Hi Matthew,I've been asked why, as a poet, I would be active in ELI forums which dealwith copyright trolling and in particular the effort to expose Linda Ellis, afellow poet.Here's my answer: Just as the activities of some used car dealers have damaged thereputation of all used car dealers, Linda Ellis' inhuman activities of trollinginnocent non-profit users of her poem, "The Dash", is affecting thereputation of today's poets.I specialize in bereavement poetry, and as I visit funeral homes and attendtheir trade conventions, I have come to realize the damage she is doing topoetry as well as to other poets, Because of her many letters to funeraldirectors asking for huge sums of money for putting her poem (at therequest of a family) on a funeral program, many are very cautious of usingpoetry on their programs. At a recent C.A.N.A. Symposium I had onefuneral director tell me that because of the letter received by a fellowfuneral director friend, demanding money for using “The Dash” poem, theyno longer use poetry on their programs for the fear of being sued.I can certainly understand one's desire and efforts to protect theirliterary works from those who would use it for profit or gain, but to go afterthe innocent who merely use it because it gives them comfort is so wrong.It's that very kind of use that will give that work greater popularity, andincrease the chances of it being picked up for commercial use, bringingroyalties to the author. I
people to use my writings for their ownpersonal use.Poetry has a way of bringing comfort and hope to those who have lost onedear to them. I have received hundreds of emails from people who havewritten to tell me how much they appreciated one of my poems at theirtime of loss.