It really bugs me that it’s like pulling teeth to get paid for images. I can’t imagine someone calling a lawyer or accountant and expecting to get them to do something for free.

Yeah, very good point.

I’m quite sympathetic to your p.o.v., as you can tell, and if photography ever became more of a focus for me (no pun intended), I’d definitely consider protecting that with a more restrictive “no commercial use” provision. I still think the Creative Commons approach, with its clear distinction between commercial and non-commercial use, is better than just using standard copyright. Though as you say, there are those state-supported entities and non-profits who want to exploit you. So maybe in your case requiring everyone to ask before reproducing isn’t such a bad idea.

Ross – Hi. Thanks for joining the conversation. I was worried when Matt linked to this that I’d be deluded with zealots for one side or the other, but that hasn’t happened, and I’m glad that the post and comments haven’t alienated someone like yourself, who sees good arguments on both sides. Your last paragraph is especially interesting to me, with the split between your feelings as a poetry publisher and your feelings as a reader and appreciator of poetry, wanting to share the good stuff. I would suggest that the publisher in you continue to look for ways to accomodate that latter reaction, which I think is of a piece with the generosity of spirit that allows poetry to come into being in the first place. I help publish a small online literary magazine myself, and we’ve just made the decision to encourage content-sharing through online bookmarking, adding a row of those colorful icons at the bottom of each post. If we had the capability to add an “email this” button, we’d do that, too. And if we publish anthologies through, I’m sure we’ll make them free for download. But of course the authors retain all rights to their works, and people who reproduce them without permission could still be liable.