http://society.guardian.co.uk/voluntary/news/0,8371,508750,00.html]

============

I feel fine about posting the material quoted above,

MOSTLY because I trust the owners of the material to APPRECIATE it, not resent it, and

ALSO because I have made a good faith effort to credit them by citing the web sources.

I feel NOT SO FINE about posting poetry that I think is still under copyright, so I usually refer to a webpage and pass the buck that-a-way.

MARIAN


Re: bozos with copyright
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.bhm26.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 20, 2003 01:37PM

An update for the UK:

[www.bl.uk] />

Stephen


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: November 20, 2003 02:00PM


Quoting from that link, while realizing I may be in violation of their copyright:


1.1: What is changing in copyright law?

A number of changes were made to UK copyright law, taking effect from 31 October 2003. One of the most important was that copying for commerical purposes is no longer allowed under the existing exceptions whereby limited amounts may be copied without the consent of the copyright holder, providing the copies are for research or private study. For copying for non-commercial purposes, rules such as the amount that can be copied, the requirement for it to be fair dealing or the need to sign a declaration, are unchanged.


I see UK galimatias is no more intelligible than US gobbledygook. What has changed (if you know)?


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 20, 2003 02:04PM

Sounds to me like you can't make a pseudo-textbook, by copying poems and selling the copies.

pam


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.bhm26.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 20, 2003 03:47PM

'zactly. It's the COMMERCIAL users who're being drawn in. The hamateurs still keep their hexceptions.

Stephen


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: November 21, 2003 03:58AM

I wonder if the reason for the change in UK law is an increasing number of adverts using bits of poetry, lines from books and shows etc with very tenuous links (if any) to the work from which they are taken, and presumably no royalties, or perhaps to prevent people 'covering' other people's work - as lookalikes, musicians covering other peoples hits etc. Both used to be very rare, now are burgeoning industries.


Re: Quoting copyright poems
Posted by: ilza (200.162.243.---)
Date: November 21, 2003 05:46AM

I agree with Hugh

I heard of poets I had never heard of before,
which lead me to buy their books thru internet (abe, bn, amazon, etc)

I always give books as xmas gifts - always
( not a huge surprise, but then what ?)

so if it were not for sites like this ...
and poem s being quoted ...




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