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Court rules that fan-created subtitles are illegal

Movie piracy is no small thing in the Netherlands, and an industry group called BREIN exists to combat pirates there. But going after torrenters themselves is difficult, so BREIN has also focused on periphery targets, like advertisers on torrent sites and, now, sites that host fan-created subtitles. And a Netherlands court ruling agreed with BREIN and said that unauthorized subtitles are an infringement.

This is BS on a number of levels, including the fact that subtitles have value for people well beyond pirated movies. But what i hate most about the case is that BREIN's argument in part is that fansubbers provide "unfair competition for emerging business models involving movies and TV shows". In other words, how can we monetize this if people are doing it for free? By that same argument, Encyclopedia Britannica should sue Wikipedia. The best thing about the internet is that millions of people are willing to provide content - in the form of Wikipedia articles or movie subtitles or comic book reviews - for free because it's their hobby or passion. Making a portion of that illegal because it's "unfair competition" for someone who wants to charge for it could be very damaging.

By fnord12 | April 21, 2017, 8:42 AM | Liberal Outrage