On copyright issues

Publishing translations of other people’s articles without being requested by them to do so (unsolicited) is an interesting case considering copyright. And in a few cases a permission for posting a translation has not been obtained from the original author.

In addition, as is often the case, the journalist or author has relinquished their republication rights to the newspaper that first published the article. And I have been told that for example Helsingin Sanomat has strict rules about republishing. Admittedly, I have not even sought the original publishers’ permissions (except from Kaleva paper in the case of my first post, but received no response; for my personal interview I got the publishers’ permission).

I am grateful that all except one author that I have reached out to have readily given their gracious permission and most have even promoted my translation.

I think it is only appropriate that if the original author denies permission to post that I take the post down. I have tried to send my request for permission before I have posted, but have not refrained from posting if I have not received the original author’s permission. Therefore the permission was received after the fact in some cases.

I realize that as such I put the authors in difficult position in case they are not comfortable giving me, as an amateur translator, their blessing. As everybody knows, one does not simply remove something from the internet.

However, I feel there is value in making interesting articles now available in Finnish also in English. But I do not wish to diminish the rights of the author to their creative work.

With pictures, I will not publish anything without permission – or attribution when I think permission is not needed (like the meme picture above or someone’s twitter profile photo). Often I am limited to wikimedia commons or others, and very grateful in those few cases when I have sought and received a permission to use professional or original pictures in this blog.

I welcome you to comment on these and other rights issues connected to this blog or blogging in general. My thoughts and practices on these are not set in stone.

Edit 5/8/2014: I have decided to not post any very long stories until a permission from the author has been obtained (now that I am thinking of my first such translated article). Long stories take a lot of work and are born of love of the topic, people and the profession and they go well beyond the typical work expected from journalists. I don’t wish to disrespect the obvious love and dedication they show to their profession by assuming any privileges with long stories.

Edit 6/5/2014: The original authors are free to use my translations whatever way they wish.


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