Concerning Copyright: Ardalambion Quenya-English wordlist in html
- I really don't want to stir things up again, but I would like to address a recent elfling post (from Palatinus Elfling message #355949): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/35594
Palatinus states in the mentioned html-document that "this is a html version of Helge Fauskanger's "Quenya-to-English wordlist" found at http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/wordlists.htm. No copyright infringement intended"
The last sentence made me thinking. Is it Helge's or Tolkien's Copyright? From my point of view it has to be Tolkien's Copyright: His artificial language Quenya is portrayed in it's entity (the corpus) with additional commentary from Helge. While it remains clear that scholarly discussion of Tolkienian words is definitely within fair use, one has to wonder if publishing the entire set of every Quenya-Word ever published* in the Internet can be considered fair use.
While I admire Helge's effort for providing such a helpful list, it has to remain clear that Helge is not the holder of the copyright. The Tolkien-Estate is the holder of the copyright, and Helge can be very happy that they never attempted to attack him for the deliberate copyright infringements he commited (Pater noster anyone?). Actually, Helge can be grateful that they never thought of suing him and closing his webpage; sadly Helge doesn't recognize this.
By the way: I created an artificial language myself. While I never would dare to compare it to Tolkien's masterpiece, there are certain similiarities. I certainly would not let my work be published unauthorized, since I want control over my work. I consider my work (my language) to be my intellectual property. It really did help me to understand what Tolkien's motivations were, and why he had such a rigid perspective on copyright-matters. It would be a true horror for me seeing someone trying to "speak" my language and publishing commentated wordlists, or even inventing new words for my language. It's a weird thought to, and I bet Tolkien felt the same way way. Over the last months I thought about writing an essay about that matter, but I fear that I am not able to express my intentions correctly in english. Maybe I'll write it in german ^_^.
*Well, not all Q(u)enya-Words since Helge obviously doesn't "like" the earlier evolutionary steps of Tolkien's languages
- This is an old, old, old issue. Helge's position for *years* (together
with Salo and Lisa Star) is that Tolkien and his heirs have no copyright,
on the grounds that "you can't copyright a language." Christopher
Tolkien's attitude hass been simply to ignore them, even after Helge
sicced lawyers on the estate in some sort of attempted pre-emption.
It would be the height of irony of course if Helge were to get all huffy
and start complaining about *his* 'copyright.'
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