Legal Document Translation Services for Personality Rights Cases
Earlier we blogged about the role of foreign language translation and court interpreting services in pleading a case for libel. Professional foreign language translation services play an equally important role in cases involving posthumous personality rights. Under the constitutional, tort and estate laws of some states, one enjoys personality protection even posthumously. Accordingly, in order to recover damages, the infringement of one’s personality rights must be a material infringement of the deceased’s reputation and privacy. Typically, an infringement weighs the freedom of speech or expression rights that the defending party is claiming against the speechless nature of the deceased.
More often than not, a court will only turn towards blocking a publication as a last resort. Instead, the more rational resolution is to require a modification or new fact rendering as concerning the personality use.
Since many celebrities and well-known individuals now have a global personality, the issue of protecting posthumous personality rights can be more complex – particularly as each nation has different laws that may or may not allow for the awarding of damages under such a claim. For example, Germany has a very liberal legal protection of posthumous personality rights, whereas in the US a claim most often needs to be brought under the tort of defamation.
When filing a posthumous personality rights claim in such a jurisdiction as Germany, it will be necessary to have a foreign language translation of all the documents and filings. Further, using a foreign language interpreter will be helpful in conveying how the foreign language piece of work or art infringes upon the deceased’s personality rights.