METM18 presentation 

When your name’s on it: marking your digital territory


Allison Wright, Boliqueime, Portugal 

If you’re the author, translator or copy editor of a book, where your name goes on or inside it is well defined; in academic circles or journalism, what gets your name on a publication is also quite clear; and in commerce and industry, where intellectual property rights are fiercely guarded, some clients readily agree to include your name as translator or copywriter in the credits on their material. No surprises there. Enter the Internet Age – the “copy-and-paste” era in the digital world – and suddenly, rules about acknowledging your source seem to vanish, or the lines become smudged at the very least. On blogs, social media, conference slides, webinars, teaching and training materials, there is often little regard for attribution to the original author. This talk will consider the double-sided nature of greater publicity afforded by digital media, and the dangers and convenience of plagiarising online texts. By using a variety of illustrated examples gleaned legitimately from the internet and the presenter’s own collection, this presentation will seek to centre discussion on prevalent types of unattributed copying, reproduction and distribution without permission as they relate to the translation profession and ancillary activities, such as maintaining professional websites, blogging, and writing posts on social media. Even in informal situations, we need to address questions like these: When does sharing become stealing? When is tweeting not cool? What can you do to curtail bad practice and raise awareness without raising hackles on social media? What do you do if someone fails to give proper acknowledgement for material on your blog? When do you call someone out for copying someone else’s conference presentation? What can you do to know your rights, and how can you mark your digital territory accordingly?

About the presenter

Based in Portugal since 2008, Allison Wright is a German-, French- and Portuguese-to-English translator and English editor with over 30 years’ experience. Although Allison specialises in corporate communications and has an in-depth knowledge of viticulture, her many interests – like her life – defy neat description.
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