Regular readers of CLM know that I often post recordings I've made of other people's poems on archive.org. What you might not be aware of--but I am--is that this is not legal in the case of poems protected by copyright.
The question is: Is what I do a victimless crime, or is someone losing something as the result of my actions? Not being a malicious fella by nature--honestly, I'm not!--I firmly believe the former to be true. If anything, my recordings, from which I derive no monetary gain whatsoever, might be helping poets' work to reach a broader audience--at no cost to the poets. I also often read other people's poems at live readings and sometimes *gasp* I photocopy a poem to share with others in a poetry discussion group held in a private home.
Some people feel very strongly that copyright should be respected to the nth degree, that a violation is a violation and there are no shades of grey. Fair enough; the law supports them in this belief (except insofar as a judge would probably be a little miffed if asked to adjudicate a case of harmless poem-sharing). But the thing is, copyright law exists, in theory, to protect authors from having their work stolen. A theft involves loss to one person and gain to another, so if there's no loss and no gain, then where is the theft? Posting a recording of a single poem is hardly the same as, say, uploading scans of an entire book.
British versifier Wendy Cope is cheesed because she thinks people sharing her poems with each other over email and other online media is costing her money. Oliver Burkeman thinks she's wrong. So do I. However, I respect her right to be an idiot and the law is technically on her side, so I won't ever post a recording or transcription of a Wendy Cope poem on this blog or anywhere else.
I can, however, point to others who have posted her poems hither and yon. Now wasn't that naughty?