Advice on contract wording
Thread poster: Susana Galilea

Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 6, 2003

One more in the "should I sign this contract" thrilling seriesicon_biggrin.gif

I have been sent a work-for-hire agreement by a U.S.-based design company for an ongoing collaboration. The paragraph that I have qualms about reads as follows:


All subcontractors / contractors agree that design, layout, sketches, submissions, ideas, copywriting, and materials used to prepare projects for XXX do not infringe on any copyright or proprietorial rights. Subcontractor / contractor will indemnify our firm from any damages, attorney and court fees, or any other loss due to negligence on the subcontractor / contractor.

The bold type is mine, and I would like to verify the negligence they are referring to has to do exclusively with the copyright infringement, not with any other aspect of the job (such as errors and omissions, etc.).

I will appreciate any feedback from anyone skilled at reading between a contract's lines.

A million thanks in advanceicon_smile.gif

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator, EUTI

[Edited at 2003-11-06 00:57]


Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
English to Tamil
+ ...
Quite normal for a knowhow contract Nov 6, 2003

If the supplier of a knowhow has passed on to the client some items, for which some other third party is having the intellectual property rights, the client using it will otherwise be dragged to court. Hence this clause. Having said this, it is not clear as to how this can be applicable for a translation assignment? The text is provided by the client and you are just translating it. If at all there is necessity of indemnification, it is the client, who has to provide it to the translator and assure him that the client is having copyright for the material being translated. I rather feel that it is a mindless application of a provision by an overzealous PM.


Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Dutch to English
+ ...
Legal clause Nov 6, 2003

Dear Susana,

Since the sentence is immediately behind the infringement bit, it refers to this and I do not think they had other 'types of negligence' in mind. However, it is better to err on the side of caution and ask them to specifically include that infringement related to copyright or proprietorial rights is meant.

For example:
Subcontractor / contractor will indemnify our firm from any damages, attorney and court fees, or any other loss due to negligence on the subcontractor / contractor IN RELATION TO THE INFRINGEMENT OF ANY COPYRIGHT OR PROPRIETORIAL RIGHTS.

I am sure that if they are a serious company they will not mind.

If it ever came to the crunch they cannot then turn around and say that they meant any kind of infringement and not just the one related to copyright issues.

I think they are just covering themselves in case their subcontractors decide to plagiarize in some way (very easy to do these days!).

Good luck!


Rosa Maria Duenas Rios (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:48
Seguro para casos de negligencia? Nov 13, 2003

Hola Susana,

Llevo poco tiempo trabajando en Estados Unidos y no he tenido oportunidad de firmar muchos contratos, así que mi experiencia a este respecto en este país es limitada. No obstante, soy miembro de la Orden de Traductores, Terminólogos e Interpretes de Quebec (Canadá) y su cuota anual incluye la posibilidad de contratar un seguro grupal para casos de negligencia que cubre hasta cierta cantidad por daños que tal negligencia del traductor hubiera podido causar al cliente. Yo siempre lo compro.

Los dos ejemplos que me vienen a la mente son la negligencia no intencional, como podría ser que se haya impreso el informe anual de una compañía en el cual el traductor por error cmbió una cifra en la hoja de balance, con lo que se presentan resultados totalmente diferentes, porlo que hay que volver a imprimir el informe; y la negligencia intencional que podría ser compartir con terceros información sobre alguna patente o secreto comercial, lo cual posteriormente pudiera causar perjuicios económicos (aunque para este caso están las cláusulas de compromiso de confidencialidad).

Tal vez los redactores del contrato que tienes se referían a este tipo de daños.


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Advice on contract wording

Advanced search

SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features, ensures new

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search