Difference between Klingon and Tengwar

Matt Rice ratmice at gmail.com
Sun Sep 19 10:22:09 CDT 2021

On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 10:21 AM David Starner via Unicode
<unicode at corp.unicode.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 1:00 AM Daphne Preston-Kendal via Unicode
> <unicode at corp.unicode.org> wrote:
> > Unicode would need to take serious legal advice before making a move towards encoding any script of this nature.
> Of what nature?
> Osmanya, created 1922, creator died 1972
> N’Ko, created 1949, creator died 1987
> Adlam, created 1980s, creators alive
> Osage. created 2004-2014, creators alive
> Kayah Li, created 1962, creator death unclear
> Pahawh Hmong, created 1959, creator died in 1971
> Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong, created 1980s, creator living
> Shavian, created 1960s, creator died 1975
> Sorang Sompeng, created 1936, creator died in 1980
> This is not complete, but there's eight scripts that, if copyright
> applies to scripts, are copyrighted in life+70 nations. (There's more,
> but I stopped looking, and left out several maybes.) For most of these
> Unicode has ignored any copyright the creators may own entirely; even
> for those like Osage, where I know there was Unicode-creator contact,
> I don't know of anything on paper.
> Let's not be too abstract about this; Unicode has acted as if the
> creators of the Osage or Adlam scripts won't sue for control, which,
> given a Pepe the Frog type situation, I'm not sure I entirely trust.
> If it's an abstract legal question for Unicode, Unicode has acted with
> disregard for the rights of those creators. Unicode has decided that
> the law, to the extent it cares to follow the law, is on its side.
> This is about risk management, not the law. Or it's an excuse to put
> Klingon aside without having to discuss use and "dignity".

How many of the above scripts were not intended to be written i.e. copied,
By its very nature most scripts are.

It's somewhat paradoxical to argue that something is for reading and
writing, but that copying the script itself is reserved.
For Klingon though, on wikipedia you see quotes like:
"Its source was intended as a guide for scriptwriters and actors. It
was only later sold for merchandising for Star Trek fans."
So rather than evidence of educational materials teaching you how to
read and write it, there something wikipedia editors believe
is evidence it wasn't intended to be written beyond the rights holder.

Not a lawyer, but my opinion is this seems like a fairly clear
distinction between a solid case for the defense, and a solid case for
the rights holder...

I don't get your Pepe the Frog analogy, unless there is a "How to draw
Pepe the Frog" drawing book, where we don't know if the author might
sue you
if you actually draw it from the instructions given in the book.
Scripts tend to fall into this situation but it doesn't seem clear to
me that Klingon does...
If nobody can get an answer out of the creator, I'd guess people may
still have legal recourse in the form of a declaratory judgement...
Which doesn't seem like an action that unicode should be responsible
for spearheading...

More information about the Unicode mailing list