Netflix To Try Crowdsourcing Subtitles; Will It Get Sued For Infringement?

from the rock-and-a-copyright-law dept

Before getting into the details of this new story, let me bring up a pair of recent Techdirt stories as background. First, there's the story of Netflix being told that not having closed captioning on its streaming movies means it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. As we noted at the time, this raised interesting copyright questions, considering that Netflix may not be legally allowed to put captions on videos. A few days before that, we had written about a student who ran a site that provided crowdsourced downloadable subtitle files for TV and movies, and had been found guilty of copyright infringement.

Knowing both those things, isn't it interesting that Netflix is now experimenting with crowdsourcing captioning/subtitles for films and TV shows? Perhaps it figures that having lost that first legal fight, it should lean in the other direction and see if it gets sued there as well. Either way, it seems like it opens up some pretty serious copyright questions. While some of us think that providing captions/subtitles should be pretty clear fair use, others (obviously) disagree. And, when it's an operation like Netflix -- which is obviously a commercial entity -- you have to wonder if it's going to get sued...

Filed Under: copyright, crowdsourcing, subtitles
Companies: netflix

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  1. identicon
    Hearing aid, 11 Oct 2012 @ 4:08pm

    This must be....

    This must be the stupidest debate in the world.

    Does it benefits someone? Yes , Does it cause prejudice to someone? Heck no!!!

    And YES there are huge benefits from the subtitles for those who need them (See ADA you jack ass)

    As a matter of fact we should force all sources to be available with subs, even theaters, I mean think about it when they have 4 screens showing a movie like Avengers and I cant go see It pisses me off.

    I love foreign film because there almost always shown with the subs.

    So basically I need to wait for everything to come out to DVD or BRay and then I have to BUY everything I want to see because there closing rentals and now it'll be Netflix?

    I mean for the love of GOD we have rights to no and I don't mean the right to shut up!!!

    Please remember that at the heart of that stupid debate his basically the right for everyone to acces the same content.

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