I'm a freelance writer and decided to write a book basically by transcribing someone's else talks in a different language.

A person has 50 videos where he talks about certain subjects. Theses videos are free of use and don't have any copyright, people are encouraged to share. Basically, someone recorded his voice during his talks and with his consent. Then he uploaded it on YT and now I decided to transcribe it in my native language. I'm planning to publish the book and maybe offer for sale.

Do I still need to contact the author of the video or the speaker and ask for the approval to use his speech as the subject of my book? Or since it will be in a different language the product's form will be contributed solely to me as an author? Maybe pointing him as a reference but how do you reference a youtube video?


These videos are free of use and don't have any copyright

Everything is copyrighted. Just because there's no explicit statement doesn't mean you can use it. Always assume you cannot use someone else's work until you have permission to do so.

people are encouraged to share

There is a big difference between sharing someone's work and creating a new product of your own, based entirely off of that work.

Th fact that you're translating the work doesn't make all that much of a difference. If you're translating and quoting small sections as references in a larger piece of work then you may be OK; but it's a grey area on not worth the risk to assume you can do it...

The only reasonable course of action here is to seek permission. Don't try to find a loophole. Don't try to do it regardless and hope you don't get caught. Don't plead ignorance. Reach out to the guy and ask. It's as simple as that.



The work is copyrighted. Transposing the media (and/or language) which it is delivered on does not remove copyrights. At best your book would be a derivative work, still requiring permission.

  • Maybe under the "Fair Use" it could be ok when I just use them as a reference?
    – Grasper
    Jun 13 '17 at 11:21

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