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Re: this is what I got in the mail.

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Sunday, March 16, 2003, 5:54
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Cowan" <cowan@...>

> Garth Wallace scripsit: > > > Technically, you have copyright as soon as you create an original work. > > However, it's useful to have proof that you're the creator in case you > > ever need to prove it in court. > > Absolutely, but a language does not count as a "work", precisely because > it can't be fixed in tangible form. A grammar book, or a dictionary > (a simple wordlist is a borderline case), or a chrestomathy certainly > is copyrighted, but a language as a whole, no.
But it ISN'T a whole, John. As such, Teonaht exists only in published on-line documents: a grammar book, a dictionary, a chrestomathy by Sally Caves, and a handful of on-line musical productions, and all have my copyright mark on them. All the rest is in my head, in a battered notebook over thirty years old, and what I say to Chris or my cat. Strictly speaking, and putting aside dream and philosophy, Teonaht is NOT a real language. It's an invention. And so is every documented word of it. Except those I've taken with permission from Draseleq, say. Or stolen from natural languages. Then there's this list, where I write or quote something in T, but they usually give no information about spelling or structure. Padraic wrote me something in Teonaht, and I get Christmas letters from friends who write me greetings in Teonaht, but I'm hardly going to sue THEM! :)
>Even the name of the > language cannot be trademarked since it is not being used in commerce.
If I write a short story and sell it entitled Teonaht, then is that commercial enough?
> In particular, if Sally's person had decided to be rude and use Teonaht > as his "Dwarvish", pointing people to Sally's site for linguistic > information, and then he or others had written original works in > "Dwarvish", Sally would not be able to stop them.
I don't care about the Dwarves so much.... it was mostly a hoot. DWARVES! For the love of Basted! If a private group, after I'm old and incapacitated, wanted to take my Teonaht and turn it into a little country, like the "rich aunt scenario," I'd be delighted. No, it's the nerd seeking to make money off of Teonaht without my permission that would rile me. Like some grade C television show where all the aliens are speaking deformed Teonaht. That's very unlikely to happen, though. At any rate, you're all my witnesses. :) I've been on and off this list for five years. This is what I wrote back to George of the RPG game in perfect civility: ************************************** Dear George, Thanks for your interest and for the compliment. Teonaht is a creation that has its own constructed culture, literature and music, and other creative uses to which I put it and plan to put it, so I'm afraid my answer to your request is no, I will not grant permission. Teonaht, and all the artwork and poetry on its pages, is a copyrighted invention and I would prefer that it not be used for purposes other than those for which I intend it. [SO MAKE UP YOUR OWN DANG LANGUAGE!!!! CRIMINENTLY, HOW HARD IS IT TO MAKE UP WORDS FOR SPELLS??? I DID THAT WHEN I WAS TEN!!!!] Thank you for respecting my wishes, and all the best with your creative project. Sally Caves A little interjection there. ----- Original Message -----
> Greetings, > > I was browsing through langmaker, and found Teonaht, very interesting. > Currently I am supporting the development of a computer rpg, "The Tales of
Trolls and
> Treasures RPG-Project". > We were in the progress of spell making, and the issue of spell naming was
> forth. It was decided that spells to be named in the language of the race
that researched
> them. > We find Teonaht well suited for dwarvish, and would like your permission
to use it in the
> project. Any further informational support would also be happily accepted. > We intend to have a webpage in the site which will have a sample
dictionary of certain
> words used mainly in spells, but also naming and inscriptions.


John Cowan <cowan@...>