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The Dialectizer

Why This Site Does Not Infringe On Copyright Law

Some people have experienced some confusion about the legality of The Dialectizer. It may appear that the site is a violation of the copyrights of other web publishers. This is not the case. The Dialectizer does not violate any copyright laws. This page explains why.

The source of the confusion is most likely that the URL to a dialectized web site begins with "", thus giving the appearance that a dialectized parody of another's web page is physically stored on our web server. This is not the case. The Dialectizer works by downloading other pages on the fly and relaying them to the end user. Thus, no one else's web site is ever stored on my server on a permanent basis. Here is a detailed explanation of how The Dialectizer works. Even so, The Dialectizer is also protected as it produces works of parody, which are protected by U.S. copyright law.

The Dialectizer does not in itself violate copyright laws. We disclaim responsibility if someone else uses The Dialectizer to do so. The following points illustrate its legality.

  1. The Dialectizer does not provide access to any material that is not freely available on the web. It couldn't, even if I wanted it to (which I don't). Hence, this site is not guilty of providing access to private materials or compromising security. Any page that can be viewed through The Dialectizer could also be viewed via regular browsing means.
  2. The Dialectizer does not store copyrighted material locally for redistribution. The way The Dialectizer works illustrates this point; see above. Pages are only downloaded by The Dialectizer for the end user whenever it is explicitly directed to do so by said end user, and pages are not stored or redistributed afterward. (It is possible another user will request a dialectized version of a given page after it has been dialectized once already; in that event, The Dialectizer downloads and translates the page again from scratch.
  3. The output produced by The Dialectizer are works of parody. Works of parody, by definition, require original source material to derive from. Parody is protected as part of the "fair use" clause of copyright law.
  4. Reasonable steps are taken to ensure that dialectized material is not confused for the source material. For any text to be dialectized, the user must physically enter a URL or text and press a 'Submit' button. This ensures that the user is actively, purposefully using The Dialectizer, with full knowledge, as given by the documentation presented to the user from this site, that the output will be a parody of the input and not a reiteration of the source material. Even when a third party posts a link to a dialectized web page on their own web pages, users clicking on such a link will still be taken to an intermediate page, prior to viewing the dialectized text, which explains that what will be viewed is a dialectized parody of a web page and not the source material. There should be, therefore, no confusion between the source material and the dialectized parody.
  5. The Dialectizer is a tool only, and intended strictly for private use. Neither the site nor I can be held responsible for anyone using it in an irresponsibile manner. The Dialectizer is a tool only, and we are not responsible, nor may be held responsible for, the uses to which it is put. To illustrate this point, suppose someone is standing on a street corner giving out free pamphlets. The information in the pamphlets is copyrighted, but the pamphlets themselves are free. (This is almost exactly what the web is -- if you publish something on the web, the information may be copyrighted, but it is permissible for anyone to download and view a copy.) Suppose someone took a copy of the pamphlet, cut it into pieces with scissors (which were provided for him to use by a friend), taped it back together in a mixed up order, and read the pamphlet. In this scenario, there is no violation of copyright laws, but even if there were, it certainly wouldn't be on the part of the owner or manufacturer of the scissors. The Dialectizer corresponds to the scissors in this analogy. I do not purposefully go out and select pages to be dialectized. The end user is solely responsible for using The Dialectizer to view dialectized web pages or text. A relevant legal case, involving a device called the "Game Genie" that plugged into Nintendo game cartridges and altered the appearance and behavior of the games, was found in 1992 not to infringe on Nintendo's copyrights -- just as someone looking through a kaleidoscope to see a fractured picture of a copyrighted work would not be an infringement of copyrights. The Dialectizer does not incorporate protected work in a concrete or permanent form, nor does it supplant demand for the source material -- two other arguments in that case that also apply here.

If you feel that The Dialectizer infringes on your copyrights, understand from the above that it doesn't. However, this is not to say we will refuse to address your concerns. In the interests of common courtesy, we have provided several means by which you can, if you so choose, block The Dialectizer from translating your site. Here are instructions for doing so.