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Better basis of negotiation for Danish translators after new trade agreement
Better basis of negotiation for Danish translators after new trade agreement
18 Oct, 2022

The Danish Authors’ Society (https://danskforfatterforening NULL.dk/danish-authors-society/) , of which the Danish Translators Association is a part, has reached a collective agreement with the Danish Publishers’ association (https://www NULL.danskeforlag NULL.dk) on the implementation of the transparency part of the EU’s DSM directive (https://eur-lex NULL.europa NULL.eu/eli/dir/2019/790/oj).

This agreement means that publishers will have a responsibility to be transparent about all of the economic aspects of authors’ contracts, such as: costs, revenue, sales figures for books and other formats, etc. This is especially relevant for authors (including translators) on lump sum contracts who cannot otherwise comprehend how much money their work makes for the publisher. Without this information, it is difficult for authors to demand better remuneration under art. 20 of the DSM directive.

The Danish Authors’ Society, the Danish Fiction Writers Association (https://forfattere NULL.org) and Danish Publishers all agree that the provisions of the agreement should apply to publishing contracts for fiction, non-fiction, textbooks and children’s/YA literature, as well as illustrator and translator contracts. The provisions also apply to digital publications. The agreement stipulates which type of information should be made available, how often it must be provided, and in what ways the responsibility to provide such information is affected by the nature of the contracts (royalty-based, lump sum or somewhere in between).

Aside from the fact that the agreement will hopefully strengthen the basis of negotiations for translators and other authors, the negotiations and settlement of the terms of the agreement are the first collective trade agreement in the Danish book sector for almost thirty years – the Danish book market being one of the most thoroughly liberalized in Europe. This bodes well for future negotiations between the parties; hopefully this also signals new and more united ways of facing the challenges from the global streaming market that is pressuring (small) national and regional book markets, not least within the field of translated literature.

Link to the agreement (in Danish) here. (https://danskforfatterforening NULL.dk/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/221010-Ny-vejledende-brancheaftale-om-stoerre-transparens-i-oekonomien-bag-forlagskontrakter-1 NULL.pdf)

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