I was just preparing to record a show on Ezra Pound, perhaps the most influential poet of the 20th century, when I came across this site, which used to carry copies of some of Pound’s best works.

On the site, you can read this recent announcement:

Canto I
by: Ezra Pound

Copyright law was designed to be a temporary monopoly on ideas granted to artists because we felt it would encourage them to enrich our lives with their creations.

This page used to have a very nice poem. However, we just received the email reproduced below from the agents of the estate of Ezra Pound. It seems that the poem is still in copyright, and they would prefer that it remain a salable commodity item, instead of becoming part of our culture. Sometime in the middle of the century, if Ezra Pound is still relevant to your life, you can make “Canto I” part of it.

If however, you think that copyright law has been hijacked by dirt bag lawyers and no longer serves the public interest, you might throw a few dollars at the EFF and let them know that you support their efforts to bring it back under control. But frankly, the lawyers of the copyright barons are much better funded, and will probably just keep turning the screws until “intellectual property” monopolies last forever, and your kids just assume that ideas have always been owned.

Pound died in 1972. Apparently his poems are now dead also. A shame. And to think he was once imprisoned and thrown into an asylum in the U.S. for being a fascist. Oh the irony. The poem I was going to read was written in 1920.

Read the lawyer’s letter here.