A panel on how to become a literary translator, organised by Amazon Publishing on 10 March 2018 within the Milan book fair ‘Tempo di Libri’ (http://www NULL.tempodilibri NULL.it/event/voglio-fare-il-traduttore-preparazione-opportunit-soddisfazioni-e-rischi-dellaltro-autore), was the occasion for Italian translators’ associations to follow up on a dialogue with AmazonCrossing about their contracts with translators. →
In late November last year the Translators’ section of the Swedish Writers’ Union (http://www NULL.forfattarforbundet NULL.se/) recommended its members to not sign any new deals with the Bonnier Group.
The Swedish Standard Contract was cancelled last summer and in late autumn Bonnier had presented a draft contract that was unacceptable to the literary translators. →
In the past year the Bulgarian Translators’ Union (http://www NULL.bgtranslators NULL.org/) (BTU) has dealt with a number of cases of translation plagiarism.
Last March Prof. Ana Dimova, literary translator and BTU member, published an article entitled The (Un)known Joseph Roth: Translation or Transcript in the renowned literary newspaper Literaturen Vestnik (https://litvestnik NULL.wordpress NULL.com/). →
On 15 December the Authors Guild (https://www NULL.authorsguild NULL.org/industry-advocacy/glimpse-world-u-s-translators/), the oldest and largest professional organization for writers in the United States, released results from a survey of U.S. literary translators. The survey, distributed online in April 2017 and conducted in collaboration with the American Literary Translators Association, the American Translators Association’s Literary Division, and the PEN America Translation Committee, collected information from 205 translators on payment, royalties, copyright, and various other aspects of the literary translation profession. →
The Swedish Writers’ Union is advising translators in Sweden against entering into agreements with all publishing companies within the Bonnier Publishing Group, Sweden’s largest publisher. Eleven companies have been declared non grata by the Union.
This comes after the Bonnier Group introduced a new Draft Contract earlier this year, which is to be used by all its subsidiaries and which includes many changes for the worse for translators. →
The number of users of e-readers is increasing – a positive development, as it offers opportunities to bring a broader readership into contact with a diverse range of books. But it is also important to consider the negative consequences.
E-books are illegally downloaded and distributed on a large scale. As a result, writers and translators are increasingly missing out on revenue.
In 2007, the Amazon group refused to pay a private copying levy on recording media sold online to customers in Austria. Amazon was taken to court by the Austrian collective management organisation Austro-Mechana (http://www NULL.akm NULL.at/) and found liable by the European Court of Justice to pay the levy. →
The Swedish Writers’ Union (http://www NULL.forfattarforbundet NULL.se/) and the Swedish Publishers’ Association agreed on a collective Model Contract for translators several decades ago. The contract has been re-negotiated a few times, but it has generally been respected and practiced in almost all cases where publishers have commissioned literary translations, whether the translator or the publisher have been members of the organizations that signed the contract or not. →
The Spanish association ACE Traductores (http://www NULL.ace-traductores NULL.org/) has recently published a ‘white paper’ on book translators’ rights as authors in the digital sector.
Part of the project was already presented in 2010, and now ACE Traductores has published an addendum regarding digital publishing. It compiles the results of a survey completed by translators, with a sociological interpretation and a legal analysis. →
A contract-law dispute arbitration board (http://www NULL.vvl NULL.nu/vvl/site/article/item/747/-Geschillencommissie-Auteurscontractenrecht-van-start-op-1-oktober-2016-/nl) was established in the Netherlands on 1st October 2016. Its role is to arbitrate disputes regarding the interpretation of contract law between authors and the parties exploiting their works. The procedure will be a simple one, based upon the law pertaining to authors’ rights (http://www NULL.hendriks-james NULL.nl/auteurswet/). →
French authors, as represented by the Permanent Council of Writers (http://www NULL.conseilpermanentdesecrivains NULL.org/conference-presse-cpe-17-10-2016) (CPE), have drawn up twelve proposals addressed to European policy makers. Their aim is to ensure that authors continue to enjoy freedom of expression and provide Europe’s biggest cultural industry with high-quality works so that European literature maintains its worldwide impact. →
On 15 October 2015 PEN International adopted the Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators (http://www NULL.pen-international NULL.org/the-quebec-declaration-on-literary-translation-and-translators/).
The text contains a six-point summary of the principles and objectives that PEN International intends to promote in the area of literary translation. These principles include the importance of translation in promoting the dignity of all cultures and languages, the need to draw attention to the conditions required in order to engage in this activity and, above all, the importance of defending the people who make communication possible – literary translators. →
Representing 10,000 literary translators in 28 countries, the European Council of Literary Translators Associations (CEATL) has answered the European Commission’s consultation on “the role of publishers in the copyright value chain” (https://ec NULL.europa NULL.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/public-consultation-role-publishers-copyright-value-chain-and-panorama-exception) and wishes to make the following comments on the question of granting neighbouring rights to publishers in EU law:
* Contracts already grant publishers all rights necessary to exploit the works and defend them against infringement. →
On 3rd April 2016 a groundbreaking document was signed between ODEI (the Italian Observatory of Independent Publishers), STRADE (the Italian Union of Translators working in the publishing industry), and the SLC-CGIL (Italian Union of Communication Workers, which STRADE is joining to represent translators). These associations signed a code of practice for a fair relationship between publishers and translators. →
On 26 April 2016, World Intellectual Property Day, the French Permanent Council of Writers will organize a conference at the European Parliament, titled ‘The European Author in the 21st Century’.
(http://www NULL.ceatl NULL.eu/conference-the-european-author-in-the-21st-century-brussels-26-april-2016/france-conference-invitation-eng-apr16)
For the full program, please click here (http://www NULL.ceatl NULL.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/PROGRAMME-The-European-Author-in-the-21st-Century NULL.docx). →
The German Initiative Urheberrecht (‘Copyright Initiative’) – a joint undertaking that so far 35 associations in the creative field have signed up to – is pleased to announce the success of its latest initiative: a petition to campaign for reforms to copyright contract law, and for stronger legal instruments to more fairly balance the relationship between authors, performing artists, publishers, distributors etc. →
On 5 January 2016, authors from a number of countries released open letters asking publishers to reconsider the contract terms they offer authors and outlining the parts of publishing contracts where, from the author’s perspective, reform is urgently needed.
The International Authors Forum (IAF (http://internationalauthors NULL.org/)) has also established 10 Principles for Fair Contracts. →
Brussels, 11 January 2016
As an association representing authors, CEATL has read with attention the communication and action plan for a reform of EU copyright rules published by the Commission on December 9th 2015.
* CEATL welcomes the emphasis put on the necessity to reassess the role and responsibility of internet intermediaries and platforms, as well as to fight commercial-scale copyright infringements more effectively. →
Brussels, 8 September, 2015
In a press release dated 2 February 2015 (http://www NULL.ceatl NULL.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2015-02-02-PRESS-RELEASE-TTIP-english NULL.pdf), CEATL sounded the alarm on the fact that the publishing industry was part of the TTIP negotiating mandate, which might pose a threat to policies of protection and promotion of the book sector, notably to fixed book prices. →
The Dutch Vereniging van Letterkundigen (VvL (http://www NULL.vvl NULL.nu/vvl/index NULL.php), Society of Authors) has adopted General Terms and Conditions (http://www NULL.vvl NULL.nu/vvl/site/submenu/item/559) to be used by translators of books other than those able to negotiate the already existing model contract, which is based on a gentleman’s agreement between the VvL and the Dutch Literaire Uitgeversgroep (LUG (http://www NULL.gau NULL.nuv NULL.nl/bestuur-werkgroepen/literaire-uitgeversgroep-(lug) NULL.9540 NULL.lynkx), Literary Fiction Publishers’ Group). →