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Romhacking => Newcomer's Board => Topic started by: Mewster on October 13, 2018, 12:05:47 pm

Title: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mewster on October 13, 2018, 12:05:47 pm
The World Ends With You for Switch has been just released, and it has 90% of the unofficial translation I and Mentz released years ago.

Obviously Square CAN do it, I just wanted to know if I have any room for... anything? A mention? A thank you? Has it ever happened in the past for other games?

NOTE: I have not been contacted by Square, I'm trying to get in touch with Mentz to find out if he knew anything.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: KingMike on October 13, 2018, 12:54:13 pm
Unofficial translation... for what?
The game was originally translated officially, or did you work on it before the official one?
If so why would they copy that instead of their own?
Or is there anther version besides the DS?

I feel some information is missing here. :)
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mewster on October 13, 2018, 12:56:58 pm
The DS version was never translated in italian; I worked on the DS italian fan translation, and it seems the italian Switch version is based on that one

(https://i.imgur.com/N6WZ6gH.jpg)

(this is just an example, the text is 90% the same)
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Orochi Kusanagi on October 13, 2018, 02:20:08 pm
Sorry to hear that. Sadly, I don't think there is anything that you can do about this.

I know XSEED used at least one of the Ys fan translations, and a vew visual novel companies teamed up with/hired fan translators to use their translations and release their games for official distribution, but those are very different cases than the one featured here.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Jorpho on October 13, 2018, 02:22:11 pm
I would expect in a lot of cases there's really only one way a phrase can be translated, such that two teams working independently will arrive at a similar product.

Are there distinctive phrases from the fan translation that appeared in the official translation?

Also, was the iOS version released in other languages?

Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: mz on October 13, 2018, 02:37:10 pm
I would expect in a lot of cases there's really only one way a phrase can be translated, such that two teams working independently will arrive at a similar product.
It's pretty much impossible to get a translated sentence with more than two words to look very similar. The chances are even lower in an entire RPG with many sentences longer than two words...

I had never seen something like this before! I hope they can compensate you somehow, Mewster. At least as a thanks for saving them from doing most of their job. :D
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Tomato on October 13, 2018, 02:59:09 pm
Could you share some other examples if possible? It's certainly an unusual situation and it'd be helpful to have other examples to have to point to.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mewster on October 13, 2018, 04:37:07 pm
Sure, I have 2 comparison videos, (outdated) ds translation vs italian switch let's play

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrWUSc1suGs (2:40)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6xWPvF1lXQ (58:17)
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Special on October 13, 2018, 06:20:06 pm
Your best bet would to post this on Reddit with a bunch of examples. Reddit loves to witch hunt so this topic will probably skyrocket there, and if anyone who's anyone can do something for you, like a "thank you" shout out to your group/team, then this would need to be one of the top post of /r/games or something to get noticed by that someone first.

Though, I don't see anyone admitting they stole your work, you might get some dudes fired... who knows.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mugi on October 13, 2018, 06:22:11 pm
dont you think by stealing his work instead of actually working, they'd deserved that to begin with. especially if they tried to pass it as their own. (which we dont know of if the company just asked them to copy it or if it was their own doing.)
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: FAST6191 on October 13, 2018, 10:17:55 pm
I don't know modern Italian well enough to play comparator.

Anyway same phrases that are not likely to be translated the same (games tend to use quite simple language so it is not impossible, at least in English) is a good start.

Stylistic turns of phrase are another good one -- we all have fairly unique fingerprints in text (read much of what I write and you will find a lot of --, (), not many commas outside of asides and names, probably the occasional semicolon,... as a hanging implication, often me missing out small joining words like if, it, is and such)

Errors is better. Did someone make a grammatical, punctuation... error that is likely to only be a human fault.

People copying databases, code, maps and such is a well known concept here and will provide you many tools and techniques that might allow you to tell things by.

As for what goes afraid I don't know Italian intellectual property courts. While yes in English it would be a derived work or similar unless SE sued you and obtained or you otherwise gave them the rights to use it they would have still wronged you in using such things. With that in mind then courts tend not to like things that don't end in monetary awards or jailtime. Moral victory in the press against either Square Enix or their Italian translators is an option though.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Pokeytax on October 14, 2018, 06:45:11 am
I don't have anything constructive to add, but I consider this a pretty big deal, and a major escalation from Square Enix (which has been extremely aggressive toward fan translations). It's also troubling from a labor perspective. Thank you for alerting us to this issue, and please keep us posted.

Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: dACE on October 14, 2018, 07:29:04 am
The most obvious reaction I can think of is trying to reach out to the publisher for an explanation.

If you are lucky and they feel guilty - you might get some recognition - who knows.

/dACE
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Draken on October 14, 2018, 09:20:35 am
Wow, this is really sad if true. As someone who has translated and edited numerous scripts, I'd be honored if the original company used any of my work to help in creating their own, "official", translation, but I'd definitely want at least a "thank you" in the credits.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mewster on October 14, 2018, 10:10:40 am
Wow, this is really sad if true. As someone who has translated and edited numerous scripts, I'd be honored if the original company used any of my work to help in creating their own, "official", translation, but I'd definitely want at least a "thank you" in the credits.

That's my point exactly. I'm happy that my work has been used by Square, but well...
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Robin64 on October 14, 2018, 10:13:30 am
Sure, I have 2 comparison videos, (outdated) ds translation vs italian switch let's play

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrWUSc1suGs (2:40)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6xWPvF1lXQ (58:17)

These two points in the video show a slightly different translation. Or does your updated one (you mention this is outdated) match the Switch one closer?
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mewster on October 14, 2018, 10:38:22 am
These two points in the video show a slightly different translation. Or does your updated one (you mention this is outdated) match the Switch one closer?

I don't think nor I remember that my final version would differ much from the old one. Square's translators at least reviewed the whole script to correct some mistakes or to make the game more readable.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: nesrocks on October 14, 2018, 11:43:02 am
The problem is, if they acknowledge they used your work, you could maybe cause trouble for them somehow.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mewster on October 14, 2018, 11:53:40 am
The problem is, if they acknowledge they used your work, you could maybe cause trouble for them somehow.

pfft. The best trouble I can wish for is that they give me a translator job.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: NERV Agent on October 14, 2018, 12:11:26 pm
If this is true, I guess plagiarism is what all the cool kids are doing these days, right IGN?
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: goldenband on October 14, 2018, 12:27:24 pm
It's not clear who owns an unauthorized (i.e. fan) translation.

http://librarycopyright.net/forum/view/804 (http://librarycopyright.net/forum/view/804)

Does the fan translator own it? Or the owner of the original work? Or nobody at all?

Can the owner of the original work -- of which the translation is a derivative work -- do absolutely anything they want with the unauthorized translation? Or do they merely have the right to stop the distribution of the unauthorized translation, but not the right to use that translation themselves?

I don't know of any case law that establishes a firm precedent on this.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Mewster on October 14, 2018, 12:31:34 pm
I found this, too

https://bookwormtranslations.com/copyright-law-and-translation-what-you-need-to-know/

"Translation is typically considered a derivative work. While this varies from country to country, translation is considered derivative because it exists in relation to an original work, in this case a work of literature such as a novel or poem.

Even though it is derivative, translations are eligible for copyright as an original work. Since a translation, especially literary translation, involves considerable creative effort, labour and skill on the part of the translator it can be registered as an original work.

However, it is crucial to have permission from the author, company, or individual that owns the copyright of the work you are translating. This usually comes in the form of a contract with a publisher, in which the duties of each party are laid out. This is also where a translator may sign away, or fight for, their right to copyright their translation and to royalties."
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Special on October 14, 2018, 06:03:25 pm
Looks like someone already did.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/9o4bno/rumor_square_enix_stole_an_italian_fan/
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: FAST6191 on October 15, 2018, 12:31:51 pm
It's not clear who owns an unauthorized (i.e. fan) translation.

http://librarycopyright.net/forum/view/804 (http://librarycopyright.net/forum/view/804)

Does the fan translator own it? Or the owner of the original work? Or nobody at all?

Can the owner of the original work -- of which the translation is a derivative work -- do absolutely anything they want with the unauthorized translation? Or do they merely have the right to stop the distribution of the unauthorized translation, but not the right to use that translation themselves?

I don't know of any case law that establishes a firm precedent on this.

Leaving aside legal technicalities I can't see a path for them to unilaterally declare the former-- you would pretty much have to go to civil/IP court and have it rendered in your ownership. Italian civil courts and specifics of Italian copyright law is truly not my thing but I doubt they are going to get the local equivalent of an Anton Piller order (503A in the US I believe being broadly similar) or a judge to straight assign based solely on expert testimony* (and maybe a claim that they could not find the... "infringers", or maybe some kind of John Doe/unnamed parties case, something you can see in some places for piracy -- several of the infamous torrent payment demand letters some years back used a variation on this).

*the subject of this thread I would expect to need to be thrashed out in a proper legal case, a translation from one language to another is a more clear cut affair, even without a readme/release notes saying what it is.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Bregalad on October 15, 2018, 04:57:40 pm
If this is true, it's really incredible. They said pircay should be eliminated blah blah, and then they sell fan translations without even informing the author. WTF !

Perhaps someday they'll use the proper MIDI rips I've done of FF4-5-6 instead of the crap they used in their remakes. If they do so I'd be thankful even if they steal everything without credit.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Gemini on October 15, 2018, 05:49:09 pm
If this is true, it's really incredible.
It is true indeed. While they fixed some awkward grammar here and there and came up with translations for "Noise" and "Reaper", most of the translation is still there, copied quite literally. There's really no way one could come with such identical phrasing when it comes to Italian, unless you're dealing with set phrases, but I doubt the whole game was made entirely of those. Hell, they even copied a literal translation of Spicy Tuna Roll, which exposes them with no further need of evidence.
Title: Re: A fan translation has been officially used. I can do nothing right?
Post by: Jorpho on October 15, 2018, 08:00:36 pm
I reckon the best case scenario is that they subcontracted the translation to some other outfit that decided to cut corners.

I am reminded of when some unscrupulous outfit decided to use ScummVM for the release of the Humongous Entertainment games on the Wii – though since ScummVM is clearly released under the GPL, the legal case was likewise clear.