Copyright is kind of thin ice for creativity. It is quite a solid basis indeed, but it does not always protect the creator in the way they would expect. It has quite a lot of specifics and trapdoors that are not very well known to the general audience. More specifically, the translations of written works can be classified as original works and be copyrighted. However, some aspects may largely vary in different countries and contexts.
Copyright is one of the cornerstones of the modern creative industry. Essentially, copyright is intellectual property or ownership of a certain creative work. It can be a song, a movie, or a book. Copyright assigns the ownership status of a certain product to its creator or any other third party. It legally protects the work from unauthorized use, copying, or selling.
While this sounds like a cool thing, copyright has its specifics. For example, the rights to a song or a book are usually shared between the author and distributing company, meaning that even the author themselves cannot reproduce the work without the label’s or publishing’s agreement. So, in essence, copyright is not a protector of the creator’s rights. It is rather a watcher of the distribution of the creative work.
When it comes to translation, copyright becomes involved as well, and not always in the best of ways. In most countries and cultural spheres, translation can only be copyrighted under strict conditions. For the most part, translation is considered a derivative work. So, creating a translation doesn’t mean that it can be published, without even mentioning protection. Still, most of the translations guides regarding copyright come from UNESCO. In 1976, the organization has generally recommended to following.
While these points are favorable and appear to protect the translators’ rights, there’s only one downside. Those are merely recommendations. The member states of UNESCO are not obliged to follow them. That’s why in the United States, for example, a translated work can be copyrighted only if it was commissioned by certain publishing. In Germany, the translated work will be copyrighted as long as it is the original work by the translator and was submitted to publishing. Some states’ legislations appear fairer than others.
The work of the translators is hard labor as it can be overwhelmingly hard to transpose the creative work from one language to another. Creativity is often heavily influenced by the culture, which is unique to every nation and every community. This means that every author creates their work under diverse circumstances and in a distinct context, which can be untranslatable in the first place. So, by translating that creative work, the translator essentially reimagines it from scratch and creates a whole new piece of their own.
Author: Elizabeth Baldridge
Elizabeth Baldridge creates some of the most original articles that are on the web. The secret to her originality and success are the experiences. Elizabeth went through a lot in her life and career. Thus, there are multiple great things served with the highest precision and lots of interesting facts she can share with you.