An editor published a free scenario for a role-playing game.

The French editor possesses the translation rights for all the content of the game, free content included.

Is it possible for the French editor to legally stop a translation by fans of the free content from being shared publicly?

The translation is not yet published.


It depends on the terms of the license(s)

If the copyright owner has given exclusive rights to translate into French to all content it produces into French and then issues a license to a third party which allows them to also make a translation, then it has broken its contract with the translator. This would allow the translator to sue the owner for damages but it is unlikely that it would be able to stop a third-party. In general, a contract can only bind the parties subject to that contract.

If the third-party knew about the exclusive license with the translator the translator could sue them for tortious interference. If the third-party made the translation without permission of the copyright owner then that is, of course, copyright violation allowing the owner to sue and, if the terms of the license with the translator permit, the translator to sue in place of the owner.

  • The copyright owner didn't have any contact with the translator since it's fan-made. Nov 19 '19 at 7:57
  • It seems hard to defend a tortious interference since translation is not yet published AND it is free in the English version. That's why they translate the document. Nov 19 '19 at 8:00

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