a) Are translations protected by copyright? According to internationally binding regulations (e.g. the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works), translations, among other alternations, are protected as original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original work. b) If so, who holds the copyright? Since the editing copyright is a separate right equivalent to that in the original work, the translator is subject to the same legal regime as the author of the original work. The copyright in the translation is, although it is a separate right, dependent on the copyright in the original work. This is because the translator himself can only use his translation if the author of the original work has given his consent. Regarding employees performing translations or post-edition of machine translated documents the legislation can vary from country to country. Some countries provide for a direct transfer of copyright from the employee to the employer some may not. employment contracts should contain a clause providing for the transfer of copyright works performed during the work hours to the employer. Check with a lawyer to help you in drafting and applying such a clause. c) How about machine translation? A translation produced by a machine in general is not a work capable of copyright protection. Only the code of the translation program is protectable. Nonetheless, if an author is using machine translations as a supporting tool for recommendations, but the translation is still the result of his intellectual act of creation, copyright will still apply.
CEF AT, MT@EC and translation needs in the public administration