Difference between Klingon and Tengwar

Tex textexin at xencraft.com
Sat Sep 18 20:18:43 CDT 2021

Whether or not foundrys will produce fonts seems like a commercial question separate from whether a script should be encoded. Certainly some of the scripts in Unicode have very bare font support. Is there a criteria in Unicode that says only encode a script if at least this many fonts will be produced? Not that I am aware of. 


In any event, since Klingon fonts are already available, the questions are moot.


From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at corp.unicode.org] On Behalf Of Peter Constable via Unicode
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2021 5:26 PM
To: Ken Whistler; Mark E. Shoulson; unicode at unicode.org
Subject: RE: Difference between Klingon and Tengwar




Consider some professional but small type foundry. Are they going to want to create fonts and sell licenses when there’s a question as to whether Paramount might go after them?


Consider a large software / device vendor: will their legal departments sign off on supporting the script?






From: Unicode <unicode-bounces at corp.unicode.org> On Behalf Of Ken Whistler via Unicode
Sent: September 17, 2021 8:24 AM
To: Mark E. Shoulson <mark at kli.org>
Cc: unicode at corp.unicode.org
Subject: Re: Difference between Klingon and Tengwar



By _users_ here, Peter doesn't mean some random end user using their communicator (err, smart phone) to send piQaD messages at a StarTrek fan convention, but rather the implementing companies who put piQaD keyboards and fonts on those smart phones. If somebody wakes up at Paramount and wonders, hmmm, does Apple (or Google, or Samsung, or ...) have a license from us for that Klingon stuff they just put on their phones, those are far juicier targets for an IP infringement lawsuit, *even if* the likeliest outcome would not be a decisive win in a court case, but rather just some out of court settlement. Even an out of court settlement in some case like this would set a terrible precedent, encouraging other people claiming IP rights on some writing system being considered for encoding in the Unicode Standard.


On 9/16/2021 6:17 PM, Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode wrote:

Now, Peter Constable writes:

The main concern is that _users_ of The Unicode Standard won’t be susceptible to IP claims against them. Since this is uncertain, the onus is on the advocates for encoding the script to resolve that.

which is an angle I actually had not heard before.  And here I'm really puzzled.  The users of the script are already using the script, whether Unicode encodes it or not.  So why is Unicode suddenly concerned on their behalf?  This one is really kind of strange.  Could Unicode be legally responsible for people "illegally" using the script?  It's hardly in Unicode's power to stop them, as evidence by the fact that usage exists.

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