The Linguist

The Linguist 55,1

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 6 of 35 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 The Linguist 7 FEATURES C opyright in interpreting may be a concept that you are unfamiliar with, but if you work as an interpreter, it is worth knowing about it. Interpreting, by its very nature, is a service provided for the moment. This is a clear differentiation from translation. However, when the interpretation is recorded, it can be reused, just like a translation. As any literary translator knows, translation is a creative process and is therefore covered by copyright. The same applies to interpretation, and this becomes relevant when someone wants to record (i.e. copy) your interpretation. Your consent must be sought before the recording takes place and you have every right to refuse. There may be good reasons why you would not want to be recorded. Your original listeners have a direct view of the proceedings and any distractions or interruptions in the room, and they can therefore understand things that may sound odd to someone who has only an audio file. The unpredictability of any interpreting situation is a risk when recording. On the other hand, there may be good reasons why the client wants a recording. Mostly it will be for internal use, such as the creation of minutes, and the person using the recording will most likely have been present during the meeting and be able to about whether you are comfortable with it and, if so, negotiate an appropriate fee. It is advisable to include a clause on recording and copyright in your standard Terms of Business, so that any new client is aware of the implications from the outset. This avoids unpleasant surprises on all sides. In fact, the CIOL Interpreting Division offers a model Terms of Business, which states: The interpretation is the intellectual property of the interpreter and is therefore covered by copyright law. Before recording the interpreter's work, the interpreter's written consent must be sought. It is up to the interpreter to refuse such consent. Generally the recording of the interpreter's work is only acceptable for internal use (such as the creation of minutes) and not for publication. It must be borne in mind that an interpreter's work is made for the moment and is influenced by many aspects… If the interpreter consents to the recording of his or her voice, a recording fee becomes applicable. I have used my own version of these Terms of Business for many years and have found them very useful. They are part of the Interpreter's Pack, available to CIOL members. understand things that might otherwise be unclear. Under these circumstances, most interpreters find a recording perfectly acceptable and waive their copyright in exchange for a copyright waiver fee. This recording fee tends to be around 10% of the daily fee. In other cases though, the client may want to publish the recorded interpretation, e.g. on the internet, which you may not be comfortable with for the reasons mentioned above. You then need to think carefully about whether you are willing to give up all control about the use of the recording. The same applies to interpreting for broadcasters, for example at a press conference. You know your recording will go out to a large audience and will probably be used several times over for commercial purpose. Your live interpretation, recorded and broadcast, will give your client the edge over those who do not broadcast live. In this case, when you allow your interpretation to be recorded and published, there is an added economic value for your client. Thus there is a real economic value to your copyright waiver and here the recording fee should be around 50% of your daily fee. In summary, before you sign over the copyright to your interpretation, find out the intended use of the recording, think carefully Sandra Froehlich-McCormack explores the issues surrounding copyright in interpreting Interpreting: your rights Sandra Froehlich-McCormack is a freelance conference interpreter. TL © SHUTTERSTOCK

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