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Re: simple translation copyright issues

Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> writes:

> It's my understanding that dictionaries, because they contain
> elements of originality in the selection and wording of definitions,
> constitute copyrightable works.  At least in the US, to be
> copyrightable a work must be of a certain minimum length; I expect
> (though IANAL) that the examples listed above aren't enough to gain
> copyright protection, though a more extensive dictionary very well
> might be.

While I agree with you about the copyrightability of dictionaries, I
believe you're mistaken about the minimum-length requirement: several
artists have copyrighted silent pieces of music, for example.  There
is also the emerging field of nanofiction, which is confined to 55
words or less.  Many of Emily Dickinson's poems are shorter than that,
and each would receive separate copyright protection.


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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