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Illegal Translations

The problem with is not only that they infringe a writer’s copyright.

Most of these translations are performed by amateurs, which may result in a completely different version from the original text. For example, in China Harry Potter and Leopard Walk up to Dragon was released. In this book, Harry becomes a fat, hairy dwarf, is stripped of all his magical powers and is made to fight a dragon that embodies all the world’s evil.

Another problem when buying illegal copies is that they will force proper sellers out of business. There are also more serious implications, such as criminal liability. Below are some noteworthy examples of illegal translations.

Polish People Arrested For Publishing Movie Translations

In 2007, nine members of, a popular subtitle exchange community in Poland, were accused and arrested for posting illegal movie translations. They could be accused of illegal publication of copyrighted works and could be sentenced to up to 2 years jail time.

Harry Potter lands teenager in jail

A sixteen year old French student was arrested and had to spend a night in jail accused of violating copyright, after posting his French translation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows online. His version was found by a French anti-counterfeiting agency on a French P2P site which posted the translation. The network made a profit from advertising sites where the translation was found.

Pirate Chinese versions of Haruki Murakami’s novels sold online

Pirated Chinese translations of works by best-selling Japanese writer Haruki Murakami are being sold at the App Store operated by Apple Inc. The producers of the pirated copies apparently scanned printed works of the Chinese translations without permission and converted them into digital form for e-book. Officials of the Japanese publishing companies said they wanted to have the pirated versions deleted by Apple.