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. In principle, the contract has granted the translator remuneration for their work at the time of delivery of the manuscript and later remuneration for the moral or Authors’ Rights for new editions on different terms for different formats. If the book has not been reprinted within eight years the translator has had the right to have the copyright of their translation returned to them without any cost.
About two years ago the Union and the Association started new negotiations to revise the Model Contract. The negotiations were going slowly and were not very constructive, often ending up in a quagmire of discussions on tax legislation and its effects on translators’ remuneration. In the end the Union had an offer from the publishers that it turned down, because it would, in practice, mean lower remuneration and no remuneration for new editions.
A couple of months after that the Swedish Publishers’ Association terminated the Model Contract. From Midsummer onwards it will no longer be in effect.
The Translators’ Section of the Writers’ Union has recommended that its members as well as the publishers stick to the old Model Contract, because it has been used for many years, everybody knows how to use it and its conditions are more or less fair for both translators and publishers. The Union has had indications that not all publishers will accept this. Instead publishers are trying to push new models of contracts in negotiations with single translators.
The Translators’ Section of the Writers’ Union is presently working on strategies to meet the new market situation.
For the text of the now terminated Model contract, please click here (http://oversattarsektionen NULL.se/avtalsalfabetet#agreement).