Translation rights and translation works

Tracing copyright owners and asking permission.
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Mubuer
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Translation rights and translation works

Post by Mubuer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:04 am

A has written an English book, named as SUMMER. B get the permission from A to translate SUMMER into Italian. The Italian Summer is a copyrighted translation works.
In this case, if A wants to use the translation works, does A should get the permission from B?

I'm confused..... :? :? :?

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AndyJ
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Re: Translation rights and translation works

Post by AndyJ » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:29 am

Hi Mubuer,

The Italian edition would be known as an adaptation and would have a separate copyright from the original, and theoretically the new translation would embody two copyrights: that of the original author and that of the translator. This would mean that someone (C) who bought a copy of the Italian edition would not be able to just get permission from the translator in order to translate that version back into English, so creating a second English version of the book in competition with the original author.

I'm not sure what kind of circumstance you envisage when you ask about A 'using' B's translation. A can certainly insist on a credit as the author, for instance, but he couldn't claim to have produced the translation. The extent to which A would be entitled to royalties from the sales of B's translation would be set out in the original agreement between them (or more likely their respective publishers or literary agents). Indeed, much of the fine detail about how B can exploit his work will probably be contained in this agreement. For instance it might also cover the markets into which the translation may be sold, ebook rights or film rights etc. If you could provide an example of A using B's translation which you would like me to explain, I will try to do so.
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Mubuer
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Re: Translation rights and translation works

Post by Mubuer » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:00 am

Sorry, I didn't express it clearly.

I want to know that whether A can publish the Italian edition on A's website or for other purposes without B's permission.

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AndyJ
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Re: Translation rights and translation works

Post by AndyJ » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:21 am

Hi Mubuer,

Thanks for the clarification. No, A would need B's permission to make the Italian version available to the public in that way, unless something else had been agreed beforehand. The basic rights B retains in his version are:
  • The right to make copies of his work or to authorise someone else to make copies. (this is the reproduction right)

    The right to authorise the communication of the work to the public, for instance in digital form. (this is the making available right)

    The right to authorise distribution of the work by sale or lending etc (the distribution and rental right)
These may seem like variations on the same thing, but they are aimed at slightly different delivery methods, and are based on the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) Copyright Treaty 1996, which in turn is based upon the older Berne Conventions.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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