All these replies of yours, Ollock, are written in the language I would expect of a form letter response from a giant corporation whom I had sent in a complaint to. It sounds like you're in damage control mode to protect your product, which is saddening.
It surprised me as well. I'm just trying to communicate some relevant information as succinctly as possible. In some cases, that tone makes sense.
How many people whose languages were featured still don't know about it? Risla didn't know about it until now, and hers was featured in October. A better question is, out of the featured-lang-creators who have contacted you after the fact, how many have been unhappy? (I could very well be entirely wrong, maybe most people have known about it?)
Not many, I'm sure. The dead one certainly doesn't, and quite a few others I'm sure are not in the community. However, there have been conlangers who have contacted me after the fact before, and generally the responses have been positive. A few actually suggested their own conlangs to me after I had already recorded an episode featuring it, which was somewhat embarassing.
Also, I encourage anyone who is unhappy with our review to contact us. I do read all of the emails that come to email@example.com
, and comments from conlangers featured on previous shows are always welcome, and I think in every previous case that feedback was featured on the show (in fact, I may talk about this discussion on the show as well).
Maybe I'm being uncharitable (well, okay, I totally am, but whatever), but to me this says, "please email me if you have a complaint, don't make it public, so I can address it on my own terms." If you feature stuff in your arena without the creator's consent/knowledge, be prepared to answer to them on their arena.
It's more like "please send your most important feedback to this channel, because it's the communication channel I look at first when deciding what to put in the Feedback segment of the show". Yes, that is addressing it "on my own terms", though all email that we feature on the show are copy-pasted verbatim into the shownotes, so they would become public by default.
As far as people who are deciding to change their behavior, that is fine. You have the right to control when and in what form your work gets out into the public. I do hope that this incident will not create a chilling effect on discussion of conlangs.
You know, people shouldn't need
to put a notice on every piece of their work that says, "by the way, please contact me before you feature this on some other site or discussion". It's common courtesy.
I never suggested that they should. I just felt uncomfortable with the idea that people would talk about there conlangs on here less for fear of it being publicized in an "incomplete" state.
EDIT: I mean...why would you not want to say, have the creator on to discuss the language with you? Wouldn't that make sense? They could also make sure your facts/interpretation of the data, external history, and so on, is correct. Even if not, they can give you supplementary info/corrections like that by email or whatever before the podcast.
Of course we would. Understand that we make the decision on which conlang to feature literally the week before we record the episode. We are disorganized, and that is a problem. I will talk about this at the next recording session and how we can fix it.
I will see if I can reiterate what Whimemsz is trying to get to here. Conlang and conlanger are two parts of the same thing. They go hand in hand. If you don't have someone's permission to discuss their conlang then you don't discuss it. Period. It doesn't matter whether or not you think they know you are using the conlang, or whether or not you think they will consent later on. If the permission isn't there then the conlang shouldn't be there either. When you do neglect to ask for permission to discuss a conlang, it is as though you care more about program material than about the conlanger. This is most likely what Whimemsz and Risla are reacting to. Technically, what Ollock just did with South Eresian could be called stealing. Or exploitation. You remember the issues the rest of the board had with Serali a few years back, right?
I take serious issue with this statement. What the Featured Conlang segment does is analogous to a book or movie review. Book reviewers do not need the author's permission to write a review. They may contact authors (for their thoughts, review copies, etc), but they are not required to. Legally, this is covered under the fair use doctrine. If we needed author permission, I wouldn't have been able to feature Quenya, since JRR Tolkien is dead. I am not committing any copyright violations. I am also not invading anyone's privacy, inasmuch as anything that is out on the open Internet is public by default. I am just trying to share something cool.
Look, it's really simple. People are mainly talking about Ollock et al. making an effort to contact the creators of conlangs. If someone puts their conlang online, but has no contact information with it, then frankly, that's their problem. And it really doesn't take much time or effort to see if the conlang's creator has put up any contact info.
There are, I think, two main reasons to try to make contact:
1) To make sure your information is accurate and up-to-date
2) Common courtesy: "Oh, by the way, we're featuring your conlang. Thought you'd like to know."
Yes, I'd be flattered if someone wanted to discuss one of my conlangs, but I'd want to know about it in advance rather than being caught off guard, and then hearing a lot of incorrect statements about my conlang. It may not be stealing or exploitation, but it is misinformation, and people tend to be sensitive about their creations, artistic or otherwise. And if you're not sure why someone would be sensitive about their conlang being discussed, read point 1) again.
There's also the picky little matter of getting permission. Material posted on a blog isn't really "published" in the same way as a book: there's no editing process, no advertizing, etc. And while the web is technically public, in practice much of it is really semi-public, i.e. even if you post something on your blog, you probably don't expect a whole lot of people to see it. IRL, you might talk about your conlang with a few friends, but you wouldn't expect them to turn around and tell all their friends about it (i.e. publicizing it) without asking you first.
tl;dr: Common courtesy
Thank you, Boşkoventi, for your reasoned and understanding response. I really do agree with many of the points raised by you and Whimemsz. I still would consider a blog to be published work, personal as it may be, but I understand now that the South Eresian blog may not have been the best information source and that contacting Risla could have helped me out. We did contact a few conlangers about their work early on, but never developed a good habit of doing so. I will not put a requirement on myself to get permission, but the common courtesy "Hey, we want to talk about your stuff, just thought you ought to know" is a good idea. And there may be cases where I will agree with creators who are uncomfortable with having their work presented and change the lineup.
I also want to point out, for sake of perspective, that the Conlangery Podcast is not hugely popular. Last week we had 297 total downloads according to Podtrac. And that was a particularly busy week. Ultimately, the audience you get there is about the same as the audience you get for a forum post here, I imagine. Those numbers may increase in time, and I hope they do. If it does get to be a really popular podcast with tens of thousands of downloads (probably a pipedream, and not really my goal), I do hope that we can resolve these issues before that happens.