kNOw Future Inc.

law, technology and cinema, washed down with wine

Another Subtitles Site Under Investigation

Searching for updates regarding the Polish police’s raids on participants in the fansub community Napisy, I came across a similar incident which took place shortly afterwards in France, but received little international attention.

At the end of May, Jethro, administrator of fan-sub community series-vo.com, was called in for questioning by the police in Poitiers regarding the subtitles being generated by the community for US television serials not yet broadcast in France. In subsequent days he closed the site. His various statements regarding the affair are to be found here in french. From some of his remarks he seems to suspect that individuals involved in a competing fan-sub community made a complaint regarding the site to the police, introducing some murkiness into the matter. No prosecution has yet been initiated but the police have apparently not excluded the possibility. At least some members of the legal profession reckon that they could genuinely be at risk (though they could be just promoting their own services); Anne Stutzman, the head of the audiovisual and intellectual property department of the legal practice Alan Bensoussan made pessimistic noises (in french), stating that “a series’ dialogues and script are protected by copyright…. translating them, even on a volunteer basis, without the author’s permission constitutes infringement.” According to the article the offense is punishable by up to three years imprisonment and 300,000 euros in fines. Over the top? For you to judge. It’s a mad world.

August 8, 2007 - Posted by | copyright, enforcement, France, p2p, social cooperation

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