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Re: aspell-nl license

Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> However, since a general discussion of word list copyright seems to
> have ensued, what I don't understand is what happens if you make a
> dictionary or database and in it mark the words that appeared in
> somebody else's word list.

If the other person's word list is protected by copyright, and you
used that as a basis for your dictionary, you're making a
derived work. But if you create the list yourself, and after the
fact mark the words that also occur in someone else's list, no
problem. But why would you want to?

> On the one hand, you are merely recording a
> load of facts in your own database (word W appeared in word list L,
> etc). On the other hand, anyone can generate the word list from the
> dictionary/database, so you are in effect replicating the word list.
> So, is it a copyright violation?

I don't think so. It is entirely permissible to construct a list
or database that is exactly the same as someone else's protected
list or database. You're just not allowed to use his list or db
as inspiration or as a basis for your work.

> In practice, you could probably take the union of several non-free
> word lists, intersect that with the union of some non-free text
> corpora, then randomly delete a few words from the result and maybe
> add a few words if you can think of any to add, and declare the final
> list to be the result of your own original research. Who can sue you?

The copyright holders of those non-free word lists, assuming they
can prove you used their list as a basis for yours. The question
is whether they would want to do that given the high costs of
a lawsuit and the low return.


Arnoud Engelfriet, (almost) Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:  http://www.iusmentis.com/

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