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December 19th, 2007
02:13 am
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ClaWrite: Not just for placeholders anymore
New stuff!

This may not be news to those of you who read therithere and/or saw its latest comic, but I've updated (and moved) the ClaWrite page. Permalink, for those of you who want to update your bookmarks, is now the simple and memorable http://draconity.com/clawrite.*

It still looks like crap, but it's now at least got a tutorial page up -- including full punctuation guidelines, which have been in existence but missing in action for the entire decade that the info has been online. (Happy anniversary, ClaWrite! Most people would say tin is traditional, but I got you punctuation!)

For as little attention as I've given ClaWrite -- an alternate alphabet based on a 3x3 grid of strokes easily made with, say, a dragon's claws -- it sure seems to have captured people's imaginations. Back in my college days, the URL was apparently dropped into a column in the gaming magazine InQuest, which is about the closest I've come to 15 minutes of fame. And I've heard from people over the years who have used it in one capacity or another -- including, as the comic linked above points out, writing in diaries. I really ought to give the site a facelift and commission a proper font out of it.

Which reminds me -- I don't have an informed opinion on the many alternatives-to-copyright that exist out there (copylefting, creative commons, GPL, etc). What would be the simplest way for me to preemptively tell people that $THINGY is available free of charge for non-commercial use and/or modification; as long as the original source (me) is credited and any modifications retain the same license? And hypothetically, should $THINGY gain enough popularity that people want to use it (or one of its derivations) in a for-profit scenario -- what protections would said license still offer?

--
* Yes, draconity.com is me. This has the happy side effect that the Draconity FAQ is located at the wonderfully memorable draconity.com/faq. I feel guilty sometimes about not putting the domain to better use, but at least there's that.

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From:baxil
Date:December 19th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
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Perfect! Thank you!
From:premchai21
Date:December 19th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
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CC-BY-SA-NC sounds like exactly that, no? The other questions involve how much copyright is applicable in the first place; it's applicable to the page itself, and to the images themselves, but as far as the nebulous idea of the writing system itself, I have no idea.

I remember sending you email a while back (some years ago, I think) about winding up using a variant of it (translated for penstrokes) for Psildanin as a temporary alphabet, and having it wind up as the de facto alphabet (insofar as there is any such thing, given that the range of the languishing Psildanin language-fragment in the first place is so far confined to "me"), and having it evolve so far that it's almost no longer recognizable, except for A and E (for obvious evolutionary reasons), plus possibly a few other bits; the digits inherit the line structure, but are completely different from ClaWrite digits, and everything else has acquired an opposite style of being pen-flowy and ligature-y, with the glyphs and the mappings for them being so different that, well, eh. Curiously enough, the four-corners property of the common punctuation is kind of similar too, even though I'd never seen the punctuation here before.

I've gotten in the habit of writing in "a'ernwl" cancellation markers when I cross out text or diagrams, even…

I also remember asking you about the relevant copyrights &c. in case I ever decided to write up such stuff and put it somewhere, but never getting a response. Or maybe I got a response and then lost it somehow. I generally don't release things "for noncommercial use only" without something on the other side strongly counterbalancing the negative weight of it, so I'm vaguely disappointed that at this point it looks like I may never be able to conscionably release any of it at all.

(What do you mean by "for-profit scenario", anyway? There's several things I can think might be meant by that, and some ("any writing using that system in any work used as part of a profitable activity") are more wide-reaching than others.)

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From:baxil
Date:December 19th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
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I honestly don't recall the convo (if any) about Psildanin script, copyrights, etc. But I can at least try to answer that here.

I think the crux of the question is at what point it stops being a "derivative work" and becomes its own beast. If the sum total of the similarity is a few letters (plus a punctuation system that's the result of convergent evolution) -- and the idea of a 3x3 grid in the first place -- then, well, I don't know how much control I *should* have.

My goal is not to be an asshole about copyright, especially to friends. If the "share-alike" Creative Commons provision is a problem for you, for a work that has so much of your own effort in it -- and if your ClaWrite conscience is still twinging, then I can give you a waiver. (I'm also curious as to your objections to 'noncommercial use', especially since CC doesn't seem to *prohibit* commercial use, just states that regular copyright applies in those cases.) Drop me another e-mail.

Basically, for me, "for-profit scenario" is any hypothetical situation where I stand to make actual (significant) amounts of money off of this -- I'd rather spread it out and let people use it than try to be a jerk over $10 payments, but if Universal Pictures gets ahold of it and tries to use it throughout their latest fantasy movie, that's a different story. ;-) I'd like to say I don't expect anything like this to happen, but I *have* heard that there is potential interest from a video game publisher, so I'm trying to cover my bases.

I figure that anyone who wants to make money off of something using ClaWrite can contact me, and I'll handle the situations on a case-by-case basis (with most of them getting an instant response resembling "here's written authorization to use ClaWrite in the self-published novel you're selling on your website, just mention my name somewhere, have fun").
From:premchai21
Date:December 19th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
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Drop me another e-mail.

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From:joysweeper
Date:December 19th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
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Cool!

*coughs* A few months back I was looking for this alphabet to use it on some ceramics I was making, but I couldn't find it, so I just used Dinotopian footprints. The glaze totally obliterated the text anyway... Since then I've switched to Aurebesh to show my scary Star Wars geekery, but it's good to know where I can find ClaWrite.
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From:zuki_san
Date:December 19th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
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When I went digging for the old page a couple days ago, in response to said update, I actually found someone's old send-up of ClaWrite into a font. It looks fairly nice actually--rather than a straight rip of what you've got all the letters are canted just a bit diagonally, and look a bit more like brushstrokes, like Papyrus, than straight lines.

They included a set of numberals, based off the roman style, but neglected to add punctuation. Would you care for the file, or or see if I can find the source again?
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From:baxil
Date:December 19th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
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Finding the source would be great -- if I can track it down, I might be able to link to it from the page itself and/or contact the author.

Also, ceruleanst just sent me a font. I'll need to update the page tonight.
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