Many people do not have English as their first language, but many people like to enjoy English spoken films. This means that subtitles are big business, whatÂs more so called ÂfansubbersÂ have been ripping subtitles from official media and others have gone so far as creating their own subtitles.
However, anti-piracy groups have been putting increasing pressure on these so called ÂfansubbersÂ claiming that they have been infringing copyright and assisting the movie pirates. This is where the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN comes in, the group has forced many of the fansubber groups into submission.
Last year this changed, the ÂFree Subtitles FoundationÂ (Stichting Laat Ondertitels Vrij) raised their own legal funds and made a stand against BREIN. Action was taken against BREIN in the hope of obtaining a legal ruling in their favour.
The ruling has now come in, and it is bad news for the fansubbers. The Amsterdam District Court rejected the Free Subtitles Foundation claims and found that subtitles can only be created with the permission of the copyright holder. If subtitles are created without the permission of the copyright holder the creation equates to copyright infringement.
Tim Kuik, director of BREIN said in a statement that ÂThere are several so-called release teams actively making films and TV series available from illegal source and adding illegal subtitles for the Dutch market. This judgement makes it clear once again that this is illegal.Â