APG-L Archives

Archiver > APG > 2009-07 > 1247866075

From: "LBoswell" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Copyright question
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 17:27:55 -0400
References: <979971.9740.qm@web31607.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <979971.9740.qm@web31607.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

If it wasn't published and there is no intent to publish, then there is no
copyright violation here that could be pursued through the courts.. To win
a copyright suit you must prove that you have suffered financial loss or
expect to suffer same. If there is no intent to publish, and only a single
personal copy of the translation exists, there is no copyright violation
that could be pursued.

We forget that copyright exists to protect financial interests primarily.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Beere Johnson II" <>
To: "APG Posting" <>
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 5:07 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] Copyright question

--- On Fri, 7/17/09, Claire Bettag <> wrote:
> This was done primarily so the memoir writer's daughter (who was also
> unable to read the work in the original language) could read her
> mother's work. Supposedly, only a single copy of the re-translation
> exists.
> Questions:
> 1. Has the translator's copyright been infringed?
> 2. If so, does the English-language translator have any recourse?

_I am not a lawyer_. However, in my own opinion, there are several points to
A: _Basing_ another translation on a copyrighted translation - assuming the
memoir author did not object to the new translation - would be one heck of a
grey area. I suspect if a case based on something like this ever got to
court, lawyers could fight back and forth for years.
B: If there is only a single copy of this work, prepared for a relative of
the original author, it would be tough to prove more than symbolic damages.
(I assume the daughter couldn't read English, so she wouldn't have been a
customer for the copyrighted translation anyway.)
C: Assuming only one copy was made, for the _original author's daughter_, it
would seem mean-spirited and petty in the extreme to object to this. I have
Copyright registrations going back over thirty years, I froth at the mouth
at any threat to Copyright, I'm about the most sympathetic person to
Copyright holder's rights as you'll find (I believe the right ought to be
perpetual, for example) - and _my_ first reaction was "Geez! What kind of
jerk would even _think_ something like this, if the facts are as stated?"
Now, maybe there's suspicion of something else, but you didn't state that.
In any case, I can just imagine, if such a case ever made it to a jury, the
average juror's reaction. To say nothing of the press: the "digital age" has
made any appearance of unreasonable efforts to enforce copyright hot news.
Does the researcher really want to risk that kind of bad PR being splashed
all over the Internet?
Ray Beere Johnson II


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