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Re: Etymologies ©David Salo

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
      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 2 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
        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 3 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
          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 4 of 5 , Jun 23, 2004
            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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