As a rule, most foreign translation licenses are for a set period of years, and usually require that a book also sell x copies per year or have y copies actually selling for each of those years else the book would be considered out of print or off market and the agreement would terminate. A few contracts were for a set period of years, but with the prospect of the term extending indefinitely so long as the publisher was selling q copies or paying r dollars in royalties.
One of my agents abroad revised boilerplate recently. Instead of requiring publishers to have 500 copies in stock (and in truth, that was kind of harsh to the publisher, and increasingly so in the POD age) the new boilerplate defines in print as simply being able to supply a copy of the book within 21 days. This could enable the term license to last for the full five or eight years of the term regardless of how many copies were actually selling.
From my US perspective, I worry that every publisher would happily take advantage of this and keep every book available in POD for the full term of license.
My agent abroad thinks people would be somewhat more gentlemanly in his market and not abuse this. He also remembers back many years when most licenses in this market had indefinitely extendable term licenses. Yes, you know you have some minimum activity in the book each year, but there are risks, like if you move the author subsequently to a new publisher but can't unify the backlist in one place because those older books are still meeting their sales or earnings thresholds.
If you as an author had the two choices below, which would you choose:
A. to have your book licenses in this foreign market for 7 years, with the risk you would have 3 or 5 years of unhappiness when the book was available only as POD and not selling worth a darn
B. to have your license for 7 years, but with the possibility that you might be able to end it early if the book wasn't selling 100 or 200 copies a year or earning $150, or perhaps never be able to end it for 7 years or 27 years so long as it was selling or earning those 150 copies?
Yes, there are other choices, but as I ponder how to respond myself to the new boilerplate I would be curious which of these options would be more worrisome to you.