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Poll: How many non-disclosure agreements have you signed in your career?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:34
SITE STAFF
Apr 21

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many non-disclosure agreements have you signed in your career?".

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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 13:34
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Perhaps more importantly... Apr 21

... I have refused to sign about 5-10 such documents.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:34
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thousands??? Apr 21

At one per client, that would be a whole lot of clients!

I have signed a few, but how many is not something that I consider worth remembering.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:34
Member (2006)
German to English
Have not Apr 21

got a clue.
Why would you efuse to sign one?


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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 13:34
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
... Apr 21

Michael Harris wrote:

got a clue.
Why would you efuse to sign one?


Because they were poorly drafted and/or contained clauses that were unacceptable.


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Laura Pascual  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 14:34
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't sign everything you're offered! ;) Apr 21

Michael Harris wrote:
Why would you efuse to sign one?


Because they have abusive clauses. Or because they are 17 pages long and the potential client doesn't want to discuss rates beforehand.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Apr 21

I am afraid I have lost count of all the NDAs I have signed over the years. Needless to say, for a lot of them the "big project" never materialized...

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Fewer than 20 Apr 21

In fact, I can only recall signing one maybe four or five times. Most of my clients are direct rather than agencies, and I generally expect them to trust not only my translation skills and judgement, but also my honesty and discretion in general. Otherwise, I think it would be a shaky start to any relationship. Like asking for a prenup.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:34
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It's the ones you don't sign... Apr 21

Jan Truper wrote:

... I have refused to sign about 5-10 such documents.


I have no idea, but voted 'between 50 and 100' as a guesstimate - I have signed a handful each year.
Those have been the small, commonsense NDAs, stating that (of course) I will treat clients' material as confidential and not pass on information that is not already known to the public.

There has been a rash lately of declarations in pompous legalese, with punitive threats, making the translator liable to 'each and every' person remotely involved in the translation, all their employees, associates and friends, more or less including the butcher's dog. These NDAs also expect a translator to accept liability for a whole lot of very loosely defined indirect consequences. I do NOT sign those.

I have translated numerous contracts with clauses limiting liability, so that it only covers persons directly involved and only direct damage or injury, not all the 'loss of profit, loss of goodwill, loss of production ...' and other ramifications.

If industry clients can limit liability, why on earth do agencies expect freelance translators to sign open-ended clauses? If you don't understand the consequences, don't sign. Take no notice of the 'don't worry, it won't happen' argument. If they believe that, then why waste time and paper on fantasy trips?

If you don't understand the clause and its implications, or if you do, and you are not comfortable with them, don't sign.
Check your own insurance and see what you are covered for, or ask your insurer for advice if you need an answer to requests like that.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:34
Japanese to English
Other Apr 21

In keeping with the poster of this poll Anonymous, I'm not telling.

[Edited at 2017-04-21 13:49 GMT]


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:34
Member (2008)
English to Italian
fewer that 20 Apr 21

and always for clients who wanted me to sign one and never sent a single job

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Lazy or greedy lawyers Apr 21

For the record, I wrote my own unilateral NDA, published on this page. It works fine when private individuals get cold feet at the idea of disclosing to a complete stranger the details of their finances, family affairs, etc.

However most companies demand translators to sign their own NDAs.

Some of these are 10-20 pages long, which leads me to think that lawyers get paid like us - translators - on a per-word basis. I see literary masterpieces like "... covers each and every XXX that existed in the past, exists in the present, and/or which may come to exist in the future...", when "covers ANY XXX..." would suffice.

Those NDAs crammed with leonine or draconian clauses are the work of lazy lawyers. Maybe each one has developed a boilerplate NDA, so they charge nothing to make it available to translation agencies who sign an agreement hiring them exclusively to handle any dispute arising from them.

Such NDAs are so heavily biased in favor of the company, that if the poor translator has been wronged, it will be an open-and-shut case for the lawyer to prove that the translator who signed it waived all his/her rights to such a claim. The lawyer can easily slam dunk each and every case. For safety, they have the company sign that, in case any they have any trouble with a provider who has NOT signed that very NDA, unchanged, they will use some other lawyer. They don't want to argue any difficult cases.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:34
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
NDA Apr 21

This means that I cannot disclose this information.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:34
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
50-100, a guess Apr 21

Up to 2010, I signed very few, and I wasn't a full-time translator. As of 2010, however, most clients do require an NDA, and some request a renewal of the NDA after one or two years. So I guess somewhere between 50 and 100.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:34
Member (2006)
German to English
Sorry, but Apr 21

Jan Truper wrote:

Michael Harris wrote:

got a clue.
Why would you efuse to sign one?


Because they were poorly drafted and/or contained clauses that were unacceptable.


those serious customers that I do deal with do not try to trick me. It is all part of a mutual and trustworthy cooperation, in my opinion.
And ifany problems were to arise, I just would not work with them any more, it is as simple as that.


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