Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

3/03/2004

Great post on grandtextauto (still the best name for a weblog ever) on how copyright infringement is the "new obscenity." Interestingly, poetry has been existing on the shadows of copyright enforcement for some time now, primarily for its (usual) brevity and transferability (poetry--great on tombstones and subways!) and the fact that, well, there's no money in it. But it's a compelling realignment for poetry's place in the midst of draconian copyright enforcement. Reviewers in little magazines and weblogs have no compunctions about reprinting poems in their entirety from other sources. I know that Amazon.com recently removed poetry books from its "Search Inside the Box" feature, but I can't remember any instance in which people were worried about people using poetry in the public sphere.

And maybe that's it--the fact that there is just the tiniest vestige left of poetry's jongleur roots. That's its able to, with some efficiency, slip away from the "first amendment zoning" (of which recent copyright law is the hammer for) of the country. Maybe that will be an important "use" of poetry in the upcoming decade--to be impermissible.

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