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From Janne Jalkanen <>
Subject Re: Apache SW Grant in other languages?
Date Sun, 18 Nov 2007 10:15:56 GMT
> You might find interpretations or explanations in other languages,
> but those would of course not be legally binding. Who would be
> willing to expose him- or herself to the legal liability resulting
> from a translation error?

I suppose anybody whose English is not strong enough - after all, you  
need to understand what you are signing, and the chances of getting  
an erroneous interpretation are far less, if the document is  
translated by a professional translator, as opposed to yourself  
having learned English for three years at school a dozen years ago,  
and currently mostly use it to read comments at Youtube videos.

Legal text is often difficult enough to understand in your native  
language, and often uses vocabulary which you would never normally  
encounter in your daily life - even if you used English a lot.  Yes,  
software authors often have strong English skills, but going legal is  
another matter entirely.  As you say, translation errors may cause  
legal liability.  So, failing to understand the legal text, they  
would rather NOT sign the document, which in turn means no contribution.

Having a native translation and the original legal text side by side  
would make it a lot more approachable by non-native English people.   
I know ASF *is* an US entity, but many contributor's aren't.  Out of  
JSPWiki active contributors, only one lives in the US, and we have a  
lot of users from India and China.  I would applaud ways to help  
these people to get more involved...

I'll also contact legal-discuss on this.


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