Publishing Agreement Translation

Under German law, the translator holds the copyright to the translated work. It is an inalienable right that cannot be transferred. However, the translator can and must transfer to you as an author the rights to operate the translated book; Otherwise, you can`t publish it. Once you have obtained these rights, you will be able to treat the translation in the same way as your English books for which you hold the copyright. All you need to keep in mind is that the translator should be informed of any changes made to the translation. In addition, the translator has the right to indicate his name as the author of the translation (for example. B in legal mentions or at the front). As the author of the translation, it is right that the translator should benefit as well as the success of the book. Royalties must be paid from the beginning or after the initial tax if it is considered an advance, has been earned (or after the sale of a certain number of copies of the translation). However, if the contract provides for a basic royalty-free fee, additional fees must be paid if the sale reaches an agreed level.

Contracts that provide for the last part of the basic tax for publication are unacceptable. The payment of the last tranche of the basic tax must be directly related to the completion or acceptance of the translation. You can also think of other rights, for example. B what happens if you decide to produce an audiobook of your foreign language edition, or if it needs to be adapted to a movie (you never know). In this case, how would the translator be associated with compensation? If you enter into a z.B licensing agreement with a narrator on ACX, the benefits of selling audiobooks can be shared between the author and the translator and the narrator – if you have a split-deal license for your translation. The right to be recognized as the author of his own work: “As the author of the translation, the translator is named wherever the original author is called” (Hexalogue, #6). When a publisher sells a translation license, the license agreement must require the licensee to designate the translator in the same way as the licensee. The editor and translator agree on a timetable that ensures that a professional translation can be performed.

It is the joint responsibility of the publisher and translator not to offer or accept a translation if the expected time is too short to do professional work. Another important point that is particularly important for literary translation is that the translator should not be asked to provide in-part translation in order to speed up the editorial process. It is only after the translation of the entire work that the translator can put it in its final form, which gives it a coherence and a uniform style. Therefore, if the translator is asked to provide a partial translation or if the publisher, after signing the contract, asks the translator to anticipate the delay, such a publisher should not have the right to refuse a translation due to problems arising from the fact that there is not enough time to complete the work. Compliance with these guidelines is important, but should not necessarily be sufficient: the translator must always be vigilant and ensure that the contract to be signed is a fair agreement between the publisher and the translator. If the translator is supposed to do work other than translation (for example. B perform additional research, write an introduction, glossary or index), this work should be clearly broken down and the translator should receive a separate fee. If necessary, the translator should also receive additional fees to perform unforeseen additional work. The clauses sometimes provide for many forms of exploitation of entire parts or translations without the translator being paid, provided that such exploitation is intended to promote not only translation and translator, but also “the activity of the publisher”.