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Summary of the relevant stuff from the [Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988]. I assume throughout that only literary works are under discussion.

Sections (1) and (4) of [Paragraph 87] seem relevant. I submit I have enough evidence to prove informal consent, making 87(4) relevant. Can anyone find appropriate chunks of the "general law of contract" it refers to?
It's not my area of expertise, but I think a lot of contract law is common law and therefore is not set out anywhere you could find 'vast chunks' of it: it's contained in case law.
If you both intended to create a legal relation then that would create an informal contract.  Of course, that only applies in English law, so... -- Senji (note, IANAL)
'Course this all depends on whether you think the original author is going to decide he doesn't like you after all...
(PeterTaylor) Hadn't noticed the word "informal" in (4). I did some research on contract law a few months back. The basic points are that a contract requires four things: offer, acceptance, intent to create legal relations, and consideration. You certainly have the first three. Consideration means that both parties must be getting something from it, and I suspect that the only thing the original author is getting in your case is having his work translated; however, you could probably argue that this is consideration. If he really wants to back out, he might be able to argue that you're not benefitting, but that doesn't seem a likely route. So yes, you're probably okay.
Russia may be a signatory to the Berne convention, however it does not obey the spirit of the Berne convention. Should I therefore respect Russian copyrights? (especially in light of the slightly publicised raceCAD case)--Gwyntar

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