CEATLs sex budord: rimliga villkor för litterära översättare

Compliance with copyright, adequate payment: by publishing its Hexalogue, CEATL demands fair-play for literary translators

Three years after the groundbreaking study on the income of literary translators in Europe, the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL) has published six basic rules for fair-play in all business relations with literary translators.

Drawing on the experience of its 32 member associations, CEATL notes a general disregard for literary translators’ rights, in addition to shamefully low remuneration. Although all European countries have signed the Berne Convention, in which translations are explicitly acknowledged as original literary works, in many countries translators are not considered authors. This disregard is also reflected in the fact that the translator’s name is generally omitted from the credits, at readings and other events, and is often ignored by the media (press, radio, TV, online). Sometimes the translator’s name is omitted even when their work is used.

In order to change these unsatisfactory conditions, CEATL’s member associations have drawn up a set of six rules with which all parties involved in literary translation should comply: translators, publishers, event organisers and critics. You will find this ‘Hexalogue’ below, in its original wording. We would be grateful if you would devote a few lines to CEATL’s publication of these rules. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

 

Hexalogue or Code of Good Practice

The Six Commandments of ‘fair-play’ in literary translation, adopted by CEATL’s General Assembly on 14 May, 2011. [pdf download]

1. Licensing of rights
The licensing of rights for the use of the translation shall be limited in time to a maximum of five years. It shall be subject to the restrictions and duration of the licensed rights of the original work. Each licensed right shall be mentioned in the contract.

2. Fees
The fee for the commissioned work shall be equitable, enabling the translator to make a decent living and to produce a translation of good literary quality.

3. Payment terms
On signature of the contract, the translator shall receive an advance payment of at least one third of the fee. The remainder shall be paid on delivery of the translation at the latest.

4. Obligation to publish
The publisher shall publish the translation within the period stipulated in the contract, and no later than two years after the delivery of the manuscript.

5. Share in profit
The translator shall receive a fair share of the profits from the exploitation of his/her work, in whatsoever form it may take, starting from the first copy.

6. Translator’s name
As author of the translation, the translator shall be named wherever the original author is named.