The Berne International Convention dated 28 September 1979 for the protection of
literary and artistic works stipulates that translators are to be considered authors. This means
that their revenue is linked to author’s royalties. Even though 168 countries did
sign the Convention, this concept (“translators considered authors”) is contested in many
countries in the sense that only the technical aspect of the activity is taken into account,
without acknowledging the creative value of the translation service.
Audiovisual translation comprises a host of creative activities, including subtitling, dubbing, voiceover, audio description, video game localization, and many others. Though the legislation in individual countries varies across Europe, in the majority of European states, audiovisual translators, depending on the nature of their work, are entitled to fair remuneration for the use of their primary rights and secondary rights, or for the exploitation of both. The system is usually organized through national CMOs (collective management organizations).
Fair remuneration for authors and artists has been widely discussed on both the national and the European levels, and the EU has carried out numerous surveys and issued several directives to address this problem. Authors and performers nowadays have to cope with the complex impact of technological progress on the exploitation of their works. It is therefore crucial that audiovisual translators pay due attention to the process.
DIRECTIVE 2014/26/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 26 February 2014 on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the internal market