[tlhIngan Hol] hard truths about the future

Tim Stoffel tim at lionlamb.us
Mon Dec 27 17:08:53 PST 2021

If what you say is indeed the case (and I don't doubt you that this is
correct), then the onus falls upon the KLI to spearhead and support an
effort to ensure a future for the Klingon language. They need to  form
a committee, or some other, perhaps more formal structure to do this.
It may not or maybe should not be done today, but they need to start
thinking through what will eventually need to be done.

Something tells me that many people here are also involved in some way
with the KLI.

Everything discussed so far here also applies to any effort put forth
by the KLI. Any 'democratic' effort to  do this without some formality
and a few rules/principles/standards, is doomed to failure. Such a
framework will help  in the future should a group or committee,
involved with the KLI or not, cease doing 'the good work', and another
groupor committee in the future form to take up the work of the failed
first committee.

As for legal  defense, perhaps this group and the KLI need to look at
work that the Language Creation Society has done in terms of copyrights
on constructed languages. They contributed a carefully research amicus
brief to the court in the Paramount vs Axanar case. I believe there is
a version of the brief available for public consumption. In the end, I
suspect that common sense would inform Paramount that the work on
Klingon being done outside the movie set is valuable to them, and not
something that could be done in a quality way within their
organization. Moviegoers, especially in the Science Fiction/Fantasy
genres are no longer happy with goobliegook. They want languages that
really function as languages, and of these, I think Klingon is foremost
by a long shot. That alone should help ensure a future for an arguably
successful conlang.

A publishible Klingon NT? I would be interested in learning more. It
might even make me get serious about learning Klingon and learning it

Tim Stoffel


-----Original Message-----
From: Will Martin <willmartin2 at mac.com>
Reply-to: tlhingan-hol at kli.org
To: tlhingan-hol at kli.org, Iikka Hauhio <fergusq at protonmail.com>
Subject: Re: [tlhIngan Hol] hard truths about the future
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 15:05:13 -0500

Someone should say this:

Paramount doesn’t really own the Klingon language because languages are
not really intellectual property, but I’m not sure that Paramount’s
lawyers care whether that’s true or not. They are quite capably of
“protecting their intellectual property” at a cost that would destroy
us even if they were unsuccessful. They can easily abuse “discovery”
requirements forcing us to provide absurd quantities of evidence we
lack the resources to collect, causing us to forfeit any legal case
they choose to provide simply because we can’t afford to be in the same
courtroom they are in.

The KLI has secured a license from Paramount to use the Klingon
language. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

That’s why Paramount’s publisher has published all the Klingon stuff,
and that’s why a certain book on Klingon martial arts that some people
have illegal copies of, was printed, but not legally published because
of a court case that required all copies be destroyed. That’s why the
first “completed” translation of the New Testament is not on
bookshelves next to The Klingon Hamlet.

So, brushing off the KLI as if they were an annoyance somehow standing
in the way of progress of The Way Things Should Be is a little short-

It’s not like membership is exclusive. If you want in, you pretty much
are in. Dues aren’t particularly egregious. And years of experience
with the language is not a spectacularly bad thing.

The KLI has made honest effort to keep the language consistent and
foster its progress in a reasonably organized way. They have proven
their willingness and ability to handle this responsibility, and you
seem to want them to be booted out of the way, by default, from a
proposed committee of people who will… start doing what Okrand and the
KLI have been doing for decades?

>From scratch?

Because… being enthusiastic is more valuable than decades of
experience… among people who are… enthusiastic?

I’m not even a member anymore, and I don’t want to be on such a
committee, but I have to speak up for the KLI.

You don’t scrap the KLI and start over from scratch. You just don’t.
You can grow the KLI toward some new direction, just as every group
evolves, but you don’t self-righteously piss on the KLI.

You just don’t.

Stop fantasizing that as Step One of some new process where The People
get to run the language.

The People can join the KLI.

That’s Step One.

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