On Mon, 21 Sep 2009 22:24:48 -0600, Daniel Bowman  
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> As my previous post mentioned, I created a conlang for my friend for her
> novel last Friday.  Originally, I was going to translate a few lines for  
> her
> in Angosey, but I was afraid that, were she to publish her novel, the
> publisher would then own the rights to my language.  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?

Unless she's paying you, the text you translate is under your own  
copyright, and without you actually giving her those rights, she can't  
give the publisher any rights to it any more than anything she might quote  
 from anyone else.

Even if she is paying you to write text for her (thus giving her copyright  
of the text under the work-for-hire rules, unless you make a different  
arrangement) she wouldn't necessarily have any IP rights over the  
_language_ -- any more than she would, if you had written in Esperanto or  
Polish or English, have any rights to those languages.

(If she's paying you to create the language itself, then it might be  
different, but that wouldn't apply in the case of using something already  
extant like Angosey.)

If you haven't given her any special rights over the language (whatever  
category of IP rights they might be; as stated elsethread, it's probably  
not copyright) then she can't sign them over to the publisher.  Still,  
it's fair to be concerned; make sure that you and she are clear (in  
writing) on what you and she are and are not allowed to do with your work  
so she can be responsible about it when dealing with them.