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Re: simple translation copyright issues

On Wed, Jul 09, 2003 at 11:43:32AM -0400, Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
> 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.

Well, I'm sure all we need to do to overturn this is get a federal judge
to *read* some of Dickinson's poems: there's no way we'd get a ruling
that such texts are original works meriting copyright protection... >:)

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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