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Thread: Author Rights when translating books

  1. #1
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    Default Author Rights when translating books

    Do i need a legal permision of the author to publish a digitalized translation of the original work?, or do i own all rights to publish the translation just mentioning the author's name

    The same question for written publishing...
    Last edited by Incognit@; 07-20-2009 at 06:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Author Rights when translating books

    In strict application of US Copyright Law a translation that is distributed on a public medium, e.g. the Internet, requires the written permission of the author of the original work. This extends to scientific and technical articles.

    In strict application of the same Copyright Law every photocopy is an infringement of the law unless the author of the book or article being photocopied has granted permission. Needless to say everybody everywhere breaks that law.

    Common sense suggests that (1) if you are making a partial translation, (2) your work will be read by fewer than a hundred people, say, (3) you credit the author of the original work, and (4) you do not become a millionnaire overnight because of your sensational translation, noone will mind or notice--in fact the original author may benefit modestly from your unauthorized translation! Of course if you are translating a full work (e.g. a book) common sense dictates that you must consult the original author unless the work happens to be in the Public Domain.

    A similar situation occurs all the time in all universities. It is understood that referencing a published article by a student doing a thesis or publishing himself fulfills copyright "permission."

    Last edited by ed_freire; 07-20-2009 at 04:10 PM.

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