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Etymologies ©David Salo

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    In Didier Willis _Sindarin Dictionary_ ( ) we find the following copyright notice: Etymological reconstructions ©
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
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      In Didier Willis' _Sindarin Dictionary_
      (<http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/>) we find the following
      copyright notice:

      "Etymological reconstructions © David Salo".

      Now, David has gone on record as believing that all information
      concerning Tolkien's languages is simply that, information, and thus
      not subject to copyright. Could David perhaps deign to explain to us
      how it is that he claims copyright to the etymologies of the _Sindarin
      Dictionary_, while at the same time insisting that Tolkien's _own_
      etymologies, from which David's must (to the extent that they are
      valid) be wholly derived, are _not_ subject to copyright? Could it be
      that David wants to have it both ways, as it suits him?

      Hoom. Hoom.

      Carl



      --
      =============================================
      Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org

      ho bios brachys, he de techne makre.
      Ars longa, vita brevis.
      The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
      "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such
      a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
    • Didier
      ... Just a small remark to start with: The proper reference is preferably -- as noted on the web page you refer -- Hiswelókë s Sindarin dictionary , again
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
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        Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
        > In Didier Willis' _Sindarin Dictionary_
        > (<http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/>) [...]

        Just a small remark to start with:

        The proper reference is preferably -- as noted on the web page you
        refer -- Hiswelókë's Sindarin dictionary", again preferably with
        indication of the version -- as also recommended on the main web
        page. As a (more or less) contributive and ongoing project, it had
        several incarnations along the time, where some entries were changed
        quite a lot... So I prefer accurate references whenever possibles.

        As for the name of the dictionary: while I am indeed its editor and
        main compiler, I used various other sources of information and user-
        contributed feedback. I am not one to claim something for my own when
        it isn't (and arguably, besides other contributors to the dictionary,
        we could of course add that 'Sindarin' is Tolkien's art language, not
        mine)... hence the generic name. It's not my fault if people go on
        calling it Didier's dictionary or whatever other name. (The issue was
        also mentioned in the old obsolete PDF version), but I am certainly
        not encouraging this.

        > [...] we find the following copyright notice:
        > "Etymological reconstructions © David Salo".
        >
        > Now, David has gone on record as believing that all information
        > concerning Tolkien's languages is simply that, information, and
        > thus not subject to copyright. Could David perhaps deign to
        > explain to us how it is that he claims copyright to the
        > etymologies of the _Sindarin Dictionary_, while at the same
        > time insisting that Tolkien's _own_ etymologies, from which
        > David's must (to the extent that they are valid) be wholly
        > derived, are _not_ subject to copyright? Could it be that
        > David wants to have it both ways, as it suits him?
        >
        > Hoom. Hoom.

        An important clarication for this discussion:

        I am actually responsible for the addition of this copyright notice.

        David Salo simply provided me a copy of some of his etymological
        notes and allowed me to use them. I can't remember his actual wording
        when he replied to my initial request for embedding his notes (the
        idea sounded good to me at that moment), and I don't have easy access
        to my old mails currently. But he had no part in the copyright
        notice, as it now stands. It was an editorial addition _I_ made when
        crediting my sources. So I shall indeed take the responsability for
        it, not David Salo.

        A side note:

        I'll take this opportunity to note that these "reconstructed"
        Etymologies are anyway planned to be removed when the dictionary
        reaches version 1.0 (aka. "Lexicon version"). The main reason, as I
        mentioned to some people on other forums, is that they have never
        been updated since the project was initiated. Obsoleted by newly
        published material or progress interpretating certain words, they
        have no reason to remain in the dictionary, or said otherwise, all
        reasons to be removed -- unless David wishes to update them. Which I
        don't think he will do now, so I'll remove them in the next major
        version.

        A final word:

        I won't discuss here the other 'copyright' issues raised by you post.
        This is just not the place for that, and anyhow I won't discuss legal
        matters in public. My private e-mail is available, if need be.

        Regards,

        Didier.
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... Noted. The version I gleaned the title of the work from is the latest PDF version (which I do understand is quite old, but is the best complete version
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
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          On Jun 23, 2004, at 3:29 PM, Didier wrote:

          > The proper reference is preferably -- as noted on the web page you
          > refer -- Hiswelókë's Sindarin dictionary", again preferably with
          > indication of the version -- as also recommended on the main web
          > page.

          Noted. The version I gleaned the title of the work from is the latest
          PDF version (which I do understand is quite old, but is the best
          complete version available to this Mac user). In this, the title of the
          dictionary appears as "Sindarin dictionary" on the title page.

          > As a (more or less) contributive and ongoing project, it had
          > several incarnations along the time, where some entries were changed
          > quite a lot...

          Correct. But on the matter of _ned_, according to a live search of what
          is presumably the absolute latest version of the dictionary on the
          Hisweloke site, there have been no changes to this entry subsequent to
          the PDF version I employ.

          > So I prefer accurate references whenever possibles.

          As do I.

          > I am actually responsible for the addition of this copyright notice.

          David, then, in fact presumably claims no copyright on those parts of
          his work that were incorporated into the dictionary. Good to know.

          > I won't discuss here the other 'copyright' issues raised by you post.
          > This is just not the place for that,

          It may not be the place where you wish to discuss such matters -- as is
          your prerogative -- but Elfling-d very much _is_ a place for such
          discussion.

          > and anyhow I won't discuss legal matters in public.

          Fair enough, though if you are going to make a public representation of
          copyright, then that naturally raises certain public questions
          (including the strange _absence_ of _any_ acknowledgment of Tolkien's
          copyright to the material upon which the dictionary is founded and
          utterly dependent and from which the dictionary is derived). You are
          not obliged to answer them, of course.


          |======================================================================|
          | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
          | |
          | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
          | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
          | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
          | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
          | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
          |======================================================================|


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Didier
          ... Correct, for that (really!) old PDF. But then of course a more exact reference to this particular printable version would be _Hiswelókë_ (fanzine),
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
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            Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
            > The version I gleaned the title of the work from is the latest
            > PDF version (which I do understand is quite old, but is the best
            > complete version available to this Mac user). In this, the title
            > of the dictionary appears as "Sindarin dictionary" on the title
            > page.

            Correct, for that (really!) old PDF. But then of course a more exact
            reference to this particular printable version would be _Hiswelókë_
            (fanzine), special issue no 1, _Sindarin Dictionary_, ed.[itor] D.
            Willis. Again it's just a detail of formulation, but I find it
            somewhat important. Pages on the internet tend to change in time, and
            some site owner even silently correct things/errors without mentioning
            it (which I don't think to be a very good practice).

            (BTW, it would be possible for me to make a PDF snapshot of the
            current version of the lexicon, though it is not ready for prime time.
            But this could be made available for inspection.)

            > > I am actually responsible for the addition of this copyright
            > > notice.
            > David, then, in fact presumably claims no copyright on those
            > parts of his work that were incorporated into the dictionary.
            > Good to know.

            Carl, please, this is not what I wrote. Whatever arrangement existed
            between D. Salo and I, it is I, not him, who made the stuff available
            and added the notice in question. So I take editorial responsability
            for it, and for the current phrasing. That's as simple as that.

            And as editor, after a closer look, I will decide whether I should
            change something to this phrasing (or perhaps postpone the scheduled
            release of Dragon Flame 2.1 for Windows and Hesperides for Mac OSX
            until lexicon 1.0 is ready, with D. Salo's etymologies removed). So
            the point is noted and will be addressed, anyhow.

            > > I won't discuss here the other 'copyright' issues raised by you
            > > post. This is just not the place for that,
            >
            > It may not be the place where you wish to discuss such matters
            > -- as is your prerogative -- but Elfling-d very much _is_ a place
            > for such discussion.

            Right, peoples are of course free to post whatever they want on
            elfling-d. So I'll rephrase differently what I meant: neither you nor
            I are lawyers, and I don't believe we have anything new to add to this
            long debated issue (besides personal beliefs and/or opinions -- which
            are far from any proof). Therefore, indeed, it won't be the place for
            me to discuss such matters.

            > > and anyhow I won't discuss legal matters in public.
            >
            > Fair enough, though if you are going to make a public
            > representation of copyright, then that naturally raises
            > certain public questions (including the strange _absence_
            > of _any_ acknowledgment of Tolkien's copyright to the material
            > upon which the dictionary is founded and utterly dependent
            > and from which the dictionary is derived). You are not obliged
            > to answer them, of course.

            On one hand, I do know what it is to have 'content' (of any sort) used
            without 'authorization'. One of my article on my web site was even
            visibly taken, transparently rephrased word for word with synonyms,
            conceivably sold (I don't think journalists work for nothing) and
            published in a commercial magazine without any acknowledgement or
            simple indication of origin(*). And I do know, then, how it feels to
            be told (wrongly, as my interlocutor certainly knew but felt at ease
            to threaten) that "there is no right on the Internet" and not to have
            the money/time to fight against such statements. That is to say, I do
            think there is some obligation to answer these issues.

            On the other hand, it's simply not true that there is no
            acknowledgements in the work in question. That Sindarin is the art
            language invented by J.R.R Tolkien is not misrepresented (**). That is
            is based on Tolkien's book is not misreprensented (all entries provide
            their references, which is very seldom the case on all those wordlists
            one may find on the Internet). That it draws on contributions and
            efforts from others is not misrepresented either (***).

            You may think, of course, as I understand your concern, that it is not
            enough and that something to the extent of "Tolkien's copyright"
            should have been mentioned more clearly somewhere. So far, I have
            rarely rejected any suggestion made on the sindict mailing-list
            regarding the dictionary, so you are free to suggest there some
            correction. I never misrepresented either that it was an ongoing
            project, far from being complete, with all the errors and imprecisions
            it implies.

            Regards,

            Didier.

            (*) Reference (in French):
            http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/site/articles/revues/crsynopsis.html
            (**) http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/about.html -- It's even in
            bold face.
            (***) http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/credits.html -- This was
            updated in december when DF 2.0 was made available, and you appear to
            be credited (for some remark on the sindict list).
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... Quite right, and not in fact what I meant to say. I really just meant to say that it s good to know where the copyright statement came from, and that I see
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
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              On Jun 23, 2004, at 6:25 PM, Didier wrote:

              > Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
              >> David, then, in fact presumably claims no copyright on those
              >> parts of his work that were incorporated into the dictionary.
              >> Good to know.
              >
              > Carl, please, this is not what I wrote.

              Quite right, and not in fact what I meant to say. I really just meant
              to say that it's good to know where the copyright statement came from,
              and that I see that David _himself_ was not asserting copyright in the
              etymologies -- which of course is not to say that he does not
              _consider_ them to be copyrighted. My apologies to you and to David for
              the unfortunate wording.

              > On the other hand, it's simply not true that there is no
              > acknowledgements in the work in question. That Sindarin is the art
              > language invented by J.R.R Tolkien is not misrepresented (**).

              Well, again, I was referring to the PDF specifically, not the web-based
              dictionary; and in any event I'm not sure that simply noting that
              Tolkien created Sindarin is adequate acknowledgment of copyright. After
              all, everbody knows that Tolkien wrote _The Lord of the Rings_, but
              stating that doesn't confer on anyone the right to use material in
              their own work (beyond Fair Use, that is).

              > I never misrepresented either that it was an ongoing
              > project, far from being complete, with all the errors and imprecisions
              > it implies.

              Indeed, I've always understood that.

              Cheers,

              Carl
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