Translating or arranging a copyrighted work requires the consent of the author of the original work (license). A musical work, like any other literary or artistic work, is considered copyrighted for the whole lifetime of the author and 70 years after the death of the author. After copyright's term of protection expires, there is no need to get a license to translate or arrange the work. License is not required for the translation or arrangement of folk songs either, as copyright law does not apply to folklore.
If it is wished to arrange or translate a musical work created by an Estonian author, then it is required to turn to the author or his/her successor for getting the license. If the author has assigned his/her economic rights (including translation and/or arranging rights) to the publisher, then publisher grants the license for the translation or arrangement.
To arrange, translate or write new Estonian lyrics for a musical work created by a foreign author, a license is usually granted by the publisher, who owns the rights to sign the work in Estonian territory. If such publisher does not exist, the original publisher or the author of the work must be contacted for getting a license.
EAÜ, like other countries' organizations representing music authors, does not grant translation or arrangement licenses. EAÜ can only find out, whom the license needs to be asked from and help with finding the publisher's contacts.
The license granted by the author or his/her rightholder (successor, publisher) must be fixed in writing. The author who is a member of EAÜ must also inform EAÜ of the translation or arrangement license he/she has given by filling out the registration card of the corresponding work. The translator or author of the new arrangement cannot fill out the work's registration card themselves ie mark themselves as a translator or arranger on that card.
When granting the translation or arrangement license, the author or rightholder has the right to decide whether he or she also allows the translator or arranger to receive royalties for the use of the translated or arranged work. Therefore, getting a license does not automatically mean that the translator or arranger is also entitled to royalties.
In the case of translations or arrangements for which license has not been requested or obtained, but which are nevertheless distributed, the translator or arranger shall not be entitled to authorship. Which means they have no right to present themselves to the public as translators or arrangers.