I recently read a book that impressed me so much I want to buy a copy as a gift for a friend. Unfortunately, the friend does not speak the language the book was written in, and no translations exist at this time.
Fortunately for him, I am a professional translator. I could translate the book in my own spare time, and given that no translations exist yet I am thinking of either publishing it on my own or sending it to a publishing house.
However, I am unsure about the legal aspects of such an endeavor. Obviously, if I just translate it for my friend there are no legal issues involved. On the other hand, I'm not sure what I risk by:
- self-publishing it and selling it, say on Amazon, and
- contacting a book publisher and telling them that I have a full translation of the book in my possession (without any agreed translation contract between me and the original author)?
Am I at risk by translating a copyrighted book?