First published in German as Die Kältezentrale by Inka PareiThat means that if someone wants to use my translation for some other purpose – put part of it in an anthology, make a Broadway musical out of it, print it all out in tiny letters on a poster – they have to ask me for permission first. Then I can negotiate an appropriate fee or simply refuse, if I don't want them to use my work. I'm unlikely to refuse but I do want to have some control over what happens to my creative output, understandably.
(c) Schöffling & Co. Verlagsbuchhandlung GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, 2011
First published in English translation by Seagull Books, 2014
Translation (c) Katy Derbyshire
However, some publishers don't work this way, and retain copyright to translations themselves. This seems to be particularly prevalent among university presses, as Wendell Ricketts has established in a study of US translations. It's well worth reading his report, as he names the good guys and the bad guys in the business, and also goes into some of the strange practices of simply not naming the translator anywhere except in small print in the book itself. He calls on publishers to stop "copyright rustling" in this way, and also on translators to stop putting up with it.
The website No Peanuts! for Translators has launched a petition against the practice. I have signed it because I agree that it is exploitative and wrong, but I feel a little uncomfortable about the way the site is happy to name and shame translators whose copyright gets taken away from them, but doesn't put author's names under its entries. So while you can read their informative and combative piece on copyright rustling, including brusque calls upon the various US translators' associations, you can't identity the "we" who is doing the asking. Perhaps I've missed something on the website, but the only names I find there are 542 "endorsers" who presumably haven't approved each article. And I could take a self-proclaimed "movement" more seriously if it wasn't effectively anonymous.