Publishing a translated book

Gentlemen:

 

If I fully translate someone else's book from Spanish to English, does the new creation become legally and exclusively mine?  How could I get it published?

 

Thanks!

Comments

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Hmm... I do not think it becomes yours. I think at least 50% would become the author's. At least 50%. Unless the book is public domain.

     

    You need to contact the author for permission and an agreement. No going around it.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    Kingfish wrote:

    Gentlemen:

     

    If I fully translate someone else's book from Spanish to English, does the new creation become legally and exclusively mine?  How could I get it published?

     

    Thanks!


     

    A translation is a derivative work and can only be made with the express permission of the original copyright owner. According to the US Copyright Office: "Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, an adaptation of that work. The owner of a copyright is generally the author or someone who has obtained the exclusive rights from the author. In any case where a copyrighted work is used without the permission of the copyright owner, copyright protection will not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully. The unauthorized adaption of a work may constitute copyright infringement."

     

    You may want to read this as well: http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/copy-corner73.htm

     

    You can copyright the translation in your own name---but you cannot translate the book without first obtaining permission from the original copyright owner. So before you do anything else, you need to make sure that everything is square in that department...and that means getting things down in writing.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Kingfish a écrit :

    If I fully translate someone else's book from Spanish to English, does the new creation become legally and exclusively mine?  How could I get it published.


    You are the author of your translation and as such its copyright owner. Clearly state you copyright on your work.

    If the book is not in the public domain, some fees are owed to the author of the original directly of through his publisher. State the name of the copyright owner along with yours.

     

    I have translated into French a 1929 Philippine novel in classical Tagalog (Maître Tace). The author died in 1980, so his book is not yet in the public domain. I wrote his heirs, and they gave me permission to publish my translation without any fees owing to the fact it was a promotion of Tagalog literature, that is almost unknown on the international scene. This is exceptional.

     

  • Kingfish,

     

    That is a no! Here is why.  Would you feel that if someone were to come in and take a book that you have written and then translated it into a different language and called it theirs that they would have the right to call it their work? It does not matter what language another writers work is in. If you are not the original author then to commit plagiarism and steal that author's work is wrong. The original author is the only one that has the right to translate their work. That author has the right to all adaptations of  "THEIR" work. If you do not have their express permission in writing/legal documents to do so, then the answer is no, you can't. It's better to be safe than to infringe on the author's rights and be sued.

     

    Public Domain work is different. That work can be adapted by you and therefore published by you. But even though it is public domain, I think you still need to credit the original author by name. I do not have experience with public Domain works when writing, so you should really look in to how to do that rule wise.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Geraldine_Allie, have you ever translated a book?

     

    "All translators have the right to the same protection as authors in terms of the Berne Convention on copyright matters."

     

    A translation is a literary piece that belongs to its author. The translator's rights over his translation should not be confused with the author's rights over his original even though the author of the original has also rights on its translations and adaptations. The translation is published under the name of the original author, but the translator's name should be clearly mentioned at the beginning of the book, and better, on the cover. No translator should accept to be pushed in the background or, worse, left unmentioned. If a translated book is published without the translator's name, you may be sure that the publisher is a dishonest one.

     

    maître tace-full cover-10x5.jpg

  • Potetjp,

     

    Yes, I have translated some of my books. At the moment I have someone working on the French translation of two of my books that are in audio production at this moment. They are credited and mentioned. The part that I was specifying was that someone can not take another author's work and translate it into their own without permission from the original author.

     

    This was in no way referring to the work that you have published "with" the authors families permission. My statement refers to works "not" in the public domain.

     

    In all cases, translators, producers, publishers, and illustrators should always be credited for their work. Mine is always listed on the copyright page, and on the front cover when a producer, author, and narrator.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Geraldine_Allie a écrit :

    Yes, I have translated some of my books.


    Oh! Great! From what language(s) to what language(s) have you translated these books?

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Geraldine_Allie a écrit :

    The part that I was specifying was that someone can not take another author's work and translate it into their own without permission from the original author.

     ________________

     

    I agree with you. The problem is that the way you put things implied that the translator had not rights on his translation, while the opposite is true, and translators should be encouraged and praised for spreading knowledge.

     

  • Potetjp,

     

    Oh no, sorry about the confusion. Translators should always be credited for their work, absolutely. But now I'm a little confused if Kingfish was asking if they could take a work done by another author and pass it off as their own if they do the translation without the permission of the author.

     

    Potetjp,

     

    From English to French. I had a translator do the English to Spanish for me but the translation was not good so reworking that now. As for the English to French, that was easier to fix. Working on getting the translations fixed so I can get the print and ebooks updated correctly. I was lucky to find a narrator who spoke French fluently and was able to see the problems.

     

    Kingfish,

     

    I hope you can specify a little more in detail if this is what you mean or if you do have permission of the author. Either way, the author would still need to give you permission, and would still have rights to their work. You can not just X out the original author and call the authors work only yours.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Geraldine_Allie a écrit :

     

     

    From English to French. I had a translator do the English to Spanish for me but the translation was not good so reworking that now. As for the English to French, that was easier to fix. Working on getting the translations fixed so I can get the print and ebooks updated correctly. I was lucky to find a narrator who spoke French fluently and was able to see the problems.


    Congratulations. Very few native speakers of English can translate English into French. Generally the translator translates from the foreign language to his mother tongue.

  • Thank you, Potetjp. But that credit goes to the narrator/producer who is correcting the French translation. Smiley Happy


  • Kingfish wrote:

    Gentlemen:

     

    If I fully translate someone else's book from Spanish to English, does the new creation become legally and exclusively mine?  How could I get it published?

     

    Thanks!



    No.

     

    It is a derivitive work and to publish it is a violation of the copyright.

     

    You must obtain the writer's permission, or the work must be in the public domain. Otherwise, you stand to suffer badly in the resulting litigation.

     

    I am not a lawyer, this is not advice.

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