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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3655
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I have translated a book of a Russian Author into english

Customer Question

I have translated a book of a Russian Author into english and we published it back in Ukraine as a gift to him for his anniversary. I now need to understand what documents he needs to sign for me to be able to sell his translation here. Thank you
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you for your email. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. There are two ways you can do this:

(i) You can effectively act as his agent to arrange publication in England; or

(ii) you can take a license over the material and have the right to publish.

Who will the proceeds of the publication belong to?

Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
They will belong to me.The book is a translation of his quotes and short stories, collected from several books into one.
It is published by a Ukrainian publishing house, with my name as the translator. I want to be able to officially sell it here in the UK and across other EU countries. The book will essentially be only interesting to Russian Speakers abroad, but they tend to be spread all across the world. For example, to be able to place it on Amazon...what would the author of the works need to sign for me as the translator of his works into English?Thank you
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. You will need a license to publish it here, you will likely need permission from the Ukrainian publishing house. Did he give the Ukrainian publishing house global publishing rights? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
His agent helped us publish it back in Ukraine. He would have only seen the book when published.
Is there a single one document he can sign of him giving permission for me to distribute his works translated by me?
So I need to get the Ukrainian publishing house to allow me to get a licence here? What's the license here called and how do I go about getting it?Thank you !
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. You need to check either with the publishing house or with the agent, that he did not give the publishing house global publishing rights. A license is the type of legal arrangement this will be. Are you paying him a fee for the publishing rights?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok. So I have to ask the Ukrainian publishing house for permission to get a licence to publish here. Correct?
And that will allow me to sell that same book I have several copies of now here in the UK.
No, as far as I concerned, not paying him a fee.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Check with the agent first (before contacting the publishing house) and find out what rights they have given to the publishing house. The license can simply be a letter, it need only say the following " he gives you an exclusive irrevocable worldwide license to publish [DESCRIPTION OF THE MATERIALS] in the English Language". Does the author have the capacity to sign an document in English?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He does. He is a close friend of my parents and will sign a document that is provided to him. I just need to understand from my side what it is and am a bit clueless on the publishing laws in the UK or worldwide. Thanks
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. The main concern here is that he has already given publishing rights away, in doing this will it cause you to receive a claim from the existing publisher. Therefore you may want to start off making inquiries into this discreetly. Kind regards AJ