Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Anthologies and Intellectual Property

I'm interested in a brief story from today's NY Times that revolves around the question of whether creating a poetry anthology creates a kind of intellectual property:

The case pits Stuart Y. Silverstein, a Los Angeles lawyer who researched and assembled 122 previously uncollected poems and verses in the book “Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker,” against Penguin Putnam, which published “Dorothy Parker, Complete Poems,” and used Mr. Silverstein’s book as a source for the last chapter without giving him any credit or paying him any royalties.

The issue in question is whether Mr. Silverstein is entitled to what is known as “compilation copyright” protection for his selection of Parker’s work.


The full story is here
(registration required). I think there's a cautionary tale here for those who work in archives and have in interest in producing anthologies, editions, etc., out of the materials they find.

1 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Wow, Penguin's actions seem particularly egregious. Obviously Silverstein doesn't own the copyright to the poems. But the work that he did in assembling the poems seems like it should be compensated in a meaningful way.

It is also interesting that Penguin took his word for the poems more or less (using 121 out of 122 in their chapter) since the article indicates that Silverstein cut some poems that have been attributed to Parker.

10:32 AM  

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