Asked in Copyright for Oklahoma

Q: Does copyright infringement apply to lyrics if they are translated into a different language and altered mostly?

I wanted to know if infringement applied to lyrics that are translated to a different language and altered more than the translated words with the same meaning. For example, if a line in Korean hangul said "Hajimalgul geuraessuh mo reunchuk haebuhligul"

Which translates in English to "I shouldn’t have done that, I should have pretended not to know" and you changed the lyrics to "It's something I can't say, so I'll pretend that I don't know" then another line said ," nae sarang deut ji ahneul gol" which translates to "I shouldn’t have heard your love in the first place" and you write "I'll pretend I didn't hear this heart that beats for you each time you're near" would that be considered infringement and to what extent?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX

A: You have likely created a derivative work, a work that is based on one or more previous works. The copyright owner has the exclusive right to prepare derivative works. By doing so, you likely infringe the songwriter's copyright.

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