Re: Dictionary to translate

fre 2003-12-12 klockan 07.15 skrev Tomas Kuliavas:
> > As for licensing, words and their translations cannot be licensed or
> > copyrighted, because they're part of common knowledge, at least in a
> > majority of places (they can be trademarked for use in constrained
> > fields, like IT, but only if they're not common words at the same
> > time).
> I am not the lawyer, but I think you can copyright wordlist.

At least in Swedish copyright law (which is based on international
copyright law), most things that can be considered "a piece of work" can
be copyrighted. With "a piece of work" is roughly meant something that
two individuals couldn't do exactly the same even if given the same

Thus, a whole book (say, a novel) is clearly copyrightable. It's usually
clearly influenced by whomever wrote it, and if someone else tried to
write it, it most likely wouldn't be the same book. On the other hand,
just a few written words or a few trivial sentences most likely isn't
copyrightable -- someone else could most likely have said or written the
same things without problem.

That's the extremes in literature, and everything else probably fits in
a scale inbetween. A translation can probably be said to be
copyrightable if it's large enough and non-trivial enough, and thus
clearly influenced by whomever did it. But the bar is probably set
higher since I think it's more difficult to make a translation
personally influenced than writing the text in the first place.

A word list can probably also be considered "a piece of work" if it's
also large enough and non-trivial enough. Personal influence by whomever
created it can perhaps be shown in the selection of what words are
listed if the selection is non-trivial, and also their descriptions if
those descriptions are non-trivial enough. But the bar for what word
list is copyrightable is probably set much higher than for an ordinary
text of the same length, since it's probably more difficult to prove
that it has been personally influenced.


(Not a lawyer either, but I took a beginner's class in
copyright/trademark/patent law)

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