Free Subtitles = Two Years In Jail?

from the but-why? dept

This one was submitted last week, and a few other sites had stories about it late last week or over the weekend, but the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it became. It's the story of a group of folks in Poland getting arrested after having their homes raided for creating free translation subtitles for various movies. Not only is this considered copyright infringement in Poland, but it could net the pro bono translators two years in jail. This raises the question that no one seems willing to answer: under what logical basis could you possibly see this as a crime worth two years in jail? The most interesting part is that the guy who runs the site that distributes these subtitles claims that official translators often use the unofficial translations from the site. In other words, they're helping the industry in many cases -- and now police time (both German and Polish police) was wasted for no good reason, followed up by eventual court time and resources wasted. Aren't there more important things for German and Polish police to be taking care of these days? More importantly, though, what does it say about copyright law in Poland that creating an unofficial translation of a movie is considered a crime punishable by two years in jail?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Rob, 21 May 2007 @ 11:03am

    Oh man, this hurts the deaf! How the heck can a deaf person watch a show without subtitling/captions? Slap judges for discriminating against the deaf.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.