I have been hired by a Canadian governmental agency to release a version of my application on their behalf. They have informed me that I must add the French language to my application to comply with local law according to the to French Language Services Act which:
...guarantees the right to services in French from the provincial government in government offices in designated areas of the province.
I was in the process of updating my applications to French when I ran into an interesting dilemma: Should the attribution screen, which includes copyright and 3rd party software licenses, also be translated?
Previously, I had always worked with the understanding that any alterations (including translations) violate the licenses unless an official translated license is obtained from the license authors; If no official translation exists, then these licenses must be displayed as-is in English. This is further supported by my research which states
Most licenses, open source or commercial, require that a copy of the copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices from the source software be distributed verbatim with the product using that software.
However, I don't have any official documentation that backs this understanding and this goes against what has been requested of me by this agency. They would like this page to also be translated.
This leads me to ask the additional following questions:
- If it should not be translated, is there a legal reference I can provide to the agency to support this conclusion?
- If it is allowed to be translated, is hiring a translator sufficient?
The licenses that are used in my application include:
- Apache 2.0
- BSD License
- MIT license