A novel collage

Today's Toronto Star has an interesting article about literary collage. Graham Rawle is a British artist/author who wrote an entire novel using other peoples words.

Every sentence in his book was painstakingly lifted from other publications. He even went so far as to maintain the font of the original work so the book more resembles the worlds longest ransom note.

I know this would challenge some peoples idea of what is fair, which is unfortunate but telling of the times we live in. It is impressive that he was able to find a publisher for his book.

As stated in the Star article, this work is not entirely without precedent. In addition to the works the Star mentions there was also the Harper's magazine article "The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism", and in film "Death By Popcorn". The film unfortunately, and probably due to the fact that is was single work sourced, died and untimely death in a lawsuit.

As with Carol Burnett's Medley and DJ remixes, this is yet another example of original works built upon the works of other. These are all works which, as demonstrated by "Death by Popcorn", would probably not be acceptable according to our very narrow "fair dealing" provisions of copyright. Our highest priority for copyright reform MUST be to expand and clarify fair dealings rights.