Netflix pinches amateur subtitles

Content being used in Finland by Netflix is illegally using subtitles “borrowed” from an amateur outfit.

When Finnish users began to use the service on Thursday, they discovered that the subtitles were created by a movies and TV-series enthusiast group.  

DivX Finland share the subtitles online for free, but the licence terms of the texts for commercial purposes is prohibited. Ironically the subtitles are used by those who have the movies but can’t understand the language the flick is in, like pirates.

DivX Finland’s Jarmo Hakala told the Finnish press that while it was nice that the texts are accepted, Netflix should have asked for permission first.

He said that he was mostly amused as he said he would have given permission if Netflix had asked.

But there are some in the subtitles community who are miffed and feel that Netflix owes them a bit of cash.

Copyright Information and Control executive director Antti Kotilainen said that it did not matter really, as the amateur efforts were themselves illegal. So it was just a matter of Big Content stealing from a thief.

Kotilainen said the Copyright Act permits the translation for a person’s own use but does not allow open web distribution.