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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More bad copyright news for academic authors

Off and on throughout the years I've been reporting on instances in which academic authors were prohibited from doing their jobs as a result of unreasonable intellectual property regulations -- or the perception thereof. Here's the latest case: composer and Bard College Music professor Kyle Gann, whose latest book, about the music of the avant-garde art group Fluxus, will be without some important material. Gann reports:
Apparently I've just broken copyright law. I can't believe what's holding up my Cage book: you are no longer allowed to quote texts that are entire pieces of art. This means I've been trying to get permission simply to refer to Fluxus pieces like La Monte Young's "This piece is little whirlpools in the middle of the ocean," and Yoko Ono's "Listen to the sound of the earth turning." And of course, Yoko (whom I used to know) isn't responding, and La Monte is imposing so many requirements and restrictions that I would have to add a new chapter to the book, and so in frustration well past the eleventh hour, I've excised the pieces from the text.
You can read the complete post over on his blog PostClassic, which is hosted on the ArtsJournal website.

Odd, isn't it, how you can pay a relatively small fee to license the rights to cover an entire song, yet you can't get permission to do the same thing in a different medium for academic purposes? Something's gotta give. Really. This is getting ridiculous, and it is an affront to academic freedom.

6 comments:

Mary Murrell said...

He shouldn't have asked for permission.

Ted Striphas said...

I love a comment that's short & to the point. Thanks for that!

maxograph said...

I haven't been by in a while, but have you seen Jon Kohl's blog post about how articles in print journals are ending up for sale on Amazon?

http://www.bksp.org/content/view/77/2/

Ted Striphas said...

@ Maxograph: Wow--thanks very much for the link. Troubling stuff. This may be worth a post over at my other blog, The Late Age of Print. Maybe I'll copy it here as well.

Ted Striphas said...

@ Maxograph: by the way, I posted the link you shared to Twitter, where it's already been retweeted several times. So thanks again!

maxograph said...

Great! I found it when I was trying to figure out how my article ended up for sale on Amazon. Since the full text is also available for free, I don't see why anyone should have to pay $10 for it.