IAF’s participation in Latin America Book Fairs

Athanasios VenitsanopoulosAuthors earnings, IAF, Latin America, News

Maria Fernanda Mendoza, IAF Consultant for Latin America and members of IAF’s Latin America network participated in the book fairs of Bogota and Panama, raising awareness about the issues authors are facing in the region, highlighting the importance of fair contracts.


On 10 August 2021, Maria Fernanda Mendoza, along with Mateo Cardona, Vice-President of the Colombian Association of Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters (ACTTI) took part in the Authors’ Rights Seminar organised by the Colombian Authors’ Rights National Direction at the Bogota Book Fair. While around 400 people watched the discussion online, Maria Fernanda Mendoza and Mateo Cardona talked about the need to review contracts traditionally signed by translators when models persist that violate authors’ rights. In particular, four points directly related to the Ten Principles for Fair Contracts were raised. First, contracts should not last forever and contract terms should no longer be in perpetuity. Second, assignment of copyright should not be global and contracts should include clauses that make it possible to restore to the author the rights or modes of exploitation that the publisher does not use after a certain time from signing a contract. Third, as far as possible, rights for translations in a standard language should not be sold as this rules out the possibility of different ‘’versions’’ of the text in the same language. Readers should be offered a range of options that also benefit authors since their work might reach a wider audience. Four, respect for the moral rights of translators must be absolute with credit given on the cover of the book and the right given to translators to review and authorise possible corrections made to their translations before making them public.


For the first time IAF participated in the XVI Panama Book Fair at the International Copyright Seminar organised by the Panamanian Book Chamber and the Copyright Office of Panama, with the support of WIPO, IFRRO, CISAC and IFPI. Maria Fernanda Mendoza moderated a panel with Marcelo Guerrieri representing the Argentine Writers’ Union, Arturo Vázquez Barrón from the Mexican Association of Literary Translators, and Manuel Salvador, Panamanian illustrator and President of the Quorum Laboratorio Cultural Foundation. The panel discussed the situation of authors, translators and illustrators regarding fair contracts and stressed how important it is for state institutions to protect and support creators as they do for other industries; they explained the need to modify contract models traditionally used with clauses establishing global rights in perpetuity to the detriment of translators. They also highlighted the importance of continuing to work for the professionalisation of illustrators and in general to continue training authors to be familiar with their rights and thereby enable them to negotiate better conditions.

You can watch the full discussion here.