Digital Sidhe (digitalsidhe) wrote in the_grey_havens,
Digital Sidhe
digitalsidhe
the_grey_havens

Elvish Calligraphy Available

[This advertisement posted with moderator approval, since it's relevant to the community and may interest members. My apologies in advance to those who see it in multiple communities.]

The Elvish Translation Service (http://www.freaknation.com/elvish/) sells hand-crafted Elvish calligraphy, in Quenya and Sindarin (mostly Quenya), written in various styles of tengwar. The catalog of available items includes quotations ancient and modern. Prices for 8½x11" pieces currently range from US$25.00 to $50.00, making them highly affordable gifts.

I can also do custom work, whether for wall decorations, tattoos, wedding rings, or any other use. Rates for custom translation are available on the site's "Custom Order" page.

Visit the Elvish Translation Service today, and nai elen siluva tielyanna ("may a star shine upon your path").
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i was just wondering... how did you get a license from the tolkien estate to do this?
I didn't. So far, I have only one text on my site that's even remotely based on Tolkien's work, and the text I'm using is actually a translation by David Salo. Any actual quotations from Tolkien's works will, I assure you, be nice and small, to stay within the guidelines of Fair Use law.

As for the use of Quenya and tengwar, my understanding of intellectual property law is that you can't copyright a language, or a writing system. (Indeed, in the case of the cirth -- which admittedly I'm not using -- any claim by the Tolkien Estate would be on incredibly shaky ground, as they're basically a slightly new wrinkle on the ancient Norse and Germanic runes in the first place.)

Copyright law protects the specific, tangible and fixed expression of an idea -- for example, the text of The Lord of the Rings, or the form of Peter Jackson's production of The Two Towers. But it does not protect a language, in which that idea is expressed.

The Tolkien Estate might be able to try to patent Quenya and tengwar, but as far as I know they have not sought to do so. Which means the languages and writing systems are open for use by all. (Of course, what you use them for could still get you in trouble with copyright -- for example, if you tried to translate all of The Matrix into Quenya, not only would you have a massive headache and need to seek psychiatric help, you'd also run afoul of lawyers if you tried to distribute it.)

So, I need to consider not only the Tolkien Estate's copyrights, but also those of Frank Herbert's estate, and whoever owns the rights to Buckaroo Banzai. Luckily, I'm working with phrases short enough not to matter. But this may also point out why the stuff in my "Poetry" section is a couple of hundred years old. Copyright's completely expired on Lord Byron and FitzGerald's translation of the Ruba'iyat.