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I don't know if this is relevant, but back when the Chicago Bulls
were making their first championship run, the term "three-peat"
was coined.  If I remember right, Pat Riley apparently used it
first, and tried to copyright it (or did?), and tried to get royalties
from Chicago Bulls "three-peat" merchandise.  Ah, it is true.
There's an interesting discussion/summary here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-peat

So, in fact, Pat Riley did coin a word--a neologism--and now
apparently collects royalties *any time* that word is used on
merchandise (he trademarked it).  If this happened, just what
prevents a language creator from coining every single word
in their dictionary?

Oh, and what if two conlangers decided to do this, and I, say,
coined "mata" as "see", and someone else with an entirely
different language but similar phoneme inventory decided
to trademark "mata" as "cat"?

-David
*******************************************************************
"sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison

http://dedalvs.conlang.org/

On Jan 8, 2009, at 156 PM, Sai Emrys wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 1:24 PM, Paul Kershaw <[log in to unmask]>  
> wrote:
>> Dictionary definitions, though, have a creative element. For  
>> instance, here is the first definition of "dog" from various  
>> online dictionaries (courtesy of onelook.com; quoted here verbatim  
>> under fair use):
>
> Yes, original work is present in longer glosses, whereas this isn't
> the case in e.g. a phone book. I agree, but that's separate.
>
> I was trying to make the point that the words *themselves*, quite
> aside from any gloss or other presentation, may be considered
> copyrightable, because they are created works of nontrivial size.
>
> (Though this raises the issue: do neologism creators have copyright
> over small coinings? How much does one have to create before it
> counts?)
>
> - Sai