Originally Posted by SBT
However, did the Messrs. Huebsch and Ripperberger translate this work for hire? In that case, doesn't the copyright belong to the publisher, and corporate copyright expires 50/70 years after publication.
I'm confused by your phrase "for hire." But I'll report what I found.
Googling the translators, they both had interesting careers.
According to Wikipedia, Huebsch was the first publisher in the United States of James Joyce and D. H. Lawrence.
And according to a Margaret Sanger web page
He merged his publishing venture with Viking Press in 1925 and began introducing American readers to such European writers as Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque and Thomas Mann.
So I wouldn't say Huebsch translated for hire, but rather that he translated because he was part-owner of the publishing firm. Or maybe he had sold his stake and was being kept on as an employee. Either way, his participation was perhaps similar (or identical!) to that of a book editor who works with an author, heavily rewrites the manuscript, and doesn't thereby get to be counted in a life + 50 or life + 70 calculation.
The other translator, Helmut Ripperger, is mentioned in a number of New York Times
articles. Unfortunately they are behind paywalls. Many US public library patrons, including myself, are given a code so we can read them for free, and I will now summarize.
Ripperger was an early translator of Mein Kampf
. The motive was to expose Hitler.
Ripperger -- yes, I'm sure, it's the same Ripperger -- wrote at least five cookbooks, co-authoring one with Simone Beck, who co-authored another cookbook with Julia Child (the last being a household name here in the US).
According to the October 20, 1938 New York Times
, Ripperger had recently become a registered foreign agent for Japan. (Yes, the same Ripperger. Is this a plot for a novel?) According to his August 6, 1974 Times
obituary, Ripperger was a "consultant" for something called the "Japanese Reference Library" from 1938 to 1941. When the translation of The World of Yesterday
appeared in 1943, the fact of Ripperger's recent employment by what had become an extremely unpopular enemy of the United States could easily have been found by looking up his name in the 1938 New York Times Index
, a thick annual found, then and now, in all but the smallest US public libraries. One wonders if this had anything to do with the lack of translator credits on the World of Yesterday
title page -- although I'd like to think it did not.
Ripperger worked with a variety of publishers, not just Viking.
I've found no hint of how Huebsch compensated him (employee, author's advance, etc.) for The World of Yesterday
I still have found no evidence that the identifies of these translators were publicly disclosed in their lifetimes. I'm at least hoping that means my googling AKA snooping has failed to find any reason your contribution to the Clark library shouldn't remain -- so I can legally download it next time I'm outside the US. Then, I'm not a lawyer.