Legal framework of textual data processing for Machine Translation and Language Technology research and development activities/Distribution of Translated Data Case Studies

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Case #12 Distribution of Translated Data I[edit]

Case description
Actor Researcher-Resource Compiler & Provider
Intended use Distribute a parallel corpus (original & translation in one or more languages) consisting of public original text, translated in languages A and B by a company.
Conditions Although according to PSI the content should be publicly used, the following link states almost the opposite: http://www.ermis.gov.gr/portal/page/portal/ermis/termsOfUse.


Question Can I distribute it under the licence of my choice, presupposing that the Terms of Use are violating the PSI directive?

Or Do I contact the content owners? Or refrain from distributing and using it altogether?

Suggested legal solution
Legal position There are two issues here: one is how I can use PSI in general, the second is whether I can consider PSI as PD or licensed under a very permissive licence (e.g. CCBY- like) by default. The question of corpus translation depends on our reading of PSI terms of use since it constitutes a transformative use or derivate work. PSI in most countries is not open by default. Greece is possibly one of the worst cases since the licensing proper of PSI requires a ministerial degree. Another rather confusing for the re-users aspect of PSI is that in many EU Member States (MS), it is not clear whether PSI falls within Copyright at all (some types of PSI are exempted from copyright) or the use of PSI constitutes one of Copyright's limitations and exceptions or it is licensed and under which licence it is licensed. In the absence of a harmonized regime for PSI, the re-user needs to go back to the terms and conditions of the specific web site under which the content is provided. In the absence of such conditions, the re-user will have to check the specific jurisdiction's conditions regarding PSI's status or seek for the appropriate permission, the latter often being an easier option.
Suggested course of action Check copyright or use terms and follow them. In the absence of conditions, check if PSI is exempted material or falls within the Copyright limitations and exceptions in the jurisdiction where it is made available. In the absence of any other specific rules you cannot translate and you need to seek permission.
Type of Terms and Conditions Multiple. See specific Legislation.
Legal basis Copyright Law, PSI laws

Case #13 Distribution of Translated Data II[edit]

Case description
Actor Researcher-Resource Compiler & Provider
Intended use Distribute a parallel corpus which has been crawled from the web (original & translation in one or more languages) from http://www.michael-culture.gr/mpf/pub-mpf/index.html


Conditions There are no terms of use, no licence info whatsoever
Question Can I distribute it under the licence of my choice?

Or Do I refrain from distributing and using it altogether?

Suggested legal solution
Legal position See analysis in Case #12. This is PSI and the ministry is obliged to licence the material (both for commercial and non-commercial uses), though not necessarily under a Creative Commons licences. It also has to explain the charging basis.
Suggested course of action Actively ask for a licence. Try to group the material per ministry in order to reduce transaction costs.
Type of Terms and Conditions Multiple. See specific Legislation.
Legal basis Copyright Law, PSI laws

Case #14 Distribution of Translated Data III[edit]

Case description
Actor Researcher-Resource Compiler & Provider
Intended use Distribute a parallel corpus (original + translation in one or more languages) consisting of copyright-free original text (e.g. a novel over 70 years since publication), translated in languages A and B
Conditions Although I know I can distribute the original novel (or not?), I know nothing about the translation of this literary work
Question Can I distribute it under the licence of my choice?

Or Do I contact the translated content owners (if any)? Or Do I refrain from distributing and using it altogether?

Suggested legal solution
Legal position If the material is in the public domain, I am fully entitled to make translations and distribute under any licence I deem appropriate. If the translation is being done by a third party, then permissions should be sought as it constitutes a new work.
Suggested course of action Ask for a licence from the translators.
Type of Terms and Conditions The translator's restrictions/terms and conditions.
Legal basis Copyright Law