My upcoming ATA webinar on copyright for translators: Everyone’s invited

Copyright Theif

I don’t usually promote anything on this blog, but this time I feel it’s for a good cause. As many of my readers may already know, I’m a member of the Leadership Council of the American Translators Association’s Literary Division and am currently running for Assistant Administrator. One of the priorities that I mentioned in my candidate statement is that I intend to “[m]ake the most of my legal training to help create informative and educational tools on copyright law and other issues affecting literary translators and to make them broadly and easily available to the entire division.” As luck would have it, long before I was even nominated, I had mentioned to Mercedes Guhl, our current administrator, that I wanted to facilitate a webinar on IP and copyright. Mercedes and a bunch of other lovely people at the ATA and eCPD worked really hard to make that happen and now that idea is about to see the light of day.

The reason I wanted to facilitate this webinar is that intellectual property law can be a bit fathoming. Copyright, which is an area of intellectual property law that affects both work for hire as well as literary translation, is even more enigmatic at times and even lawyers struggle to find answers to questions that arise over translation copyright: Who owns copyright when using Machine Translation (MT)? What if the translator and client/publisher are in different countries? What if someone obviously ripped off someone else’s translation but could have rendered a similar translation by their own merit? And, more importantly, how can translators protect their intellectual property rights?

The internet is bursting with information, some of which is quite helpful, but it’s also bursting with misinformation and translators don’t always know where to look or who to trust. Meanwhile, the “translation industry” seems to be undergoing profound changes. Language professionals are pushed to waive copyright in exchange for peanuts and without proper credits or acknowledgment of their work –let alone royalties!

So I now have an opportunity to bring a little bit of information to translators about this tricky (yet fascinating!) world of IP law, especially copyright. This is happening on Thursday, October 15th at 12 PM EDT, and you can register here. In this webinar I intend to cover:

1) How copyright affects work for hire vs. literary translation contracts

2) How translators should be credited for their work

3) Royalties

4) The five most important copyright-related clauses that should appear in all translation contracts

5) How to protect your rights

We only have an hour, so my webinar has been designed as an overview of the essentials, but I hope it will be helpful to everyone. Information is power, or so they say. Therefore, my idea is to provide participants with the most important information that translators need to know. Needless to say, you are all invited and I hope to see you there!

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