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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 like. @Jim Henry
>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 statement
about 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. @Scotto Hlad
>I therefore consider [my conlang] a work of art and as such would be
covered 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. :-) @li_sasxsek
>And most laws and their interpretations are biased towards the needs
and 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. @li_sasxsek
>The materials are protected, but I obviously have no control over the works
of 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 reflect them. Matthew Martin