[New Publication] Critical analysis of Korean court rulings on translators’ copyrights: on the originality of translation and translators’ economic and moral rights

‘Critical analysis of Korean court rulings on translators’ copyrights: on the originality of translation and translators’ economic and moral rights’, Perspectives, https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2019.1615517

by Jiyoung Park

ABSTRACT
Copyright laws have been criticized for regarding translations as derivatives of an original text, to the disadvantage of translators. This study examines this criticism by analyzing South Korean court rulings on translation copyright disputes. The results show that the courts clearly did see translations as containing original elements, although they distinguished the creative elements comprising the originality of source texts from those of translated texts. They also ruled that a translator’s economic rights are unaffected unaffected by whether he/she has registered a translation right, or completed revisions or other procedures demanded by the author and/or the commissioner. Finally, court rulings for at least one case show that translators’ moral rights are seen as being violated when an existing translation is modified without producing new originality and under the name of a person other than the original translator. The study concludes that the infringement of translators’ copyright is attributable not to translations’ derivative status, but to a lack of standards regarding the forms of reproduction of translation and corresponding licenses. The introduction of a tiered-reproduction license for translation could curb the plagiarism of translated texts and facilitate the reuse of translations, benefiting both translators and society as a whole.

KEYWORDS: Adaptation, copyright of translators, ethics, history of translation, rewriting

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