Dear Miss Snark,
I have truly been enjoying the bits of poetry that you have been sharing on your blog. At my young blog about writing and art, I have also been posting selections of poetry to inspire discussion and share poetic works which I enjoy.
My question for you is this: do you request permission from the authors of the poems you have reprinted on your website? (no) After posting a few poems at my blog site, I began to wonder if perhaps I was not infringing on someone?s copyright, even though I provide complete and consistent credit to the authors. (yes)
After reviewing some information available online on the subjects of copyright and fair use, I'm inclined to think that perhaps it is not ok for me to publish the work of others in their entirety on my blog, even if I provide credit and say nice things about them. (true)
While I know you are not a lawyer or legal advisor, could you please toss in your two cents on the subject, provided you have the time and the inclination?
Yes, I'm a criminal copyright violater. Yes, I confess it freely. The good folks over at FSG have every right to call me up and say "Hey Snark for Brains, we control the copyright to Seamus Heaney's Beowulf and you've posted more lines that are covered in fair use. Knock it off". And I'd probably whine, moan, bitch, moan, screech, yap, complain and moan... and remove it.
So, knowing I'm bound for publishing prison, how do I justify this? Well, I don't. It's wrong. I shouldn't do it. The fact that maybe someone will see the poems, and it will prompt them to buy the book, or ask for it to be added to the collection at the library isn't enough. It's still wrong. Don't do it.