I am considering the scenario where a vocabulary list is produced for a movie or book through use of an automated program, perhaps with manual cleanup. I get the impression that the copyright status of the list itself is a bit unclear in terms of whether it is copyrightable or not(as seen in other questions), however that is not my question. I am wondering whether the author of the original material which was referenced (ie, the author or publisher of the book or movie that was examined) would have any claim of copyright infringement against the producer of that list (for the purposes of this question you can assume it is being used commercially). I am interested in the answer world wide, although for EU, US, Canadian and Japanese law are probably the most important for my purposes.

  • I'm not really clear about what kind of "vocabulary list" is contemplated here. Are we talking definitions of a dozen obscure words, or a list of every word that would be translated if it was captioned in a foreign language translation with definitions of those words (and if with definitions, from where)? Would the words have citations to where they appeared the way a bible concordance or a transcript index would, or would they simply be listed in alphabetical order? For what purpose would the list be used and by whom? Even with commercial use, different uses matter differently. – ohwilleke Jul 23 at 7:32
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    By vocabulary list, I mean a list of words and links to a corresponding translation entry(source as yet unclear). The words are provided to aid those who might be studying the work while attempting to learn the language. Here words would probably be alphabetized according to the appropriate alphabet for whatever language is being considered. Maybe an easy example - lets say we take a soap opera in Japanese, generate a list of all words which occur at least once in one episode of that show, place them in alphabetical order and remove any entries which correspond to a proper noun. – Simon Jul 23 at 19:18

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