The Living Haiku Anthology has become the largest international haiku archive worldwide, housing thousands of published and cited haiku from more than 40 countries, and growing.

As an international archive containing your intellectual property, we are very conscious of the minefield of international copyright laws particularly as they pertain to haiku. “Fair use” as interpreted in the U.S. may not apply in the same manner in Nigeria or Serbia for instance and its appropriateness in application to something as minimal as a haiku is questionable and untested in the courts (as yet).

Our team at the Living Haiku Anthology has been discussing and are now planning to implement a clear, expansive, and culturally beneficial policy for protecting author rights. As well, we would like to implement a policy granting limited permission for the non-commercial reuse of authors’ works contained within the site – this will primarily aid haiku scholars, researchers, students, teachers, and critics, allowing them to quote works in their own texts. Secondarily, we will have in place an author copyright license which is designed for worldwide use and not subject to the vagaries of regional copyright laws.

When a work's copyright term ends, the work passes into the public domain, although the duration for which copyright applies varies from country to country due to the number of years that copyright continues to apply after the author’s death. 

For these reasons, we are planning to implement a Creative Commons 4.0 international licensing model (details below) for content archived within the Living Haiku Anthology, and invite you to examine the main points of this license to see what it allows and does not allow, in terms of reuse permission.

Among the reasons for reaching this decision is the fact that we do not wish to become directly involved in handling permission requests from scholars or teachers. To contact the author in confidence, assuming that the author’s contact details have not changed, or trying to track down executors in the event of an author’s death, and then relaying back each permission is a time-consuming and complex process. We simply do not have the staff (all volunteer) or time to handle these requests. And our experience is, to date, that 100% of such requests for reuse are answered in the affirmative.

Another reason concerns quoting haiku in an educational context. We would like to encourage teachers to expose students to haiku, and these days many institutions (universities) have policies in place disallowing teachers from distributing any text to students in a class, without permission. This situation has come about in part because of for-profit textbook corporations suing teachers, students and universities (points made in the book Free Culture, Lawrence Lessig, 2004). Therefore, without permission, teachers are now forced to compel students to purchase what are too often very expensive and not very creative corporate textbooks. Needless to say, there are no contemporary haiku to be found in them. The Creative Commons license gives permission to teachers to reuse your work in non-commercial environments, including the classroom. We feel strongly that this is good for our haiku community, and good for the next generation—that is, a social good. We hope you agree.

For a good overview of Creative Commons licensing, we recommend this five-minute video from New Zealand: Creative Commons & Copyright Info

The Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license is the most restrictive of the Creative Commons licenses. All of your haiku works (and prose materials, if housed here and subject to your agreement with this licensing model) will follow these terms, for anyone wishing to share or “reuse” your works:

Under a CC4.0 CC BY-NC-ND License: 
Anyone who is not the author of the work to be reused, is free to share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format -- *only* so long as the following restrictions are adhered to (the author cannot revoke these freedoms):

  • Attribution — The user must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. This may done in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses the user or the use made.
  • NonCommercial — The user may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • NoDerivatives — If the user remixes, transforms, or builds upon the original material, the user may not distribute the modified material.

For you (the author) anyone using your work in any way does so under the following license terms:

  • Attribution — The user must include your full name, the source of their quotation, and cite the publication information for each and any haiku you have provided us (the Living Haiku Anthology).
  • NonCommercial — no one can use your haiku in a “primarily for-profit” haiku or poetry anthology, unless they contact you and obtain your permission first. No one can use your haiku for advertising or branding.
    A teacher can use your haiku, with proper credit given to you (including citation of the source of publication), in an educational sourcebook or textbook, only if that book is not “primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.” This means that a large textbook company such as Longman, Pearson, Oxford, etc., cannot reuse your haiku in their textbook (these textbook companies create books primarily for profit). On the other hand, a small press, non-profit press, or educational press, whose primary purpose is educational not “for commercial advantage or monetary compensation,” will be allowed permission to reuse your work, with proper citation.
    For more detailed information on the definition of “non-commercial” please visit these pages: and

  • NoDerivatives — Your haiku works cannot be altered, or added to, or in any way changed, when they are quoted.

As a collection of haiku by poets, both living and deceased, from so many nations, the Living Haiku Anthology has a preference for Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licensing and would ideally like to place the entire site under such a license. We feel it provides a good balance of author protection, and cultural freedom, allowing your works to be studied in school, discussed by scholars and critics and in general provide for the continued visibility of haiku as a worldwide art.