Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

  • Mood:

Klingon as a Living Language

Some linguists rendered a legal brief in Klingon. Okay, that's cool. But then I saw this and cracked up laughing:

a California nonprofit devoted to supporting "constructed languages" — is trying to convince a court that the alien language from "Star Trek" is a real, "living" form of communication.

Guys, it's a pidgin now and has been for, gosh, probably more than a decade by this time. It didn't take long to become a household language. Over in Europe it's customary for people to learn multiple languages, and the home language is whatever two people have in common. For several couples that was Klingon, and so their kids learned it as a native language. Well, anything that's spoken live by native speakers counts as a real language. It's a pidgin, technically, because it's "borrowed" from elsewhere so kids aren't learning it from older native speakers. It's going to have carryover from English (or French, Italian, etc.) and will take a while for that to rub off. But all they really need to prove the case is convince a native speaker of Klingon to show up. Which would be awesome.

CBS and Paramount have sued, alleging that the unlicensed use of Klingon amounts to copyright infringement.

*headdesk* You cannot copyright a LANGUAGE. It is words. It is not an arrangement of specific words which is what can be copyrighted. It is not a logo or a trademark. You can copyright The Klingon Dictionary but not the language itself.  A movie is pretty obviously not a dictionary.  You also cannot copyright plain words. TSR tried copyrighting "dragon" once and lost. Words belong to everyone. You can only copyright what you do with the words.

"There would be great danger to allowing the copyright power to extend to prevent others from speaking a language," Duan wrote in a blog post Thursday.

Thank you brain-having person for pointing out the gigantic clusterfuck that would ensue from all the native peoples and their conquerors simultaneously trying to copyright the same languages.  Coyote would have so much to do, he'd have to invite all his Trickster friends from every pantheon just to cover all of that.  0_o
Tags: linguistics, news, science fiction
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment