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When they change your translation
Thread poster: MK2010

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
a-la contract ghostwriting Jun 4, 2017

Now they tend to tweak and bend translation over as a kind of ghostwriting, when all the rights are sold with a wily contract.

Such terms may be ok to some extent, yet it depends how they mention the translator, the alleged associations, to say nothing about 'improvements' and the rest.

After similar cases, I did forbid them to mention my name at all)



As some clever people say: Do ALWAYS read a contract BEFORE even thinking about signing it
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Now they tend to tweak and bend translation over as a kind of ghostwriting, when all the rights are sold with a wily contract.

Such terms may be ok to some extent, yet it depends how they mention the translator, the alleged associations, to say nothing about 'improvements' and the rest.

After similar cases, I did forbid them to mention my name at all)



As some clever people say: Do ALWAYS read a contract BEFORE even thinking about signing it!
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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 12:44
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
An ant that works against a giant?? Jun 5, 2017

I met with instances when novice translators revised my translation discretely. I once got annoyed with their ignorance of how to translate certain subjects/terms.
Now I change my policy.
I boldly declare my authentication. I fully reveal my credentials and status.
I reply to them without shame that:
-I am a Thai and a Ph.D. graduate in engineering from a top class Japanese university.
-I was a professor in a Thai university.
-I am 64 years old.
-I was
... See more
I met with instances when novice translators revised my translation discretely. I once got annoyed with their ignorance of how to translate certain subjects/terms.
Now I change my policy.
I boldly declare my authentication. I fully reveal my credentials and status.
I reply to them without shame that:
-I am a Thai and a Ph.D. graduate in engineering from a top class Japanese university.
-I was a professor in a Thai university.
-I am 64 years old.
-I was employed by both Thai and Japanese government agencies for a long time.
-I work as a translator from 1972.
etc.
The ones who revised my translation were actually shock with my feedback and my implicit qualifications.

Soonthon L.
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Eliza Hall
United States
Local time: 00:44
Member (2018)
French to English
+ ...
Copyright and the right to translate or change translations Sep 13, 2018

MK2010 wrote:

"no right to significantly change a translation without the translator's consent." Is this a rule of thumb, an absolute rule, or completely dependent on individual cases? I need to go back and read the contract.


Definitely look at the contract. In the absence of a contract, or if the contract doesn't say anything about this, it should work this way under US law (and I would be surprised if on this point French law were much different):

Writer writes a book in English. By virtue of being the author of the book, they own the copyright in it. Copyright is a concept that includes several different rights; one of them is the right to make derivative works (new works based on the copyrighted work). A translation is, by definition, a derivative work. That is why you need an author's permission in order to make a translation (unless the author has been dead for 70 years, since copyright only lasts for 70 years after the author's death).

So, Writer then hires Freelance Translator to translate the book into French. From a legal standpoint, when Writer asks Translator to translate the book, Writer is giving Freelance Translator a license (the legal term for permission) to create a derivative work, specifically a translation into French.

When Freelance Translator completes the translation of the book, Freelance Translator owns the copyright in that French translation because Freelance Translator had Writer's permission to make the translation. Since Freelance Translator owns the copyright in the translation, nobody else has the right to change that translation without Freelance Translator's permission, because changing it would be creating a derivative work of the French translation.

The situation is completely different if the translator is an employee as opposed to a freelancer; in that case, the work-for-hire doctrine applies and the translator's employer owns the copyright in the French translation. But that isn't usually how translators work--mostly we seem to be freelancers or owners of our own translation businesses.

So that is the default rule, but check your contract; you may have agreed to a different rule.



[Edited at 2018-09-13 21:28 GMT]


 
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