I am a university student from China. I want to learn English by reading foreign publications and watching foreign news vedio such as BBC, Fox news, etc. And I am preparing to translate it into Chinese and subtitle the news video, then I will share it on my WeChat official accounts in order to let more people improve English. At the end of the article or video, I will give the source(including author's name) of the news or vedio and I won't request a fee to my readers, means I don't commercialize the source news and I don't profit from it. Does it still constitute infringement? If it does, how to solve it?

1 Answer 1


Yes. This is infringement.

This infringement might be excused by a "fair use" defense but it probably isn't. At a very small scale tailor to a very specific educational program, for example, for just members of a thirty person English class that they are currently taking, it might qualify as educational fair use. But I get the impression that the contemplated translation project is far more ambitious than that.

The underlying content of the events reported in the news are not protected by copyright, but the language used to report those events and any translations of that language, is protected.

The only reliable way to solve it is to get permission to do so from the holder of the copyright of the source of the new reports you are translating.

  • Oh, first of all, thanks your answer, then I still have some problem. I have learned that the current affairs news is not copyrighted in Chinese law, it really confuses me, and definitely the most reliable way is to reach out to the author and get permission, but it is inconvenient for me to contact the author because the Facebook and Twitter are not accessible in China and it needs some time. At last, I want to ask is it still illegal if I just quote some information from the news(not a full-text reference) or the quotation accounts for just 30%(or less) in my WeChat official accounts post?
    – ascendho
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 14:19
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    You could translate and share among your friends/class, but not publish on a public website. Sharing publicly isn't necessary if you're just trying to learn English. Otherwise, you can try and find videos that aren't copyrighted (or are licensed under a Creative Commons license allowing reproduction with credit) - there is lots of such content online.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 18:19
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    @H_S News as in plain facts are not protected. Most articles are not plain facts but substantial works of creativity, organization and analysis protected by copyright laws, at least in its original arrangement. xinhuanet.com/comments/2020-11/13/c_1126733671.htm
    – xngtng
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 23:41
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    'News as in plain facts are not protected' this interpretation solved my confusion, and I will carefully try to get permission from the author.
    – ascendho
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 3:32

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