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Re: GNU Free Database License

From: Christopher Browne
Subject: Re: GNU Free Database License
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 18:17:22 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.1007 (Gnus v5.10.7) XEmacs/21.4.19 (linux)

Clinging to sanity, "Alfred M. Szmidt" <> mumbled into her beard:
>    >    I'm not sure what you mean by "presented", but M-W has a
>    >    copyright on its particular entry for "hello". The above from
>    >    your CED is too short to be creative, so it's not
>    >    copyrighted. But I would not call M-W's text a "presentation".
>    >
>    > What if my CED contains "over 30,000 entries" like that?  Would
>    > that in your opinion be copyrightable?  I don't think it would.
>    Size doesn't matter. A haiku is only 3 lines yet covered by
>    copyright. A phonebook of the entire USA probably weighs more than
>    I do but is not covered.
> I think you're sleeping again. :-) `The above from your CED is too
> short to be creative'.
>    Well, if you want to call the OED and M-W a "word encyclopedia" and
>    not a dictionary, I guess we are on the same page. OED entries are
>    copyrighted, the short phrases from a "simple dictionary" are not.
> You are again implying that longer phrases, for example several
> entries, would be copyrighted.  I.e that size does infact matter,
> while just above you say that it doesn't.

Another factor is that English dictionaries have been around long
enough for elder versions to have become part of the public domain.

If you replicate dictionary entries from the public domain, there may
legitimately be no copyright on the vast majority of the material due
to expiry thereof.

By this point, there are plenty of expressions of common definitions
that are out of copyright.  That may make it look easier to build a
dictionary than would be the case if starting truly from scratch...
output = reverse("moc.liamg" "@" "enworbbc")
Should  we   throw another   human wave  of   structural  engineers at
stabilizing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or should we let the damn thing
fall over and build a tower that doesn't suck?
-- Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning Was the Command Line

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