Do I need a licence?
Thread poster: Karin Maack

Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:31
English to German
Mar 2, 2007

Hallo all of you!

I am interested in translating subtitles but have not worked in that area yet. I have gathered some information, downloaded a free subtitling tool, done some exercise and would now like to subtitle/translate some short video podcast or so and put it on my homepage as a kind of reference.
But am I allowed to do that or would that be illegal? Do I need a licence from the makers and would I have to contact them?

Thank you for your help
Karin


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:31
German to Polish
+ ...
Ask the owner Mar 2, 2007

Why do you think that we should be able to answer your question not knowing the details? And why should we do this at all? This is not a portal for people seeking legal advice; this is a translators workplace.
The best solution is: hire a lawyer.
My assumption is, you might be allowed to do this, on the condition that you provide the link to the source and declare that this is your trial work, not for commercial purposes.
But I'm cannot be sure - there are so many regulations in Germany, nearly every aspect of life is regulated, so you would better consult a lawyer.

Best regards

Andrzej






[Edited at 2007-03-02 21:41]


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Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:31
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Why did you answer... Mar 2, 2007

...if you don't know why you should do it? I know quite well that no one will give me legal advice here but usually people share their experience and what they know about the subject. I did not ask for anything else.
As you miss the details (there aren't any), complain about German regulations and can share only assumptions (I was assuming the same things) - all that in an unfriendly tone: Why did you answer at all?


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 09:31
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
We all have bad days, I guess. Mar 2, 2007

Hi Karin

Just wanted to put in a friendly reply to remove the bad taste. Even very nice people sometimes have bad days, so let's assume someone did!

I wish I knew the answer to your question; I'll be tracking this forum. But I think the advice you were given is good: ask the owner of the podcast for written permission. That should cover most of the bases for your use on your homepage. Consulting a lawyer isn't a bad idea, though.

Good luck!

Jane


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Skatrine
Canada
Local time: 08:31
English to French
Agree: ask the owner Mar 3, 2007

Actually, although Andrzej is not exactly Mister Congeniality, he gave you good advice in the title of his post.

Simply ask the owner and keep the answer. When you contact the person, you might specify that they can withdraw their permission at any point in the future. This is to make sure they won't be afraid you'll hold a right to a copy of something they no longer want circulated.

Best,
Esther

[Edited at 2007-03-03 03:25]


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German Services
Local time: 07:31
English to German
+ ...
Understand Copyright Mar 3, 2007

Another option is to use a movie/feature film which is distributed under a public licence or is public domain (due to its age or because it wasn't renewed). But be careful: what is unprotected in one country might be protected in another!

BTW, a good way of finding public domain movies is by asking in your local library. There are tons of old government flicks you can use for pretty much whatever you want.

But even though Andrzej might have been somewhat harsh in his response, he has a point: Copyright law is becoming more and more complex, don't rely on what you read on the web (including this post). Best is to ask someone who holds the copyright and get his or her approval. Try a local filmmaker.

Oh, and if you live in Germany, even better than any library: Kreisbildstelle! Those guys rock.


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Actavano  Identity Verified
Dominican Republic
Local time: 09:31
Member (2006)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Do you need a lawyer? Mar 3, 2007

I think that you don`t need a lawyer. Things in this case are much simplier than that. Copyright is copyright everywhere in the world and time is gold. Companies are bound to make money in order to cover their costs and to achieve benefits. Such a decision, to let you make something like that, should be taken by a very important person within the company. I don´t think they have time or convenience to do that. They have for sure no organisation to deal with such matters. On the other hand you could do it without asking. But are you sure that you are doing it without profit purposes? After all you are trying to promote your business, aren`t you?
Best regards.


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:31
French to Spanish
+ ...
Who's the owner, first of all? Mar 3, 2007

That's a good question!
To whom are you going to ask permission?
Producers are owners, all right, but they sell or rent their product to a lot of distributors: who's the final owner?
Where from are you going to take the videos to subtitle them?
I wouldn't worry to much:
1.- I don't "think" it's illegal (I might be wrong, though);
2.- I've done it in my résumé: no problem so far.
Good luck.


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Karin Maack  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:31
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all of you Mar 6, 2007

There were a lot of good ideas! While searching the Internet, I have come across the perfect solution: Some video podcasts that are copyright free - distributing expressly allowed as long as they are not altered. So I have decided that subtitles would not really be an alteration. It will only take me some time to convert the file format and to find the appropriate tools for doing it.

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