song translation subtitles
- June 10, 2009 @ 6:33amannez says:I recently heard that when subtitling a film for a US studio, if the film contains songs that are to be translated, the translator must live in the US so that the studio is covered legally. In your opinion, is it possible for a non-US based translator to transfer rights to the studio and be able to translate? Or must, by some obscure law, the translator be US-based?
- June 11, 2009 @ 7:52amksmith says:I have never heard of this before, but my guess is that it is a holdover from what is called the "manufacturing clause" in US copyright. It is section 601 of the copyright act (Title 17), but it was allowed to expire in 1986. This requirement, that copies of a foreign work be "manufactured" in the US in order to be entitled to protection under the US copyright regime, was found in 1984 to violate US obligations under international treaties. Thus, when the requirement lapsed on July 1, 1986, it was not renewed. I don't know how the practice you refer to might have grown out of the manufacturing clause -- more details about the circumstances of the translation would be necessary -- but it is my suspicion that that clause, now no longer applicable, was the root of the matter.
I should add that a license to authorize a translated or subtitled version of a work could include this requirement as well as any other restrictions the rights holder / licensor wanted to make.
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