Fansubs for TV shows and movies are illegal, court rules

By: arstechnica.com 1 year ago
Fansubs for TV shows and movies are illegal, court rules

Anti-piracy group tells Dutch court they damage the industry.

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Fansubbing—the unofficial creation of fan-made subtitles for TV shows and movies—is illegal, a Dutch court ruled this week.

The Free Subtitles Foundation, after coming under fire from the Netherlands' anti-piracy association BREIN, decided to raise some money and take BREIN to court. The Foundation's lawyer told TorrentFreak that the lawsuit sought to clarify whether the creators of a TV show or movie can reserve the right to create and distribute subtitles.

And indeed, that's exactly what the court ruled: that subtitles can only be created and distributed with permission from the rights holders. Doing so without permission is copyright infringement, and thus punishable with either jail time or a fine, depending on where you live.

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