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copyright of a translation
Thread poster: Silvia Gentili

Silvia Gentili  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:38
English to Spanish
Jan 7, 2008

Does somebody know who the copyright of a translation belongs to? That is, if the owner of a web page agrees to translate it, will that person have control on the translation? apart from all the rights deriving from that translated text: publications, ways and means of publication, etc.

I do not think that this is regulated; I know cases in which the owner of as text agrees to pay the translator with the royalty of the translated book or products of that client.

Thank you very much for your help

Silvia Gentili


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 16:38
German to English
Work for hire / transfer of copyright Jan 7, 2008

The laws of your country may vary, but generally, unless you have a specific agreement to the contrary, copyright is considered to be transferred once you have been paid for your work.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:38
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I agree partially Jan 7, 2008

Kevin Fulton wrote:
The laws of your country may vary...


I agree.

...but generally, ... copyright is considered to be transferred once you have been paid for your work.


I have my doubts about how "generally" it is that copyright is transferred when you get paid for the translation. I suspect it is more the norm that copyright is *not* transferred unless specifically stated in the contract.


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:38
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Laws differ Jan 7, 2008

This is the sort of thing to be straightened out with your client before you start (unless you don't consider it an issue of importance). You may find it appropriate to consult an attorney in Argentina.

There is, in addition to the issue of who owns the copyright on the translation, who owned the copyright on the source text. The translation is generally considered work for hire and the copyright is generally given to the person that hired the creator (i.e., the client).

That said, there is nothing wrong with asking for royalties on the translation. This is frequently done in literary translation. If you want to get into a contract of this nature, I recommend you consult an attorney.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
Varies by country Jan 7, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
I have my doubts about how "generally" it is that copyright is transferred when you get paid for the translation. I suspect it is more the norm that copyright is *not* transferred unless specifically stated in the contract.


In the U.S. a work for hire is assumed to belong to the party who paid for it.

In much of Europe, the copyright is assumed to belong to the translator unless otherwise assigned.

I've no idea what the situation is in Argentina, where Silvia is. I also don't know which country's laws take precedence if the translation is for a client outside Argentina. The best bet is to ask someone who understands intellectual property laws in your country.

[Edited at 2008-01-07 20:00]


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:38
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
My Experience Jan 7, 2008

...but generally, ... copyright is considered to be transferred once you have been paid for your work.


I have my doubts about how "generally" it is that copyright is transferred when you get paid for the translation. I suspect it is more the norm that copyright is *not* transferred unless specifically stated in the contract.


I am not sure how it works in other countries as I have not done such work there. But I have worked for publishing houses in India and when my clients gave me a cheque they always asked me to sign a legal document stating that I relinquish all copyrights etc.

So, I guess that it is not automatically transferred. Otherwise, they wouldn't be going through these formalities.


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Raluca Manea
Romania
Local time: 23:38
English to Romanian
+ ...
New question... Jan 8, 2008

I have a question for you: i have translated a book from Romanian language to English language. I was paid for my work, but i wonder, when the book will be sold, do i get copyrights as a translator? or that is only for the graphic designers of the covers and illustrations? or neither? please reply, i am very curious. Thank you.

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Silvia Gentili  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:38
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 8, 2008

Hello everybody

I thank you very much for having helped me with this issue, as a matter of fact I can see that it is not regulated and should be very agreed on between the client and translator before starting the job.

Best regards

Silvia Gentili


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