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Non-profit Internet translation

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:18 pm
by jonathandoyle
I translate miscellaneous texts from English (from British or American authors) into French as a hobby. There are several different examples of texts that are both for sale in printed form and freely available for reading on the web. If I publish translations on my website for free reading only, with a link to the original website, is that a copyright infringement ?

Re: Non-profit Internet translation

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:36 pm
by AndyJ
Hi Jonathan
Translating a work comes under the heading of making an adaptation* of the work, and it is something which only the author can authorise, assuming that the orignal work is in copyright. The fact that the original work has been made available for the public to freely access and read (online for instance) does not mean that permission is also granted to make an adaptation of that work. This may seem outdated in these days when anyone can put a piece of text through Google Translate or some other online translation service, but it would be an infringement of copyright to publish a translation which had not been authorised. Making your translations available online would amount to publication, even if you allowed access for free.


* Although I have quoted UK copyright law here, virtually all countries in the world which have a copyright law recognise that the right to authorise a translation is one reserved to the copyright owner. It is set out in Article 8 of the Berne Covention.

Re: Non-profit Internet translation

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:58 pm
by jonathandoyle
Thanks for your help Andy.