The Copyright Infringements in the Rue Morgue

In his introduction to Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin trilogy, Matthew Pearl offers in passing an interesting thought on copyright:

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The brilliant resolution Poe designs for “The Purloined Letter” – that the letter in question is right in front of our eyes the whole time, which is why the police cannot find it – is also a perfect formulation of the odd version of “theft” that exists perhaps exclusively in the area of the law protecting artistic creations, which is known as intellectual property: that something can be stolen and in plain sight at the same time or, odder still, that in copyright law, for something to be considered stolen it must be in plain view. (p. xv)

(I think the connection to “The Purloined Letter” is a bit of a stretch, but never mind.)

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4 Responses to The Copyright Infringements in the Rue Morgue

  1. Michael June 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    As I’m sure you know, Lysander Spooner viewed IP to be a natural right and propounded this belief with Intellectual Property, a book that addresses every objection I have ever heard of. Do you know if there were any in-depth critiques of this work? (I do not view IP as legitimate, if you wondered.)

  2. Michael June 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Got it, reading. Thanks for the link.

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