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Archive for June 2nd, 2008

On the 30th of May 2008 the Commission launches the Justice Forum. The objective of the Forum is to promote a dialogue between the Commission and stakeholders in the justice systems of the Member States. Representatives of all professions involved in the justice systems (judges, lawyers, prosecutors, academics, legal translators and interpreters), and delegates from NGOs, the Council of Europe, the Fundamental Rights Agency and others have been invited to take part in the Justice Forum’s meetings. The Justice Forum will cover both civil and criminal justice issues, and this is reflected in its membership.

The Justice Forum will discuss existing EU legislation and possible future legislation. The Commission hopes to get feedback on EU legal instruments already adopted and in force to assess “user satisfaction”, to ascertain which measures are perceived as useful by practitioners and whether any gaps remain in EU legislation. More generally, the Commission is interested in assessing to what extent the objective of creating an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice is being met.

Vice-President Jacques Barrot, Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, said: “With the Justice Forum the Commission will benefit from greater awareness of its aims and objectives on the part of practitioners and other experts. By using the channel of communication opened up by the Justice Forum it will have direct access to key experts and get its message across, and contribute to establishing the optimal conditions for the operation of mutual recognition”.

The objectives of e-Justice

The objectives of e-Justice, which encompass both criminal and civil justice, are broadly the following:

  • The creation of a European portal designed to facilitate access to justice by citizens and businesses across Europe. It will include relevant and updated information on the rights of defendants and victims in criminal proceedings and on the remedies available before the courts of another Member State in the event of cross-border disputes. To make it possible to exercise those rights in practice, the portal will also provide guidance to find the competent court or tribunal in the relevant country. Furthermore, the portal may allow access to certain on-line procedures, already foreseen in existing EU regulations, such as debt recovery action for small claims.
  • The reinforcement of judicial co-operation, on the basis of existing legal instruments. An area of major concern to the Commission will be the interconnection of Criminal Record Databases. This ongoing project allows judges and enforcement agencies across the EU to take account of defendants’ past criminal convictions. The Commission also considers other actions, concerning exchanges of information between legal practitioners (for which a specially secured network will have to be devised), enhanced recourse to videoconference (so far, little used in cross-border proceedings) and innovative translation tools, such as automatic translation, dynamic forms and a European databases of legal translators and interpreters.
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Spanish language interpreting services are now available for less than one dollar thanks to Lifelinks newest service. Miscommunication, medical error, liability, “he said-she said”, all factor into regular business transactions in our modern economy particularly in the healthcare industry. Now Lifelinks Interpreting Services offers Spanish telephonic interpreting for only $0.99 a minute and live interactive 2-way video Spanish for $1.95 a minute during regular business hours E.S.T.

For access all users need is a telephone for the former and a webcam/computer for the latter. Spanish language interpreters are experienced in medical, legal and business terminology. There is no minimum usage requirement nor is there equipment to lease. Users own and use their own equipment. Installation takes as little as 10 minutes and functions on a PC, MAC, laptop, Computer On Wheels (COW), Polycom, Tandberg,etc.,even wirelessly.  No longer does a hospital have to wait hours for a live interpreter to arrive at 3 am on Christmas or New Year’s Eve in a snowstorm. No longer does the patient have to be wheeled through long, dark corridors in the middle of the night to where the video equipment is located, while immodestly dressed and cold. No longer does the hospital have to locate the key to the secure room where the video equipment is stored to protect it against theft. No longer does the hospital have to commit to long term leases of rapidly obsolete, heavy, bulky equipment. No longer does the hospital have to commit to minimum usage requirements. Lifelinks VRI’s service is as close as a PC, laptop or tv.

In addition to Spanish language, Lifelinks provides interpretation services in the following languages: Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Croatian, Farsi, French, French Canadian, French Creole, German, Hindi, Llicano, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Swahili, Tagalong, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. Lifelinks VRI also offers most other languages over video from Afghani to Zulu, when provided with slightly more advance notice.

“Some companies offer one or two languages over video, Lifelinks offers over 100,” says Evan David of Lifelinks.

Because no special equipment is required, the service is available ubiquitously in any room where there is broadband. The service is also available on small desktop devices or mounted on a wall to save floor space. With one click the hospital, pharmacy, health care provider, immigration or law enforcement officer, courtroom, school, post office, bank, etc. can access a live interpreter. The advantages of video over telephonic interpreting are obvious: the interpreter can see and be seen thereby observing the body language of the foreign born individual and, conversely, providing a sense of comfort to the latter when he/she sees a person from her/his native country “live” on the monitor. Studies in hospitals utilizing remote interpreting services by JCAHO The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Health Care Organizations have shown a reduction in medical error, injury, miscommunication, liability and health care costs. The issues of cultural diversity are well known and of serious current concern to the Committee on Issues of Cultural Diversity of the A.M.A.

Source: http://www.emediawire.com


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The Spanish Anti Piracy Federation (“FAP”) demanded the operator of a website to shut it down because FAP claims it violates Spanish Copyright laws.   The website offers subtitles for movies and television shows that have been translated from, mostly, English original versions.   FAP’s action against the cyber-translator is not uncommon in the European Union where some countries have already taken legal action against cyber-translators of movies and television shows.

In the European Union cyber-translator sites of movies and shows are becoming popular, as evidenced by their million of monthly hits.  Translation services offered by these particular websites are free of charge. Hence, FAP and other similar agencies throughout Europe consider that these sites are violating copyright laws even though their services are not-for-profit.    FAP considers that subtitles are derived from the protected work and they cannot be translated without the author’s consent.

This particular Spanish case involved the website wikisubtitles.net, a site registered in Canary Islands.  FAP requested the owner of wikisubtitles.net to shut his site down or face legal action for copyright infringement. FAP claims wikisubtitles.net “places a large amount of cinematographic work at users’ disposal” and “distributes, for profit, all or part of a protected work.” Wikisubtitles.net claimed it was not distributing anything and its translation services were not for profit.

Spanish Copyright Acts protects cinematographic works as part of the generic category of audiovisual works.’  Article 86(1) of the Spanish Copyright Act specifically defines audiovisual works as ”creations expressed by means of a series of associated images, with or without incorporated sound, that are intended essentially to be shown by means of a projection apparatus or any other means of communication to the public of the images and of the sound, irrespective of the nature of the physical media in which the said works are embodied.”

Additionally, Spanish Copyright Act defines ‘derivative works’ as works taken from pre-existing works.  Article 11 confers intellectual property protection to derivative works “without prejudice to the copyright in the original work.”  Among the derivative works listed by Article 11, ‘translations and adaptations’ is the first derivative work mentioned.

Thus, translations and adaptations of audiovisual works enjoy intellectual property protection as derivative works under the Spanish Copyright Act.  Yet, the author of an original work may authorize its adaption into a derivative work according to the same Article 11 of the Copyright Act.  If the author authorizes adaptation of an original work into a derivative work, the author still retains the moral rights on the work.  Indeed, the author has remedies available for any adaptation that deviates from the limits of the authorization.  Translations protected as derivative works also provide rights to the translator, as long as they are consistent with the   rights of the author of the original work.

Spanish law is consistent with international standards regarding intellectual property rights on derivative works, including translations.  So, the key question is: do cyber-translators require consent from the author of the original work?  Even in those cases where the translation is done by mechanical means?   It is fair to say that there may not be a specific and broadly-applied answer to these questions.  Each case most is confined to its facts and jurisdiction.

Source: http://www.ibls.com

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Police unhappy at privatised translators service

Police and Civil Guard think that the security of the state could be threatened by using outside translators.
Police, Civil Guard and unions are unhappy at the decision from the Ministry of the Interior earlier in May to privatise the translation service used by the police and Guardia Civil.

The contract is worth 2.6 million € to the Seprotec company, but some police say that full background checks are not being carried out on the new translators and already they have seen a case of a translator with a previous criminal record, when a Pakistani man was sent to translate at Barajas Airport in Madrid. Police claim that the security of the state is at risk if untrustworthy translators are allowed into police stations, and they are also worried by a possible terrorist threat.

Source: http://www.typicallyspanish.com

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Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni is no stranger to criticism. For over 20 years he has been among the most controversial cabinet ministers, frequently locked in feuds with the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Islamist politicians as well as left-wing intellectuals. But in what is perhaps the fiercest campaign against him to date, last week Hosni was accused by Israeli newspapers of upping the ante in increased diplomatic tension between Egypt and Israel after being quoted as saying he would burn Israeli books himself if he found any in libraries in Egypt. The remark could, as some suggest, thwart his bid to become the head of UNESCO.

Hosni’s comment came during an NDP meeting on 10 May in reply to questioning from opposition MP Mohsen Radi. The statement angered Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Shalom Cohen who in a classified report submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, described it as “harsh and especially blunt, in a way which makes it impossible for Israel and for the international community to continue a regular agenda with Egypt.”

On its online news edition, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot said, “The newspaper was informed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accepted the Israeli ambassador’s suggestion to present a stern protest to the Egyptian government. Simultaneously, the ministry issued a strong protest to the Egyptian ambassador in Israel.”Aharonot also said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni likely raised the issue in her discussions with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit. A message sent this week by the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for international relations, Shimon Samuels, to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura warned of “a major threat to the very values of UNESCO”, referring to Hosni’s remarks. Samuels noted in his letter, “according to Egyptian sources, Hosni has himself admitted to this statement, couched in the language and actions of Nazi Minister of Culture Josef Goebbels — a scandal irrespective of the cultural origins of the authors targeted,” and stressing that, “Hosni is considered a serious candidate to replace Matsuura as director-general of UNESCO.”

The letter continued, “in that context, it should be noted that Hosni hardly reflects Egypt’s cultural glory.”

In his letter, Samuels accused Hosni of being anti-Semitic after personally inviting Muslim French writer Roger Garaudy, who is a Holocaust disbeliever, to speak in Cairo and to apologise for genocide, in a one- hour interview on national television. Samuel also charged Hosni with blocking the establishment of a museum of Egyptian Jewish history in Cairo. The centre urged Matsuura to view “these protestations as empty in view of Hosni’s known positions and latest excess — an aspirant book- burner who threatens to wield culture as a weapon, and who cannot head the intellectual arm of the United Nations. His prejudices, intolerance and disrespect preclude any ability to administer UNESCO’s dialogue among civilisations and its mandate for multiculturalism.”

“The Wiesenthal Centre will join together with the true champions of all cultures to engage voting states on the impossible scenario of Hosni as director-general of UNESCO,” concluded Samuels. In August last year Egypt put up Hosni’s name as a candidate for UNESCO in an election set for January 2009. The nomination was supported by France, Spain and Italy and other European countries. Supervisors of Hosni’s election campaign in Cairo, who seek anonymity, asserted that as Hosni’s chances to win the UNESCO post increases, Jewish newspapers and Israeli officials do not hesitate to remind international public opinion that Hosni, as Egypt’s minister of culture, is against cultural normalisation with Israel and opposes its participation in any cultural events in Egypt.

In her column in the daily Israeli newspaper Haaretz, an Israeli writer said that Israel can support any Egyptian official to direct UNESCO except Hosni who stands against Egypt’s cultural normalisation with Israel and who banned the participation of the Israeli film The Band’s Visit in the Cairo International Film Festival. The sources say the anti-Hosni campaign recently increased after some Mediterranean and Asian countries announced their initial approval of Hosni’s nomination during their meeting at a cultural dialogue held in Sharm El-Sheikh. In a telephone interview with Al-Ahram Weekly Hosni described the accusations made by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre as unfounded and deficient of substance and gravity. He pointed out that statements made by Cohen was a personal reaction following his refusal of cultural normalisation with Israel. “How can we have cultural normalisation with Israel as Palestinian blood is being spilt in the occupied territories?” Hosni asked, asserting that, “normalisation will only take place if Israel honours its international obligations towards the Palestinians and recognises their right to have their own state.” “If I win the post of UNESCO director- general the whole world will be my nation and I will serve world culture without discrimination between states,” Hosni told the Weekly.

He said his remark was hyperbole used in response to a comment by a member of parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood who said Egyptian bookshops and libraries were full of Israeli books.  “I denied this and told the MP, using a hyperbole, that if those books existed I would burn them myself,” Hosni said. “This was a way of confirming the denial, not confirming the act of burning,” he clarified. “On the same day, I went on Egyptian TV and said Israeli books should be translated into Arabic in order to better understand Israelis who translate many books from Arabic and know us much better than we know them,” Hosni added. Being a minister of culture, he could not order the burning of books, he said.

As for being accused of anti-Semitism, Hosni said, “How can we fight against ourselves? We are Semites.” As for blocking an initiative to build an Egyptian Jewish history museum in Cairo, Hosni’s response was, “If what the Wiesenthal Centre said was true, why would I be ordering the restoration of Jewish temples and the preservation of Jewish papyri as part of world heritage? “Egypt is always keen to preserve and protect Jewish monuments as an Egyptian cultural and archaeological heritage,” Hosni said, noting that the Supreme Council of Antiquities has put 10 Jewish synagogues on Egypt’s heritage list, nine in Cairo and one in Alexandria. “If what I said really meant the actual burning of books, then I would be ordering the burning of Jewish temples and papyri, not restoring and preserving them,” the minister said. Hosni said some Israelis were inciting public opinion against him on the Internet. He said it was not a personal attack but was being waged against Egypt and the Arab world’s UNESCO candidate.

Source: http://weekly.ahram.org

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La UE estudia imitar el modelo lingüístico de OAMI para oficina de Patentes de Munich

Una delegación del Parlamento Europeo ha visitado hoy la Oficina de Marcas, Dibujos y Modelos de la UE (OAMI), en Alicante, para estudiar si es posible exportar su modelo lingüístico a la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPA) de Munich, que únicamente utiliza el inglés, francés y alemán.

Los europarlamentarios Manuel Medina Ortega (d) (PSE), y el alemán Hans-Peter Mayer (PPE), durante la rueda de prensa que han ofrecido tras la visita
La ue estudia imitar el modelo lingüístico de oami

Los seis eurodiputados, de varias sensibilidades políticas, han conocido el funcionamiento de la OAMI, la euroagencia comunitaria con mayor superávit económico de los Veintisiete, con más de 300 millones de euros en los últimos diez años, y que en 2007 ha aumentado la recepción de solicitudes hasta alcanzar las 88.000. El viaje se enmarca dentro del intento de Bruselas por desbloquear la aprobación de la Ley de Patentes Europea, que sigue sin ver la luz por la falta de acuerdo sobre los idiomas que se utilizan para la tramitación y resolución de las solicitudes.

España es uno de los países que más se opone a que la oficina europea de Munich, que a falta de esa Ley no es comunitaria sino de los países europeos libremente adheridos, no utilice el español, cuestión que es, en palabras del eurodiputado socialista Manuel Medina Ortega, ‘esencial’. La delegación del Parlamento Europeo ha sido informada de que, en la OAMI, las solicitudes de la marca, dibujo o modelo comunitario se tramitan en cualquiera de las veintitrés lenguas de la UE aunque siempre se obliga a que haya una segunda versión en algunos de los cinco principales idiomas: inglés, francés, alemán, español e italiano.

Esta traducción se hace para facilitar la transparencia en caso de que haya un posible perjudicado por la tramitación de un expediente, que sea de un país distinto.Para el eurodiputado español, la gestión en este asunto de la OAMI es ‘modélica’ ya que salvaguarda los derechos de todos ciudadanos por su ‘pluralidad de lenguas’ y ofrece ‘más garantías’ al dar la posibilidad de defensa en el idioma propio. ‘España no está dispuesta a aceptar el modelo de Munich’ ya que para el Gobierno ‘es inadmisible’ que se excluya al español como lengua disponible en la tramitación o, como mínimo, para usarse en la vía de los posibles recursos judiciales por oposición a un registro.

Por el contrario, el conservador alemán Hans-Peter Mayer ha argumentado que el modelo de la OAMI no es exportable a Munich porque la tramitación de las marcas, dibujos y modelos es mucho más sencilla que las de las patentes, y la traducción a más idiomas en la EPA multiplicaría los costes y los trámites. ‘Para las marcas, con unas pocas palabras se puede traducir la petición pero una patente puede suponer miles de páginas de traducción, y muchos de los gestores de pymes no tienen tiempo para traducir tantas páginas a tantos idiomas’, ha comentado. El alemán ha pedido a España que, superando las barreras ideológicas, permita aprobar la Ley de Patentes Europea para ‘dar certidumbre jurídica a las patentes’ (con la confirmación de Munich como sede incluida) para, después, tratar el asunto de las lenguas.

En la réplica, Medina ha aclarado que España busca un acuerdo aunque el consenso sobre la inclusión del español es ‘muy importante’ para no perjudicar a un mercado de más 400 millones de personas y que genera el 7 por ciento del PIB nacional. Tras la visita a la euroagencia con sede en Alicante, la misma delegación irá la próxima semana la Oficina de Patentes de Munich para tratar de avanzar. Además de Medina Ortega y Mayer, la delegación de eurodiputados ha estado presidida por la polaca Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (PSE) y también formada por la húngara Katalin Lévai (PSE) el lituano Aloyzas Sakalas (PSE) y el italiano Francesco Enrico Speroni (UEN). Los europarlamentarios también han valorado otros aspectos de la OAMI, presidida por el holandés Wubbo de Boer, como que 150 de los 700 empleados ya trabajen desde casa (teletrabajo) y que se prevé que este número vaya en aumento.

Fuente: http://actualidad.terra.es

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Gemma Rovira ha traducido los tres últimos libros

La torre de Babel lo pone difícil pero gracias a ellos accedemos a las mayores joyas de la literatura universal. Son los traductores, una profesión a menudo arrinconada bajo el ego del escritor, y sin la cual, serían mayores las trabas en el acceso a la lectura.

Gemma Rovira se siente orgullosa por haber traducido los últimos tres libros de Harry Potter. Asegura que era fan del famoso mago antes de convertirse en su traductora, por lo que cuando le ofrecieron el trabajo, le hizo mucha ilusión: “En la actualidad no hay un libro de literatura juvenil con tanto éxito, es un proyecto para el que entré ilusionada porque ya era fan”.

Tras 20 años de trabajo, cuando en ediciones Salamandra le ofrecieron entrar en la serie, lo vivió como un premio a su trayectoria profesional: “me lo tomé como una responsabilidad grande, es un libro al que se les presta mucha atención. Los traductores siempre buscan algo del libro que te enganche, enamore, porque es un trabajo de muchas horas, largo y, en este caso, era evidente”.

Sin embargo, no todo son sonrisas, el gremio se queja de la invisibilidad y de la baja retribución de su oficio. Maria Teresa Gallego es traductora literaria y vicepresidenta de la Asociación Colegial de Escritores Sección Traductores . La traductora considera que es un trabajo “muy poco preciado cuando es a partir de la traducción que tenemos acceso a la cultura mundial. Sino fuera por ellos, estaríamos limitados a conocer sólo la cultura que está hecha en nuestro idioma, es una profesión importante y curiosamente, está poco reconocida”.

Gallego explica que se trata de una “profesión aleatoria”, en la que la demanda depende mucho del momento, y en la que “incluso teniendo ingresos regulares no es fácil mantener una familia”. Por ello, los traductores reclaman un mayor reconocimiento a una labor vocacional que acerca nuestro idioma a los más universales.

Fuente: http://www.telecinco.es

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