Home > Uncategorized > Paul Zukofsky is Cranky about Copyright

Paul Zukofsky is Cranky about Copyright

Since copyright issues came up in class today, I thought it’d be worth pointing to something cycling around the web right now: the “Copyright Notice” of Paul Zukofsky (son of famed American poet Louis Zukofsky). A few choice excerpts, republished here in the hope PZ doesn’t mind me citing his words, even if I cannot quote his father:

Far too many people, especially perhaps-innocent grad. students, have been misled into thinking that, in terms of quoting LZ or CZ, they may do what they want, and do not have to worry about me. These people are then suddenly faced with the reality of an irascible, recalcitrant MOI, and are confronted with the very real prospect of years of work potentially down the tubes. I therefore wish to post an obvious “do not trespass” sign where LZ aficionados may see it.

In general, as a matter of principle, and for your own well-being, I urge you to not work on Louis Zukofsky, and prefer that you do not. Working on LZ will be far more trouble than it is worth. You will be far more appreciated working on some author whose copyright holder(s) will actually cherish you, and/or your work. I do not, and no one should work under those conditions.

I forbid so-called electronic “publication”. People may not quote LZ in their “blogs”.

I can perhaps understand your misguided interest in literature, music, art, etc. I would be suspicious of your interest in Louis Zukofsky, but might eventually accept it. I can applaud your desire to obtain a job, any job, although why in your chosen so-called profession is quite beyond me; but one line you may not cross i.e. never never ever tell me that your work is to be valued by me because it promotes my father. Doing that will earn my life-long permanent enmity. Your self-interest(s) I may understand, perhaps even agree with; but beyond that, in the words of e.e.cummings quoting Olaf: “there is some s I will not eat”.

He claims that his father wanted to support his family with his work, and believes the only way to do that is to protect his copyright privileges. I can’t say I blame him, although, for reasons we discussed in class today, his vitriol seems misdirected at academics. Plenty of people on the web have responded to this, but here’s at least one good one.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. petemoore328
    October 30, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I am so tempted to use the rhetoric of the old “This Is Not A Fugazi T-shirt” to make a ton of money off this whole fiasco. I can see it now, hundreds of neo-objectivists swarming AWP this year in t-shirts that read “This Is Not a Zukofsky T-shirt” or “Shirt Not Beginning With the Letter T.” I only bring up the “ton of money” in hopes that P Z is reading. He surely already knows that there aint no money in poetry or poetry related paraphernalia.

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