[Sca-cooks] Copyright

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Sat Aug 29 19:22:27 PDT 2009

>We had a long lunch today together. My husband cannot understand why 
>David Friedman, who as I understand, thinks I am doing wrong

I didn't say you were doing wrong. I said I thought you were in 
violation of copyright law.

>publishing an 'essay' on a synopsis of La Granja's translation of an 
>Hispano-Islam MS into Spanish about which I wrote in English.

Such an essay doesn't violate copyright. I had thought, perhaps 
mistakenly, that you had translated a bunch of his recipes--indeed 
all of the ones in the selection that I had also found. Was I 

>The introduction contains explanation of the work, a bit about la 
>Granjas' life, contained in the original synopsis and translated by 
>me, followed by a few of la Granja's recipes also translated by me. 
>I credit all the work to la Granja and list myself only as a 

Crediting it means you aren't committing plagiarism, but it has 
nothing to do with copyright. On the other hand, if you are 
translating only a few recipes you are probably covered by the fair 
use exception to copyright.

>I think I found David some ten years ago or something like that. He 
>insists I have to find La Granja's heirs to get permission.

Only that if you don't, then publishing a translation of his work 
violates copyright law. As I said, I don't think you are likely to 
get into trouble for doing it, so what the implications are is up to 

>Since then I cannot even find his wife's Christian name or surname! 
>They had no children. I have called all the 'La Granja's listed in 
>the telephone book around Madrid with no leads as to possible heirs. 
>As La Granja died in the 1960's,  I assume the wife is diseased.
>What more can I do?

Probably nothing. Unfortunately, if one can't locate the copyright 
holder for a work, publishing the work or a derivative work before 
the copyright expires is in violation of copyright law. In my case, 
being also unable to find someone to give me permission, I chose not 
to publish the translation.

>We are so pleased that Manuela has just translated the entire 
>Fadalat from Arabic to Spanish. I shall try to contact her to see 
>how this was possible.  I have just bought a copy to see if I would 
>like to translate it from Spanish to English and as is around, I 
>doubt if I will have copy write problems.

That would be an ideal solution.

>Thank you all and especially Johnna for all your leads.
>I am totally concerned about remaining legal but man sometimes it is 
>a bit difficult.

Unfortunately yes.

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