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Translating rights
Thread poster: kiku
kiku
Local time: 08:41
French to English
+ ...
Sep 2, 2006

I have just joined ProZ and wonder if anyone could advise on how to go about obtaining translation rights for a novel.

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Dina Abdo  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 10:41
Member (2005)
Arabic
+ ...
Well ... Sep 2, 2006

kiku wrote:

I have just joined ProZ and wonder if anyone could advise on how to go about obtaining translation rights for a novel.



You need to contact either the author or publisher to get a similar right. It usually takes a signed contract between you and the author/publisher in which both of you state their terms and responsibilities. You may even contact a publishing house to do that on your behalf with the author/publisher ... this should save you time as you'll handle a translation sub-contract only instead.


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kiku
Local time: 08:41
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 2, 2006

Thank you for such a speedy reply. That was very helpful. I didn't realise the publisher might be able to obtain rights for me. Thanks again.

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Alessandro di Francia
Italy
Local time: 09:41
Italian to English
+ ...
mmm... not so fast... Sep 7, 2006

hi kiku,

just so i know: where do you actually live?

it should not make that much of a difference, but bear this in mind: you have sole rights to be recognised as the translator of the novel (in this instance). these are "moral rights", ok? no one can take these away from you, not even if you signed a contract (which would in this case be null, void).
YOU ARE THE AUTHOR of what is known as a derivative work. this means your work is based on some else's, but your own is in itself different from that first one, since no two translators would translate the same text the same way. you put your own ideas/experiences/feelings into the original text, and that makes your translation a work onto itself under the copyright law.

as for the "economical rights", well, for those you do have to talk to your editor. and your editor will usually NOT give you the said rights. he/she will pay them off with the salary that he/she pays for the job, and that's that.

the "moral rights", though, imply that NO-ONE, not even the ed, can publish or re-publish even a small part of your own translated job without quoting you.

hope i have helped,
a.



[Edited at 2006-09-07 10:13]

[Edited at 2006-09-07 10:16]

[Edited at 2006-09-07 10:21]


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:41
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Excellent information Sep 7, 2006

We're always in a knot about where a translator stands regards to a translation and this is great info.
Thanks
Angela

alessandro di francia wrote:
the "moral rights", though, imply that NO-ONE, not even the ed, can publish or re-publish even a small part of your own translated job without quoting you.

hope i have helped,
a.



[Edited at 2006-09-07 10:13]

[Edited at 2006-09-07 10:16]


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Alessandro di Francia
Italy
Local time: 09:41
Italian to English
+ ...
addenda Sep 7, 2006

gald i can help, angela.

actually, i happen to be a copyright expert.
that is, an Italian copyright expert of the Italian law on the subject, so my knowledge of the European copyright law is good but myknowledge of the US copyright law is passable, nothing more.

just to make sure no-one misundertands me:

"moral rights" are terribly difficult to enforce.
this is sad but unfortunately true.
on the other hand, most publishers know very little of copyright law (sad but true, again), so a translator that wanted to be recognised as the owner of those rights might obtain something just by writing a letter explaining what the law states.
for a translator, i believe, the main thing in the end would be to have his/her name published whenever the work is published, even as an abstract.


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:41
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Italy is where I'm based Sep 7, 2006

And you're right ... if you can get your name in the credits, that's the major step.
Sadly, I have had to stop people putting my name on websites as they mess about with my translations after I've finished and often add mistakes or integrate with poor quality additions, so it's quite a risk if you point a potential customer to a site that is then "tampered" with...
We're getting off topic, but thanks again!
Ciao
Angela

alessandro di francia wrote:

gald i can help, angela.

actually, i happen to be a copyright expert.
that is, an Italian copyright expert of the Italian law on the subject, so my knowledge of the European copyright law is good but myknowledge of the US copyright law is passable, nothing more.

just to make sure no-one misundertands me:

"moral rights" are terribly difficult to enforce.
this is sad but unfortunately true.
on the other hand, most publishers know very little of copyright law (sad but true, again), so a translator that wanted to be recognised as the owner of those rights might obtain something just by writing a letter explaining what the law states.
for a translator, i believe, the main thing in the end would be to have his/her name published whenever the work is published, even as an abstract.



[Edited at 2006-10-27 18:54]


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Alessandro di Francia
Italy
Local time: 09:41
Italian to English
+ ...
THANKS Angela! Sep 7, 2006

[quote]Angela Arnone wrote:

Sadly, I have had to stop people puting my name on websites as they mess about with my translations after I've finished and often add mistakes or integrate with poor quality additions


and that is exactly where you can enforce your rights!

NO-ONE has the right to tamper with your own work.
in the US a letter (email) with a "cease and desist" is usually sufficient ("take down that translation from your website or i'll sue you!").
you'll be surprised at how most of the times that is all you need to do.
otherwise, let your publisher now that that particular site is making a poor show of his/her property (the novel/book), and have him/her take it form there.



but i really just wrote to thank you for getting me on the right track: i'll write an article for proz.com on the matter, and publish it asap.


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:41
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Good stuff! Sep 7, 2006

Let me know when it's ready to be published.
Angela

alessandro di francia wrote:
i'll write an article for proz.com on the matter, and publish it asap.


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kiku
Local time: 08:41
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 7, 2006

Thank you again Angela and Allessandro. It is obviously quite a complicated area as I suspected. I'm looking forward to reading further details in your article. To answer your question: I live in the UK.

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