Thursday, February 21, 2008

De Definition Der Meeresfrüchte - I've Been Translated

So I was looking up other people's reviews about the first So You Think You Can Dance live show on Google. I then come across my own article about it via the Technorati site. Under my articles were other blog reactions to my personal blog. Needless to say, there aren't many reactions. Most of which are links from my food blog to my personal blog when certain food outings cross link with other activities. I did find one blog that caught my eye. It was some foreign language blog. Upon clicking on the link, I found that someone had my Great Ocean Road post, translated it and posted it on their site. You can see their post here.

I have now officially been translated. I don't know whether I am flattered that they have gone to the effort to translate what I wrote, or angry that they have posted my entire article. He/she/they did link to me but the photos and text are mine, albeit in another language. I used Altavista Babelfish (remember Altavista, they were the Google of their time, ahh how the Internet has changed so quickly) and cut and paste the text in. Basically, the translation comes out pretty accurately what I wrote, with some expected grammatical errors.

I don't know whether the site is profiting off my post or not. It seems like he/she collects holiday experiences from other blogs and translates them into German. There are a lot of spam ads on the page for pills, so maybe they do make money from my work. I wonder what the laws are about translation of stuff. Does copyright still cover translated text. I know that many Asian artists cover Western songs all the time. I wonder if they seek permission of the Western artist to cover the song or they just do it since there is a small chance that the Western artist will ever hear the song?


  1. I would suggest adding the Creative Commons License to your blog as I have done with my blog & PiEcon. That way you make it clear that if anyone wishes to re-use your material and hence intellectual Property, they must not only get your permission but they must also credit you and link back to the original post.

    Click on the icon on my blog and it will explain. You will be able to locate the code to paste into your own blogs.

  2. Sticky, thanks for that tip.

    This blog did link back to me so I'm not too fussed about this particular one.

    Even without the Creative Commons License, I still have copyright already isn't it?

  3. Intellectual property laws vary from country to country. It was not always the case that Aussie's owned copyright on their work as it is now. In some parts of the world a blog may in fact belong to the provider, in your case Blogger or Google.

    Adding the creative commons license to your work, flags your concern that your work is not used for commercial purposes by others and that they should ask permission before using it.

  4. Hi Thanh. Yes, copyright covers your work regardless of translation, but the basic rules of copyright vary by jurisdiction. The definition of commercial purpose varies (technically and practically) and even with explicit Creative Commons labelling, reality is that it is of little use if someone with no blatant commercial intent steals your stuff. (The toughest Creative Commons Licence (BY-NC-ND 2.5) still permits free reproduction of your work on noncommercial sites.)

    The site which nicked your work is using automatic translation (the German is rotten -- clear machine job) and I'd say it's just a front for a type of linkfarm.

  5. Sticky, its all so tricky knowing who owns what. I definitely remember the uni and work saying that anything I discover whilst at these places would be belong to the uni or work. As for Google owning the rights to this blog, I thought that would need to be more explicitly written in the terms and conditions?

    Duncan, do you understand German? So they didn't even go to the effort of translating it properly. I actually thought they went to the effort of translating it.

  6. Good thing they didnt translate your stupid article about need to take a piss.

    i'm sure that would really be a hit for the Germans

    ZIG HAIL!!!

  7. So German people don't need to take a piss. I'm sure they would have found my article rivetting.