Tengwar on a general purpose translation site

Mark E. Shoulson mark at kli.org
Thu Mar 10 17:37:19 CST 2022

Yeah, you can't really have it both ways.  If Unicode _officially_ 
encodes characters as tengwar, either by name or _officially_ pointing 
to appendix E of LotR, that's enough to make the copyright holders feel 
threatened.  On the other hand, if they _don't_ officially point to 
Appendix E, but you're just supposed to go along with an unofficial 
common agreement... well, then, that's exactly the same as using the  
Private Use Areas, counting on unofficial agreements like the ConScript 

If it "doesn't fool anyone," you risk legal action.  If it does, you 
haven't encoded it.


On 3/10/22 13:49, Doug Ewell via Unicode wrote:
> James Tauber wrote:
>> The intellectual property rights (to the extent they may be
>> enforceable or at least claimed) would be in the glyph and in the
>> name, right?
> Maybe, or maybe not. Only an attorney, or perhaps only a court ruling, can answer that question.
>> But the Tengwar has a canonical enumeration. So TENGWAR LETTER 1 is
>> meaningful in the context of LOTR Appendix E without reference to the
>> glyph or name 'tinco' so it's not quite the same as just saying
> The first Unicode proposals for emoji (cf. normal symbols) included a mechanism to do something like this:
> “Special, rarely used, carrier-specific symbols are proposed for encoding in the Emoji compatibility symbols block. They are needed to complete the set for interoperability but are only identified by their source mappings (N3585), not specific glyphs and names.” (L2/09-025R2)
> These included symbols of national interest such as MOUNT FUJI, TOKYO TOWER, and STATUE OF LIBERTY, as well as ten selected national flags. They were given cryptic names like EMOJI COMPATIBILITY SYMBOL-1 and intentionally opaque “dotted-box” reference glyphs. There were originally 66 of these; the number varied in later proposals.
> This approach was rightly rejected as pseudo-encoding. Various solutions were devised instead: some of the symbols were encoded under their original names, and the Regional Indicator Symbols were created to allow all national flags (not just the ten) to be represented.
> Encoding Tengwar as “letter 1,” “letter 2,” and so forth, implicitly directing users to LOTR Appendix E to find the true identity of the characters, won't fool anyone, least of all an attorney for an estate that “doesn't want tengwar in Unicode” and is prepared to fight over it.
> --
> Doug Ewell, CC, ALB | Lakewood, CO, US | ewellic.org

More information about the Unicode mailing list