Re: Interesting article about conlangs and the law
|From:||Matthew Martin <matt@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, September 16, 2007, 20:49|
I'm sorry I got to the conversation late! I would have put more effort into my
humble blog post if I knew anyone would read it.
>"Inaction of the Author.(loss of copyrights)"
>This is not valid for copyright.
Correct. I meant to say if you don't enforce your rights against some of your
language users, you lose the right to enforce it against other users of your
language, words I heard (misheard?) from a real lawyer in a different context.
I'm reasoning by analogy for the rule on fanfic, where authors can't let some
people write fan fic, but prosecute those that write fan fic the author doesn't
>What are Mr. Martin's credentials...
I'm not a lawyer, but somehow live in a jursidiction where "ignorance of the
law" is not a defense. Hence I pretend to understand and have a habit of
thinking aloud on my blog.
>"And in fact, I think his statementabout Toki Pona is factually wrong, since Sonja Kisa is on
record somewhere as saying that her copyright only applies
to her description of the language, not to what other people
write in or about the language."
That may be true. As of today, her website has the big (C) on it, so as a law-
abiding-citizen-wanna-be, I'm assuming she's retained all rights.
>I therefore consider [my conlang] a work of art and as such would becovered under Canadian Copyright law.
Might be right, still I'd hate to hate to have to be the judge to decide if one
language had more artistic merit than another. Expecting the general public to
make that evaluation before using your intellectual property is even iffy-er.
(Huttese is art? Yeah right. Quenya- now that is art. :-)
>And most laws and their interpretations are biased towards the needsand desires of the big businesses that profit from them.
Exactly. Copyright law provides strong protections for creators of conlangs
and weak protections for users of conlangs.
>The materials are protected, but I obviously have no control over the worksof others.
Exactly. Unless you are a big business yourself. Obviously this issue is more
interesting for conlangs with movie studios or big publishers behind them who
have the resources to fight it out it the courts. If wrote a conlang--I wouldn't
have the funds or time to defend my rights, if any, should anyone want to,
making all my putative rights academic.
Thanks to all for the interesting thoughts! I'll try to update my blog post to