Found an illegal translation of my product into Spanish. Can I use it myself?

by jaenterpr 33 replies
I had been looking into getting my ~150-page info product translated into Spanish.

However, while doing a search on "Google en español" I found that an illegal "warez" site has already done the translation! I showed it to someone who speaks Spanish, and they said it was an awesome translation. And heck, they even translated the words that were on the ebook's images. They really put a lot of great work into this illegal version.

This brings me to my question for you, my fellow Warrior:

Can I go ahead and sell the Spanish-language version of my product now, using this illegal translation? What would you do?

It would cost me many thousands of bucks to get the product translated if I had hired someone through Elance or Guru.com. So this could be a way to turn lemons into lemonade.

Or could there be consequences? Could the "warez" folks sue me? (Though I don't see how they could get an enforceable copyright on the product.) Do a denial-of-service attack on my site? Something else?

Are there ethical issues here? (However, it seems to me that it would be like if I needed my car painted, and then a thief stole the car and put a fresh paint job on it before the cops could recover it. It's not like I would owe the thief money for painting the car.)

Thanks for any advice.

John
#main internet marketing discussion forum #found #illegal #product #spanish #translation
  • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
    Originally Posted by jaenterpr View Post

    I had been looking into getting my ~150-page info product translated into Spanish.

    However, while doing a search on "Google en español" I found that an illegal "warez" site has already done the translation! I showed it to someone who speaks Spanish, and they said it was an awesome translation. And heck, they even translated the words that were on the ebook's images. They really put a lot of great work into this illegal version.

    This brings me to my question for you, my fellow Warrior:

    Can I go ahead and sell the Spanish-language version of my product now, using this illegal translation? What would you do?

    It would cost me many thousands of bucks to get the product translated if I had hired someone through Elance or Guru.com. So this could be a way to turn lemons into lemonade.

    Or could there be consequences? Could the "warez" folks sue me? (Though I don't see how they could get an enforceable copyright on the product.) Do a denial-of-service attack on my site? Something else?

    Are there ethical issues here? (However, it seems to me that it would be like if I needed my car painted, and then a thief stole the car and put a fresh paint job on it before the cops could recover it. It's not like I would owe the thief money for painting the car.)

    Thanks for any advice.

    John
    Gosh I'm going to wait with anticipation for the replies to this one,

    I'd never condone nicking something normally, but in this case I'd be sorely tempted.

    Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Originally Posted by jaenterpr View Post

    Could the "warez" folks sue me?
    A criminal can only sue the rightful owner in America and get away with it...

    I once heard of a robber who broke into some dudes house, slipped on the porch coming out of the house with a TV and the robber ended up suing the house owner for liability and from my understanding, he won!

    Mike Hill
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    • Profile picture of the author Jose Delgado
      hmmmm... tough question.

      I'm sure everyone is going to have Different Opinions, but here's mine:


      *** Disclaimer: This is just MY opinion and before you do anything, I suggest you see a lawyer.*** (now that this is out of the way)


      If you are 100% it's YOUR product, then...

      If they are sharing it illegally, why can't YOU sell it since it is yours.

      Take it as a form of a "gift" from the folks that translated it for letting them share it.

      Anyway, I'm sure people will all have different opinions so Please see a lawyer, that's the best advice there is.

      -OR-

      I'll translate it for a couple hundreds if it's 150 pages long.
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    • Profile picture of the author BenSalez
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      A criminal can only sue the rightful owner in America and get away with it...

      I once heard of a robber who broke into some dudes house, slipped on the porch coming out of the house with a TV and the robber ended up suing the house owner for liability and from my understanding, he won!

      Mike Hill
      That is an absolute urban legend. Never happened.

      To the OP: I would absolutely take the translation of YOUR work and sell it. First of all, they are profiting off of your sweat; it seems only fair that you do the same. Second of all, I would not worry about any legal ramifications seeing as how they plagiarized your work to being with.
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    • Profile picture of the author newbim
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      A criminal can only sue the rightful owner in America and get away with it...
      meow!! lol .
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  • Profile picture of the author ibringjoy
    In the movies, when you rip off the bad guys, there are never nice consequences.

    But could this really be called ripping off the bad guys? After all, you own the product they stole.

    How about this idea? Since he is obviously going to be sharing your product with everyone anyway, why don't you do a JV with him and get his permission in writing for you to sell the translated version.

    However, the one sharing it may have ripped it off from the one who translated it in the first place. So you might be dealing with the thief of a thief???

    It will certainly be interesting to see how this develops...

    Kathryn
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      Originally Posted by ibringjoy View Post

      How about this idea? Since he is obviously going to be sharing your product with everyone anyway, why don't you do a JV with him and get his permission in writing for you to sell the translated version.
      Why would you want to JV with someone who has already ripped you off?
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
        From my understanding, you own the copyright of the product, no matter what language it is in.

        Go ahead and sell it, and LOL your way to the bank, because thanks to those idiots you could be making some decent money.

        The spanish market has HUGE demand and VERY low competition online. I know it because I speak spanish as well as I speak english and in my keyword researches I have discovered this.

        Hell, I would even take it myself, then close them down by sending a DMCA notice to the hosting service provider (even if it is a latin american or hispanic hosting service, they do value the DMCA) and take all the loot home.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Originally Posted by Daniel Molano View Post

          From my understanding, you own the copyright of the product, no matter what language it is in.
          You have the rights to the work, which means you also control translation rights. If someone else translates your work, they are creating a derivative work. You might hire someone to create that translation for you, and you would (hopefully!) have had a contract with them that transfers the rights of that particular translation back to you. (Alternatively, you could sell those rights to them, and they could resell your work to their native market, and pay you royalties, or however you set it up with them. As the copyright holder, you can determine that.)

          That person who did the translation has the rights to the translation. That is their work. Now, they cannot do anything with it without your permission. They can't sell it (except to you). They can't distribute it. They can only do with it what you allow them to do with it.

          But, you do not own their translation simply because it is a translation of your work. You have to purchase the rights from them if you want to use it. Usually, what you'd have is a work for hire agreement where the translator agrees to do the translation and sell all the rights to that translation to you for a mutually agreed upon fee.
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          • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
            Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

            You have the rights to the work, which means you also control translation rights. If someone else translates your work, they are creating a derivative work. You might hire someone to create that translation for you, and you would (hopefully!) have had a contract with them that transfers the rights of that particular translation back to you. (Alternatively, you could sell those rights to them, and they could resell your work to their native market, and pay you royalties, or however you set it up with them. As the copyright holder, you can determine that.)

            That person who did the translation has the rights to the translation. That is their work. Now, they cannot do anything with it without your permission. They can't sell it (except to you). They can't distribute it. They can only do with it what you allow them to do with it.

            But, you do not own their translation simply because it is a translation of your work. You have to purchase the rights from them if you want to use it. Usually, what you'd have is a work for hire agreement where the translator agrees to do the translation and sell all the rights to that translation to you for a mutually agreed upon fee.
            I see your point, and it makes sense, but if he does decide to use that translated work, what are they going to do about it? Sue him for using his own work they ilegally started distributing in the first place? (Even if the translation is their doing). They are in for losing a case like that.

            They can't file a DMCA notice, because they did steal the copyright in order to make the translation and they would be dumb to take that to court. Not to mention that by doing so and adding it to the warez forum, they were already involved in piracy.

            They had no right to make such a translation in the first place.

            Another thing, did you have a legal disclaimer saying that your work cannot be distributed by anyone else but you? That would also give him an extra legal edge, chances are they wouldn't say a thing if he decided to use the translated work.
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            • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
              Originally Posted by Daniel Molano View Post

              I see your point, and it makes sense, but if he does decide to use that translated work, what are they going to do about it? Sue him for using his own work they ilegally started distributing in the first place? (Even if the translation is their doing). They are in for losing a case like that.
              Are you sure? There was a case where a guy broke into a house and got stuck inside the garage for over a week. If he hadn't broken the law and broken into their house, that never would have happened. Guess what? He sued the homeowner and won $500,000. So, I wouldn't be too sure of any outcome.
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              • Profile picture of the author BenSalez
                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                Are you sure? There was a case where a guy broke into a house and got stuck inside the garage for over a week. If he hadn't broken the law and broken into their house, that never would have happened. Guess what? He sued the homeowner and won $500,000. So, I wouldn't be too sure of any outcome.
                Dan, all of these "cases" do not exist. They are all urban legends. The first thing any professor talks about in any pre-law class is about how ALL of these lawsuits never actually happened (or are much different from what is told.)

                The only "real" urban legend type lawsuit that actually happened was the lady who sued Macdonalds for her coffee being too hot and won. However, Macdonalds employees got lazy and superheated the coffee to incredibly hot temperatures so they did not have to brew it again the next morning... then they spilled it on her and she lost function of her lady parts. So ya... that happened.

                Everything else is an urban legend.
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      • Profile picture of the author ibringjoy
        Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

        Why would you want to JV with someone who has already ripped you off?
        To get what you want:

        1. The Spanish Translation (for free)
        2. More money from selling the Spanish version
        3. No worries about him coming back at you for "stealing" it back.

        There is no way you are going to stop him from distributing it illegally. So why don't you get out of this situation something good, and go on from there? It's not like you are partnering with him on anything. All you are getting from him is a signed contract giving you the unemcumbered right to sell the Spanish version. Once you get that signature, you never see or hear from him again.

        So why not? That way you get what you want.

        Kathryn
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
    Your situation reminds me of that time I stole some old lady's car. First thing I did was paint it. When I lifted it from her, it was blue. I made it red. And, a nice red too, not one of those ugly orangey reds.

    A month later, the cops found it in my garage and arrested me. I got off on a technicality, so I was happy.

    Can't say that the original owner was happy though. I grabbed my lawyer and forced that little ol' lady to pay me $1000 for the paint job I put on it.

    Man, those was some good times.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
      Originally Posted by John Rowe View Post

      Your situation reminds me of that time I stole some old lady's car. First thing I did was paint it. When I lifted it from her, it was blue. I made it red. And, a nice red too, not one of those ugly orangey reds.

      About a month later, the cops found it in my garage and arrested me. I got off on a technicality, so I was happy.

      Can't say that the original owner was happy though. I grabbed my lawyer and forced that little ol' lady to pay me $1000 for the paint job I put on it.

      Man, those was some good times.
      lol John I bet your nose just grew six inches with that tale
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    • Originally Posted by John Rowe View Post

      Your situation reminds me of that time I stole some old lady's car. First thing I did was paint it. When I lifted it from her, it was blue. I made it red. And, a nice red too, not one of those ugly orangey reds.

      A month later, the cops found it in my garage and arrested me. I got off on a technicality, so I was happy.

      Can't say that the original owner was happy though. I grabbed my lawyer and forced that little ol' lady to pay me $1000 for the paint job I put on it.

      Man, those was some good times.
      Yeah, and that was just the color red the lady had been looking for to paint her car, wasn't it?
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      • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
        I'm sure if some outfit took the latest Harry Potter book and rewrote it in Swahili that JK Rowling would ignore it.

        Not.

        Cheers,

        Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author getsmartt
    hmm... first of all the standard IANAL but, could you not sue them in small claims court, of course the would not show up, and have the judge award you their work, the translation of the material, as compensation for them stealing your work?
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas
    Gosh... it would be funny to see someone try to sue a copyright owner for violating their copyright violation!

    If it were my product, I'd steal it right back.

    In Ireland, I could sue them and be awarded everything... the translation... any equipment used to make it (i.e. they have to give me their computer )... every penny they made from it... my legal costs... and just plain old punitive damages to a nearly unlimited extent.

    Most nations have very similar copyright laws.

    Of course, getting them to Court in the first place would be a problem.

    Tommy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
      Well, it is your property.

      I would talk with a laywer first, just to make sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by jaenterpr View Post

    Can I go ahead and sell the Spanish-language version of my product now, using this illegal translation? What would you do?
    No. Their translation is their work. It is a derivative work based on your work. You can send them a "cease and desist" notice, you can sue them, etc. to stop them from selling or distributing their translation. But, you cannot take their translation from them and use it for yourself. It may seem fair, but it would be copyright infringement.

    And, believe it or not, they might even be able to sue you if you did that, because they didn't give you permission to use their work, which is still their work even if they didn't have permission from you to create a derivative work (the translation) from your work.

    Bottom line is, you have the right to try to stop them from using your work, and they have the same.

    Now, as someone else mentioned, you could sue and perhaps request the translation as part of the judgement award. But, you just can't go ahead and use it without a legal transfer of rights.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wechito
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      No. Their translation is their work. It is a derivative work based on your work. You can send them a "cease and desist" notice, you can sue them, etc. to stop them from selling or distributing their translation. But, you cannot take their translation from them and use it for yourself. It may seem fair, but it would be copyright infringement.
      That's right.

      Is like stealing from a thief. It may sound fair but it is penalized.
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  • Profile picture of the author j&j
    I think you must do the same,the material of the book is yours.The problem is that did the translation and now another material,also that the laws are different in every country,should contact them and tell them they will sue, perhaps afraid and desist from doing what they are doing
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Originally Posted by j&j View Post

      I think you must do the same,the material of the book is yours.The problem is that did the translation and now another material,also that the laws are different in every country,should contact them and tell them they will sue, perhaps afraid and desist from doing what they are doing
      I'm not sure if you found this thread by search and then didn't notice how very OLD the thread was, but dredging up 2 year old threads is generally a good way to get noticed quickly - just before you get tossed out on your arse.

      Tina
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  • Profile picture of the author neodarth
    Is useless, even if you win back the rights to the tranlsated product you wouldn't make much selling it, if it was uploaded on a warez site, probably went viral and everybody have a copy by now.

    This is one of the biggest flaws of the spanish and latin markets, I know because I've tried to sell products in spanish but piracy beats me every time... that's sucks
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    • Profile picture of the author Sardent
      Originally Posted by neodarth View Post

      Is useless, even if you win back the rights to the tranlsated product you wouldn't make much selling it, if it was uploaded on a warez site, probably went viral and everybody have a copy by now.

      This is one of the biggest flaws of the spanish and latin markets, I know because I've tried to sell products in spanish but piracy beats me every time... that's sucks
      And that means you need to know what to write, include your links, and understand that you'll get a wave of buyers, then a residual of those that are too lazy to remove your links.

      Keep it short, if you have a long work, create modules, moderately overprice each, and understand what you're getting in return.

      Money and free advertising, who could ask for more?

      As for using their translation...it's the difference between what is legal and what is enforceable.
      Yeah, it's copyright infringement to use it...but what is the likelyhood of ever being prosecuted for it. (Sorry, years as a manager in a corporation have sullied me)
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  • Profile picture of the author AvD555
    I think you have to ask someone for help like a lawyer or some person who understand that things .. because f its ur work u have right on it
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  • Profile picture of the author Sardent
    Also found this - Copyright

    "In any case where a protected work is used unlawfully, that is, without the permission of the copyright owner, copyright will not be extended to the illegally used part."
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    Reminds me of an episode of COPS where some drug addict flagged down the police and reported that her dealer had just ripped her off by taking her money and not giving her what she paid for.

    I think the judge would probably stop listening right after "Your honor, It all started when I stole this guys ebook"
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  • Profile picture of the author winebuddy
    you are wasting your time. Move on to something else.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I'd grab it and sell it and send them a thank you note for the free translation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Evan-M
    I say sell it, I really can't see someone that stole your info, and translated it, trying to sue lol.

    serves them right, and consider the lost sales they have cost you payment for the translation.

    I also am almost 100% sure, that if someone uses stolen content, they stolen version does not carry any copyright

    download it, then report it, then sell it lol and be sure to say thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    It's a interesting legal debate.

    I'd say both are wrong...If a person is wronged, it doesn't give them the right to break the law as a recourse.

    It really comes down to if the translation itself is also an original work. Because of this, I'd be hesitant to use the "two wrongs make a right" defense before a judge.
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