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On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM, Tony Harris <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I would be willing to send them to you privately.  And you could post the
> original sentences to the list, I've no problem with that. Frankly I would
> make the lessons themselves public except for my concern that the Berlitz
> organization take a dim view of me doing so, considering how closely they
> match the Berlitz Self-Teacher series format.

I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, or any kind of lawyer, but
I'd be surprised if the format of the lessons is copyrightable as
such.  Unless you've copied/translated specific example sentences or
explanatory text, I suspect you're not infringing.

For an analogy, Bruce Holland Rogers invented a new form called the
symmetrina: it's a story where each chapter mirrors the corresponding
chapter in the overall structure, so the first chapter has the same
number of words and POV as the last, the second has the same number of
words and POV as the penultimate, etc.  I'm pretty sure he couldn't
copyright that form and claim that someone else who writes a story in
that form is infringing, any more than Edmund Spenser could sue
someone for writing an original poem with the same meter and rhyme
scheme as _The Faerie Queene_ (assuming he were alive now and had
invented that form recently).  The format of a set of language
lessons, as opposed to the actual content, might be covered by
trademark or trade dress or conceivable even a patent (the U.S. Patent
Office will grant any ridiculous patent claim these days), but
probably not copyright.

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org