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Current Affairs

The Letter of the Law and the Law in Letters

Read Lynn Chu on what's wrong with the proposed Google Book Settlement.

That idea I had in the 1980s for a science fiction novel in which all publishing houses were put out of business by some vast avaricious computer outfit that had monopolized the distribution of books -- too bad I didn't write it. Did anyone? Consider that Google has the ability (though not the authority) to control the dissemination of information, eliminating publishers as we know them and forgetting about the authors' cut. Or leaving the author face down in a swimming pool, which is Hollywood's view of the writer's status and ideal fate. All of which is simply to say: these intellectual-property rights questions are important, people, so I wish you wouldn't look so bored when I bring up the subject. It is, of course, always possible that "you" in any given sentence is "I" in disguise. -- DL

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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