Copyright issues if translating a children's book but not for publishing.
Thread poster: Ioana Herring

Ioana Herring
Local time: 16:49
Romanian to English
+ ...
Oct 11, 2016

Hello,

I translated a few short children's books (picture books for under 5s) and I would like to make known the translations for review purposes and also because I love the books in the original and would love to make them known and available until they are published (if ever) to a young Romanian audience. What I had in mind is reading my translation on a youtube video or posting the text as a translation and adaptation by myself for parents to use side by side with the book in the original. I am not interested in making money, although it would be nice if the translation got published properly by a Romanian publisher.

Apart from asking the publisher of each title for permission is there a way I could do this gracefully without breaking copyright law?

How else do people get peer review?

Second question: Is there a forum dedicated to translating children's books?
Many thanks.
Ioana


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 17:49
German to Serbian
+ ...
Consult the authors and ask them for permission. Oct 11, 2016

Other than that, I don't know what else you can do. Make sure you state somewhere in your video that it's been approved by original authors (also research Youtube policies about this).

There's a (general) literary translation forum on ProZ: http://www.proz.com/forum/literature_poetry-22.html

Hope this helps.



[Edited at 2016-10-12 07:12 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I'm no expert, but. Oct 12, 2016

Ioana Herring wrote:
I translated a few short children's books ... and I would like to make known the translations for review purposes...


I think that if you send the translations to individual people who have agreed to review the translations, then you don't need permission from the copyright holders. But if you want the general public to review your translations, then you can only do so after you've published them in some form or another. And for publication you need permission from the copyright holder.

I'm not sure whether a Youtube reading is broadcasting or publishing, but I can imagine that permission from the copyright holder would be needed either way. That is unfortunately so.

I would love to make them known and available until they are published (if ever) to a young Romanian audience.


The problem is that you can't ensure that anyone who obtained a copy from you (e.g. by downloading your Youtube video) will destroy their copy and buy the book when the book is officially published.

What I had in mind is reading my translation on a youtube video or posting the text as a translation and adaptation by myself for parents to use side by side with the book in the original.


Personally I would take the risk. I would create a web site with affiliate links to online book stores that sell those books in their original language, and then create and embed the videos in the web site. On the videos, I would show the pictures as they are in the book (not scanned and in full screen). This would, strictly speaking, be a breach of the original authors' copyright, but it would benefit them commercially, so there is a small possibility that they would accept it when they find out about it.


 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:49
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
You should as for permission Oct 12, 2016

I think that you should ask for permission. Write an enthusiastic letter to the author and publisher, praising their book and promoting yourself as a translator of children's books. Tell them that you have produced a translation for your own private enjoyment and that you would like to use it as you have described. That way, it is even possible that you might have your translation accepted as the official version.

However, the main consideration is that, as a translator, you could suffer damage to your reputation with current and potential clients if it were to become known that you were breaching copyright.


 

Ioana Herring
Local time: 16:49
Romanian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks, everyone! Oct 12, 2016

I might start with some translation of out of copyright children's texts and then, once I have got the hang of making these available in a nice format online, I will be able to refer the copyright holders to these when I ask permission, so they see what I haven in mind.

Many thanks everyone, especially to Samuel, for the thorough and thoughtful reply.
Best wishes,
Ioana

[Edited at 2016-10-12 20:27 GMT]


 

Susana Sherman  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:49
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
How to know if children's books are out of copyright? Jul 5, 2017

Although this is an old topic, I wanted to follow up and find out if there was a reliable way to know whether a particular children's book text is copyrighted. I have similarly translated a few children's books (0-5) into Spanish as part of a literacy project, the translations are actually to help the Spanish-speaking parents to understand the English-language books that are being read to their children, so they can follow along and discuss them with them later. And I would also like to post these translations on my website, but do not want to break any copyright laws.

I appreciate any advice on this topic.


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:49
Member
English to Italian
A couple links Jul 5, 2017

These might give you some pointers:
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/okbooks.html
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/renewals.html
http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First


 


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Copyright issues if translating a children's book but not for publishing.

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