Posts about Reisu every Monday and Thursday

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to regular posts

So I'm all unpacked and resettled in back home, so back to regular posts yay!

For anyone that hasn't noticed the LCS's interview with Frommer is up on their website.

I enjoyed this quite a bit more than the written interviews I've read. The part I find most interesting is the question of legality. This of course isn't the first time this has come up (a la Klingon), but my interest in it has resurfaced with Na'vi. It seems Frommer would like to publish more on Na'vi, but it's not simply the time that's getting in the way. Because he was contracted to develop the language he doesn't exactly own it.

This is such a strange concept to me personally. I've never created something for my job that I was interested in owning myself; but I try to imagine creating a conlang and not really owning it. I simply can't. Of course I'm purely a hobbyist, with very little formal training in linguistics, so I would never be commissioned for something like that. However, if it were to happen I'm not sure I could accept such a contract. It makes me feel a bit sorry for Frommer.

In regards to Frommer getting more involved in the Na'vi community here's a quote from the description below the interview:

This state of affairs is certainly undesirable at best. To be honest, I laughed out loud when I read the petition to Paul Frommer concerning Na’vi. This is a petition written to Dr. Frommer from the Na’vi community asking him to teach them the language. That’s kind of like asking a man dying of thirst to please take a drink of water!

There are larger issues at stake here, and I think if the Na’vi community wants to do not only Dr. Frommer some good but conlangers as a whole, the real petition you want is this: petition Fox to give publishing rights for Na’vi to Paul Frommer. If Paul has Fox’s blanket signoff, then he can publish a grammar, start a website, create a dictionary, talk freely about it, etc. As is, the language is a work for hire, which means that Fox owns it exclusively.

I had a similar reaction when I first saw that contract, and did not sign it. But I would be all for signing one that was directed at FOX.

Last minute addition: Avatar 2, obvy, but here's some proof from Cameron, yay.

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