Report – Translation & IP rights

keyboardbulbThe European Commission has recently published a report on Translation and intellectual property rights.

The law firm Bird & Bird LLP was commissioned for the study, which aims to provide an overview of some of the main intellectual property right issues relevant to the domain of translation, including in the field of machine-aided translations.

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Legal considerations – machine translation and copyright

This guest post is published under a GNU version 2 licence, and comes from the Open Translation Tools Manual (more about that in a forthcoming post). It was written by Ed Bice in 2009, with modifications by Thom Hastings also in 2009. Despite being 3 years old, I think it brings up some very interesting topics for discussion. I look forward to reading your comments!

American copyright law considers a translation a derivative work. As such translators must obtain permission from the copyright or derivative right holder of the source language text. With regard to online translation, we expect that as Machine Translation (MT) and Hybrid Distributed Translation (HDT- strategies combining human and machine translation) come of age significant changes will need to be made to the legal framework to accommodate these technologies.

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Machine translation of the law

In this post, I would like to give you a taster of the controversial subject of machine translation (MT). Full references are given below so that you can read further if you are interested.

Potentially, MT could, inter alia, reduce costs, widen access to content, process large volumes of data in order to identify items of interest, make translators’ work more interesting by taking over repetitive tasks, and facilitate communication, for example in social networks or where very unfamiliar languages are involved. The key caveat is that users be clear about the limitations of MT with respect to the translation skopos (or purpose).

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