dictionary and copyrights

It is possible to write dictionaries because nobody owns the words they contain, and that's why lexicographers copy one another. Words, like the letters of an alphabet, belong to the public domain by their very nature.

Now, what about neologisms (newly coined terms)? Do you think a coinage belongs to its creator? If it did, nobody would have the right to use it without the expressed permission of the creator and, possibly, having to pay a fee whenever the word is entered in a text. This of course would keep the coinage out of public usage, hence make it pointless. In brief, to me, just like old words, coinages belong to the public domain.

 

 

Comments

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Unless it is a trademark, then it is yours to use It has become part of the language.

     

    Example, "yo," is not owned by anyone.

     A citizen of the world.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Em_Press a écrit :

    Unless it is a trademark

    ____________________

     

    Not so sure. Telephone directories list trademarks, and there are directories of trademarks. Conversely you cannot use somebody else's deposited trademark as a trademark.

     

     

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Yes, that is what I am saying. You cannot use a trademark. Everything else is fair game.

     

     

     A citizen of the world.

  • Any standard dictionary will have a copyright notice. I published a book of words that I had made up and copyrighted the book i.e. I would not expect someone else to publish the same book with their name on it.

     

    However, if anyone was silly enough to use any of Aunt Sassy's crazy words in whatever way they chose there's nothing that the old bat can do to stop that.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Aunt Sassy, I'm impressed. You have quite a collection of books on your storefront. And a fabulous description to boot.

     

    Another S word, should you ever wish to add one: saucy.

     A citizen of the world.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    auntsassy a écrit :

    Any standard dictionary will have a copyright notice. I published a book of words that I had made up and copyrighted the book i.e. I would not expect someone else to publish the same book with their name on it.

     

    However, if anyone was silly enough to use any of Aunt Sassy's crazy words in whatever way they chose there's nothing that the old bat can do to stop that.


    Yes, that's it. If someone copies your dictionary and sticks their name on it, it's plagiarism. If someone enters your coinages into their dictionary, they are just doing their lexicographer's job.

    I wonder if there are similar situations in other fields.


  • potetjp wrote:

    It is possible to write dictionaries because nobody owns the words they contain, and that's why lexicographers copy one another. Words, like the letters of an alphabet, belong to the public domain by their very nature.

    Now, what about neologisms (newly coined terms)? Do you think a coinage belongs to its creator? If it did, nobody would have the right to use it without the expressed permission of the creator and, possibly, having to pay a fee whenever the word is entered in a text. This of course would keep the coinage out of public usage, hence make it pointless. In brief, to me, just like old words, coinages belong to the public domain.

     

     


    I absolutely agree.
    If a neologism is associated with an individual, then it would be good form to say that person's name with regard to the neologism -- for example, if we were discussing restrictions on what opinions one may hold, we might refer to _George Orwell's_ "thoughtcrime" as opposed to merely saying that "Thoughtcrime is double-plus-un-good."

     

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