Sample translations and copyright issues
Thread poster: Sarah McDowell

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:39
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
Nov 27, 2012

I am wondering what the rules are regarding sample translations. I would like to add to my portfolio and I was planning on doing some translations of magazine articles and on-line publications written in my source language. I did a little bit of research and I found out that the articles that I want to translate have not been published in English anywhere, so mine would be the first English version. Do I have to contact the author or perhaps someone working for the publication and receive their permission? Or is it OK to just go ahead and translate the articles and use them for my portfolio. I would give credit to the author of course and list which publication or web-site the article was originally published in.

Does anyone have any experience in these types of things? If so, your advice is very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Sarah


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:39
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Permission needed Nov 27, 2012

You have to obtain the permission of the original copyright holder. Unless expressly stated otherwise, publishing a translation without prior written permission is considered as a copyright infringement.
For copyleft materials the licensing terms are different, and in many cases you can reproduce, translate etc. such materials for free as long as you mention where they were originally published.
Best,
Attila

[Edited at 2012-11-27 10:12 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Be on the safe side Nov 27, 2012

Attila Piróth wrote:

You have to obtain the permission of the original copyright holder. Unless expressly stated otherwise, publishing a translation without prior written permission is considered as a copyright infringement.
For copyleft materials the licensing terms are different, and in many cases you can reproduce, translate etc. such materials for free as long as you mention where they were originally published.
Best,
Attila

[Edited at 2012-11-27 10:12 GMT]


Yes, you do need permission to translate and publicly post your translation of copyrighted materials. It is always wise to first ask permission before you translate anything, so that you are safe from any possible legal consequences.

Best,
Thayenga


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Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:39
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to both of you! Nov 27, 2012

So now that I understand that you have to ask permission, how would I go about asking for it?

How would you phrase a letter to the magazine/publication?

Would this be an appropriate letter?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I recently read ___________ magazine and I found the article _________ particularly interesting. I am a translator and I would like to translate this article from ________ into English.

I will not be selling my translation and expect no commercial gain from doing this. I am doing this translation because I find the subject interesting and I want English speakers to know more about this topic. I also would like to include this translation in a portfolio of translation samples for marketing purposes.

Is this OK with you? Can I receive your permission to do so?"

Sincerely,

Sarah

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is this how you would go about writing such a letter? Obviously I will translate this into my source language before sending it. I will look inside the front cover of the magazine to find out the name of the person to contact or if it's an on-line publication I will look on their "about" or "contact" page.

Does anyone having experience writing letters to publications?

Thanks



[Edited at 2012-11-27 19:28 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Form of letter Nov 28, 2012

Sarah McDowell wrote:

Would this be an appropriate letter?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is this OK with you? Can I receive your permission to do so?"

Sincerely,

Sarah



[Edited at 2012-11-27 19:28 GMT]


Personally, I would not use neither "OK" nor "Can I receive your permission to do so?" in such a letter.

It's better to write something like this: "If you approve of my intended translation, and the use of it in my portfolio, kindly sent me your consent in writing."

Thus far I have only requested permission from private individuals to write about their ancestors. But in a way, your request is similar to mine.

Good luck.

Best regards,
Thayenga


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:39
English to Polish
+ ...
Small excerpts? Apr 5, 2013

Small excerpts might fall under fair quotation, although commercial use would have the potential to make it more complicated than it already is. I'd ask a lawyer, preferably from each jurisdiction involved.

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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
Search for texts licensed under Creative Commons Apr 5, 2013

That would be my approach anyway. I have no sample translations published yet, but have already found myself a couple of good CC texts to use for that purpose.

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