Rules for recording and webcasting conference interpreters

 | Interpretation best practices

Copyright in relation to recording and webcasting of interpreted material is an important yet often overlooked part of event planning. In step three of our blog series, we take a look at requirements and restrictions you need to adhere to if you wish to webcast or webstream the performances of conference interpreters.

So, you have booked a venue with ample capacity and standardized interpreting booths - great! You’ve located a reliable equipment provider for microphones and headsets - bravo! Now you need to decide which sessions you would like to record, if any, and whether these will include recordings of the interpretations too. Will recordings be for internal use or for webcasting or webstreaming? What kind of audio-visual equipment will you need and where can you find it? These are important questions which must be addressed early in the planning process. Equipment needs to be ordered, installed and tested ahead of the event. You will want to make sure all technical measures have been taken to avoid last-minute issues.

Conference interpreters are protected under international law. Get their consent before you webcast conference sessions. Recording interpreters requires their consent

In addition to the technical aspects, there are legal ones to consider.

The performance of conference interpreters is protected under international law. The Berne Convention, adopted in 1886, protects the rights of authors in their literary and artistic works. Translations—in the form of print, sound, audiovisual recordings or any similar form—are protected as original works, and translators are protected as authors. The performance of the conference interpreter is considered a translation within the Berne Convention, and the exclusive rights foreseen in the Convention apply to the author.

In short, no interpreter may be recorded without his or her knowledge and without his or her consent. This is necessary in order to protect the interpreter against any proceedings taken by a third party. Authorization is also needed from the event organizer (if he or she is not the principal user of the recording) as well as that of the original speakers at the meeting.

The AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters) provides practical information on the conditions governing the use of recordings of interpretations at conferences. In general, contracts governing the provision of interpretation services contain a copyright assignment clause and details about remuneration.

So, start tackling the technical as well as the legal sides of recording your conference sessions as soon as you can to avoid any last-minute snags. If you need help finding recording equipment or have any concerns about restrictions on use of recordings at your event, get in touch with us.

This article is step three of our 7 steps to getting the best conference interpretation solution for your event.

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