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> From: Lee <[log in to unmask]>
> > From: Daniel Bowman 
> > Subject: Conlang copyright
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Date: Monday, September 21, 2009, 11:24 PM
> > Furthermore, if I
> > wanted to publish a story of my own that included Angosey
> > after she
> > publishes hers, I might have legal action taken against
> > me.
> > 
> > Is this a valid fear?  Has anyone else encountered
> > this sort of problem?
> 
> Yes, this is a valid fear. Happens with software all the time.
> 
> Slap your copyright notice on the work you did:
> 
>     Copyright  2009 Your Name. All rights reserved.

I am not a lawyer either. However, it seems to me that created languages fall under trademark law and notoriously amorphous Intellectual Property law in general, not under copyright law specifically. Copyright is for specific works (and works substantively similar); you can copyright a dictionary in a conlang, you can copyright a poem or piece of fiction in a conlang (and what would be protected would be the events in that creative work: I couldn't translate the work into my own language and then copyright *that*, without the author's permission).

Personally, I'd check with a lawyer, but I think Daniel did the right thing. IP law can get fairly treacherous, and if there's the choice of just creating a different conlang for the purpose, I'd've done that as well. I wouldn't loan someone else a conlang I cared about until I had *firmly* established it in my own published works (and even then, I'd think long and hard first).

-- Paul