Movement copyright
Lincoln Cushing, Docs Populi, 12/1/2007

Long before efforts such as CopyLeft and Creative Commons, political publishers in the United States struggled with the challenge of making content available to "the Movement" and at the same time attempting to limit abuse by corporations and conservatives.

Below are some examples of restrictive text published in Left documents from the early 1970s.

Prairie Fire, political statement of the Weather Underground, 1974; Communications Company, Eugene, OR
Prairie Fire, political statement of the Weather Underground, 1974; Communications Company, Eugene, OR

Towards a Science for the People, 1972; A People's Press, Brookline, MA
Towards a Science for the People, 1972; A People's Press, Brookline, MA


Spirit of the Land - Cuban photographs of Vietnam, 1972; Peoples Press, San Francisco, CA
All Power to the People; The Story of the Black Panther Party, 1970; Peoples Press, San Francisco, CA.

Note the similarity of the above text to this copyright notice in the title page of Debs: His Life Writings and Speeches, 1908 edition published by The Appeal to Reason newspaper:
“Copyright by The Appeal to Reason: NOTE—Copyright protection is taken upon this volume for the sole purpose of protecting the work of Comrade Debs from prejudiced misuse by pirate Capitalist publishers, and will not be invoked against Socialist and Labor Publications and Comrade publishers, they giving us notice.”


Unite Against the War: posters from an exhibition of May, 1970
Unite Against the War: posters from an exhibition of May, 1970
; 1970, Western Star Press, Kentfield, CA

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