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Copyright of TMs
Thread poster: Ali Bayraktar
Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Mar 16, 2009

I would like to ask a question similar to the post http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/130390-copyright_for_research_papers.html
But not the same.

As we all know there are a lot of classic novels in the world (belongs Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Balzac etc)

What if somebody creates translation memories from those novels and sells them?

For example

Shakespeare's Hamlet
Language Pair: English to Chinese


Should we pay anything or buy copyright license for such activities?

And as far as I know after a period (20 years I think) books are becoming public.

This issue confuses me because the Book itself is not the case but the sentences.

Does anybody have information about such copyright issues?

Thanks in advance for your replies

Best Regards,

M. Ali


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:18
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...
Er... Mar 16, 2009

Just to make sure that I understand your question: do you think that owning a TM based on novels by Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Balzac or Tolstoi would allow anyone to compose Hamlet-2 or War-and-Peace-2? In other words, what would one do with TMs like this?

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FarkasAndras
Local time: 17:18
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I'm not a lawyer... Mar 16, 2009

but if the book itself is free of copyright (I'm assuming that's country specific, and I seem to remember 70 years is the limit in many countries), then making TMs should be allowed as well. If that is so, then selling them without even contacting the author or their heirs is perfectly legal as I understand it... not that there is any point in making a TM out of Hamlet. When do you expect to translate anything that it would be useful for?

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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 18:18
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Translation is copyright Mar 16, 2009

Any translator is the author of the target text and, being the author, is supposed to exercise all the corresponding rights...

But, your question deals with the authorship of a compilation. I suspect you might be the "owner of the act of compiling" not the texts compiled... It is like being the author of a dictionary... But what is the use of it in our case?

The only thing I see here is the ability for a researcher (provided you know where to find one and how to convince him/her he/she needs it) to see all the translations of the same source text (if there are many translations)... however, in this case the TM structure is not so good... MultiTerm glossary format will be better...


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:18
English to French
+ ...
You may want to check this thread Mar 16, 2009

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/114191-your_tms_how_do_you_dispose_of_them.html

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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
FarkasAndras & Sergei understood the situation mostly Mar 17, 2009

Natalie wrote:

Just to make sure that I understand your question: do you think that owning a TM based on novels by Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Balzac or Tolstoi would allow anyone to compose Hamlet-2 or War-and-Peace-2? In other words, what would one do with TMs like this?


Sorry for being so incomprehensible.
I could not provide the exact situation as it is (project itself)
So I had to change the scenario a bit.

Anyway Sergei and FarkasAndras understood what I am asking (mostly)

Thanks for your interests and helps.

All Best

M. Ali


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Copyright also affects translations Mar 17, 2009

FarkasAndras wrote:
but if the book itself is free of copyright (I'm assuming that's country specific, and I seem to remember 70 years is the limit in many countries), then making TMs should be allowed as well.


Hm... Maybe this is true for the original works in English in the case of Shakespeare, but how about the translations? Wouldn't you be forced to use translations that are 70 years old, or better said, books that were printed more than 70 years ago, as a publisher could improve an old translation with corrections, new explanatory notes, introduction, references, etc. making a new book which would also be copyrighted?


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A new area of bibliography? Mar 17, 2009

I think this is probably a new legal, technical and usability situation: splitting literary works in their sentences and storing them in a multilingual database. I see several considerations here. Maybe you want to share your views about them. As this is really a new thing, I haven't made up my mind about them much.

1. What possible uses do you see for the individual sentences?

2. How would you ensure that some context is provided for each sentence? (i.e. some sentences before and after each sentences to better understand the situation; and even some reference on the characters being mentioned in the sentence).

2. After making sure that there is no violation of anybody's rights in doing so, what TM format would you use? Probably a compatible (TMX?) format more people can import with their tool?

3. How would you sell the "product"? Wouldn't you be at risk of having your work copied, disassembled, reassembled, transformed, split, by people who share it freely, thus violating your newly acquired rights on the "compilation"? Today, if you sell any electronic contents for more than US$ 20 everybody will copy it unfortunately.

4. Does "compilation" really describe the situation? After all, you are not keeping each work in one piece alongside with other pieces as in a compilation, but actually splitting the works in individual sentences and mixing them all in a database.

5. How about the alignment effort? Wouldn't you need quite an effort of alignment of literary work, and alignment done by speakers of the source and target languages (maybe translators) in each of the language pairs?


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:18
Italian to English
Trados Webinar Mar 17, 2009

Trados did an interesting webinar on this subject in 2007, although the focus was more on localisation than literature:

http://www.translationzone.com/en/news/events/december-events/protection-of-tms.asp

The copyright issue is far from being cut and dried but AFAIR Sergei is on the right lines. The default is that author of the original text holds its copyright, the author of the translation holds the copyright of the translation and the compiler of the TM holds the copyright to its structure.

Of course, the scenario is often more complicated. The copyright for translations undertaken as work for hire (ie most technical translations and many literary ones as well) passes to the purchaser upon payment but at this point, it would be better to consult an expert, which I most certainly am not.

Giles


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 18:18
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Papers of "Technical Seminar on Copyright, Intellectual Property and Translation Tools" Mar 17, 2009

It might be useful to check some of the papers presented at the "Technical Seminar on Copyright, Intellectual Property and Translation Tools" organized by FIT Europe in Barcelona in 13 October 2007. The seminar dealt with this very aspect from various points of view and it was very interesting, I thought. It answered many of my questions; maybe it will answer some of yours too. For literary works, I suggest to check the presentation of CEDRO's representative.

I think Sergei and Giles have given very good clarifications.

Papers of FIT-Europe's seminar:
Tracey BYRNE (SDL TRADOS) : Copyright Protection for Translation Memories - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/Byrne.pdf

Silvia CERRELLA BAUER : Enquête sur la rémunération et la propriété des travaux de traduction et de terminologie réalisés sur mandat et à l’aide d’outils de traduction assistée par ordinateur - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/Cerrella.pdf

Yves CHAMPOLION (Wordfast) : The free, universal TM: are idealism and pragmatism compatible? - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/Champollion.pdf

Suzana CHECA PRIETO (CEDRO) : Traductores y Derechos de Autor : Presentación de CEDRO - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/Checa1.pdf

Mikael JOHANSSON (DGT) : Copyright aspects of feeding terminology databases. Barcelona speaking points - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/Johansson.pdf

Marie-José de SAINT ROBERT (UNESCO) : La protection des bases de données au regard du droit - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/StRobert.pdf

Ross SMITH (PWC) : Intellectual Property and CAT : the PWC experience - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/Smith.pdf

Victor VAZQUEZ (WIPO) : Copyright Law Applicable to Translation Tools - http://www.fit-europe.org/vault/barcelone/Vazquez.pdf


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Allow me to add my 2c Mar 17, 2009

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:
As we all know there are a lot of classic novels in the world (belongs Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Balzac etc). What if somebody creates translation memories from those novels and sells them? Should we pay anything or buy copyright license for such activities?


I assume you're asking if *you* could create such TMs and sell them, without having to pay anyone for the content. The answer is that you can, if the copyright of both the original and the translation has expired. If only the original's copyright has expired, but there is still copyright on the translation, then you can't do it for free.

And as far as I know after a period (20 years I think) books are becoming public.


It's not 20 years. It's the death date of the author plus 50 years (or plus 75 years in some countries).

This issue confuses me because the Book itself is not the case but the sentences.


If the book is in the public domain, then the sentences are also.

On the other hand, whether you can use the sentences freely if the book is still copyrighted, is a difficult question to which there is no simple answer. It depends on your country, your situation and the tenacity or whim of your victim. Its best to assume that it is not allowed. Use only books that have both the source and the translation in the public domain.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:18
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
more info on TM and Language Resource distribution Mar 13, 2010

see:

TM Ownership website v03
tm-ownership-v03
https://www.box.net/shared/vas598jxa8


and

Talks/presentations/papers by Jeff Allen on language resource (LR) distribution (updated 16jan2010):
https://www.box.net/shared/r917m42p18


Jeff

Jeff Allen
Paris, France
Advisor, MultiLingual (Computing & Technology) magazine
http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffallen
http://www.facebook.com/jeffallenfrance


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
constructional material Mar 13, 2010

I do think that TMs (as well as glossaries) have very little to do with copyrighting as far as they are by-products or fabric for very specific texts. Let's say a TM has some 65-95% fuzzy match, but does it really give us 65-95% of copyright violation or 'plagiarism' match, I wonder?

Or let's pretend there's a copyrighted entry 'Hello!' in the TM, what should other people do to 'protect your TM copyrights'? Nonsense. I think selling TMs is ok, but copyrighting should be left)

Nevermind, but does somebody know how to 'copyright' atoms and quarks?

Cheers


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