The (Klingon) Empire Strikes Back

Julian Bradfield jcb+unicode at
Tue Nov 8 05:58:26 CST 2016

On 2016-11-08, Mark E. Shoulson <mark at> wrote:
> I've heard that there are similar questions regarding tengwar and cirth, 
> but it is notable that UTC *did* see fit to consider this question for 
> them and determine that they were worthy of encoding (they are on the 
> roadmap), even though they have not actually followed through on that 
> yet, perhaps because of these very IP concerns.  Notably, pIqaD is not 

The Tolkien Estate considers that the tengwar constitute a work of
art, and it's not willing to see them in Unicode, because this would
hinder its ability to pursue people using tengwar for what it
considers inappropriate purposes. (I finally asked them a couple of
years ago for permission to encode, based on Michael Everson's draft
proposal from yonks ago, and that's the summary of their reply.)

Several years ago, I was told on this list that it would be up to the
proposers to deal with this, and that the Unicode Consortium would
have no interest in taking on the 800lb legal gorilla that is the
Tolkien Estate. (Now a 24M£ gorilla with what it got from New Line

If some wealthy Unicode Consortium member feels like paying for an
American counsel's opinion that the Estate is just trying it on, feel

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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