Copyright issues: what to do if your rights are violated?
Translators have the right to consider their work as a creative process, which the legislation recognizes as not just a mechanical transfer of text from one language to another. As a result of such work, a new work is created with its own unique characteristics and original features.
The translator has the same rights to his translation as the author has to the original work. These rights include personal non-property and property rights. Personal rights give the translator the opportunity to:
- Be recognized as the author of his translation.
- Apply his name or alias to the translation.
- Publish the translation.
- Revoke the translation before its disclosure or publication.
- Protect his work from distortion, additions or changes.
Proprietary (exclusive) rights allow the translator to manage his work: distribute the translation, publish, publicly perform, consent to additional processing, for example, staging a performance based on a translated play, etc.
Most often, copyright infringement is associated with the violation of the property rights of translators, such as the illegal use of works or parts thereof, titles or text designations.
If the translation was performed by a full-time employee within the framework of work duties, only personal copyrights are retained. In this case, the employer organization has property rights.
Copyright protection of translators begins from the moment the translation is created. Formally: this is the fixing of the text on a material medium - recording on paper, digital recording, audio recording, etc. Documentary evidence is important in the event of disputes.
The authorship registration is not mandatory. There is a "presumption of authorship" in the legislation, according to which the person indicated in the work as the author is legally recognized as the author until someone disputes this and proves the opposite.
If you find a violation of your copyright, you should take the following steps:
- Collect evidence of the violation: keep copies of the infringing material, its distribution or publication, as well as any information about the person who committed the violation.
- Contact the violator: try to resolve the issue in a friendly way, ask to remove the material or offer to conclude a license agreement for the use of your translation.
- Register your work: although registration of authorship is not mandatory, it can strengthen your position in the event of a dispute or litigation.
- Contact a lawyer specializing in copyright: they can help you identify possible actions, develop a strategy and, if necessary, represent your interests in court.
- File a lawsuit in court: if a friendly settlement failed and you decided to defend your rights by judicial means, file a lawsuit in court. You will have to prove that your copyrights have been violated and ask the court to take appropriate measures, such as termination of violations, compensation for damages or compensation for moral damage.
Copyright protection is important for translators because it is a recognition of their creative work and a guarantee of the ability to control the use of their translations. In the event of situations involving copyright infringement, it is necessary to act decisively and use all available legal tools to protect their interests.