International contract
Thread poster: tradumarian
tradumarian
Local time: 21:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 29, 2009

I am an Argentinian translator (woman) presently making a book translation (quite finishing it) for someone from the USA. My client asked me two Spanish versions, one to be published in Argentina and the other in USA. We haven´t set a contract yet. Has anyone made such a work for someone from another country? I need to know how you did to sign the contract. We contact through the net, so can I send the contract to my client so that she can sign it and has her signature authenticated by a notary of a competent authority of her country, and then ask her to send the contract to me by post so that I can sign it and has my signature authenticated by an authority from my country? Has it any validity? I want to register the translation contract in the Argentinian Book Chamber in order to have the translation´s copyright. Can anyone help me?

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cilantro  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 02:49
Italian to English
+ ...
it takes2 to tango Aug 30, 2009

Dear Marian,
The first thing that comes to mind is to take a look at who your employer is. A signed contract is as good as the people signing it, notwhistanding all the notaries and validations, etc. I would also take into consideration that in other parts of the world business may be carried out in a more informal way, such that just an e-mail confirming your job can be considered to be a contract. On the other hand the book chamber in Argentina may be less inclined to accept this and may require all the paperwork; however if you show them that you actually have translated the book and that it is going to be published shortly, they may finally accept your conversation with the requisitor as proof that you're working on his/her behalf.
You should check with the book chamber, since that's who is going to assign rights for you.


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Gabriel Luis  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:49
Member (2008)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Cross border law enforcement Aug 30, 2009

Hola Marian,
in my opinion it is not easy to establish cross border bussiness conditions, specially after beginning the job.
I do not know your trust level towards the company/empoyer, but if something (or everything) goes wrong, you cannot enforce anything as long as you don´t get your company established in the US or the employer has a seat in your country.
To my experience until now, US-agencies (and I also suppose publishers) are pretty greedy when it comes to copyright issues...

If I were you I would

1-Sign un seguro de responsabilidad laboral, in order to get a lawyer in Argentina for an affordable price if it comes to troubles

2-Check the Argentinian background of the US-employer, since as local you only have enforceable rights in Argentina

3-Talk with the US-employer about the copyright issues before you continue translating.

Hope it helps you!
Salud(os)
Gabriel


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Two Questions Aug 30, 2009

On the contract, I would assume you are worried about payment. As aptly said, a contract is only as good as the people signing it, and enforcement could be totally impractical. Therefore, try to get money up front and further advances as you go along. If you fail to do so, then you are taking a chance of not being paid.

On the copyright; well, this depends on whether or not the client wishes you to have it, so you would just have to ask them about that. They may well want it for themselves and if so, end of question.


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tradumarian
Local time: 21:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
International contract Aug 30, 2009

Thanks, people. In fact, I am more worried about doing things correctly. My fear is that providing a translation service through the net is part of e-commerce, and this has regulations you have to respect.

Mariana


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:49
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
e-commerce? Aug 31, 2009

Dear Mariana,
I am not sure I understand when you say:
In fact, I am more worried about doing things correctly. My fear is that providing a translation service through the net is part of e-commerce, and this has regulations you have to respect.


What would you do if your client called you on the phone, sent you the translatable book (or CD containing the text files) via regular postal mail, and would want the translation back the same way (saved on a CD, sent via postal mail)?
Would that make any difference at all in terms of how you handle the business issues?
I don't think so.
The only "e-commerce" thingy here is how you transfer the files.
That, in itself does not affect copyrights, does not affect whether you should have a contract, whether you should have payment terms agreed before starting the work.


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tradumarian
Local time: 21:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
International contract Aug 31, 2009

By doing everything correctly, I mean legal aspects. What if I send her the contract so that she signs it and has her signature certified by a notary, and then sends it to me by post so that I sign it and has my signature certified in my country, and finally the Argentinian Book Chamber does not accept it because it says it is not legal? I am looking for this kind of information in the web, and I have founded acts and articles about copyright and contractual relations, but nothing about the conditions an international contract must have to have legal validity. That is why I posted this question in the forum to see if any translator has done a similar work and how he managed to sign a contract with a client from another country.

Mariana


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Good idea to use postal addresses Aug 31, 2009

I'm not sure there is any added value in having the signatures witnessed, but it is certainly a good idea to verify that a postal address is valid - then you have somewhere to send registered mail to if you are not paid. Remember, a court cannot issue papers if they don't know where the client can be found.

The basics things I would do are to (a) ensure that this person is a valid legal entity (ie if it's an individual, check postal address and/or phone number; if it's a company, also check that the company exists, is solvent and is correctly registered for tax etc); (b) set up a written contract, signed by both parties; (c) ensure that the contract stipulates ownership of the translated text etc as per the Chamber requirements


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tradumarian
Local time: 21:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
International contract Aug 31, 2009

Thanks, Sheila. Things are still more complicated, because my client in her book mentions very important trademarks, and I think I should receive payment for making publicity of them. But I do not how to charge for that, though I know I should have their permission to mention them in a translation. This is something I should talk with my client, but I am looking for information so that I am prepared to negotiate. I thought of all this when I was quite finishing the translation. If we had set conditions before starting the job, I would have missed many aspects about my rights. This is my first translation and the first for someone from another country.

Mariana


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:49
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Try the Translation in Argentina forum? Sep 1, 2009

Mariana,
It seems to me that your questions about copyrights and Book chamber and trademarks are specific to Argentina, so you may have a better chance to ask them in the "Translation in Argentina" forum.

http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_in_argentina_la_traducción_en_argentina-791.html


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tradumarian
Local time: 21:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
International contract Sep 1, 2009

Thanks Katalin, I´ll try there.

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