We have seen how copyright infringement goes into zero derivation English words such as a Xerox clone or He was Googling it or even A lego like construction. (e.g. http://agile.dzone.com/articles/real-lessons-lego-software)

To avoid copyright lawsuit, is there a list of words alternative word/phrase that one can use for such zero derivation words that comes with arcane copyright laws?

What would be a good alternative for phrases such as:

  • Lego like construction
  • a Xerox clone
  • He googled long and hard to find her
  • This is not linguistics. It's not even copyright. It's about trademark, which is part of law. It vaguely touches on lexicography at best. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 14:26
  • 2
    The normative usage of terms (especially to avoid law infringements) has nothing to do with linguistics. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 18:51

1 Answer 1

  1. Copyright isn't relevant to this. If any law is involved it will be trademark law. But some genericised trademarks are no longer enforceable.

  2. Specific answers for your examples are:

    1. snapable bricks (perhaps. I'm not certain if there is a common generic name for Lego-like toys)
    2. photocopier. In Australia we never say anything other than photocopier.
    3. searched the internet for ...
  3. Here is a list, though it is incomplete of course: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

  4. Why are you asking about zero derivations? Only Googled is derived - Lego and Xerox aren't, at least not in the examples you gave.

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