Question about publishing a deck


I’ve been slowly making a deck for vocabulary from the “Japanese from Zero 1” grammar book by George Trombley and Yukari Takenaka. I’ve also been studying the “Genki Complete Vocabulary” deck already available through the community since my plan is to work through both books (my learning style requires I work through multiple sources simultaneously [if slowly] to actually make gains).

I’ve thought about publishing my JFZ deck into the community, since I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to use this book series, but no one else has yet made a deck (and I’m finding it is a LOT OF WORK to make a deck!).

I’m worried about the copyright implications.

Are there considerations I need to worry about? Or can I just make it public when I’ve got enough cards made? Does anyone know if the person who graciously made the Genki deck had to make any changes to keep out of trouble?

I’m probably making mountains out of molehills, but a small part of my day job deals with intellectual property and export control… so I’d rather not step on toes and have to ask for forgiveness later if possible



The Genki deck is strictly a vocabulary deck so it doesn’t really pull anything from Genki that you couldn’t get from other sources.

If that’s all you’re providing with your Japanese to Zero deck then there shouldn’t be any problem.

You get closer to crossing the line if you use anything that could be considered their content or intellectual property. Method, sentences, audio, things of that nature.


I personally feel that as long as it’s the vocabulary, or perhaps a way to train certain grammar points without literally lifting their content from the books, it should be fine. Most people who use decks such as this are people who already own the books and want to utilize SRS to help them remember the things they study from the book.

If worse comes to worst I’d imagine they ask me to take it down (like you sometimes see decks disappearing from anki web etc). In that case the public deck would be gone, but not your personal deck.

But I honestly doubt that this will become an issue anytime soon, if ever (take a look at all the shared content on memrise for example) :slight_smile:

That said, cool! Thanks for sharing your work :smiley:


Alright, cool: thanks for the great responses!

I assumed that would be the case, but wanted to clarify first.

My goal is to just provide straight vocabulary from the book. I want this to be useful for people actually using the book (though as any vocab list, it will ultimately hopefully be useful for anyone looking for a vocab list!)

Also, I’m making it a little bit different from the book in one key way: the book is progressive (kinda like Genki), in which it starts with romaji, adds in hiragana/kana (wiping out the romaji as it adds hiragana/katakana), and eventually kanji… Instead, I’m making my deck with (as far as I can tell) the correct kanji/hiragana/kana mix for the actually used words (this is a fun exercise for me, hunting through and such in some instances), and completely eliminating the romaji.

My thought process is that once one learns hiragana/katakana, romaji is easy to decypher, and detrimental to keep using. (I have no data on this, just a feeling from my own study methods).

The last bit of uncertainty I have before publishing can be summed in two questions:

1: I put the image of the book cover as my image for the deck. Would that be problematic copyright-wise when I publish the deck? The image does include the author’s names, but it is their art and not mine. Should I just make something/find a public domain image instead? Or is having their names physically in the image citation enough?

2: Is it cool to publish an unfinished deck? I’m only partway through the book, and this is a lot more work than I expected when I started… but has become fun and I do intend to finish, but it’s going to take a while. Will other users be less likely to use/enjoy the deck if I publish it unfinished and keep adding to it versus if I wait until I finish it to publish? (Especially since I expect there are many users out there whose study habits would outpace my speed at working on this).



Yes, definitely get rid of romaji :slight_smile:

I’d say that it’s okay publishing it. Even if they only learn from your deck 20% of all vocab before they outpace you, that’s still 20% that you helped them deal with. Mainly since it’s the first 20%. It will help them get a good start :v:

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Should be fine :slight_smile:

For sure! Just mention that it’s still a WIP in the description. Then whenever you push an update to the deck with new cards, the users who already went through all lessons will have new ones available :smile:

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