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From "Andre Schnabel" <>
Subject Re: GPL'd dictionaries (was Re:
Date Mon, 07 Nov 2011 09:01:07 GMT

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Mon, 07 Nov 2011 00:06:28 +0100
> Von: Lars Aronsson <>

> In order to license, you need copyright. For example, you cannot
> put old source code by Leonardo da Vinci under GPL, because
> its copyright has expired. If the creators of the Italian spelling
> dictionary do claim copyright, under what country's laws is that?
> Under the laws of Sweden and many other European countries,
> simple spelling dictionaries (lists and catalogs) are not covered
> by copyright, but instead by a "catalog protection" which expires
> after 15 years. That means, all spelling dictionaries from 1995
> or earlier have now fallen into the public domain. 

If it is in exactly the same form as it was before 1995 ...

Btw. in German law, exactly the same rules apply for "collections of
works, data or other independent elements, that are individual creations
because of the selection or composition of the elements ..."

So if you don't like to check local law for each dicitionary, you should
rather respect the license.

And .. dictionary are much more than just "a list of words". Whoever tells
something like that did likely not try to create a dictionary for some
more complex language. E.g. German spell checking dictionaries have
rules for suffiy, affix, infix, compound words, words that must not be
used as first or last part in a compound word, words that must not be used
as suggestion for corrections etc.



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