[INDOLOGY] Highlights from the Sanskrit corpora

Richard Mahoney | Indica et Buddhica r.mahoney at indica-et-buddhica.org
Tue Oct 1 04:46:12 EDT 2019

Dear Jonathan,

A curious thing. I've just pulled out two editions: the Greek NT and
Vulgate, perhaps an extreme example of this type of thing. I'm
scans. The British NT doesn't claim copyright in the usual place, the 
German edition of the Vulgate does.

Best, Richard

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Silk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
Reply-To: Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at gmail.com>
To: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
Cc: Indology List <indology at list.indology.info>, Martin Gluckman <
m.gluckman at alumni.anu.edu.au>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Highlights from the Sanskrit corpora
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2019 10:26:14 +0200

I'm not able to engage in this in an informed manner (but did that
stop me before? ;), but, according to what I understand of Dominik's
comment, the editors of the Mbh could NOT claim copyright over the Skt
text, *unless* for instance they printed a conjecture in the text. If
they simply (!!) transcribe MSS, and delete some, over what could they
claim copyright? Because when I type out a text, I do not copy their
font, formatting or anything else, and I already mentioned that we
were not talking about the forematter, any editorial comments, notes
etc. From a very technical point of view, the work of the editors
consisted of selecting preexisting text, choosing what to print, and
printing that. (Again, please, I'm not saying that is what we really
do, but I'm saying from the point of view of law about creativity this
seems to me the way it would be seen).
Anyway, thanks in part to the inspiration of Dominik I have been
making efforts as far as i am able to present all my own work in Open
Access form (but I have tenure and don't have to worry about being
judged, I know this). One example: the edition of the
Praśnottararatnamālikā I recently published in the IIJ is Open Access
(but actually I try to post all my own stuff online anyway... And I do
not plan to publish any scholarly book in the future that is not Open

On Tue, Oct 1, 2019 at 10:14 AM Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
> Copyright is a slippery beast.  But the law is not *that* difficult
> in broad outline.
> What you say, Jonathan, about not being able to claim copyright over
> editions, is definitely wrong.  One can.  Authors, editors, and
> publishers do so all the time.  It's routinely printed on the back
> of the title page.
> There *is* a precedent of some sort specifically in German law that
> copyright on an edition expires after 25 years, and not the usual 60
> or 70 years after the death of the author.  Some other countries are
> looking at this German law and behaving accordingly.  See  
> Margoni, Thomas and Perry, Mark, Scientific and Critical Editions of
> Public Domain Works: An Example of European Copyright Law
> (Dis)Harmonization (November 18, 2011). Canadian Intellectual
> Property Review, Vol. 27, p. 157. Available at SSRN: 
> https://ssrn.com/abstract=1961535 (PDF)
> But copyright inheres in all sorts of things.  So, a book contains
> text written by an author.  The author has copyright of that (unless
> they sign it away).  But the book also has a certain design, created
> by a book designer.  That may be subject to copyright, if it is
> particularly original.  Someone created the typeface and owns the
> copyright of that.  So you could get the author's permission to
> photocopy the book and the designer and typeface creators could
> still sue you for breach of their copyright.  It's all very vexing.
> In the case of the Mbh, I think there's a arguable case that BORI
> owns copyright of the text, but Prof. Tokunaga co-owns copyright of
> the electronic transcription.  Because he made something new and
> unique, especially by dividing compounds and so forth, thereby
> creatively adding original content.
> The Wikipedia page on Copyright and on infringement are good,
> incidentally.  As the latter page says, 
> Shifting public expectations, advances in digital technology, and
> the 
> increasing reach of the Internet have led to such widespread,
> anonymous 
> infringement that copyright-dependent industries now focus less on 
> pursuing individuals who seek and share copyright-protected content 
> online, and more on expanding copyright law to recognize and
> penalize, 
> as indirect infringers, the service providers and software
> distributors 
> who are said to facilitate and encourage individual acts of
> infringement
>  by others. 
> So while it's unlikely that you personally would be pursued for
> putting the BORI Mbh on your website, the website maintainer or even
> hosting business might be pursued.
> Best,
> Dominik

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Richard Mahoney | Indica et Buddhica Littledene  Bay Road  Oxford  NZ T: +6433121699  M: +64210640216 r.mahoney at indica-et-buddhica.org 
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