Poems in comments April 19, 2005 12:32 AM   Subscribe

Bendy makes a good point here. Even though it's easy to do, is it really fair to copy whole poems in threads? We stop people linking to other infringing files, yet the copying of poetry seems to get a free pass. [vaguely related comment inside]
posted by seanyboy to Etiquette/Policy at 12:32 AM (63 comments total)

I was speaking to the editor of one of the larger poetry presses in the UK, and they own the rights to a poem which is frequently printed in its entirity on MetaFilter. Rights to place this poem in an anthology usually costs about £40.00. The continued popularity of the poem (Plus financial support from Faber & Faber) ensures the publishers survival. In turn, they support other smaller publishers. (including a publisher who may be publishing a friend of mine) By copying the poem, we could be damaging the continued survival of a small and inoffensive company.
posted by seanyboy at 12:33 AM on April 19, 2005


I'm not on any kind of warpath here. I'd just like people to be more aware of the fact that they are infringing copyright and this infringment could be affecting poetry publishers. I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but some constructive commentry and a bit more awareness would be nice.
posted by seanyboy at 12:36 AM on April 19, 2005


And sorry bendybendy. I got your name wrong. Apologies for that.
posted by seanyboy at 12:38 AM on April 19, 2005


The internet is evil.
posted by Witty at 12:47 AM on April 19, 2005


The internet is evil.

It sure is. Let's shut the whole thing down altogether. This way we will kill internet piracy for good.
posted by sveskemus at 1:40 AM on April 19, 2005


seanyboy writes "I was speaking to the editor of one of the larger poetry presses in the UK, and they own the rights to a poem which is frequently printed in its entirety on MetaFilter.... The continued popularity of the poem (Plus financial support from Faber & Faber) ensures the publishers survival."

I don't illegally download mp3s, and I'm pretty much agnostic on the argument that downloading music actually leads to buying hat music.

But in this case, how many Mefites, having seen the poem on MetaFiter, then decide not to buy an anthology of poems they would otherwise have bought?

Indeed, by posting the poem on MetaFilter, the posters contribute to "[t]he continued popularity of the poem " which you argue underpins the survival of the small poetry press.

Posting the poem only increases its popularity -- it doesn't harm, it aids, the publisher.

(Parenthetically, seanyboy, why are you so interested in this particular poem that you contacted its publisher?)
posted by orthogonality at 3:39 AM on April 19, 2005


I didn't contact the publisher. It was mentioned in an unrelated conversation about making publishing pay enough for a living.

[Also of interest in the conversation was the snippet that Faber and Faber owe their continuing survival partly on the popularity of Andrew Llloyd Webber's "Cats".]

I agree with you in that posting the poems could help to increase popularity, and I'm sure that this is the way most publishers / poets see it, but surely they should be in the position to make that decision.

My query is aimed more at a community that will actively dissuade me from linking to unauthorised copied music and which ignores unauthorised copying of poetry. What are the differences? Why is one allowable and one not?

Can unuathorised internet publishing of poetry harm sales? I'm sure it could. The fact that I was recently able to find Carol Ann Duffy's "Havisham" on the net meant there was no need for me to either buy it or (more likely) order it from the library.
posted by seanyboy at 3:56 AM on April 19, 2005


The fact that I was recently able to find Carol Ann Duffy's "Havisham" on the net meant there was no need for me to either buy it or (more likely) order it from the library.

Really? If I'm only interested in one particular poem, I would have never bought the book anyways. But, I've bought books of poetry after seeing a few poems online.

Also, anyone know what the status is of translated poetry? If I provide my own English translation of say a Neruda poem, can I post that?
posted by vacapinta at 5:00 AM on April 19, 2005


yeah, the P2P networks are lousy with poetry collections in big fat .pdf files -- Hesiod a recent favorite of downloaders (the Loeb Classical Library text, of course, recently reviewed on MTV). criticism, too.

as of today, in fact, there are appalling queues to download Terrell's Companion to the Cantos. and I hear Charles Simic asked his publisher to sue fans who trade mp3s of his live performances.

the lesson, kids, is: you trade a few poems off the Internet, and the next thing you know the multi-billion market for poetry books goes belly-up. one hopes poetry publishers start paying attention to the RIAA's game plan, pronto
posted by matteo at 5:09 AM on April 19, 2005


If it's already on the 'net, (like from a book review or authorized collection) fine, cut and paste. It's out there already.

Hand-typing a poem and posting it, even with attribution, is a greyish area.

I'm unsure how I feel about this, although the mp3 argument tends to sway me; that posting a single poem will motivate people to go buy the collected works from an author in paper. I can see that happening.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:10 AM on April 19, 2005


omg Poem2Person networks springing up everywhere!
posted by exlotuseater at 5:12 AM on April 19, 2005


[Also of interest in the conversation was the snippet that Faber and Faber owe their continuing survival partly on the popularity of Andrew Llloyd Webber's "Cats".]

The staff of Faber and Faber should do the decent thing and commit mass suicide rather than exist on the coin of Andrew Llloyd Webber.
I am willing to contribute a pack of 16 paracetamol to this noble cause.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:42 AM on April 19, 2005


Just go to the library and photocopy it.
posted by breezeway at 5:51 AM on April 19, 2005


Back in hizzle schizzle, I used to mimeograph poems by the dozen... hundreds of copies, and hand them out to my friends in front of the cafeteria. In fact, we all did it. It was quite the 'thing'. At one point, I had to upgrade my rubbermade storage bins to the larger size just to accomodate my ever-growing collection. I've got tons of stuff in there I haven't even read yet, perhaps never will. But my friends were handing it out, so I took it. But gosh, now, with the internet n' all, it's so much easier. We trade almost as if they're some kind of currency... and the more poems you have, the "richer" you are--the cooler you are really.

I got some rare Shel Silverstein if anyone's interested.
posted by Witty at 5:54 AM on April 19, 2005


In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

Apologies to Dylan Thomas New Directions Publishing.
posted by felix betachat at 5:56 AM on April 19, 2005


Perhaps I'm wrong, but I would argue that most poetry fans probably tend to be book people who love the aesthetics and presence of pages, binding, etc. I'm an avaricious reader, but even if I could just download and print every book that I want, I wouldn't do it. It wouldn't be so delicious as cracking open that lovely new book. And I would never read prose or collections of poetry online; it would just be... painful.

Actually, I recently came across a nice small(ish) press for SF (Night Shade) that has a good online presence — so much so that after wandering around their site, reading a lot of the message board stuff, etc., I'm thinking of ordering from them. So, it seems to me that maybe your publishing friend should look at ways of making the internet work for her/his company instead of taking what is perhaps an adversarial position.
posted by taz at 5:58 AM on April 19, 2005


vacapinta - not a direct answer, but i've translated various things and put them on the net. i never heard anything from carlos fuentes(!), but a chilean writer contacted me saying thanks and later asked for some small corrections (when moving to xhtml i somehow lost the accented letters in some words). so my experience has been positive - you're either ignored or appreciated.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:18 AM on April 19, 2005


I must have missed the part where we stop people from linking to other infringing files. When did that start?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:30 AM on April 19, 2005


OK, the first comment was an example from a publisher, and is not someone who is a friend. It was an example to give people an idea of the size of the industry and maybe to explain my interest in the area.

As with music, it's difficult to prove that the copyright infringement hurts the poetry world, but it seems to me that nobody has even considered this. Wheras a lot of people are happy to stand up against offering rips of albums and films, nobody seems bothered that we are happy to infringe material from companies who don't have an industry rottweiller (like the MPAA or RIAA) looking after there financial interests.

There's been a lot of joking about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this kind of infringement isn't seen as real as the copying of other types of intellectual property. (Possibly because of the lack of any potential legal action) I'm frankly puzzled as to why this may be, especially when the people who are most likely to be hurt are not corporate fat cats.

The "It's more likely to sell more copies of books" argument has been floating around as long as piracy, and when asked ALL copyright owners dismiss this argument as not relavant. Usually, if owners want to advertise a book or a CD with part of a copyrighted work it'll happen with their say-so and under terms that they can control. The key issue is that they (not you) determine what gets published and how.

As I said, this is partly a call to people so they know that by copying poems onto metafilter they're breaking copyright.


posted by seanyboy at 7:14 AM on April 19, 2005


That's - Some poems. (obviously, Shakespeare is out of copyright)
posted by seanyboy at 7:26 AM on April 19, 2005


The "It's more likely to sell more copies of books" argument has been floating around as long as piracy, and when asked ALL copyright owners dismiss this argument as not relavant.

That's just plain not true. In fact, it's very nearly the opposite of true. Software companies like Adobe turned a blind eye to piracy for years as a deliberate part of their marketing strategy. Artists like the Grateful Dead did too. (And, in fact, almost every musician who isn't a mega-star loves P2P, because it gives them exposure and maybe convinces people to come to shows). And while book or poetry piracy hasn't really become a big issue (and maybe it never will), I know that I'm always glad when people "steal" what I write, and I imagine there are others who feel the same.
posted by gd779 at 7:31 AM on April 19, 2005


There's been a lot of joking about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this kind of infringement isn't seen as real as the copying of other types of intellectual property. (Possibly because of the lack of any potential legal action) I'm frankly puzzled as to why this may be, especially when the people who are most likely to be hurt are not corporate fat cats.

I think because the people who do this, like myself, do believe that they are helping to "spread the word" about poetry and in the end, help the poetry publishing industry. These arguments may be irrelevant from a legal standpoint but they are highly relevant when considering how far to enforce a copyright.

I understand your statements about copyright but that is up to the owner of the copyright, no? Can you perhaps point us to at least one incident from a Poetry publisher where they have asked people not to post, or to remove poetry that they own the copyright for? Surely, they can speak for themselves.
posted by vacapinta at 7:34 AM on April 19, 2005


I'm not joking. What's the difference between posting a poem here, and photocopying it at the public library?

The quarter you spend for a copy goes to the library, not the publisher. By the same logic that would lead one to think poems posted on the internet are harmful, shouldn't publishers sue libraries for making money off their work?

It seems they'd have even more of a case, since someone is actually making money from the reproduction.
posted by breezeway at 8:05 AM on April 19, 2005


We stop people linking to other infringing files, yet the copying of poetry seems to get a free pass.

So when did we stop people linking to other infringing files? When I brought it up once, I was made into a pariah for it. My advice to you is to hush and pass the duce.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:07 AM on April 19, 2005


Can you perhaps point us to at least one incident from a Poetry publisher where they have asked people not to post, or to remove poetry that they own the copyright for? Surely, they can speak for themselves.

I guess this is my feeling. There all sorts of chilling effects from people over-guessing at what other people think is or is not appropriate. As long as people credit me, I don't care if my work is copied, personally. Part of the disjoint here has to do with the distinction between a copyright holder [in this case your pal the publisher, or publishers generally] and the author of the work. I think, and I'm just going by what I hear from fellow library-folks here, that people who are into poetry are more concerned with keeping poets in business than with the livlihood of poetry publishers. In a dream world, we'd keep both.

The sad truth is that publishing is changing and I'd rather pay Billy Collins a dollar or two directly to have a nice copy of his poem than I would pay $10-15 to buy a book with just that one poem I wanted in it, or $40 for the "rights" to do a very short list of things with the poem. Can I even pay either of these publishers any amount of money for the rights to republish these poems in an online anthology? If not, why not? I feel for people who are having to shift gears when their revenue models go belly-up, but there are ways to adapt to the changing market that don't involve asking people to behave counter to [what is becoming] normative behavior.

If the publisher has a problem, the publisher can and should deal with it. We've had legislation for years that requires the injured party to be the one that has to handle getting redress for their injuries, I see no reason to self-censor. I have a fan page on my web site that contains lots of copyrighted works that I uploaded with permission from the copyright holder. I'm not sure this issue is as cut and dried as you make it out to be.
posted by jessamyn at 8:13 AM on April 19, 2005


It does happen. (That was pretty hard to find)
vacapinta: I can't help but agree with you though. The poetry does generally work as advertisement and I also assume that the only thing that's could happen to metafilter is Matt is going to get a "remove this content from your site" notice.

I'm still slightly aggrieved that we'll play fast and loose with the rules as long as there is no perceived punishment.

gd779: Companies have turned a blind eye to copyright infringements in the past, but I'm sure that if you had asked them, they'd publicly have denied it. So, I'm probably correct in my assertion. To me, this abuse of copyright law is symptomatic of a darker abuse of law in general. There's some quote about "To create a dictatorship, make all people into criminals". I agree with this. Either the law applies, or it does not. If individuals (including organisations) get to decide who from the multitude should be punished, then you're heading towards a more unequal society.

For example. If the guy who filled GWB's iPod with pirated music was prosecuted, then you could bet that the currently stupid laws on copying would be made more user friendly.
posted by seanyboy at 8:24 AM on April 19, 2005


This is exceptionally stupid, even by MetaTalk standards.
posted by trondant at 8:25 AM on April 19, 2005


jessamyn: (And everyone else)
Stop assuming the publisher is my PAL. It was an example!

There is a feeling that poetry publishers are a corrupt & corpulent lot. I don't think this is the case. (Except for maybe Neil Astley). In a lot of cases, the money from the back-catalog (including the previously mentions Cats) gets pushed into new poets. They may not be perfect, but I think the poetry world would be a lot poorer if it didn't have publishers and editors weeding out the 99.999% of poetry chaff that circulates round the industry. I suppose this is an argument for another day though.

I suppose that I'd be happy if I knew that people realised that there are IP issues and acted according to thier own moral compasses. I'm not asking for an over-prescriptive solution, but an awareness of the issues at hand.
posted by seanyboy at 8:40 AM on April 19, 2005


breezeway: I believe that (in the UK, anyway) a percentage of the money collected via photocopying does go to a central agency for distribution amongst copyright owners. This is an issue that has already been dealt with.
posted by seanyboy at 8:52 AM on April 19, 2005




What about photocopying at Kinko's, or somewhere else, of a book checked out from the library. Nobody at Kinko's is going to stop that, but I don't think the publisher sees a dime, unless they have those agreements with Kinko's, too.

In the case of photocopying, somebody (the owner of the machine) is making money on the reproduction. On the internet, nobody makes money.

For publishers to be aggrieved at those who do it for free, and not at those who are profiting from their copyrighted material, seems backwards.

When you say it's already been dealt with, do you mean, "the authorities have already considered this, and have rules in place, don't worry" or "we at MeFi have already considered this, stuff a sock in it?" I'm only curious.
posted by breezeway at 9:17 AM on April 19, 2005


In the US, libraries don't give any money to publishers when people use the photocopying machines, fwiw. The money goes to the library which uses it to maintain the copy machine and fund the library generally. In larger libraries you'll often see a notice about copyright on a sticker on any public photocopy machine, but it's always seemed like more of a CYA maneuver than anything people felt strongly about.
posted by jessamyn at 9:26 AM on April 19, 2005


In the US, libraries don't give any money to publishers when people use the photocopying machines, fwiw.

On the other hand, libraries can pay more upfront for certain items (in my line of work, journals) because more eyes will see them, and more xeroxers and mouse-clickers will copy them.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:45 AM on April 19, 2005


Wait. I was committing a crime every time a school teacher made me copy down a poem.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:10 AM on April 19, 2005


What ever the hell happened to fair use?
posted by cortex at 11:06 AM on April 19, 2005


I said what?
posted by bendy at 11:46 AM on April 19, 2005


You said, "I said what?"
posted by breezeway at 11:55 AM on April 19, 2005


1. bendybendy was being facetious.
2. This is a non-issue. What (properly attributed) poet has ever complained of being quoted, or voiced irritation that his works were being passed around? If it doesn't bother the poets, why should it bother anyone?
3. Unclench.

Who does copyright law protect, exactly? The author, the middleman, the physical "form" of the work itself? For generations, our forefathers passed down story after story, song after song through word of mouth. Then people started writing them down and recording them. Then people started charging other people to see/read/hear/watch them. Then people started passing them around without paying anyway. Then copyright laws were invented. Then business models came along where people could get more out of their art and others could get even more for distributing it and anything outside of that was a punishable offense. Yet works, often the better ones, still manage to get passed around. Consarned hu-mons!

Fairness? What this issue seems to really be about is the commodification of art and how money should be flowing through the "proper" channels.
posted by Lush at 11:58 AM on April 19, 2005


What ever the hell happened to fair use?

Nothing "happened" to it, it's the same as it's always been--a very, very gray area. There are various factors that make a certain usage of copyrighted material more likely or less likely to be found to be fair use in a court case, but there is no usage of copyrighted material which is guaranteed to be fair use, nor has there ever been.

To take it one step further, posting an entire poem on a popular website is pretty unlikely to be considered fair use by a court.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:00 PM on April 19, 2005


Feel free to reproduce and disseminate. Thanks.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:13 PM on April 19, 2005


To take it one step further, posting an entire poem on a popular website is pretty unlikely to be considered fair use by a court.

Even posting it on a website such that there is no visible means for any third party to profit from the posting, or to deny the author of the poem profit that otherwise would have been realized?

I realize we're talking about a grey area here, but I'm having a hard time perceiving the questionable motives of quoting with attribution in this context. Like others who have spoken up here, I do not pursue poetry of own accord -- this is awareness generating for people like me, which at the very worst fails to cause me to buy poetry collections I would not have bought in the first place.

Not to say that someone couldn't successfully pursue a lawsuit, but I disagree wholly with the idea that, in this sort of case, it would be a reasonable one.
posted by cortex at 1:34 PM on April 19, 2005


So when did we stop people linking to other infringing files?

Since before you were around.
posted by scarabic at 2:11 PM on April 19, 2005


No questionable motive is implied in any of the comments here. The questions are simply, should we be doing it, is it wrong, is it less wrong than copying music, and if it is, then why is that?

The general feeling is that legally it is wrong, but morally it isn't. I'm still not sure where I stand.
posted by seanyboy at 2:15 PM on April 19, 2005


Even posting it on a website such that there is no visible means for any third party to profit from the posting, or to deny the author of the poem profit that otherwise would have been realized?

Money is a factor in fair use, but it is only one factor.
posted by kindall at 2:54 PM on April 19, 2005


Wow, in a way, this is my only MeTa callout. I think. Anyway, as the dreaded law-breaking cut and paste pirate who just wanted to share a good poem I think this thread is hilarious. Copyright infringment? Are you serious? I didn't post a file that contained anything, like an mp3 or a pdf, I posted words. Words that were clearly atributed to their author. Nothing was "stolen" and there is no more infringement here than if I went to the park and read the poem out loud.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:20 PM on April 19, 2005


I'm sure that this is the way most publishers / poets see it, but surely they should be in the position to make that decision.

So... we should write the publisher before posting a poem on MeFi? Come on, that's silly. I really don't quite grasp what you're hoping will come of this. You want people to "be aware" of the issue? A few people who happened on to this thread will be aware of it for an hour or two, and then they'll forget it and go on doing whatever they were doing. I imagine there are a few crazed rapacious poets' eststes out there (widows, nephews, second cousins of brothers-in-law who somehow managed to grab the golden ring of publication rights) who might get exercised about it if they were aware of it, but I find it hard to imagine actual poets objecting to the dissemination of their work -- a pdf file of an entire collection might be a problem, but a single poem in a MeFi thread? Are you kidding me? I agree with taz: people who love poetry love books, and anyone who falls in love with a poem online is likely to go out and buy a book by the poet -- I've done it myself. Who loses?
posted by languagehat at 3:32 PM on April 19, 2005


I didn't post a file that contained anything, like an mp3 or a pdf
I really hope you were joking when you said that.

The callout wasn't for you, it was a more general question about ettiquette.

languagehat: Maybe we should write the publisher before posting.

Personally, I don't see the difference between posting a poem or posting a copied song. (Apart from the fact that the posted song is probably held on a different server.) You're right, of course, that most poets would be pleased to see their work on the site, but this isn't neccasarily so. The poet may be ideologically opposed to the lefty Metafilter bias. They may be embarrassed to see an out-of-print older / bad poem posted on the site. There are issues other than money at stake.

You talk about the "golden ring of publication rights". It's my understanding that very few publishers make anything close to a good living out of poetry, and in many cases a succesful back catalogue lines the way for newer unprofitable poets to pop into the mainstream. Poets like Don Paterson and Lavinia Greenlaw maybe wouldn't have been published without the "golden ring" of T.S. Eliots "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats"

I have to concede the point about "a single poem in a MeFi thread" though.

If I didn't think it would have damaging implications, I'd probably write a couple of the authors and ask if they minded me posting their poetry on Metafilter. Would, for instance, Simon Armitage or Andrew Motion mind poems being posted on the site? What about Authors from other countries.

Anyway, to appease you languagehat (with your love of poetry and languages), I thought I'd point you to this. One day, when I've a few days on my hands I'm going to bring this project back to life.
posted by seanyboy at 3:55 PM on April 19, 2005


even if I could just download and print every book that I want, I wouldn't do it. It wouldn't be so delicious as cracking open that lovely new book
I think this is what separates pirated music from pirated poems/novels/any other printed material. When you copy music, the end result is (more or less) exactly the same experience. As taz notes, there is a huge difference between reading on a screen and curling up with a book, so the experience is quite different and, in my opinion, the book version is better by enough of a margin to make it worth paying for.

This "experience" difference also shows up in the way that people continue to buy books even though they can get them from the local library - there is something special about reading a brand-new book that cannot be reproduced by a library copy. Plus, books are nice to own and be able to go back and re-read ones you like. Even if you never do, it is nice to know that you could.
posted by dg at 3:59 PM on April 19, 2005


It's my understanding that very few publishers make anything close to a good living out of poetry, and in many cases a succesful back catalogue lines the way for newer unprofitable poets to pop into the mainstream.

Pssst, seanyboy, if it's been posted on the internet it's being published. Poets want to be read; publishers want to make money. It's hard to muster up sympathy for the latter when the former's interests are being served.

But, hey, don't worry...when dad gets home, he'll sort this all out.
posted by felix betachat at 4:23 PM on April 19, 2005


Damn, that's a nice project, seanyboy. Thanks for pointing me to it.
posted by languagehat at 4:59 PM on April 19, 2005


Poe$y©®
posted by Shane at 6:16 PM on April 19, 2005


This thread does well to highlight the unending stupidity of the current trends in copyright 'enforcement' in the music and movie industry.
posted by odinsdream at 6:38 PM on April 19, 2005


Poets want to be read; publishers want to make money.

I think every poet and every type of artist wants to make money, dreams of someday having her/his passion also be his/her supporting source of income and so sole life's work. I wonder how many wonderful poets will never see print, working "day jobs" and cramming art into the wee hours of the night or into moments stolen away at a desk. But poetry serves a purpose higher than money, and it is true to that spirit that the message of a poem should travel from ear to ear as it did before Gutenberg and "copyright infringement" and publishers' profits.

Poetry is a verbal art, meant to be heard, spoken aloud.
posted by Shane at 7:25 PM on April 19, 2005


Poetry is a verbal art, meant to be heard, spoken aloud.

All poetry? Nahh.
posted by Witty at 2:18 AM on April 20, 2005


Listen, as a published poet I'd be more than happy if my work was reproduced on the web. My publisher can't afford a big advertising campaign to push my book (and let's face it, most poetry books are a money losing proposition for publishers anyway) so samples on the web are a great way to get the work out in front of a bigger audience.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 7:16 AM on April 20, 2005


I was speaking to the editor of one of the larger poetry presses in the UK, and they own the rights to a poem which is frequently printed in its entirity on MetaFilter.

Plums in the icebox?
posted by ninebelow at 8:00 AM on April 20, 2005


ninebelow: This Is Just to Say is owned by New Directions Publishing Co., a subsidiary of W.W. Norton & Co.

is that the poem you mean?
posted by exlotuseater at 9:10 AM on April 20, 2005


seanyboy, is that Worldpoem your project? I can't find any information on the site. I was going to blog it, but I'd just as soon wait till you get it running again, if you're serious about that.
posted by languagehat at 1:23 PM on April 20, 2005


people do post song lyrics here, sometimes entire ones. no-one gets upset about that. so there seems to be an unwritten consensus that a recording is more than the lyrics. which raises the question - is a poem best compared to lyrics, or to the recording? on the one hand, the written poem is "the whole thing", just as a recording is. on the other, there seems to be an acceptance that text is less of an "object" than a binary file. i'm not making any judgements here, just saying how i see people reacting.

so the difference seems to hinge on the degree to which you accept that the digital age has made all information the same, whatever the format.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:49 PM on April 20, 2005


theinsectsarewaiting are any of your poems on the internet? I couldn't find anything to point me in the right direction on your user page. You are missing an opportunity to reach a wider audience here.
posted by Tarrama at 5:53 PM on April 20, 2005


I think a nice compromise would be to at least post the name of the author along with the poem, so as to avoid the possible implication that you think it could have possibly been written by you.
posted by bingo at 8:24 PM on April 20, 2005


bingo: I agree, certainly. I put other authors' poetry on my blog all the time, but mine is mixed in there as well... I would never want someone to think that I wrote something that I did not, and so I credit them clearly.
If I were to post something on the blue (or the grey) I would strongly suggest crediting with a title and an author. To do anything less is much worse than merely reproducing someone's work. It's gauche.
posted by exlotuseater at 4:16 AM on April 21, 2005




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