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
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2012 @ 7:55am


    Yes, but the people that care about ADA spend their funds trying to 'HELP' those with Disabilities....

    It seems counter-intuitive for them to take their funds and throw them at congress (aka lobbing, as in lobbing money at politicians...)

    If only we could set it up so that it was large containers of pennies being rained down from an orbital drop with precision.... It would only take about $100,000 in pennies to fix our problem in DC with proper targeting...

    Pennies falling from sufficiently high orbit and blanketing the Pentagon, White House, and most of the rest of DC (there's not much real productivity going on there anyway) would pretty much obliterate everything.

    Perhaps we could crowd fund this.... everyone pitch in a penny that you would like to "deliver" to your favorite congress critter... they want our money, sure HERE you go...

    /sarcasm for those who may think I'm just a delusional conspiracy theorist designing 'creative' political contribution methods...

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