12 thoughts on “The copyright status of Liddell and Scott

  1. Hey, Roger.

    I’ve noticed a lot of XML at use in the scripture study arena. Is there a particular schema that is in use? My day job involves automated publishing environments and content management using XML. It would be nice to make my profession dovetail with my other love.


  2. Correction, now that I’ve looked into this carefully. The Liddell-Scott-Jones-McKenzie was/is published in the United Kingdom, not the US: the governing copyright law is therefore British law, and has nothing to do with renewal in the US. What matters is the dates of death of the authors.

    Upshot: Liddell and Scott have been dead a very long time, Jones and McKenzie less long. The respective dates are: 1898, 1887, 1939, and 1937. (Wikipedia, as often, commits a mindless idiocy by linking Roderick McKenzie to a namesake New Zealand politician who died in 1934).

    In the UK, the work enters the public domain on the 1st of January of the calendar year following the 70th anniversary of the death of its longest-living author. The LSJM therefore enters the public domain on Jan. 1, 2010: in two weeks. You and I, and our Spanish friends, will need none of this copyleft crap (the real effect of which is to create more, not fewer, restrictions on republication).

  3. Thank you so much for looking into this. Amusing that it becomes PD in two weeks time!

    I’m dubious about copyleft. I understand the idea; people want stuff to circulate but do not want someone else to make a million from their work. But it doesn’t half cause problems!

  4. Citations are not copyrightable; and quotations, when short, are covered in every country by blanket permissions; in the US, these permissions are called “fair use”. Short excerpts are essentially not subject to copyright, else there would be no possibility of commentary, critique, or reference.

  5. This particular little mistake is no big deal, consisting merely of a misidentification; the solution to it is just to remove the link, since there is no article for LSJ’s McKenzie. It’s similar to those curious links on Perseus: when “Richmond” is mentioned — an editor or commentator of classical texts — their handy-dandy computerized link scheme sends the witless user off to Richmond, Va., vel sim.

    But no, I don’t edit Wackypedia any more; the risk of unpleasantness outweighs my gratification in providing an advantage to others.

  6. Well put on Wikipedia. My feelings are the same. Until they sort their act out and administer it in a sane, transparent, easy to use and fair way, people like us are just meat to the grinder for the first troll who comes along. It’s not a safe or healthy environment.

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