Legal Tools Translation/4.0/Japanese

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Translation Status

4.0: Final.
CC0: Final.

Key dates

First draft was submitted: 11/27/2014
Public comment period: 1/01/2015 - 2/01/2015
Translation officially published: 4.0 launch - 7/13/2015; CC0 launch - 4/21/2015

Translation team

Members of CC Japan.

Translation process

The initial draft was created by a lawyer, law school students and others who have a certain amount of knowledge or skills in English, CC license text, and/or copyright law. A series of close reviews was made by three others (including two lawyers) who have at least two or more of the following: high fluency in English, close knowledge on CC license texts, and copyright laws of Japan and U.S. After the public comment period, another draft was discussed by three people (two of whom are lawyers), meeting the criteria for the second process. Then a few more rounds of reviews were done, to hammer out details.

Key translation decisions and challenges

Word choice

Licensed Material
Is translated as ライセンス対象物(subject of license), partly because words corresponding to "material" have other (potentially misleading) connotations.
However, where the word "material" was used without the word "Licensed," it is translated as 素材, a word that has a connotation of primary input, or material out of which you make something else as opposed to a finished work or product.
As available
Is understood to mean that as (the License Material is) provided (by the Licensor) rather than "while the supplies last" "while the link is not dead".

After public comment

License, licensor, sublicense
We changed word choices for these words, partly to attain consistency, partly to ensure ease of reading. We decided to use transliteration (ライセンス) in most cases. The transliteration of the word licensor (ライセンサー) would look a bit too unfamiliar, so we picked 許諾者, the word with same meaning (the one who licenses) in the main body of the legal code; for the boxed text before the main body, we decided to use yet another word ライセンスする方 (the one who licenses), which looks less technical and less condensed, more explanatory, polite, and accessible.
Permission/ permit
Where found this word to be used synonymously with license, we used the word “許諾,” which means license. Like in English, using the same word license in a single sentence reduces the readability of the text. So we assigned different words, like in English text using license and permission in the same sentence. The word permit also appears in the boxed text with slightly different meaning. (“otherwise permitted by the Creative Commons policies”) Here, we chose the word “許容,” which has the stronger connotation of tolerating and less connotation of actively agreeing.
We revisited the question of how best to translate this word. Among the translation team and people who gave us feedbacks, we saw disagreements, and none seemed compelling in terms of faithfulness to the original English word, and the function it performs in the legal code. 資料, 素材, 作品, 作品等, マテリアル, 対象物 were the main candidates examined. We have decided that Licensed Material remain the same as our earlier draft, ライセンス対象物 whereas material appearing without capitalization would be translated as マテリアル. The latter is a transliteration and does not convey the sense of finished whole piece produced by some act of creation (like “作品” does). Nor does it convey a clear sense of some primary input or ingredient like “資料” or “素材” does. We interpreted the word material to have somewhat of both connotations and found no appropriate word in Japanese. At this point of time, transliteration may bring uncertainty as to what exactly it means, but it at least allows us to avoid other more one-sided terms.
Performance (1.a., d., and l.)
We revised the word for performance in Section 1. We picked our word “実演” according to the way WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty is commonly translated. Where performance means action than the thing which is the subject of copyright or other rights, we picked the two words “上演” and “演奏” used for performing theatrical pieces and performing instruments or musical pieces, respectively. There is yet another word for performing a cinema, “上映” but it is not included. The two words picked are the words for Berne Convention Art.11 (rights of public performance). (This may seem a bit inconsistent, reflecting the fact that we do not have a single word matching the breadth of the word “performance” in English. The translation of the term is not consistent in Japanese, it seems, because assigning multiple words is awkward, but assigning only one word loses too much.)
Public display (1.l)
We have decided to change the choice of the word for “public” here and other parts of this section. “公の” is the common legal expression assigned to mean “public,” but it is sometimes used to mean act of government or public bodies. We, therefore, picked “公開の,” which means publicly open/visible, without the other meaning of the public body in action. This choice is also less technical, and more of familiar expression for ordinary people.
Downstream (2.5.)
This word is difficult to translate partly because there is no established expression for this kind of users. We were transliterating the word, but we added “(下流の)” indicating that downstream means the later part of a given stream. It is still difficult for an ordinary person to understand what it is talking about, but we have decided that legal code can do only so much when the notion of downstream user is still so new and not widely shared or understand – that is probably the reason that we do not have any common, established expression to indicate this kind of use(r).
”The violation is cured” (6.1.)
We changed our choice of word for cure. Literally translated into English, it reads more like “violation is corrected.” The word cure “治癒” is commonly used for wounds and diseases, not violations. Layers do use the word in legal context, but we decided that we are not required here to stick to the literally same word at the expense of accessibility, where there is a better alternative which allows us to keep the meaning and make it more comprehensible for ordinary people.

Draft translation files

  1. BY
  2. BY-SA
  3. BY-NC
  4. BY-ND
  5. BY-NC-SA
  6. BY-NC-ND

FINAL translation files


  1. BY
  2. BY-SA
  3. BY-NC
  4. BY-ND
  5. BY-NC-SA
  6. BY-NC-ND