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Job unpaid but translated book is being sold worldwide now!
Thread poster: trans_world
trans_world
English to Arabic
May 13, 2008

Hi all!

I have the scenario where was not paid for a job stating that it was not up to standard etc etc (I noticed others of this forum having the same problem).
Also,I was promised the files with so called mistakes but this just a load hot air to delay and not pay.I instructed 2 debt collectors on a no win no fee basis but there was not any response whatsoever.


ANYWAY...

During last weekend,I entered my name in Google and clicked go and I found that one of the links was to do with the book that I was involved in its translation(the unpaid job) and the book has both the other person who was involved in translation and myself written on the cover.

I do not deserve to be paid but the book that was I was involved in translating got my name on it and is being sold all over the world now!!

The book is also for sale on e-bay!


My questions are:

1.Can I claim for other than the agreed fee for the completed job? Especially now that I have found out that the book is in circulation.

This book was done for a very large company.It was another company(the bad non-payer) hired us freelance translators.

2.So,does anyone think it is a good idea to approach the very large company and tell it that the bad payer company has not paid me to date? Especially considering the fact that the book is being sold all over the world now.

Views/opinions/the way forward would be highly appreciated taking into account the amount owed is just over $1000 USD.

Many thanks in advance.


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:32
English to Dutch
+ ...
Authorship rights May 14, 2008

Get a lawyer and hit your client for infringement of your authorship's rights.
They said, your translation was not good enough, so in essence, they refused it, right?
That would mean that your authorship's rights to your translation have NOT been transferred to the client (as the work hasn't transfered either).
Get a lawyer, and s/he will have a field day on this one.

BTW, even if your client DID accept your translation, as long as they don't pay, authorship rights don't transfer, so you're good in this anyway.

BTW, do you have a contract with your client that states anything about authorship's rights at all? If not, authorship rights don't transfer REGARDLESS whether they pay you or not.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:32
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
copyright May 14, 2008

Hi,
I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that you own the rights to the translation until you sell them. Since they haven't paid you, they've broken copyright laws.
I'd look into that if I were you!
Catherine


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jaanisel
Local time: 11:32
English to Latvian
+ ...
Make the best of it May 14, 2008

Of course, this seems like a gross breach of your copyright. It is up to your judgment whether it is worth fighting for the money or not - much depends on the legal environment of the country where this happens etc. In any case, make the best of it! The translation is published, you can put it in your CV, being a proud and acknowledged translator, published by a large publisher. Maybe eventually this will bring much better contracts in the future!

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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 10:32
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
I would contact the large company May 14, 2008

If the bad payer company insists on not paying you, I would definitely contact the large company (of course informing the bad payer company about this step) and inform them that you still own the copyrights as you have not been paid at all for this translation, and therefore the translation is illegal for them to use. This is regardless that they may well have paid the bad payer company for the translation.

That's just my two cents.


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Alex Eames
Local time: 09:32
English to Polish
+ ...
Depends on jurisdictions May 14, 2008

I guess your response to this would depend on jurisdiction.

For example if your client and his client are in different countries to you it can get a bit awkward with lawyers etc.

As has been said, a major plus here is that your name has been used. I can't believe your client thought they would get away with that. It's incredibly cheeky of them.

I would definitely contact the publisher and tell them about what has happened. They won't be obliged to pay you your translation fee because your agreement is not with them. But they will be forced to lean heavily on your client because they are now in the position that they are publishing something to which you own the copyright. Ultimately you might be able to squeeze a royalty out of this or something.

In my opinion, try to get it sorted out without lawyers at first. If that doesn't work you might involve them. It will be easier to do this if you and your client are in the same country.

The guilty party here is clearly your client for selling on something that does not belong to them. But the publisher is still in breach of copyright.


Alex Eames
http://www.translatortips.com/
helping translators do better business

[Edited at 2008-05-14 09:45]


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Silvestro De Falco  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:32
Member (2006)
Italian to English
+ ...
Buy the book May 14, 2008

Before you set the wheels in motion make sure you have the book in hand.
Silvestro

[Modificato alle 2008-05-14 13:18]


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trans_world
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Just a few points to add...& One other question.. May 14, 2008

Hi all!

Many thanks for your points.All which are highly appreciated.

Just a few points to add:

1.Both the very large company and the bad non-paying company are UK based companies.

2.The book is mainly a book that shows the reader phrases/sentences in Arabic and how to say the words with reference to pronounciations(transliterations) in English.The book is very user friendly and designed for English speaking people to use and learn at their own pace some basics in the Arabic Language.

One other question...

Where does the 2nd translator whose name appears next to mine on the cover fit in all this?

i.e.mainly copyright/legal rights etc.

If it makes any difference this 2nd person is also based in the UK.

I hope this information helps to clarify my situation further.

Anyway,many thanks in advance.

[Edited at 2008-05-14 11:44]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 10:32
French to Dutch
+ ...
Get a lawyer May 14, 2008

If you don't have the authorship rights (this depends of your contract and of the jurisdictions), probably you have kept the ownership's rights until your translation has been paid (these are two different things).

A good thing for you is that your name is on it.


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Alex Eames
Local time: 09:32
English to Polish
+ ...
Make sure it contains your work May 14, 2008

Silvestro De Falco wrote:

Before you set the wheels in motion make sure you have the book in hand.
Silvestro

[Modificato alle 2008-05-14 13:18]


Yes, and make sure it contains your work as well. It would be an embarrassing mistake if the text in the book was demonstrably different from yours.

Alex Eames
http://www.translatortips.com/
helping translators do better business


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:32
English to French
+ ...
I was going to say the same May 14, 2008

Silvestro De Falco wrote:

Before you set the wheels in motion make sure you have the book in hand.


Silvestro beat me to it...

Having the actual product in hand, preferably with proof of purchase, so you can prove not only that they are using your translation but also that it is freely available for purchase, is bullet-proof proof of the copyright infringement.

Once you have the book and the associated documentation (purchase receipt, etc.), I think it is best to be straight up about it with your client - tell them bluntly that they are infringing your copyright. Tell them the steps you will take IF they do not pay you. Concurrently, send them a cease and desist letter by registered mail, enjoining them to immediately stop selling your translation until the matter is sorted out. The point is not to keep them from selling your translation, but a cease and desist letter can be extremely motivating to them. After all, that may stop them from making any money with your translation. Would they prefer losing out on a couple thousand dollars or on a couple hundred thousand dollars? If I were them...

If they still refuse or don't reply, you can turn this situation to your advantage. You may, as already suggested, be entitled to royalties, which could in the long run be financially more beneficial to you than collecting the agreed sum from the client. Also, since the damage is already done, don't be contented with just the original amount due - do claim damage and interest. After all, you are already suffering from this - and that is also worth money.

But definitely order the book and have it delivered before you attempt anything.

[Edited at 2008-05-14 16:42]


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trans_world
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Took on the advice of some of you and purchased a copy of the book May 14, 2008

Hi all!

Many thanks for your further posts which are all highly appreciated.

As a few of you mentioned about purchasing a copy of the book,I just did that.

Anyway,as soon as the book arrives we will see how to wrap up this very long overdue payment.

By the way,does anyone know how much compensation/in damages could be claimed in this sort of scenario?

Also,would I get compensation from the bad non-payer client and the very large company?

My guess here would be compensation/damages from the bad non-payer client and some royalities from the very large company.

When buying or hiring the book:

ON one site,it said the author was the other person involved in the translation/transliterations(text,That Person's Name & My Name).A second site says that the Author is the very large company XYZ Publishing Limited and the third site stateS that that the Author was a third person with no reference to the other translator or myself on the last two sites but clearly the ISBN is exactly the same.

Just to add:

The book was put on the market last year.

Now wait until I receive the book!

Anyway,many thanks in advance for all of your help and support.

[Edited at 2008-05-14 19:20]


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:32
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
AND May 14, 2008

Don't forget to post a Blue Board!!!

Regards,

Letty


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trans_world
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Just Received The Book..Has a few errors but does have my name!Good! May 19, 2008

Hi All!

Just received the copy of the book and it has had a few modifications and errors too.

The main thing it does say as I mentioned before: -

Text:The First Person's Name & My Name

Also the publisher has a seperate copyright for the text.

I think things look much more favourable now that I have the book in my ownership too.

One again,many thanks to all of you!

[Edited at 2008-05-19 11:07]


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Reveal the outcome May 19, 2008

I hope you get the result you want (deserve?) and do post a comment on how things turn out...which may take a while, I appreciate. Best of luck.

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