A US literary journal would like to publish online my new English translation of dead author É's poem, written originally in French.
The poem has been translated before, and is in fact in print in a collection published a decade ago in the UK, where it is under exclusivity. (In other words, I can't publish my version in the UK, without that publisher's permission.)
So, I contacted the rights holder (the original publisher, working on behalf or in conjuction with the author's estate), and after some back and forth, they were just about to issue the permission ... when it suddenly occurred to them that, since web publication is global, this might impinge on the UK exclusivity. (They don't sound exactly sure.)
Of course, if they, who issued it, don't know the details of that exclusivity, no one does. But my question is a general one. Does acquiring territorial (print) translation rights really prevent anyone anywhere from acquiring (in effect, world) online-publication rights?
(Is there perhaps a parallel to be drawn from, e.g., Gutenberg Canada's online publication of, e.g., Flann O'Brien's The Dalkey Archive, which is in the public domain in Canada but not yet in many other countries? That etext features this disclaimer: "If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this file." Extending that logic to my poem, perhaps all would be well if the US journal prefaced it with a disclaimer to the effect, "If you live in the UK, do not download this poem"?)
I'm trying to inform myself before continuing negotations with the rights holder.