SuttaCentral will first need written permission from the copyright owner to release their translation under a CC-ish license if it’s not already. Is the translation already CC licensed? Is there a link to it online?
Just for a little bit of information… Although it is not obvious when we are using SuttaCentral, there are two categories of translations. “Bilara” translations (named after the software used to create them) allow for Pali to be viewed line by line with the translation. All of those translations must be under a Creative Commons Zero license meaning there are no copyright restrictions at all.
“Legacy” translations are traditional html web pages. They don’t allow for viewing Pali along with the translation. These translations can have a variety of licenses.
But Bhante @Sujato is the one to give you official information. He has a class today so he may not respond immediately.
I don’t think we are checking any emails, may I ask what address you’re using?
But anyway this is the right place!
For legacy translations, any suitable license may be used. Basically we need one that allows non-commercial usage.
If these texts have been previously published, have a look at the license there and see if it is suitable. If you’re not sure, ask us. If there is no license, then you’ll need to get in touch with the translator and ask their permission. It’s worth noting that for legacy texts we do not include any essays or notes, just the translation itself.
Our preferred license, which is required for Bilara projects, is CCO, i.e. relinquishment of all rights. If they are not willing to give CC0 license, then we recommend some other form of Creative Commons license. These were created by legal experts specifically for this kind of thing, and give confidence and certainty to everyone.
Once the license is assured, we can discuss adding the files.
That’s okay, oral permission is fine, so long as you are happy to record that fact. In the license statement for the suttas, just say “Used by kind permission of the translator” or something similar.
Having said which, a clear Creative Commons license is better.
The problem is, we cannot predict what kind of legal shenanigans someone might get up to in the future. Of course, 99% of people involved in Buddhist texts are very nice and reasonable, but there is always the 1%. So if possible, it’s better to be clear up front.