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  • Anselm Lingnau

    Anselm Lingnau March 8, 2006, 8:04 p.m. (Message 44586)

    Re: Computer programme "Dancemaster" - forwarded query

    Alexandre Rafalovitch wrote:
    > P.s. Is it even legal to generate Pilling's diagrams? I thought he
    > copyrighted the whole thing.
    In their dreams!
    You can't copyright a notation any more than you can copyright a language or 
    mathematical formula, as these come under the heading of »ideas«, which are 
    not copyrightable. What you can (probably) copyright is individual diagrams 
    of particular dances, which are considered »expression«.
    I remember hearing that F. L. Pilling's successors (the body now in charge of 
    the WGB) complained to Dunedin Dancers of Edinburgh about their including 
    Pilling-style diagrams in their dance books »without permission«. They only 
    shut up after being pointedly asked whether *they* had bothered to ask 
    permission from the authors of all the dances in the Pilling book.
    In any case, Pilling-style diagrams are the norm for pre-published ball 
    programmes here in Germany (for better or worse). Don't ask where all the 
    diagrams come from; there are newly-drawn ones but people also pinch ones 
    from the book. However, I'm about to order at least five new copies of the 
    book on behalf of members of my dance group, expressly because they want to 
    get more familiar with the notation so as to understand these programmes 
    better. Thus, going after people pinching a few diagrams from the Pilling 
    book would probably be the single worst thing the Pilling people could do as 
    far as sales of their book in Germany are concerned.
    (Incidentally, text-based minicribs are making some inroads here because they 
    are so much easier to generate than Pilling-style programmes. I hate 
    them :^))
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
    Most physicists could, if necessary, make it through a PhD program in French
    literature, but few professors of French literature could make it through a
    PhD program in physics.                   -- Paul Graham, »What You Can't Say«

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