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Does use of a dictionary on a website count as commercial use if I use its translations manually when writing some document that is used in business? Moreover, if there is a note in the website's Terms of Service like this one You may not copy any part of our services, is using the dictionary considered as copying?

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    Are you just using the dictionary to manually translate a few words? Or are you using an automated script that uses the website to translate your documents?
    – PMF
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:45
  • Hello! I would use the dictionary only for manual translation. This could, however, include multiple sentences being translated. I have also edited the question.
    – Marko
    Apr 22, 2022 at 8:11
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    With respect to "You may not copy any part of our services" I would say you are not doing that (for me that implies copying the server code), but for the other part, I think more detailed knowledge of the terms of use would be necessary.
    – PMF
    Apr 22, 2022 at 8:36
  • Whether something is used manually or is automated, doesn't decide whether its use is commercial. Commercial use is when you use a product or service for financial gain, although 'non-commercial' can be intended to mean 'personal' use. "I use its translations manually when writing some document that is used in business." If you are using the dictionary as a tool for your business, then it is commercial use. Apr 22, 2022 at 9:12
  • Thank you for the response. What do you think about the second part of the question?
    – Marko
    Apr 22, 2022 at 9:22

2 Answers 2

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Does use of a dictionary on a website count as commercial use if I use its translations manually when writing some document that is used in business?

Probably, although the determination is made on a case by case basis considering all of the facts and circumstances.

Moreover, if there is a note in the website's Terms of Service like this one You may not copy any part of our services, is using the dictionary considered as copying?

It is still copying, but it is copying with express permission to do so from the presumed copyright holder (assuming that the copyright holder is the owner of the dictionary website). If the website is infringing on the dictionary copyright owner's copyright, so are uses of the website, notwithstanding the website's terms of service, although the person using the website may not qualify as a willful infringer subject to extra penalties for willfulness in that case.

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If the website clearly indicates it is not for commercial use then you can not and should not be using it for profit.

It's like me saying; "I will sell your manual translations for more than you do and advertise it differently". Would you consider this fair on you?

If it is open source with no real 'owner' like public comments on Facebook making the newspapers etc then have at it but if someone's specifically asking you not to do it, it's probably because they have a small server (and they have to pay or build server space) which costs them maintenance costs. If everyone uses it then it will just make it harder for the developer to maintain and that might not be what they want to do everyday. So professional consideration at a minimum I'd say.

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