Editions available online
The English translation of the Babylonian Talmud located at the Internet Sacred Text Archive <http://www.sacred-texts.com> has been abridged in places. The copy located there is the 1819 translation by M.L. Rodkinson. This is considered a very poor edition. Rabbi L. Rodkinson (1843-1904) first published his ten volume English language New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud between 1896 and 1903. A brief biography of Michael Levi [Frumkin] Rodkinson (1845-1904). The Encyclopedia Judaica states: "[i]n his later years he devoted himself to translating the Talmud into English. The value of this translation, printed in two editions, lies only in the fact that it is a pioneering effort." The Rodkinson Talmud is found online because it is in public domain, but for a person interested in the Talmud it should be avoided.
Also avoid the website "Come and Hear" as it is highly anti-Jewish.
The Soncino Edition is now available online at
http://wilkerson.110mb.com/index.htm Dead link .
--User:Sophiee1, 27 February 2009
Rodkinson translation, Soncino edition, and copyright
The English translation of the Babylonian Talmud located at the Internet Sacred Text Archive has been abridged in places. The copy located there is the 1819 translation by M.L. Rodkinson. Given the fact that it's abridged, it's probably not the best copy to use on Wikisource.
The only other electronic copy that I can seem to find on the Internet is located at Come and Hear. This edition, according to Come and Hear's copyright page is, “from the 1961 printing of the Soncino Talmud, which was published without copyright reservation.” If this is indeed correct, then this text should be considered Public Domain, and fit for use on Wikisource. They assert it is the full, complete, and unedited text of the Talmud based on the printed source.
Is anyone else aware of other, possibly better, electronic editions of the Babylonian Talmud on-line? That is, which edition will be used for this Wikisource? —Wikijeff
- Thanks for the link. I'll try to locate a hard copy of the 1961 Soncino edition and check the copyright situation. the example page I have posted here was translated by me, not copied from any source. It was only intended as an example. -- Nevuchadnezzar 08:28, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
- As much as I'd love to see a free version of the Soncino Talmud online, this probably isn't it. There is no reason in the world to trust the honesty of the "Come and Hear" site, or their respect for the law. Even if for some reason there is no copyright note printed in the volume itself, that doesn't make it public domain.
- The polemical "Come and Hear" site justifies their use by saying that an anti-Semitic book quoted hundreds of pages from the Soncino Talmud in the 1960s, but the author was never sued. So they can quote those same pages (since they are that author's spiritual heirs) or even more. That is not a legal justification. More likely that if Soncino even knew about it, they considered it better taste not to grant the author the legitimacy of an argument.Dovi 15:08, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
- Alrighty then. Thank you for the information Dovi. I have contacted Soncino Press directly, via email, requesting clerification as to the copyright status of their work. With luck, I will hear from them shortly. I'll update this Talk page when I get more information. —Wikijeff
- I checked the Soncino Talmud, though not the specific 1961 edition.
- It has no copyright notice, but, as Dovi said, this doesn't mean it is unprotected by Copyright Law.
- The fact that others quoted from it and weren't sued means nothing.
- I'll try to contact them as well.
- --Nevuchadnezzar 06:22, 23 November 2005 (UTC) (Nahum)
More on the Soncino Press Talmud copyright issue:
I have emailed the publisher, but I have not gotten any reply from the publisher with respect to this issue. I have found an article, on the US Copyright Office website, detailing the laws of works published without a copyright notice: <http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ03.html>. If I am understanding that article correctly perhaps it would be legal to make available the Sonchino on Wikisource. Comments from Admins, and persons more knowledgeable on this subject than I, would be much apprecated. Thanks —Wikijeff
In light of the facts, I asked Soufron (Wikimedia's legal-eagle) for permission to post the Sonchino edition of the Talmud, and his responce was:
- So your claim would be that this version has no copyright ?
- I guess it can work, but you should verify that this book was not registered at the copyright office.
So, it looks like we'll have verify the works status, via the US Copyright office before posting the Sonchino edition of the Talmid to wikisource. —Wikijeff
- If it's published without a copyright notice, the copyright would be indefensible in court. By law all copyrighted documents must contain a notice of their copyrighted status. Using the Soncino edition on WS is completely legal. Karimarie 01:14, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
- I do not belive that is entirely true. I suggest we follow the lawyers advice. --BirgitteSB 02:30, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Come and & here is anti-semitic if you read it all!
- The URAA only restores copyright if it was copyright in the country of publication. This can not be determined unless we know which edition is being reproduced here. I am currently going to investigate which edition we have here, but as far as I can tell we only have 4 or 5 pages of the work, so if it is an edition that is still copyright, we can start again using a good PD edition. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:55, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Copyrighted or not? 126.96.36.199 23:55, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Pete Eriksen (email email@example.com) now comments:
The 16 Tractates presented in the Come-And-Hear Talmud matchs my copy of the Davka Soncino version on CD. To determine if two copies match you need to actually compare them - not take your subjective opinion as to the general "honesty" of the website one version is presented at and then extrapolate your opinion to the Talmud presented there. This is the leaping-to-conclusions logical fallacy followed guilt-by-association logical fallacy. Compare the versions! I did. And they are identical. Right down to the footnotes and the footnote numbering.
NOTE: Any tractate that appears in one of these Soncino editions is identical to the corresponding tractate in other editions it appears in.
There is a relatively cheap deal for the most popular 16 Tractates... http://www.amazon.com/Soncino-Hebrew-English-Babylonian-Tractates/dp/9568351140/ref=dp_return_1/105-5474424-5364440?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books
|“||Soncino Hebrew/English Babylonian Talmud (16 Tractates) [ABRIDGED] (CD-ROM)
by Isidore Epstein (Editor) List Price: $39.99 Editorial Reviews The Jew's College/Soncino English translation of the Babylonian Talmud has remained the gold standard of English Talmuds for six decades.
And this is even cheaper for the same 16 Tractates, it is FREE online... http://www.come-and-hear.com/talmud/index.html
|“||The Babylonian Talmud
edited by Rabbi Dr. Isidore Epstein of Jews’ College, London The Jew's College/Soncino English translation of the Babylonian Talmud has remained the gold standard of English Talmuds for six decades.
And Davka sells this one with all 18 tractates and a search engine, plus extras, for $300 http://www.davka.com/cgi-bin/product.cgi?product=32
|“||This incredible study tool includes all eighteen volumes of the renowned Soncino Press English version of the Babylonian Talmud, the original Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Babylonian Talmud, and Rashi's commentary (Hebrew only). This incredible CD also includes the Hebrew and English text of the Tanach, and Rashi's commentary on Chumash (Hebrew only).||”|
What is advertised as the whole Soncino Babylonian Talmud is available for free download in pdf or text (just one file each) at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6510853/The-Babylonian-Talmud-SoncinoEnglish-translation- I tried the pdf download 3 times and my browser choked each time (no option to "save target as"), 50MB, 8000+ pages; so downloaded text file (no Hebrew characters) as a consolation prize. I have not verified that it is the whole Talmud. John R
Also, note that the Talmud presented at Sacred Texts is the much-edited-and-interpreted Rodkinson version, not the definiitive [in English language] Jew's College Soncino version. You will most likely not be able to match up any familiar quote with anything in the Rodkinson version - the text is just not similar. And it is not indexed with the familiar Seder, tractate and folio system, either.
I was a rabbinical student at the Reform seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in the late 1960's, and their library had an edition of the Rebecca Bennett Foundation photocopy knoff-off (a much cheaper, and less user-friendly version because of its smaller size)of the Soncino English Talmud . The staff there displayed the set with a note dissembling on the argument about copyright, but although keeping it on their shelf, had a notice that rabbinic law attitudes toward what passed as copyright control would likely bar citing it as a source (although, like Come-and-Hear, it was a direct copy of the Soncino Talmud version). I since purchased the Davka CD Hebrew-English edition with the search engine, as well as the 18-volume hardbound Soncino English text, and have no idea if the Rebecca Bennett version still exists. Jack Shattuck
The Rodkinson translation will be housed at Talmud (Rodkinson) and its subpages. Talmud will thus need to reflect another edition (e.g. Socino) if a confirmation that another edition is in the public domain can be obtained. Kari Hazzard (T | C) 19:47, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
- This is considered a very poor edition. Rabbi L. Rodkinson (1843-1904) first published his ten volume English language New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud between 1896 and 1903. A brief biography of Michael Levi [Frumkin] Rodkinson (1845-1904). The Encyclopedia Judaica states: "[i]n his later years he devoted himself to translating the Talmud into English. The value of this translation, printed in two editions, lies only in the fact that it is a pioneering effort." The Rodkinson Talmud is found online because it is in public domain, but for a person interested in the Talmud it should be avoided. --User:Sophiee1
Moving Talmud to Talmud (Wikisource)
I think that the Talmud should be moved to Talmud (Wikisource), Talmud created as a disambiguation page, and this talk page left with the disambiguation page (and possibly archived.) Objections? Comments?--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:07, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
More on the Soncino Talmud copyright
See this blogpost by Dr. Tzvee Zahavy. "That universe of publications does not include the Soncino translation of the Talmud, published between 1935 and 1948 in London. That set has long been in the public domain due to the gracious wishes of the publisher and authors..."