@delve Definitely, copyright needs to fuck off.

I think the article is wrong to say “the consortium […] had copyrighted the language materials”; that isn't how it works.

Merely by recording the language text – a necessary part of preserving it – copyright's insidious assumption that everything must be owned, automatically grants that by default to the one who writes it down.

And that happens automatically, whether anyone asks for it or not.

@delve The article nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nativ explores this:

“A common trait of Native American cultures is to hold things like land, resources and knowledge communally. That runs into conflict with U.S. copyright laws […]”

I think the Consortium didn't choose this; the mere act of recording the text, in the current copyright regime, had this undesirable effect.

The Lakotan people are right to object. This is an outrage. But it is caused by the law's automatic assumption of ownership.

@delve There are other wrongdoings alleged by the Lakotans:

“Wilhelm Meya […] broke agreements over how to use recordings, language materials and historical records, or used them without permission.”

If so, yes that's on him and on the Consortium he leads. Those acts are wrong and would need redress.

The greater wrong – that the text can't be communally owned, without great effort and fragile unreliable result – is an indictment not of Meya, but of the entire copyright regime itself.

Anti Indigenous racism 

@bignose @delve all of this ^
Also, even with the ridiculous way copyright works, you can transfer copyright in the US and you can put a creation in the public domain, so Meya could choose not to be a racist asshole! + the consortium seems to have deliberately used a work for hire structure so that the people who were recorded wouldn't be considered co-authors

@bignose @delve I guess the best way to deal with this would be to use those books as blueprints and resources just once to host all resources online like dictionaries and things, adding an open license like GPLv3 (no idea if those also work for languages, but they should) and then use your own while actively discouraging buying those capitalists shit.

They can copyright the book, but old texts and songs in them are mere citations. Republish them freely.

@delve jeez. That's a level of capitalist fuckery that should be infeasible.

@delve That’s the most “late-stage capitalism” thing I have read

fuck private property (of the means of production)


Sure, the language belongs to the people. But that does not mean the dictionaries and textbooks do too. It is the same with every other language. The language is different from the books that describe the language.

In this case, though, it would make more sense to make them freely available since their goal is to preserve the language.

@delve this is pretty much in line with my understanding of colonist-indigenous relations in general - i.e. fucked up and evil.

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