Translation technology (TT) has made significant technical advances over the past decade. Machine translation has become increasingly commonplace in everyday use through services such as Google Translate. At the same time, computer-aided translation systems are now an invaluable tool for the professional translator. Unlike the machine translation systems of yore, current systems are no longer based on explicit, formal models of language, but rather on machine learning and statistical methods using vast collections of multilingual documents with each language element aligned across language pairs. Because of this, entirely new questions of intellectual property become a crucial yet still poorly understood part of the enterprise. This article presents an introduction to translation technology and the legal questions potentially involved and then proceeds to the legal analysis of quantitative and qualitative requirements for copyright protection, the issue of potential (human and computer) authorship to translation technology output, and others.
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