Saturday April 22, 2017

Court Rules Fan Subtitles on TV and Movies Are Illegal

The fansubbing community in the Netherlands has taken a massive hit after a Dutch court ruled that subtitles can only be made and shared after permission is granted by rightsholders. Basically, it is now illegal to translate and embed dialog without authorization. I wonder if they will criminalize movie spoilers next.

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"The main question is whether the creation and publishing of film subtitles is an act only reserved to the maker of the film work in question," Beijer said "The second issue concerns a review of the conduct of BREIN against people who create and reproduce subtitles. The Free Subtitles Foundation anticipates that a court verdict will shed more light on these two themes." This week the Amsterdam District Court handed down its decision and it was bad news for the fansubbers. The Court rejected all of their claims and sided with BREIN on each count. The Court found that subtitles can only be created and distributed after permission has been obtained from copyright holders. Doing so outside these parameters amounts to copyright infringement.