The contents of this site are copyright © 2008 by the Dafcast.Net project.
Individual pages are copyright by their translators.
By submitting your translation to Dafcast.Net, you grant us a perpetual non-exclusive right to reproduce your text, to edit and adapt it, to render it in other media (such as a podcast), and to relicense it. (Legal details on this will follow.)
It is our intent to relicense the content of this site under terms similar to one of the Creative Commons licenses. (Details on this will follow as well.)
Our intent is to make the translations freely available for non-commerical use.
Looking at existing translations
The existing translations of the Talmud – the Soncino, the Artscroll, and the Steinsaltz – are useful resources. We encourage those who are writing translations for the Dafcast.Net project to use these translations as study guides to make sure that you understand well the passages that you are planning to translate.
At the same time, you must respect the work that has gone into these existing translations by respecting the copyright in each of them. That is a matter both of the secular legal system (and dina d’malchuta dina and of the halachic system (and genivat da’at).
As a practical matter, that means that you must not copy phrases or wording wholesale from any existing translation. Since the original Hebrew and Aramaic text which is being translated is shared by all of us, and is in the public domain, you needn’t worry about the structure of the translation of the basic text. In most cases, there will either be a completely obvious literal translation (in which case there is no infringement) or a choice of several equally good translations (in which case you should use one that has not been used in any existing translation which you are using as a reference).
And, of course, any additional explanatory material introduced in a footnote or, in the case of Artscroll and Steinsaltz, in non-bolded text, is the creative work of those translators and should not be copied.
Violating the copyright of an existing translation harms the original publisher by depriving them of the value of the work which they paid for in the first place. It harms you, the new translator, by being an aveirah, and by diminishing your achievement in mastering the daf well enough to explain it in your own words. And it harms the Dafcast.Net project by opening us up to legal action and forcing us to retract and re-do published work.