Bird & Bird and the EU Commission analyse intellectual property rights in the field of translations

17 September 2014

This month Bird & Bird's Brussels Office publishes a study entitled "Translation and Intellectual Property Rights" with the EU Commission (DG Translation). It represents the first comprehensive study on the topic of IP rights in the field of translations.

The study focuses on copyright and database rights at international, European and national levels. National legal regimes in four European Member States (Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom) are compared for illustration purposes, while specific attention is also given to the impact of new technologies and new business models in the global translation industry.

The 150-page study aims to answer the three following questions: (i) are source documents protected by copyright and how does that affect the right to translate them? (ii) are translations protected by copyright and how? and (iii) are databases which contain source documents and translations protected and how?

Some of the analysed issues include:

  • The author's exclusive right of translation
  • The protection of source documents
  • The influence of technological (r)evolution on the current copyright law regime
  • Copyright protection for translation databases
  • The importance of contractual arrangements
  • Compliance with the EU and national law

The international team of authors included Bird & Bird experts from Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The study will be presented on 19 September during the "Translating Europe Forum" in Brussels.

The summary of the study can be viewed here .