Dear Open Saloners: I don't come here much, but I have an announcement to make and I couldn't think of a better place to put it. (This will also appear on Orphans of Open Salon on Facebook, so I am a…

Dear Open Saloners:

I don't come here much, but I have an announcement to make and I couldn't think of a better place to put it. (This will also appear on Orphans of Open Salon on Facebook, so I am addressing both groups at once.)

Some of you will remember me as SageMerlin from Open Salon. I used the sagemerlin account to publish my poetry and Alan Milner for my prose.

I just had one of those possible end of life health scares and, while I am not yet completely out of the woods, I am no longer thinking that I am on the verge of kicking the bucket just yet.

However, this particular health scare triggered me into one of those end of life tasks that we all have in the backs of our minds, putting our affairs in order, taking revenge where revenge is due, apologizing when necessary.

In my case, the action triggered by the health scare has been the process of collecting my poetry for publication. Many of my poems were published on Open Salon during a very fertile period in my writing life....and that's what necessitates this announcement because I actually have facsimiles of every poem I ever published on Open Salon, along with all of your comments....all of them.

It is interesting that virtually all of the comments about my poetry are laudatory, some of them extremely so. That was what encouraged me to keep up the experiment of publishing one new poem per day for as long as I did.

Now, since I have all those comments, I have been thinking about publishing a facsimile edition of those poems....with the comments. Many of those comments were very insightful and often add to the impact of the poem itself. It would however be impossible to get everyone's permission to republish their comments since I don't know how to reach many of you, and some of us have sadly passed away since those comments were made. Republishing their comments would be an homage to them.

What's your opinion about this? Do I have the right to republish comments made years ago about poems written years ago. Would you like to see such a book? (The collected poems will be published one way or the other. What I am asking about is whether I can or should publish the facsimile version.

Reading over the those comments again, I realize once again how important Open Salon was to me and to all of us. I don't think we fully realized how unique Open Salon was but, since then, I have come to believe that Open Salon was actually kind of miraculous, so many talented people in such close intellectual proximity.

As i used to say so many times on OS, talk amongst yourselves.

Best wishes

Alan M. Milner (aka SageMerlin)

Views: 189

Comment by alsoknownas on May 10, 2018 at 9:47am

Isn't it all out there still somewhere anyway?

I have someone who wants to publish a collection of my postings also, but I have decided not to include comments if I proceed.. 

I don't think there is a right or wrong in this.

Comment by Alan Milner on May 10, 2018 at 10:13am

There's the wayback machine that is supposed retrieve almost anything....but you have to know what you are looking for. I am doing a search on the wayback machine for sagemerlin right now to see what comes up. It seems that they have archived a selection of OS home pages and the home pages of some members but none of the links to the actual stories work. Someone else who knows wayback better than I do might get you better results. 

Comment by Maui Surfer on May 10, 2018 at 10:48am

This sure sounds like the definition of Fair Use. I think a blanket acknowledgement would be appropriate, though, should you be able to consult an IP attorney, one who was not a crook like those employed by YouTube, an opinion that's official couldn't hurt. Glad you are recovering.

Comment by Ron Powell on May 10, 2018 at 11:16am

"Do I have the right to republish comments made years ago about poems written years ago?"

YES, YOU DO!

Comment by koshersalaami on May 10, 2018 at 11:18am

I doubt there’s an issue with it. 

Be aware of something, though. On this site and on our last one, people generally are not openly critical of artistic endeavors. I have never seen a blogger tell another blogger on either site: Your poetry sucks (or your artwork sucks). If the observations are really specific, they’re probably worth something. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on May 10, 2018 at 11:32am

I see no ethical issue though I think our work can and should stand alone, speak for itself, in formal publication.

Comment by Alan Milner on May 10, 2018 at 12:07pm

Kosher, as I recall, and I think I actually  have evidence, you sometimes did make critical comments about my poems, which I think I once told you I appreciated more than the congratulatory ones. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on May 10, 2018 at 1:54pm

FM has it right.

Books do have congratulatory blurbs; they do not have comments after each piece from people many readers whose names few will recognise.

Comment by J D Smith on May 10, 2018 at 2:08pm

Go for it.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on May 10, 2018 at 2:17pm

I also am fairly sure that while anything you self-publish (via Amazon or the like)...you may have it any way you like yet anything like traditional publishers (even e-publishers) will try to dissuade you from doing this...and most will pass on something like that.

Again, your work is good: it can stand on its own.

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