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The translation work of international sites is based on the translation file published in Transifex. Many people have contributed to the translation of these files. (Currently working via Traducir)

There is one thing I want to clarify here. Who owns the copyright for these translation files?

The possibilities I can think of are:

  • Stack Exchange Inc
  • Stack Exchange Inc and users who contributed translations

Note: This question is not about licensing. There are copyright owners no matter what license the translation file has, or if it is not licensed at all.


For clarification: Neither Transifex nor Traducir are on the Stack Overflow Network. Activity on these sites does not automatically comply with Stack Overflow's Terms of Service.

Consider the activity in the repository at GitHub/StackExchange. The copyright owner and license are specified for each repository.


This question is not a duplicate of the following questions.

Can I copy my answer in Quora to Stack Exchange sites or vice-versa?

Posts on the Stack Overflow Network are owned by the poster, as explained in the Terms of Service under "Subscriber Content." And the copyright owners (poster and editors) are displayed on each of the Stack Overflow Network sites. I understand that.

But the translation files are different from those posts. It is distributed outside of the Stack Overflow Network and is undergoing translation work. Stack Overflow's Terms of Service do not automatically apply to these. Contributors are not listed within the Stack Overflow Network sites. Just like contributions on GitHub/StackExchange are different from posts on StackOverflow.

To who are translations licensed in Stack Exchange international sites that are submitted by community users?

These are separate concepts.

  • People who worked (authors, contributors)
  • Copyright owner
  • License

Unlike the question marked as duplicate, this meta-question only asks about copyright owners.

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    @bad_coder: You might be thinking of this post: How are translations of the Stack Exchange international sites submitted by community users licensed?
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 4:09
  • @mjy the syntax may be confusing (licensed is the last word in the title) but I think that's what the other question is asking. Look at the 2nd sentence in the body of the post: "How are these contributions licensed?" Ownership should be the same as usual, the OP licences the content to SE.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 4:19
  • @bad_coder Even unlicensed works have authors (copyright holders). So my question is more partial and can be answered even if SO doesn't intend to specify the license.
    – mjy
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 4:23
  • @mjy the copyright holder is the OP and that's always been that case on SE. But by licensing the author gives CC BY-SA 4.0. I'm not aware of any case where ownership of the original work is transferred on SE.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 4:28
  • 5
    @bad_coder OK. Who is the "OP" of the translation files? These translated files have never been posted to StackOverflow, but are they classified as "Subscriber Content" on the Terms of Service?
    – mjy
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 4:38
  • 2
    @mjy you've convinced me, I'm retracting my close vote, upvoting, and it's still too early to place a bounty.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 4:57

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