Christian Perrier wrote:
Quoting Helge Kreutzmann (firstname.lastname@example.org):Hello, I just finished translating the debconf prompts for ttf-mathematica4.1. The text appears to be the "license" (the debconf template also uses the word contract) from the upstream author(s) which the user has to acknowledge prior to usage (i.e. download inthis case).I have two questions: a) Are there any precedents about translating licenseing texts (especially for non-DFSG-licenses?). In this case the license is rather straight forward, but generally speaking a user might not (fully) understand the english original (i.e. Debconf is just made to ask the user in his own language for the most important parts of the configuration). b) Should I/Do I have to ammend the translation to state that a) The legal relevance is unclear (IANAL, but there are restrictions in Germany what can be within a contract) and b) The translation is only inofficial, hence in doubt the english version is valid only - but this presents the (technical) problem that the user has no (easy) possibility to switch the language in situ. The only option would be to abort and restart with LANG=C or similar.After I discovered that new debconf template, I immediately filed a bug report for the licence to be marked untranslatable, which the maintainer just fixed in the last version of the package. My personal view here is to put ourselves on the safe side: as we have no way to guarantee that the translation is acceptable wrt legalese stuff (probably few translators are expert in the legal jargon), the safe method is keeping the licence untranslated..:-)
Indeed, the SFLC (Software Freedom Law Center) strongly recommends against translating licenses: if you consider doing this you should provide a *clearly marked unofficial translation* with a disclaimer to help people unfamiliar with the original language of the license but translating a license is bound to cause big problems.
See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/translations.html andhttp://scripts.sil.org/OFL#0b8d92bc for examples of such guidelines and disclaimers.
-- Nicolas Spalinger http://scripts.sil.org http://pkg-fonts.alioth.debian.org/ https://launchpad.net/people/fonts
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