Does someone own Klingon?

Does some person or entity own the Klingon language?

I was fascinated to learn that there is a copyright case going on right now in which parties are fighting over this very question.  And I was delighted to read the amicus brief filed by Marc Randazza on behalf of the Language Creation Society.  (Marc is one of the sponsors of Meet the Bloggers next month in Orlando.)

If you want to make your life richer, print out this brief (it is only 25 pages), pick a comfortable place to sit and lean back, keep your favorite beverage close at hand, and savor this brief.  I promise you will be glad you did.

From page 13:




There will be a prize for the first commenter who can give the actual name of the Klingon home world.

13 Replies to “Does someone own Klingon?”

  1. I thought someone else would point this out… there have been many different names for the Klingon homeworld, only some of which have been mentioned here, several of which appear to be canon.

    The Memory Alpha Wiki appears to make a sincere effort at thoroughness.'noS. “Kling” was the original behind-the-scenes name given by Gene Coon, and appears to have been the first name used on television, in 1988 (ST:TNG “Heart of Glory”). “Kronos” appears to have been first used on television in 1990 (“Sins of the Father”, also apparently the first time the Klingon homeworld was portrayed on screen), and was the first name used in a Star Trek movie, in 1991 (“Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”). The transliteration “Qo’noS” is not listed by Memory Alpha as having appeared in any work until at least 1992 (“The Klingon Dictionary”), and did not appear on screen until 2013. Other names, which seem not to have appeared on screen, have been used in other reference works.

    Mark Okrand (who did original development work on the language and wrote the first Klingon dictionary) came up with the name Qo’noS, and fans have adopted that name. Mark Okrand’s Klingon language work does not fall within the “work made for hire” categories, though it may have been specifically assigned to Paramount by contract. However, so far as I can tell, the showrunners of the various on screen Star Trek projects have generally used the name “Kronos”, both in scripts (including in places where standard Klingon transliteration was used) and series bibles since 1990 (with rare exceptions).

    Perhaps there are two different “actual” names for the Klingon homeworld: (1) Kronos, canonical within the Star Trek setting which appears to be intellectual property owned by Paramount, and (2) Qo’noS, a word in the Klingon language (unowned by anyone according to that lovely brief Our Gracious Host posted, now one of my two favorite stunt filings) according to a consensus of a certain segment of the Star Trek fan community.

    So, Professor, what do you mean by “the actual name of the Klingon home world”?

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