Payday for Translators, Authors, and Publishers After Danish Court Ruling

Payday for Translators, Authors, and Publishers After Danish Court Ruling

Translators, authors, and publishers in Denmark will receive approximately DKK 80m (EUR 10.7m) in payout from a lawsuit against the country’s state-owned library service, Nota.

As the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL) reported in October 2023, the Danish Authors’ Society, the Danish Publishers’ Society, and Copydan, a collective management organization for authors and publishers of texts, sued Nota in 2021. 

The lawsuit followed a 2021 decision by the Copyright Licensing Board establishing a framework of remuneration payments to rights holders of e-books and audiobook content. 

The authors and publishers — as well as translators — alleged that they had not been paid for the “extensive use of their digital works” by Nota. Up to 300,000 users with visual impairment and reading difficulties borrow Nota’s audiobooks each year.

Following proceedings, the parties agreed on future payments for Nota’s lending, plus retroactive payments for loans made since October 11, 2018.  

According to CEATL, the payments to translators, authors, and publishers will be issued “as quickly as CopyDan can process the massive amounts of data — 8.5 million loans of 60,000 individual works.” Nota will start by sharing lending data from October 11, 2018, through March 31, 2023.

In a Q&A on its website, Copydan explains that this bibliographic data from Nota will help identify which right holders are entitled to payment. “Going forward, [Copydan] will receive quarterly statements from Nota,” the webpage adds.

Once royalties are issued by Nota, profits are split 50-50 between authors and publishers, “after an administration fee of between 7-8%.” How exactly translators’ payments are calculated is not specified.