Rad Graban wrote:
I asked for permission to translate revision material for Health and Safety test. I've received reply today saying that I can translate it to help candidates to revise, but the company (one who owns the copyright of the original) will not publish it.
They may have misunderstood your intentions. Did you plan on distributing the translations yourself? Did you plan to sell copies of your translation, or even get a publisher in Slovakia (or in the UK) to publish and sell it? Do you know offhand how many copies you intend to sell/distribute?
What you should do, is ask for the right to publisher and/or distribute your translation without paying them any royalties (or, paying them royalties, if that is what they want). It may be a good idea to limit the number of copies you're going to publish (to, say, 500, 1000, or 5000) -- this gives them the option of publishing the translation themselves, for their own profit, if they see that there is a market for it, but it allows you to sell it for your profit for a period of time.
Don't place all your cards on the table at once... first just ask for permission to distribute (and mention how you plan to distribute it and if you're going to distribute it for free or a fee).
Does it mean that if I do it, I will own the copyright of Slovak translation?
Depends on the country, but in my country you own copyright of the translation regardless of whether have had the copyright holder's permission to translate it. But copyright isn't the issue here -- it is distribution rights, if I understand correctly.
[Edited at 2008-09-20 05:34]