Copyright issue: work samples
Thread poster: Tatiana Yudovina

Tatiana Yudovina
Russian to English
+ ...
May 30, 2005

Hello, everyone!

I have a question about the work samples, which are often required or at least are helpful to get a translation job. For example, I want to provide an example of a marketing text I have translated. Can I use an excerpt from a marketing brochure a have done? Can I post it on my website? The brochure is a public document so there is no intellectual property issue. I do most of my work through agencies, so I cannot ask permission directly from a client. Another example: if I have translated a poem or a fictional work by a well-known no longer living author, can I post my unpublished translation on my website? Can I post the original? Where would I get permission, if I need any?

Thanks for any advice!


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 13:52
English to German
+ ...
Any agreements May 31, 2005

I believe it depends upon signing a confidentiality agreement. If so you would not be allowed. Why not just ask the agency-outsourcer, this would show that you care about their regulations.

Take care!
Andrea


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 00:22
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
After 50 years in most countries Jun 1, 2005

Regarding copyright of an author who is no longer living, the copyright still vests with his legal heirs for 50 years after his death. After this it comes into the public domain, and anyone can translate his poems or whatever.

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Tatiana Yudovina
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
author vs. translator Jun 1, 2005

Balasubramaniam wrote:

Regarding copyright of an author who is no longer living, the copyright still vests with his legal heirs for 50 years after his death. After this it comes into the public domain, and anyone can translate his poems or whatever.


Thank you for the answer. Do you know where can I find information related to copyright and traanslation issues. For example, how has copyright on a translation? How is it shared between the author and the translator?


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Christopher RH
Local time: 19:52
French to English
A suggestion for copyright Jun 2, 2005

(disclaimer: this isn't "legal" advice in any shape or form!)

Under copyright law, you certainly aren't allowed to "sell" a translation of a copyrighted work. The translation rights are generally sold separately by the copyright holder.

However, I personally would imaging a short "sample translation" of a copyright text to be much the same as a quote from that text: as long as it's "fair use" and/or educational in nature I wouldn't expect any problems.
Maybe I place too much reliance on "good faith", but it never does any harm to bolster your credit on that score.

For a website, I wouldn't hesitate to use a short sample (avoiding poems, though) very clearly marked as being an unauthorised translation together with an e-mail address for any "questions". I would also tend to make it "educational", i.e. as a worked example of a particular translation issue.
If you use it as a form of "advertising", then I imagine the copyright holder would be quite entitled to be annoyed.

Finally, if you think it could cause a problem, why not write to the publisher? Once the web page is up, print it out and sent it to the copyright holder, giving the full http address, saying the page will naturally be taken down if there is any problem. If your site has a lot of hits, maybe avoid linking to that page until the publisher has had time to reply.


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Tatiana Yudovina
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Christopher Jun 2, 2005

for a detailed response. You've confirmed my thoughts.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You need permission Jun 3, 2005

Tatiana Yudovina wrote:
I have a question about the work samples, which are often required or at least are helpful to get a translation job. For example, I want to provide an example of a marketing text I have translated. Can I use an excerpt from a marketing brochure a have done?


You need permission. If you're unwilling to ask one of your previous clients, how about simply picking up a similar text from anywhere and contacting the publisher of that text with a request that need to show your ability and may you please use your translation of their text? Some will say "no" but some probably won't mind.


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Copyright issue: work samples

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