TMs created by translators get reused by agencies... Is it fair? What about copyright?
Thread poster: Jabberwock

Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:48
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Apr 6, 2004

I increasingly find the widespread of CAT tools to be a mixed blessing. In the hands of the translator they are an useful and invaluable tool; in the hands of the agency they are a lethal weapon.

If you compose a song, you get paid when it is played, no matter how many times it happens. When an agency posts a job and states that CAT tool is required, it is not unreasonable to assume that it (or the end customer) is going to use your segments again and again. And again. And you know nothing of it.

Is it fair? How does that fit into the general copyright practice? Can we do something about it?

[Edited at 2004-04-06 11:17]


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RWSTranslation
Germany
Local time: 05:48
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Fair ? Apr 6, 2004

Hello,

yes it is fair.

Hans


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Ruben Berrozpe  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
... Apr 6, 2004

DSC wrote:

Hello,

yes it is fair.

Hans


Hello,

perhaps you could elaborate a little bit on this?

Thanks,

Rubén


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:48
German to English
+ ...
Jaroslaw Apr 6, 2004

They can do that with any translation, can't they?

[Edited at 2004-04-06 16:10]

[Edited at 2004-04-06 16:11]

[Edited at 2004-04-06 16:11]


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:48
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
It does at least seem a good justification for the argument that Apr 6, 2004

original translations supplied in a CAT tool format could be a little more expensive, to allow for re-usability (as well as the supplier's investment).
Giuli~

[Edited at 2004-04-06 12:51]


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RWSTranslation
Germany
Local time: 05:48
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Explamation Apr 6, 2004

Ruben Berrozpe wrote:

Hello,

perhaps you could elaborate a little bit on this?

Thanks,

Rubén


Hello,

please excuse my por english.
I believe, that a translator will be paid for is work, not for the translation. A translatione (especially of a technical text) is not the same like a song. So if you can reduce your work with using cat tools, it is ok, to pay less for the less work.

With kind regards

Hans


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Cristóbal del Río Faura  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
No case Apr 6, 2004

Clients/agencies will always be able to reuse your translations, whether you have delivered them in a CAT tool format or not. If not, they can use the alignement feature in their CAT tool to create a translation memory from the source text and your translation. And you'll also know nothing on this.

The main issue here is the ownership of a translation memory. Who owns a TM created by a tranlator as he translates? The translator, the agency, the end client? There has been - and is - a lot of controversy here, and the issue is still unresolved.

Regards,
Cristóbal


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Ruben Berrozpe  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
Thoughts Apr 6, 2004

Thank you Hans for your explanation.

I think we're talking about two distinct things.

1. The fact that CAT tools save you time, thanks to the repetitions and fuzzy matches. Hans says the company has got the right to pay less for this (lessened) amount of work, and I won't discuss this at this moment; however, I think we will all agreee that this looks like a lose-lose tactics for the freelancer: spend a high amount of $$$ on the CAT tool licence, then lower your rate when you use it.

2. The fact that you must deliver an "uncleaned" file or a TM to your outsourcer, which I believe is what Yaroslaw expressed concerns about. I hadn't given much thought to this so far but I read all contributions with great interest and I should say I fully agree with Dr. Kvrivishvili here.

Regards,

Rubén


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:48
Member (2004)
English to Polish
TOPIC STARTER
Legal status Apr 6, 2004

I'm wondering what is the general legal status of this issue... probably different in different countries...

One point worth noting:
If I provide a typed manuscript of a technical manual to a publishing house, I retain some rights over it, no matter what the specific deal with the house is.

Then if I provide a TM file with the same manual to Hans' agency, I waive all those rights? Then indeed I am punished for my investment...

I do not think this is right and I believe to be against any idea of _intellectual_ property rights.

I also fail to see how a "work" on a song is so different from "work" on translation.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:48
Flemish to English
+ ...
Profit and Agencies. Apr 6, 2004

What about an extra of +30% for the use of CATs and sale of the TM per word instead of following the schedule proposed by Trados to get its product sold and not by the other producers of CATs.
-
With regard to language brokers called "Agencies": payment after 45-60 days (average of 15 days -X days free interest x x translators), profit on the use of CAT-tools, they did not invest in, minimum 20% profit on every word. What do you want more? Payment by translators to work for you? A translator can do without an agency aber eine Agentur kann nicht ohne Uebersetzer funktionieren.


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Stefan Keller  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:48
English to German
Copyright seems unrealistic to me Apr 6, 2004

Hi all,

I don't see how copyrights on translations could work in real life. Take an example from the localization industry: Picture a client publishing product XYZ for the first time. Translator ABC does all the translation work, be it with or without a CAT tool. Now, time goes by, the client re-works their product and decides to publish XYZ Version 2. And, of course, many parts of the previous version remain unchanged. Well, would this client be stupid enough to have their product retranslated from scratch? Certainly not! However, if Translator ABC owned the copyright, then the client would be forced to either use the very same translator again and again, or start all over each time. I guess neither option works.

In my view, we are service providers and not artists. We are not authors. We don't have any intellectual properties. And we are "selling" our translations. I'm not saying I like it, but it's as simple as that.

Best regards,
Stefan


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
That's the whole point... Apr 7, 2004

Jaroslaw Michalak wrote:
TMs created by translators get reused by agencies...


That's the whole point of an agency asking your to send them your TM.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:48
German to English
+ ...
What about copyright? Apr 7, 2004

Stefan Keller wrote:

In my view, we are service providers and not artists. We are not authors. We don't have any intellectual properties. And we are "selling" our translations. I'm not saying I like it, but it's as simple as that.


This is fundamentally incorrect. Freelance translators ARE authors and DO have intellectual property rights. Exactly what those rights are varies according to jurisdiction and circumstance.

Marc


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plha
Local time: 05:48
English to Slovak
+ ...
2 answers Apr 7, 2004

1. TMs created by translators get reused by agencies... Is it fair?
Yes, it is fair, (serious) translation agency also charges less to its client for such translation.
I made a memory management (among other things) for one translation agency, and believe me, the reusability is not that dramatic (excluding the new models of the same product lines)
In standard translation the consistency (on subsegment level)is more visible benefit (thanks to concordance)

What about copyright?
Depends on the type of the contract - the immaterial rights (excluding the right to be pointed out as the author) are automaticaly transfered to employer. If you are a freelancer, you should have it settled in the contract (the agency will most probably include a line about the transfer of copyright to them), otherwise is your business relationship governed by general rules set out by civil code etc. In most countries, the immaterial rights are transfered to "employer" if not stated otherwise - it might be slightly different in anglo-saxon (US, GB + several others) law system.


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