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Who's the owner of a TM?
Thread poster: ITtranslations

ITtranslations
Seychelles
Local time: 13:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 23, 2007

Hello,
I've been asked by a client if I'm the owner of the TM after translation or if the costumer is. Usually, I deliver the TM along with the job when I receive a TM right from the beginning.

Assuming I would sell the TM at the end, which would be the unit to use to estimate the TM price?


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:14
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
My answer Jul 23, 2007

http://www.proz.com/conference/8?page=presentations

You will need to go to this page and click on the second item in the list.

[Edited at 2007-07-23 23:03]


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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 13:14
German to Polish
+ ...
Thanks. Jul 24, 2007

Thanks, Eñaut, for putting up the question.

Many thanks, Astrid for the link! Very informative and a useful aid in negotiations with agencies.

Regards,
Agnieszka


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ITtranslations
Seychelles
Local time: 13:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot for this precious information Jul 24, 2007

Thanks a lot, Elke, for this useful information.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:14
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Interesting, but some issues Jul 24, 2007

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
http://www.proz.com/conference/8?page=presentations
You will need to go to this page and click on the second item in the list.


This is an interesting piece of work, and its not the first time I've read it either. But I think some issues should be mentioned:

1. Different countries have different copyright and licensing laws, and it is not mentioned in this presentation which country's laws are meant.

For example, it is implied in the presentation that if you provide an agency with your TM free of charge, you are actually licensing the agency to use that TM for other projects. I'm not sure if this would necessarily be the case in all countries -- certainly not mine.

2. I suspect the nature of the TM would affect the way one could argue about it legally. Different TM formats contain different pieces of information. It would seem that the presentation had only Trados in mind.

For example, I can recreate the original text if I have a Wordfast TM, but not if I have an OmegaT TM. Being able to reproduce the original from the TM would, IMO, be a salient issue when deciding whether what form of copyright a TM could/should have.

3. I also suspect that the way agencies operate, legally speaking, differ from place to place. In this presentation, it is assumed that the agency buys the translation from the translator and resells it to the client. I'm sure some agencies work on a facilitator basis instead, don't you think so?

4. It would seem from the presentation that in the country whose copyright legislation is presented in the presentation, copyright can only be owned by a single person or a single entity.

The presentation states that the agency sells the copyright to the translation to the end-client. This assumes that the translator had transferred copyright to the agency in the first place. But AFAIK, at least in my country, there is no need for the translator to sell or lose his copyright even if the client would requires all the rights normally granted by copyright.

Nevertheless, the presentation is a very sobering and well-written piece of work, and I would encourage everyone to read it.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:14
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What is the real question? Jul 24, 2007

Eñaut Urrestarazu wrote:
I've been asked by a client if I'm the owner of the TM after translation or if the costumer is.


That is not the real question. There is a reason why the client is asking this question, and how you answer it, would depend on that reason.

For example, the client may be concerned that you would misuse the TM after you've been paid for the translation. In that case, the issue isn't really the ownership of the TM, but the moral rights of the client.

Or, the client might want to know if it would be legal for him, in the light of the licence granted along with the translation, to recreate his own TM by alignment, and use it for such purposes as TMs are normally used, without having been granted such rights by you, the translator. In that case, the issue isn't really the ownership of the TM, but the implied terms of the licence of the translation.

Or, the client might simply want you to provide him with the TM, and he's decided to ask it in a roundabout fashion. It could be that the client was afraid that you might have an objection to being asked for the TM, and he's asking this pre-emptive question to circumvent the objection before it arises. In that case, the issues isn't really the ownership of the TM, but the degree of leniency you'll show in setting a price for it.

I'm sure we can have an interesting discussion about various aspects of TM ownership in this thread, but ultimately you would need to find out what exactly the client's concerns are, so that you can address them specifically.


[Edited at 2007-07-24 09:11]


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ITtranslations
Seychelles
Local time: 13:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thks Jul 24, 2007

Interesting. Thanks a lot for your comments.

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 13:14
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
supplementary question Jul 24, 2007

continuing the line of thought in
http://www.proz.com/conference/8?page=presentations

here's a (mis?)use case:
1. The agency sends me source
2. I send back target
3. Agency aligns the two to create its own little TM

I'd say the agency is tresspassing according to the word of law - the intention of the order being to provide the translation - ?

Regards

Vito

PS: of course, to stay practical, how enforceable is this in the first place (sigh)?...


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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 13:14
Member (2005)
English to Czech
Another common issue Jul 25, 2007

1. A client sends a source & their TM asking me to translate the source using this TM and to send back clean and unclean targets & TM updated in the process
2. I send back the clean and unclean targets and the updated TM
3. A client can be an end customer or an agency

If I started to argue about the ownership of the "unclean" targets and "their" updated TM I would lose most of my clients.


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