Sideshow: Dave Bonta on Fair Use for Poetry

February 2, 2011

Dave Bonta, Big Tent Poetry Sideshow Barker

Despite the lack of “scruffy poetry bloggers” on the panel of consultants that helped develop the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry, Dave Bonta indicates that, as a first step, he likes most of the conclusions in the document.

He was “especially cheered by the recommendations for epigraphs” but calls the section on remixing (and found poetry) “murky.” He shares with his readers part of the “poetry online” recommendations which “suggests a standard for people who like to blog entire poems from others without explicit permission.” These issues — use of epigraphs, found poetry and quoting poetry — surface fairly regularly here and on other prompt sites, and so we encourage you to read not only Dave’s post but also the standards themselves.

Dave hopes the document at the very least opens a discussion and helps develop a second version of the standards, and a part of him also seems to hope the poetry populus will rise up and define its own standards. He writes,

And nothing prevents a bunch of us hoi polloi from convening ourselves, consulting with some intellectual property experts, and trying to build support for another set of standards via a more open process. Since these initial, suggested community standards are, by the report authors’ own admission, incomplete, maybe that’s indeed what needs to happen next, six months or a year down the road.

Click on the excerpt to read the entire article. Check our About page for a list of Sideshow Barkers, friends of Big Tent Poetry who are generous enough to share with us their columns, interviews and reviews. There is no set schedule for these appearances; willy-nilly is a symptom of creative genius!


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