https://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/329347-would_you_sign_this.html

Would you sign this?
Thread poster: Roman Lutz

Roman Lutz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:09
English to German
+ ...
Oct 5, 2018

I have been tasked by an agency with a "pre-print review job" of a couple of PDF files. Along with the files, they want me to sign and send a statement that reads as follows:

"This is to certify that I, the pre-print reviewer, have proofread the typeset file(s) provided to me and ensure that any and all errors have been indicated in my markup comments. I understand that I am the final reviewer of the document(s) listed below. I have reviewed all of the copy that will be printed and
... See more
I have been tasked by an agency with a "pre-print review job" of a couple of PDF files. Along with the files, they want me to sign and send a statement that reads as follows:

"This is to certify that I, the pre-print reviewer, have proofread the typeset file(s) provided to me and ensure that any and all errors have been indicated in my markup comments. I understand that I am the final reviewer of the document(s) listed below. I have reviewed all of the copy that will be printed and certify that I have checked the document with regard to the following items, and that any and all errors have been indicated in my markup comments.

The project manager has already informed me that since this is going to print, it has to be 100% correct.

To me, this is the agency passing on the liability to me in case the brochures have to be re-printed due to an overlooked error.

Would you sign this? I am very reluctant, to say the least.

Thanks in advance.
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:09
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Roman Oct 5, 2018

I’m always confident of my work but as they seem so wrapped in legalese I would ask for a similar statement from the agency saying that no one under any circumstance will change my proofread version.

Cetacea
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
 

Roman Lutz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:09
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Confidence Oct 5, 2018

Thanks for your reply. I am confident as well and I have checked my work several times now, but slip-ups can happen and I would hate to be charged thousands of dollars for a job that is only worth a fraction of this... I am not worried about anyone changing my version, as this could be tracked should any liability cases arise.

 

Colleen Roach, PhD  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:09
French to English
+ ...
Reluctance at signing the document Oct 5, 2018

Roman: I share your reluctance and agree with your concern about "liability." One of the reasons for my concern would be that one can never, ever be absolutely certain that what you did will actually be the "final" proofed copy of the document going to the printer. I've worked on a lot of publications in various situations and speak from experience. There are many factors in the printing production process over which you don't have control (and you may not even be aware of). Just the question of... See more
Roman: I share your reluctance and agree with your concern about "liability." One of the reasons for my concern would be that one can never, ever be absolutely certain that what you did will actually be the "final" proofed copy of the document going to the printer. I've worked on a lot of publications in various situations and speak from experience. There are many factors in the printing production process over which you don't have control (and you may not even be aware of). Just the question of "final copy" would scare me, as one never knows what might happen once this document is out of your hands, i.e. someone "else" in the production process who might not share your corrections, and makes another change...There are also "technical" things, as I said, that can go wrong in the printing process which can be very complicated. Sorting out who made the error can be complicated, and if you sign the document you could be the scapegoat no matter who or what technical process actually is at fault.

I think freelance translators must protect themselves, legally --as agencies do. I recently was reading a "Terms and Conditions" notification for clients of what seems to be a reputable agency. There were about 15 different items, I'll just quote some of the ones that struck me as examples of how translators might try to adopt similar ways of doing business with clients and remaining solvent:


"xxxxx [name of agency] shall not be held legally responsible for loss or damages incurred by the client as a result of erroneous translation or mistranslation.

-Any late or missed payment will make the client immediately liable for all outstanding invoices, without further notice. In any event, the client will be responsible for the expenses incurred by [name of agency] in the resolution of the dispute.

-In the event of late payment, work on any of the client's orders in progress will be suspended, pending payment.

-In the event that the client cancels the order, any work completed will be charged.

-[name of agency] shall not be held responsible for the late delivery of work caused by the malfunction
of faxes, modems, e-mails and other forms of communication not directly controlled by [name of agency].

-Complaints will only be taken into consideration if they are received in writing within seven days of the consignment of the completed work. After this period, all work consigned will be considered as satisfactory and accepted by the client.

-Under no circumstances may a defect in one part of the translated text cast doubt over the validity of the remainder of the work. [name of agency] retains the right in such cases to correct any errors.
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Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I wouldn't sign it ... Oct 5, 2018

mainly because there is no way you can know for certain that you actually were the last person to check or proofread the work. You cannot be held liable for any changes or additions which may have been made after the document left your hands, when it is entirely beyond your control.

Teresa Borges
 

Roman Lutz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:09
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone for your input Oct 5, 2018

Thanks everyone for your input; Colleen, thank you for your pointers, I will definitely take them into account next time I am asked to sign things like this. As translators, we definitely should stand up to agencies and their ridiculous requirements once in a while. I will definitely not sign this document.

Dan Lucas
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:09
Member
English to Italian
Max Liability Oct 5, 2018

... or you could tell them you'll accept, as long as your maximum liability is limited to the total amount of the project, or to X.


P.S. And that any claim should be raised within Y days from delivery.

[Edited at 2018-10-05 14:14 GMT]


Giray Türkmen
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:09
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Roman Oct 5, 2018

Quite recently (https://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/329191-hold_harmless_clauses_in_pos_ndas_and_contracts.html) our colleague Dan Lucas suggested the following (taken from an agency’s T&Cs):
"(a) the Company’s total liability in contract, tort (including negligence or breach of statutory duty), misrepresentation, re
... See more
Quite recently (https://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/329191-hold_harmless_clauses_in_pos_ndas_and_contracts.html) our colleague Dan Lucas suggested the following (taken from an agency’s T&Cs):
"(a) the Company’s total liability in contract, tort (including negligence or breach of statutory duty), misrepresentation, restitution or otherwise, arising in connection with the performance or contemplated performance of the Contract shall be limited to the Fees paid under the Contract".

[Edited at 2018-10-05 16:31 GMT]
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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:09
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
No and.. Oct 5, 2018

No, I wouldn't sign it and have you seen this? I think this is relevant to your case: https://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/328622-you_translated_they_edited.html Make sure it does not happen to you and safeguard your interests.

[Edited at 2018-10-06 05:44 GMT]


 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 23:09
English to Russian
+ ...
Please help the lost dummy Oct 5, 2018

Hi Roman,

I am honestly at a loss. The assignment is "pre-print review". The agency did its due diligence by hiring you for this very specific assignment that implies the final pair of eyes and yes, full and final responsibility. Apparently, the agency had already paid, or is obligated to pay, a translator and they are not pocketing the money they charge to the client for editing. How many more "final reviewers" does the agency have to hire to watch after each next one?

... See more
Hi Roman,

I am honestly at a loss. The assignment is "pre-print review". The agency did its due diligence by hiring you for this very specific assignment that implies the final pair of eyes and yes, full and final responsibility. Apparently, the agency had already paid, or is obligated to pay, a translator and they are not pocketing the money they charge to the client for editing. How many more "final reviewers" does the agency have to hire to watch after each next one?

As far as protecting your work from any bumps along the way after you submit your job, you can always send a .pdf copy and keep it for your records together with the email with the attached job. Just don't touch it after delivery.

Just make sure that your pay matches the level of responsibility, including a corrector's pay, if you think you better have one.



[Edited at 2018-10-06 00:36 GMT]
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