confidentiality clause in contract with translation agency
Thread poster: Caroline Kopp
Caroline Kopp  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 15:00
Member (2009)
German to French
+ ...
Feb 21, 2010

Dear All,

I am a rather newly arrived Prozean and this is the first time that I post a new forum topic. Let me briefly introduce myself: I started to work as a freelance translator last year, specializing in biomedical fields. My language pairs are English>French and German>French.
Before coming to my question, I would like to thank you all for the help you’ve already provided me in my first steps as a freelancer. Your answers and tips in many other forums are always very valuable for me!

Now, I would like to get your opinion about a clause mentioned in a contract that I recently received from a translation agency. The clause stipulates that I am not allowed to inform any other agency or client that I collaborate with this specific translation agency.

I am used to a confidentiality clause about the translation jobs I would perform. But I am surprised about the requested confidentiality on the translation agency itself.

Is this usual? What do you mean?

Thanks a lot for your feedback!
Caroline


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:00
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I think it may possibly be part of the deal Feb 21, 2010

Hello Caroline, and welcome to the forum!

I recall raising the issue in a forum here myself, quite some time ago, of an agency asking me to keep confidentiality about something that I was translating for publication on a web site.

Someone then answered me in that thread that, very often, confidentiality may mainly concern the subject of who is translating what, and for whom. This clause sounds as if it is somewhat along those lines.

Nonetheless, if you do good work for them, I think you will be hoping for a WWA entry from them, and, if they give you one, they will be publicly telling everyone that you have worked for them. However, I sincerely hope that the clause does not mean that they refrain from giving out WWA entries.

That apart, as long as the clause does not stipulate a threat, penalty, fine or anything similar, it should be OK to sign it, I think. Also, it does not say that you should not tell anyone that you work with them, but only mentions competing agencies and other clients of yours. It is really a normal part of business ethics not to discuss one client with another.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
English to Japanese
+ ...
Clarification needed Feb 22, 2010

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Hello Caroline, and welcome to the forum!

I recall raising the issue in a forum here myself, quite some time ago, of an agency asking me to keep confidentiality about something that I was translating for publication on a web site.

Someone then answered me in that thread that, very often, confidentiality may mainly concern the subject of who is translating what, and for whom. This clause sounds as if it is somewhat along those lines.

Nonetheless, if you do good work for them, I think you will be hoping for a WWA entry from them, and, if they give you one, they will be publicly telling everyone that you have worked for them. However, I sincerely hope that the clause does not mean that they refrain from giving out WWA entries.

That apart, as long as the clause does not stipulate a threat, penalty, fine or anything similar, it should be OK to sign it, I think. Also, it does not say that you should not tell anyone that you work with them, but only mentions competing agencies and other clients of yours. It is really a normal part of business ethics not to discuss one client with another.

Astrid


Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to your interpretation, you say that it's all right to tell someone that you work with agency X, but according to what I understand from Caroline's posting it says 'The clause stipulates that I am not allowed to inform any other agency or client that I collaborate with this specific translation agency.' which I interpret that I cannot tell anyone that I am working with agency X. This means that if I had a website (actually I don't have one, but) and wanted to list the name of the companies I worked for or are my clients, I cannot include or disclose agency X as my client. Wouldn't that be imposing too much? I know confidentiality is a very important thing, but revealing which companies you work for, IMHO, would be perfectly okay, unless you're disclosing specifically the contents of the project.

Or am I missing something?

Yasutomo


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Ask Feb 22, 2010

Hi Caroline,

You've asked if this is "usual" - I can only tell you that I don't recall ever signing a confidentiality agreement with this particular restriction before.

The client may or may not have a (valid) reason for this - your best option is to simply ask them. Especially if you think you might like to mention your collaboration in a CV, website, reference, etc. - you might as well find out now.

Even if they confirm that they really do want to keep all their dealings with you confidential, at least you'll know and you will be able to make an informed decision.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:00
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, this is usual Feb 22, 2010

I think we have that clause in all NDAs with our agency customers.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
English to German
+ ...
If this was standard Feb 22, 2010

...nobody could ever ask a translator for references.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Caroline Kopp  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 15:00
Member (2009)
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your feedback! Feb 23, 2010

FYI:
I have contacted the agency, asking why they included such a confidentiality clause and mentioning the general problem of getting a reference from them under such conditions.
I did not get any direct answer to my question. Instead, I got a new contract without this clause.
At least, I feel more comfortable in signing the new version of the contract...

Thanks again to all of you!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxchristela
Usual for me too Feb 23, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

...nobody could ever ask a translator for references.


And I don't like to give out business sensitive information such as references.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
English to German
+ ...
Same here. Feb 24, 2010

Christelle H. wrote:

And I don't like to give out business sensitive information such as references.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

confidentiality clause in contract with translation agency

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search