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LFN under creative commons?

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Hallo everybody,

Excuses for writing in English as a lingua franca instead of LFN (I am native Dutch and I 'm just starting studying LFN).

Is LFN protected by copyright laws? Or is it under Creative Commons?

For background info, see the article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Vol 27, 2014, p.543-562

source: http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/articles/pdf/v27/27HarvJLTech543.pdf

[---By the way, the copyright-status of Interlingua is very unclear. A recent (2005) edition of the grammar gives three copyright statements: 1951 International Auxilary Languance Assocation Inc. (not longer existing), 1955 Science Service Inc. (now Society for Science & the Public), 2005 U.M.I. (Union Mundial pro Interlingua)

see: http://www.interlingua.com/archivos/Grammatica%20de%20Interlingua%20%28A4%29.pdf

How many Interlinguists will know, or care about ownership of Interlingua.---]

Best regards, Pieter de Jong

  • Hi, Pieter. What an interesting question. It really falls to George Boeree (LFN's creator) to answer it, but he doesn't seem to be around this week. The only direct statement about the copyright of LFN that I've seen is in the footer of elefen.org, where it says "All rights reserved", using the expression "direto de autor", which means "copyright". Personally, I'd like to think LFN was Creative Commons. Certainly George has indicated more than once that he's happy for people to take LFN and modify it, provided they use a different name for the result (e.g. Elefanto). Simon
  • Alo Simon (was that correct LFN?, I am now studying Capitol du de 'Aprendre elefen oji!'), I've just studied the Creative Commons licenses more closely, and to be honest, I have no idea which Creative Commons license is suitable for an artificial language like LFN. The first dilemma is: are texts/works of literature written (or spoken or sung) in LFN derivative works from the LFN-grammar and the LFN-vocabulary? Maybe possibly yes, at least in some jurisdictions. This makes it tricky for everyone to use LFN, even for non-commercial purposes (and why restrict the use of LFN to non-commercial purposes?). Thus better allow derivative (and commercial) works, but then also the LFN-grammar and the LFN-vocabulary themselves can be changed without persmission of the author(s) of LFN (or even worse: hijacked for financial gain.) The modified version may be even called LFN! It is not very helpful for the usability of LFN as a means of communication, when there are numerous versions of the LFN-grammar and LFN-vocabulary, all with with the same name (LFN, elefen.) Maybe a tailormade 'some rights reserved' statement is more worthwile to consider than a Creative Commons license. This is in fact more or less the advice of Michael Adelman of Harvard Law School in the above mentioned article. Maybe a simple statement like "this language is for everybody free to use, but not free to change" in both grammar and vocabulary might do the trick for an artificial language, that is meant to be a lingua franca. Of course, I'm not suggesting that anyone should do so or so, I'm just trying to think in a constructive way:-). Pieter de J (talk) 21:01, December 14, 2015 (UTC)
  • Alo, Pieter. I agree with the points Adelman makes in his article, especially the difference between a priori and a posteriori. An international auxiliary language like LFN aims to become an everyday living language, inhabiting people's minds and evolving over time. One can't copyright something like that without dooming it to failure. Akin to forking a project on GitHub, I reckon anyone who wishes to should be allowed to base their own projects on LFN, provided they acknowledge the debt and don't claim that the result is LFN. But I am not a lawyer, as they say :-) Simon

Alo, Pieter. Thank you for your interest! Like Simon, I don't know much about the law and copyrights - I only know what my intentions have been for LFN. I guess that "Creative Commons" is the way to go in regard to the language. I meant it to be used (and even added to and changed, at least in ways that do not alter its basic form, while still retaining the name). The use of copyright statements in various pages (I believe there are only a couple) are intended to protect particular pages from misuse, not to protect the language from those who wish to develop new forms of it (as has been done, I would guess, about ten times) with new names and, hopefully, acknowledgement of sources. In other words, I view LFN as a language like any other, and items written in LFN as any other texts in any other language. Your suggestions are more than welcome! jorj


Dear elefinists (Elefenistes cara?),

I like LFN  very much. Although I do not know/speak/read the language yet, i studied the linguistic principles of LFN in comparison with other CONLANGS/AUXLANGS. LFN is more natural then Esperanto/Ido, much simpler (and less mediaeval latin-like) then Interlingua (in sensu IALA-de Gode). In my humble opinion LFN has a lot in common with Novial, the best AUXLANG ever constructed (I mean before LFN of course;-). Jespersen rejected a single vowel to terminate all nouns (-o in Esperanto/Ido), and used auxiliary verbs to express verb tenses, moods and voices, just as in LFN! LFN has the grammatical qualities, with a growing vocabulary, to become an AUXLANG/Lingua franca for the western hemisphere and (mediterranean) Europe!

By the way, the Ido-people (or Idisti, as they call themselves, instead of Idiots, which was the name maliciously suggested by Bertrand Russell) use a Creative Common license for their grammar and courses, see f.i. http://io.ido.li/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kgd.pdf

Hopefully, my next comment will be in LFN ;-)

Best regards and keep up the good work, Pieter de Jong (Netherlands)


  • You can say "cara elefenistes" or "elefenistes cara", whichever you prefer. "Cara" can be used like titles ("san", "re", "dotor", etc) or as a simple adjective. jorj
  • Tell me, how can we have the language in creative commons while copyrighting some of our works in elefen (e.g. Alisia)? Is it sufficient to just add the creative commons code to, say, the grammar pages and a few others (which ones?), and put copyrights on the other works? jorj
  • Incidently, I was born in the Netherlands (Badhoevedorp - where Schipol is) and I can read Dutch quite well. I can speak and understand it, but not too well. My writing is limited, as you might expect from someone who came to the US when he was five! I taught myself to read Dutch when I was about that age through the use of my "Sjors en Sjimmie" comic books :o) and my family still calls me Sjors. Where are you located? jorj


Goedendag! (Good day in Dutch),

Sjors and Sjimmie comic books were part of my youth! I 'm located about 20 km west from Amsterdam near the coast. I will resist the tempation to use more Dutch. Nowaday's Dutch is not much of a lingua franca as it used to be in the 17th century, and my recent promise to post in LFN is already a broken promise, even without using more Dutch;-) Back to the copyright question. I am not a lawyer, so for what it is worth, I think there are three layers to the question.

The first layer is the language LFN itself, as defined by its grammar and its vocabulary. From the point of view (as stated earlier in this thread), that LFN is a language like any other, it is best to place the language LFN itself in the Publc Domain. In this way, LFN can evolve as any other living language and even become one day the mother tongue of many.

The second layer are texts that describe the grammar and/or vocabulary of LFN. These works can be copyrighted, even when the language itself is in the Public Domain. A Creative Commons licence will speed up the spread of LFN in the internet age, but it is still possible to retain all copyrights for a specific (comprehensive) dictionary.

The third layer are texts translated into or originally written in LFN. When the language LFN itself is in the public domain, these original works and translations can be copyrighted "All rights reserved" by their author.Pieter de J (talk) 17:04, December 20, 2015 (UTC)

Me vide ce elefen.org es en cc-by-sa! Multe grasias! Bon natal e bon anio nova a cadun, Pieter de Jong(Pieter de J (talk) 22:32, December 21, 2015 (UTC))

  • Bon natal e bon anio nova a tu Pieter Guido (talk)

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