Translating, publishing, copyrights and plagiarism

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Translating, publishing, copyrights and plagiarism

Postby stephenbuck415 » Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:30 pm

I hope this isn't too off topic.

I have a question at the publishing level… how are the rules of copyrights and plagiarism figured into translating texts from other languages?

I'm asking out of curiosity for a couple reasons. I will have earned my certificate as a Japanese translator within 18 months and then I planned on studying Chinese (Mandarin). At some point I may have the interest in translating previously un-translated material into English for publication.

How does the translating stuff work in this respect?

Thanks
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Postby DavidR » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:51 pm

Hi Stephen,

Copyright law is a gigantic subject.

Simply put, if you translate a document under current copyright protection, (permission must be granted by the copyright holder), the translation (AKA the derivative work) is also protected under the original copyright. Unless that derivative work has 'new content' that could then be copyprotected by the 'contributing' content provider.

Some countries do not follow this rule: i.e. Some Islamic countries consider the translator as the original author.

Some countries simply do not recognize any copyright law.

Some content is old enough to be considered 'public domain'.

Since most translators are doing work for hire, the company employing the translator typically assumes all copyright responsibilities.

I hope this helps.
David Ripianzi
Publisher
YMAA Publication Center
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