Copyright- Do I Need to Announce it, or it is Automatic?
Thread poster: Juliana Brown

Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:10
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 20, 2007

In another twist concerning my "ghost" translation, I'm at the contract stage now, with the author being very nice and open to all suggestions. BUT...as I have waived the right to have my name appear anywhere in the book, press releases, etc., am curious whether I somehow forfeit copyright, if it does not appear in the book as "copyright- Juliana...".
Perhaps my lawyer colleagues could tell me whether the translation copyright is automatic....


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:10
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
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You can't eat your cake and have it, too Dec 20, 2007

Or is it the other way around.

I'm not a lawyer colleague and I don't now in which country your partners reside, but I have read all threads and it seems everybody thinks you're the person to translate this piece. If you don't stipulate anything in the conditions, my feeling is you'll waive your copyright. The writer will claim it.

But, if this is not one of the writer's ulterior motives and if all parties still want you to do the job, you could try to stipulate it in the contract.

Good luck,
Gerard


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:10
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Gerard, Dec 20, 2007

I really can not ascribe any nasty motives to the author, who has been very fair, and as confused as myself in this matter. The fact is, he's left the wording of the contract up to me.
I do, however, need to know what the copyright situation would be in either case, and unfortunately my two in-house lawyers (father and husband, who ironically both work in international law...but not literary contracts) are not much help.
To be honest, this is more of a curiosity issue than a "give me what's mine" matter.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:10
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I'm convinced you're only greedy to translate the work Dec 21, 2007

I did read your last thread and wouldn't have replied in any other case. All three parties are able to follow this thread online and my only aim is to make remarks that won't hurt anybody's interest or feelings.

I waive my copyrights three times a day, it's part of my General Agreement. But I have a customer - the pubisher of an encyclopedia - who sends me a written contract to sign for every translation. This suggests that my copyright could otherwise have been automatic in the Netherlands. Other publishers have never bothered to send me anything to sign, which might suggest they've agreed to my General Agreement.

In your specific case - the case of a ghost writer or ghost translator - I'm quite sure you have to stipulate explicitly that you still own the copyright in the contract you're drawing up, otherwise you'll forfeit it.

I do hope you get this precious job,
Gerard


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:10
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So, you've read between the lines :). Dec 21, 2007

I would perhaps not sell my kids for this job, but pretty close. Luckily, I've got it already, and the stress aspect is minimal, apart from the quality stress that comes with our work.
I did, in the end, leave in a clause concerning my copyright in the agreement, stipulating that it is mine, even if it does not appear in the book. Apparently this should cover me.
Thanks for your good wishes. I hope that 2008 brings you, and all of us here, lots of jobs you love.


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:10
German to English
Work for hire Dec 21, 2007

This is a "work for hire" job. Canadian statutes may vary, but once you're paid for the work, the copyright automatically reverts to the purchaser of the work, unless there are other specific contractual agreements. You'll need to see an attorney for a clarification of your potential rights.

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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:10
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Kevin, Dec 21, 2007

I did, in fact, include a clause in the contract stipulating I maintain copyright over the translation...That seems to be more or less sufficient as a basic protection.

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