Most translators and terminologists are at onepoint or another in their career concerned with the problem of copyright. It is therefore useful to know some basics on intellectual property. The International Information Centre for Terminology (INFOTERM) has published a small booklet on this issue which is available in English and German via TermNet Publisher: Guidelines for Terminology Agreements

Here are a few tipps Sue Ellen Wright presented during TSS 2009. They should give you some idea. However, if you plan some bigger project it is advisable to consult a legal adviser in your country.

  • Fair use and your termbase
    • Purpose and character: For educational or scholarly purposes
    • Nature of the copyrighted work: Creative work or informational?
    • Amount and substantiality: Minimal excerpts with citations
    • Effect on potential market for protected work: Basically non-commercial
    • Problems arise if you want to market or share your resources
  • Copyrightabilty of Terminology According to Data Category
  • Not covered:
    • Terms and symbols never covered
    • Definitions and descriptive texts
    • US: usable under fair use   practice
    • But “fair use” disappears under the European law
  • Possibly covered:
    • Compilation component & linkages
    • Database component under sui generis provisions
    • Content not covered
  • Data type concerns:
    • Photos and drawings or parts thereof definitely are covered
    • Some types of formulas are covered

View the full PRESENTATION on the TermNet Website

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