Saturday, August 04, 2007

Harry Potter translators strike (and get striken) again

One more chapter to the sage of two days ago, this time in Hungary:

"Hungarian HP publisher to sue over illegal translation

Animus, the Hungarian publisher of the final part of the Harry Potter book series is considering legal action over a pirate translation that has been posted on the Internet, István Balázs," head of the publishing office, announced on Thursday.

Balázs said he finds it "a serious violation of law that the illegal version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been put online, despite the fact that the official Hungarian translation will only be out next February."

Balázs warned that the perpetrators could receive a jail sentence. "


Oh, where are you, St. Jerome? Or will Potter become the new St. Henry, patron saint of daring translators? Please note, neither the Hungarian, nor the Chinese kids (see my previous posting) charged money for their translations. They did it out of sheer love for the act of translating, the act of creativity. Whereas Animus and the Chinese "people's" publishers are going to make fat profits out of the book - and you want to bet they paid their "official, legal" translators peanuts? And do you want to bet that the copyright of those translations will now reside in the publishing houses, not the translator who - if you look closely at it - actually recreated a novel? Will the translator's name be on the book? Questionable. Will he get any royalties? Even more questionable. He/she are probably just another corporate (or academic) slave of the establishment.

And have we noted duly how quick communist and post-communist countries are to claim their ownership? Would make uncle Karl and cousin Vladek turn in their graves with disgust.

Lions, please, St. Jerome. Hungry ones!

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