Friday, November 06, 2009

Paul Zukofsky Redux

Ron Silliman’s eternal blog offers links to PDFs of Louis Zukofsky’s A. I wondered wtf, how did someone manage that, copyright-wise? They didn’t.

Someone scanned the book then uploaded it to several storage sites. I downloaded it out of curiosity but now do not feel so good about doing so.

The scan was, it seems, done in spite. It is not a matter of Galahad freeing Louis’ work for the masses, it is someone tweaking Paul Zukosky for being a dick. No question, Paul presents himself as a dick regarding his protection of his father’s copyright. I link to his cranky explanation of his rights below. That explanation set someone off enough to let loose this subversion.

I do not know copyright law, tho the fact that I know such exists does make me an expert on it, doesn’t it? Having to pay to use small quotes in a paper seems excessive. I would like to see numbers such as how much it costs to quote Louis, how often is he quoted in non-Fair Usage manner, etc. What is the money involved?

Paul is a dick because he is in financial straits. Well, that’s what I hear, not to take anything at face value. Louis as literature is not the battle here, it is Louis as money cow. Okay, I respect his ownership.

I think Paul should (if it is not already done) prepare a digital version that could be sold, because there is use in that. The scan is from the published book, and could be better. It done clear enough, at least in my glance, but I cannot say if there are missed patches or blurs.

Copyright is a battleground now, because digital versions have confused things. I will cut Paul in his need some slack. This is the straw that he grasped.

It is funny to think of Louis being of last century, and in fact he was born more than a century ago. At some time he will be given wholly to the culture, like all the other dead and gone. The tangle here will be forgotten, Paul won’t need money, Person X won’t need to tweak. That’s literature in the wide world. We in our small worlds must do the best that we can.

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