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Old 11-22-2012, 02:45 AM   #16
caleb72
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It's not odd at all.
Our opinions obviously differ on this.

EDIT - Was lazy and quoted a whole post when I should have only quoted a smaller portion - corrected.

Last edited by caleb72; 11-22-2012 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:51 AM   #17
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Perhaps you could explain your viewpoint? What would be my commercial incentive to create a new translation of (to pick a random example), "The Odyssey" if I didn't have a copyright in that translation and hence the ability to make money from it? We wouldn't have good translations of any of the great classics without copyright.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Perhaps you could explain your viewpoint? What would be my commercial incentive to create a new translation of (to pick a random example), "The Odyssey" if I didn't have a copyright in that translation and hence the ability to make money from it? We wouldn't have good translations of any of the great classics without copyright.
The oddity I was referring to was that we have already considered a work in public domain, but consider a transcription of that work in another language as not in the public domain. I find that odd - you don't. That's where our opinion obviously differed, but I quoted your whole post because I was being particular lazy. I have gone back and corrected that.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:10 AM   #19
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Good translation is a lot more than mere mechanical transcription. It's very much a creative process. "Google Translate" illustrates the result of mechanical translation - it's not something you could publish. That's why I personally think that it's completely justifiable that translations are protected by copyright. If that were not the case, we would not have many of the wonderful translations that we do have, which are literary masterpieces in their own right.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:13 AM   #20
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The oddity I was referring to was that we have already considered a work in public domain, but consider a transcription of that work in another language as not in the public domain. I find that odd - you don't.
If translation from one language to another was a purely mechanical act, I don't think the translated work would have a new copyright.

But translating is a lot more than that. It is also (although not to so great a degree) a genuinely creative act, requiring original thought.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:16 AM   #21
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That's right. I don't believe one could claim copyright on the output from a computer translation program, for example. "Creativity" is a key requirement for copyright protection. If you write down your shopping list, for example, it has no copyright protection, because there's no creative element in it.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:49 AM   #22
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For the record, I do think translators should have copyright protection and I've never actually said otherwise (some sloppiness in previous quoting notwithstanding). Because something has the appearance of "oddness" to me does not necessarily mean that I disagree with it.

Having said that, I don't happen to believe translations should have copyright entitlements identical to the original work. It's actually only a pretty fresh opinion for me as it's been something I've been thinking about specifically in the last couple of months while sourcing some translations of old public domain works. So I can't guarantee this opinion will stay, but it's where I'm at for the moment.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:45 AM   #23
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Having said that, I don't happen to believe translations should have copyright entitlements identical to the original work. It's actually only a pretty fresh opinion for me as it's been something I've been thinking about specifically in the last couple of months while sourcing some translations of old public domain works. So I can't guarantee this opinion will stay, but it's where I'm at for the moment.
I can certainly see that there's an argument for translations to have copyright for, say, 10 years from publication or the length of the original copyright (whichever is longer).
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #24
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I can certainly see that there's an argument for translations to have copyright for, say, 10 years from publication or the length of the original copyright (whichever is longer).
Or perhaps the same 25-year fixed-term copyright that the initial publisher of an otherwise out-of-copyright posthumous work enjoys. That would seem fair.
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