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Charge again for book publication of translated article?
Thread poster: Jeb Bishop

Jeb Bishop  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
German to English
Feb 8, 2006

I've got a new (to me) situation:

A while ago I translated an article by a historian of science for a university engineering department. I was of course paid for the work, and the translation subsequently appeared on a website of the university.

Now someone has proposed publishing the translation as part of a book of essays about the subject of the article I translated. Is it normal in this situation to ask for an additional fee for this republication? The book is likely to have an academic (i.e., rather small) readership.

Any thoughts or advice appreciated.

--Jeb Bishop


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Well... Feb 8, 2006

I think if you have already been paid for the work, and absent any contract to the contrary, then no one owes you anything.

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Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:36
Russian to English
+ ...
Intellectual Property Rights? Feb 8, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:

I think if you have already been paid for the work, and absent any contract to the contrary, then no one owes you anything.


Doesn't the translation belong to the translator? If there was a Purchase Order for a specific requirement,wouldn't anything beyond that be outside the scope of the contract? I would think that in lieu of signing away the copyright that the translator should be paid for republication. Then again, maybe I've been living in socialist economies for too many years.

[Edited at 2006-02-08 19:44]

[Edited at 2006-02-08 19:44]


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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:36
English to Dutch
+ ...
Moviestars get residuals Feb 8, 2006

(extra payments) when their original movies or TV series are rebroadcast. Why should we be treated differently? Aren't we stars as well?


[Edited at 2006-02-08 19:59]

[Edited at 2006-02-08 20:00]


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Alfredo Tutino  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:36
English to Italian
+ ...
A compensation may be due on intellectual property rights grounds Feb 8, 2006

many years ago, I translated into Italian for DECCA the libretto of John Gay's Beggar's Opera; several years later, when they decided to use my translation again (I can't remember if it was for a new production or, possibly, for a production Benjamin Britten's work on the same text - surely, not just a reprint) I received from tham some sort of noew fee for no new work at all - rather unexpected and not unwelcome, I should say.

It just happened this once, however...

And I should add that:

I do not know if some specific legislation was in place in UK at the time; and I do know that the PM in charge of the Italian texts at DECCA at the time was a very correct and friendly person.


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Kurt Porter  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:36
Russian to English
+ ...
IPR Feb 9, 2006

Alfredo Tutino wrote:

many years ago, I translated into Italian for DECCA the libretto of John Gay's Beggar's Opera; several years later, when they decided to use my translation again (I can't remember if it was for a new production or, possibly, for a production Benjamin Britten's work on the same text - surely, not just a reprint) I received from tham some sort of noew fee for no new work at all - rather unexpected and not unwelcome, I should say.

It just happened this once, however...

And I should add that:

I do not know if some specific legislation was in place in UK at the time; and I do know that the PM in charge of the Italian texts at DECCA at the time was a very correct and friendly person.


International Copyright Agreements: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) administer international copyright agreements. These agreements include the International Copyright Convention and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Artistic and Literary Works. Analysis of the agreements may be done on the organizations’ websites at www.wipo.org and www.unesco.org

Good luck!


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Jeb Bishop  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Having thought it over ... Feb 9, 2006

I think I'm going to content myself with making sure I am properly credited, with contact information. Thank you for the comments!

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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:36
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
IPR Feb 9, 2006

Kurt Porter wrote:

Henry Hinds wrote:

I think if you have already been paid for the work, and absent any contract to the contrary, then no one owes you anything.


Doesn't the translation belong to the translator? If there was a Purchase Order for a specific requirement,wouldn't anything beyond that be outside the scope of the contract? I would think that in lieu of signing away the copyright that the translator should be paid for republication. Then again, maybe I've been living in socialist economies for too many years.

[Edited at 2006-02-08 19:44]

[Edited at 2006-02-08 19:44]


Most agencies I work for require me to sign a contract stating that I am, in effect, selling my rights to my translation to them. I have always assumed this to be the "normal" understanding between client and translator. Any lawyers here?


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