nobody loses all the time
by e.e. cummings
nobody loses all the time i had an uncle named Sol who was a born failure and nearly everybody said he should have gone into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable of all to use a highfalootin phrase luxuries that is or to wit farming and be it needlessly added my Uncle Sol's farm failed because the chickens ate the vegetables so my Uncle Sol had a chicken farm till the skunks ate the chickens when my Uncle Sol had a skunk farm but the skunks caught cold and died and so my Uncle Sol imitated the skunks in a subtle manner or by drowning himself in the watertank but somebody who'd given my Uncle Sol a Victor Victrola and records while he lived presented to him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a scruptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and i remember we all cried like the Missouri when my Uncle Sol's coffin lurched because somebody pressed a button (and down went my Uncle Sol and started a worm farm)
E. E. Cummings is important to me and maybe to you too. But you don't get to read "nobody loses all the time" today because monetizing his products sixty years after his death is more important to W W Norton, who sent me a copyright infringement notice for trying to show you this poem.
Copyright is harmful and counterproductive and it is strangling our culture and progress. No one has a natural right to own an idea. Owning ideas is intuitively absurd. And copyright holders do not own their ideas exactly. They have been granted a temporary monopoly on reproduction, in order to encourage artists to produce works of value to us all. Or it used to be temporary, anyway. The original Copyright Act on 1790 set the duration to 14 years, with the right of renewal for one additional 14 year term if the author was still alive. If that reasonable term was still in effect, works created before 1988 would all be in the public domain now (2012). Can you imagine a world where everything by The Beatles was in the public domain by now? It's easy if you try.
Dig the graph on this article about the objective harm copyright is doing to our culture, The Missing 20th Century. Ugly.