Friday, November 09, 2007

Judge Rules on What Makes a Poem; Using Creativity Definitions

[9 November 2007 - AP - New York, New York] A federal judge has ruled that compiling Dorothy Parker's poems was a far less original act than writing them. The editor of a book of uncollected work by the late author did not show enough "creativity" to claim copyright infringement from a near-identical set contained in a book released by Penguin Group (USA), U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan said Tuesday, contradicting a decision he made four years ago. Stuart Y. Silverstein's "Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker" was published in 1996 by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The Penguin book, "Dorothy Parker, Complete Poems," came out in 1999 and includes all the 122 pieces assembled by Silverstein, who was not credited. The poems themselves are in the public domain. "The Court finds that Silverstein simply selected for inclusion in `Not Much Fun' all of the uncollected Parker poems that he could find and that this selection process involved no creativity," wrote Keenan, who in a summary judgment in 2003 had ruled in Silverstein's favor and enjoined Penguin from selling or continuing to distribute its book. More

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