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Re: [volapuk] Älis in Milaglän

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  • Ralph Midgley
    Dear Michael, Again, many thanks for your letter, which answers the questions I asked. I do agree with you that Volapük should have its own „Alice”
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 10, 2010
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      Dear Michael,

      Again, many thanks for your letter, which answers the questions I asked.

      I do agree with you that Volapük should have its own „Alice”
      translation.

      However, after having read your copyright clause, I am not too sure.
      Please let me explain. Some years ago, someone wanted to publish my
      Volapük-English-Volapük Dictionary, which would have carried with it a very
      severe copyright clause. I declined this, because I wanted the dictionary
      to be generally available to everyone, for whom it is intended. Under the
      terms of this particular copyright, the dictionary would have become someone
      else's property, and could not have been used everywhere by everyone in the
      sense that it now is. Under the terms of your copyright, would the new
      „Alice” translation be freely available to those who wanted to include it on
      their web-site?

      Sorry for bringing up all these stumbling blocks, but it is best to get
      everything sorted out to start with.

      Yours sincerely,
      Ralph.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Michael Everson" <everson@...>
      To: <volapuk@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, August 09, 2010 5:00 PM
      Subject: Re: [volapuk] Älis in Milaglän


      Dear Ralph,

      On 9 Aug 2010, at 15:33, Ralph Midgley wrote:

      > Dear Mr Everson,

      You can call me Michael.

      > Thank you for the very useful information which you have sent me.

      My pleasure.

      > One thing immediately comes to mind. Your enterprise will obviously be
      > dependent on funding. I cannot imagine you running at a loss. As you know,
      > the Volapük Community is a very small one, therefore sales in this respect
      > would be low. Would this not worry you?

      I do the typesetting and pay the setup costs myself, and send the copyright
      library copies out. So yes, there is a cost for me. But I am confident that
      the book would pay for itself in due course. The current market would be
      Volapükists, Carrollian collectors, and people interested in constructed
      languages generally. A potential market would be people who might be
      attracted to Volapük because of the book.

      > On the other hand, you may be wanting to have the translation of „Alice in
      > Wonderland” merely as a lingjuistic curiosity, in which case it would be
      > funded by the other more lucrative language communities.

      I don't expect to make a lot of money of of the Lojban edition of Alice
      either. But one can be surprised. Last year between Halloween and Christmas
      I sold 17 copies of Alice in Esperanto. That's a runaway best-seller! The
      books sell, perhaps at a trickle, but my only real concern is that my
      initial outlay is made back, which it will be, in due course. The real
      pleasure is having it out there.

      No, no fortune could be made. But I still consider it worthwhile to consider
      a Volapük translation -- if the idea of doing the translation interests the
      community. As I said in my first message, it's difficult to find much
      literature at all in Volapük; most books seem to be *about* the language.

      > Another question is: Why „Alice in Wonderland” in particular?

      Because it's a joy. Its nonsense is fun for the translator (so say those
      people whom I know who have translated it...) And it's just such a classic.

      > From what you send me I notice that you seem to have a great devotion to
      > this work of literature. As far as I am aware, „Alice in Wonderland” has
      > not yet been translated into Volapük, but I could easily make inquiries
      > about this.

      Sometimes it surprises me what languages don't have an Alice. Yiddish, for
      instance, still has no complete translation. It would be great if a

      > A story for children which has already been translated into Volapük,
      > however, and is immediately available, is „Le Petit Prince” by
      > St.-Exupéry. Would this not serve your purpose just as well?

      Well, my project as a Carrollian publisher is to make available Alices,
      Looking-Glasses, and the better parodies and sequels. I personally have no
      great affection for "Le Petit Prince", perhaps because I didn't read it as a
      child. I haven't hitherto considered other publications in Volapük, perhaps
      indeed because of my present focus on Carrollian materials.

      Best regards,
      Michael

      ------------------------------------

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    • Michael Everson
      Dear Ralph, ... Certainly. ... Splendid! ... That s quite reasonable. You ve been giving your dictionary files away for years anyway. ... Well that s odd. The
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 10, 2010
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        Dear Ralph,

        On 10 Aug 2010, at 16:37, Ralph Midgley wrote:

        > Again, many thanks for your letter, which answers the questions I asked.

        Certainly.

        > I do agree with you that Volapük should have its own „Alice” translation.

        Splendid!

        > However, after having read your copyright clause, I am not too sure. Please let me explain. Some years ago, someone wanted to publish my Volapük-English-Volapük Dictionary, which would have carried with it a very severe copyright clause. I declined this, because I wanted the dictionary to be generally available to everyone, for whom it is intended.

        That's quite reasonable. You've been giving your dictionary files away for years anyway.

        > Under the terms of this particular copyright, the dictionary would have become someone
        > else's property, and could not have been used everywhere by everyone in the sense that it now is.

        Well that's odd. The copyright to the text of your dictionary is yours. Nothing I could do would not change that.

        > Under the terms of your copyright, would the new „Alice” translation be freely available to those who wanted to include it on their web-site?

        Well, since I'm not going to be doing the translation, I wouldn't be able to stipulate otherwise. Copyright would rest with the people who worked on the translation.

        > Sorry for bringing up all these stumbling blocks, but it is best to get
        > everything sorted out to start with.

        Take my Esperanto edition. The text is now in the public domain. It is on the Gutenberg site, for instance. The pictures are also in the public domain. I hold a copyright on the specific typeset arrangement I have made in my edition. That's what "Ĉi tiu eldono © 2009 Michael Everson" means. It means nobody should go and photocopy a printed copy of my book and re-issue it as a book or PDF with the same format. The formatting is the "value added" which I would have a copyright on. But this would not prevent the copyright holder of the text from putting the text on the web if they wanted to.

        Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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