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Legal protection of translators and translations
Thread poster: Andrey Slyadnev

Andrey Slyadnev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:28
English to Russian
+ ...
Nov 15, 2007

Dear Colleagues:

I am doing a research on legal protection of translators and would really appreciate if you could share your experiences or knowledge in this regard. Generally speaking, it comes down to answering the following questions:

1. Do you know if there is any internationally recognized legal basis for protection of translators rights?

2. Are there any legal institutions/organizations that specialize in protection of translators including debt collection from bad payers in your country?

3. Have you ever been threatened with legal proceedings for posting a negative response about a customer that has violated your rights as a translator? What was your course of action?

Your contribution to this posting is extremely appreciated, however for ethical reasons please use fictitions names in regard to item 3.


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 01:28
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Moving this thread... Nov 15, 2007

... to Business Issues forum

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What sort of rights? Nov 15, 2007

Andrey Slyadnev wrote:
1. Do you know if there is any internationally recognized legal basis for protection of translators rights?


What sort of rights do you have in mind? Translators do not have special rights in my country except for rights conferred on them by the Berne Convention, and other business and personal rights that are not specific to translators.


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Elenka Ganeva  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:28
Member (2007)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Just wondering... Nov 15, 2007

As far as I know I am aware of my obligations/responsibilities. My rights? Have never thought about this...
Wht about TMs? Am I obliged to deliver MY TM file? Would be glad to learn as many opinions as possible. Because I think that this IS one of my rights... I have paid for the software. The TM file reflects MY knowledge, experience, hard work... and I have often thought that this should be legally protected... no idea how...


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Andrey Slyadnev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:28
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
UNESCO Recommendation Nov 16, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:
What sort of rights do you have in mind? Translators do not have special rights in my country except for rights conferred on them by the Berne Convention, and other business and personal rights that are not specific to translators.


Some of them are also outlined in UNESCO 'Recommendation on the Legal Protection of Translators and Translations and the Practical Means to improve the Status of Translators' http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13089&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

I was just wondering how this recommendation is implemented in different countries especially in regard to accessible and inexpensive means of dispute settlement, item 5 (j): provide for the resolution of any conflicts which may arise, particularly with respect to the quality of the translation, so far as possible, by means of arbitration or in accordance with procedures laid down by national legislation or by any other appropriate means of dispute settlement which on the one hand is such as to guarantee impartiality and on the other hand is easily accessible and inexpensive.

Another critical issue is translation or copyright protection.
Frankly speaking, my interest in this topic was triggered by a recent case when a western translation agency refused to pay a traslator supposedly because the quality of the translation delivered was inadequate. Nevertheless, later on the same translation was officially published without any changes.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Item 5 Nov 16, 2007

Andrey Slyadnev wrote:
I was just wondering how this recommendation is implemented in different countries especially in regard to accessible and inexpensive means of dispute settlement, item 5 (j)...


If I undertand correctly, item 5 refers to what must be included in a contract between the translator and his client. So, it is really up to the translator and his client to determine what they would regard an accessible and inexpensive means of dispute settlement, and write that into the contract.


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yantrans
Singapore
Local time: 12:28
English to Chinese
+ ...
I'd like to know too Nov 20, 2007

Especially the third question. After exposure of a non-payer in the US, now they threaten to target me as "my team’s FULLTIME job to make posts and contact the industry".

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lbone  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 12:28
English to Chinese
+ ...
answers Nov 20, 2007

In most fields, I think there are no such special legal bases or institutions/organizations. The general-purpose legal frameworks are what we can depend on.

1. Do you know if there is any internationally recognized legal basis for protection of translator's rights?
****
I haven't heard about that.
I think BB and forum posts are better than "legal basis" for light international disputes. For major problems, collection companies or legal actions may work.

2. Are there any legal institutions/organizations that specialize in protection of translators including debt collection from bad payers in your country?
****
No such institutions specially for translators actually work.

3. Have you ever been threatened with legal proceedings for posting a negative response about a customer that has violated your rights as a translator? What was your course of action?
****
Yes, threatened, but nothing more. They actually do not dare to face the laws.

[Edited at 2007-11-20 10:16]

[Edited at 2007-11-20 10:18]


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MARIA GUSTAFSON  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Be alert! Dec 22, 2007

Professional Certified Translations - Clients who don't want to pay make false allegations - Translators: be careful. There are international companies out there that don't pay us by stating the translations have been poor. One of them owes us$ 3,000.00 since May 2006! Others keep on threatening us by creating websites that attempt to destroy our reputation. Please be alert!

Best regards,
Maria Gustafson


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Chinese to English
+ ...
Keeping your TM Jan 7, 2008

Elenka Ganeva wrote:

As far as I know I am aware of my obligations/responsibilities. My rights? Have never thought about this...
Wht about TMs? Am I obliged to deliver MY TM file? Would be glad to learn as many opinions as possible. Because I think that this IS one of my rights... I have paid for the software. The TM file reflects MY knowledge, experience, hard work... and I have often thought that this should be legally protected... no idea how...





Elenka, maybe you could somehow copyright your TMs. If that isn't feasible, you could add a clause into your contract with the client stating that the TM remains your property. The only potential problem that I could see here is that if you sign a confidentiality agreement with the client that could include the terminology in your TM right? As long as you kept it confidential though it might not be a problem. Just some food for thought...


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