----- Original Message -----
From: "And Rosta" <[log in to unmask]>

> FWIW I would feel the same pangs if my ideas were used without me
> being given due credit, but without any strong sense of an infringement
> of legal rights. It has happened to me in my linguistics scholarship
> that people have taken ideas from me & used them without acknowledgement
> -- that causes me a severe twinge of ego-bruising & a sense of somebody
> having expropriated what is rightfully mine, but ultimately it is mere
> discourtesy & certainly I am thankful that I cannot patent or copyright
> or in any other way claim legal ownership of scholarly knowledge, even
> when that knowledge is available to us on through my (hypothetical!!)
> genius or industry.
> Don't take this as an attack on you. It isn't, & you don't need to
> reply unless you care to.

I don't take this as an attack upon me at all, And.  I feel that it
sympathizes with my point of view.  I, too, have had things I've read at
conferences show up somewhere else in an auditor's published paper--my
inspiration of it conveniently forgotten because I was a graduate student,
or a novice, and the hearer was an "expert" in the field.  No one likes ones
industry or inspiration to be expropriated or ignored.  It can still happen.
And even when you've published something.  I had to review something, once,
that chewed on and on about ideas talked about in material I had published
with no acknowledgement of my prior work--even though I knew the author knew
it!   How closely do you hold your cards to your chest, though?  You can't.
I've argued from the beginning that scholarship is shared, and the best
scholars understand the courtesy and convenience of acknowledging 1)
differing approaches to literary criticism (this attitude changes, I
believe, from field to field) and 2) the acknowledgement of other people's
contributions.  A field that is very proprietorial is the sciences:  and yet
it's strange how the populace at large will not remember who it was won the
Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA (John will know! :-))  or
who almost beat them to it.  Or who first noticed the red-shift in pictures
taken of the stars.  Or the originator of any other important product or
piece of knowledge that we use today to understand our world.

No, what I was uncomfortable with was the discussion of how I had no legal
recourse should someone abuse my invention.  And I have abused you if I
suggested that you were only interested in one side of the topic of
intellectual property.   I take that back and hope that you accept my
apologies.  But at the time that I wrote yesterday, in a terrible mood,
hating my government, hating the dreary fact that I will never be able to
finish my creative work--too many balls in the air--because I must return
after a lovely break to my job teaching _The Book of Invasions of Ireland_
to a roomful of morose and incurious students,  I was not in a mood to
discuss intellectual property.  I don't think I said anywhere that you or
others did not have a right to discuss it, in fact I didn't--only that I
wasn't interested in contributing to it, given all these factors, and given
my heightened sense of anxiety and paranoia that I was feeling last night.

I do want to say one thing, though.  I think that CONLANG is a marvelous
forum for discussion of all aspects of invention, and it is within CONLANG
that I found a new crucible to mix the old elements of Teonaht.  I cannot
regard it as an invention that has come to fruition without the kind
scrutiny and suggestions made by you, And, by David Bell wherever he is, by
John Cowan, by Matt Pearson, Padraic Brown, and many other people on this
list when I first joined you five years ago and even now!  I've borrowed
words from Draseleq with permission; others have borrowed concepts from my
Teonaht with permission; we've sent each other printed books.  To that
extent, we are all contributing to each other's work, and in ways that are
so much MORE civil than anything I've encountered in other artistic and
academic fora.  I simply do not find here the competitiveness and backbiting
that goes on in Medieval Studies, say; or even, so it is reported, on
AUXLANG.  Perhaps that's because we do not advocate or sell our work.  As
Tolkien said, it is an artform that can make no birthday presents for aunts
nor win any awards.  Nor assure one of a job at University.

I hope that you will not find this to be an attack upon you, either.  Or
that I have shut down possibilities for discussion.  Only that I fell from a
terrific high to a banal low in the last few days, and was more obsessive
and dark-mooded than usual.  I will recover.

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Eskkoat ol ai sendran, rohsan nuehra celyil takrem bomai nakuo.
"My shadow follows me, putting strange, new roses into the world."