is it legal to sell a translated version of a movie transcript?
Thread poster: Eliza Allan

Eliza Allan
Australia
Local time: 07:06
Indonesian to English
+ ...
Dec 3, 2009

Hi everyone, just wondering whether it is legal to sell a translated version of a movie transcript?

Someone has asked me to type out a transcipt from an Indonesian movie they want to watch, translating it into English. Does anyone know whether I am legally allowed to sell something like this?

Cheers
Eliza


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Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 22:06
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
non disclosure agreement Dec 3, 2009

Hello,

If I was you I would make the client sign a non divulgation agreement + an agreement stating that you remain the sole possessor of the translation and that it can't be used apart by any other third party apart from him...Basically you make him sign a paper stating that he will be the only person to use this translation...

MoH


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Brannigan
Italy
Local time: 23:06
Italian to English
+ ...
Derivative work Dec 3, 2009

Although under law a translation can be seen as a creative work and therefore may be protected by copyright, the film wirter could already have IP and copyright to translations of that work. Yours is a derivative work so depending on the laws where the original work was produced, the copyright for the original author could extend to any translation of his/her work.

I would seek some legal advice (albeit informally!) to be sure. Your NDA might not be enforceable at all etc.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:06
German to English
+ ...
Most likely no Dec 3, 2009

The author of any work (a film, a piece of music, a book, etc etc) holds the copyright. This includes the right to make translations. Unless you or your client have that permission, you and your client will be in breach of copyright (which can cost an arm and a leg). I doubt whether this varies very much from country to country.

Or do you mean translate and sell to your client? This may just about be legal, since it might be covered by private use (of the client), which would probably extend to you. I'd get an indemnification gaurantee from the client just in case something goes wrong.

[Edited at 2009-12-03 09:57 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I think it would be okay Dec 3, 2009

Eliza Allan wrote:
Someone has asked me to type out a transcipt from an Indonesian movie they want to watch, translating it into English. Does anyone know whether I am legally allowed to sell something like this?


It depends on your local laws, obviously, but in my opinion it would be okay for you to do this. I'm not a lawyer, however, and this is not legal advice.

Transcribing and translating the movie may well be allowed if your country allows making copies and derivative works for personal use. Note the distinction between "personal use" and "non-commercial" -- they are not the same.

If you want to cover yourself a bit, you can let the client sign a statement that he has the right to have the transcript made, and that he has the right to have a translation made. If he is unwilling to sign such a statement, then you should not do the transcription and translation. I assume that the client has these rights anyway on the basis that he needs the transcript and translation for personal use, so it should not be a problem for him to sign such a statement.

It should not be a problem for you to get paid for this, but the client should be made to understand that paying you does not confer on him any rights to the translation other than the rights that apply to personal use.


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Eliza Allan
Australia
Local time: 07:06
Indonesian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks :) Dec 3, 2009

Thaks for the replies everyone- some interesting points made.... Think I may take Brannigan's advice and seek some informal legal advice

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