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Screenshot-Thu, Feb 7, 2013 - TPBAFK UK no subs-1

Movie Subtitle Fansite Raided By Copyright Industry And Police

64

Copyright Monopoly

Copyright Monopoly

The movie subtitle fansite undertexter.se has been raided by the police and copyright industry. This marks an escalation of the war against sharing culture and knowledge, as the site contained nothing but user-submitted translations of movie dialog. We are quickly coming to a two-tier justice system, where the copyright industry is right against single parents by definition, and that’s not taken very well.

The movie subtitle fansite undertexter.se, literally meaning subtitles.se, is a site where people contribute their own translations of movies. This lets people who aren’t good at the original language of a movie or cartoon put those fanmade subtitles – fansubs – on top of the movie or cartoon. Fansubbing is a thriving culture which usually provides better-than-professional subtitles for new episodes with less than 24 hours of turnaround (whereas the providers of the original cartoon or movie can easily take six months or more).

What’s remarkable about this raid is that the copyright industry has decided to do a full-out raid against something that is entirely fan-made. It underscores the general sentiment of the copyright monopoly not protecting the creator of artwork, but protecting the big distribution monopolies, no matter who actually created the art. The copyright industry in Sweden has previously asserted threateningly that the dialog of a movie would be covered by the copyright monopoly, and that any fan translation – even for free – would be a violation of that monopoly. Still, going all-out with a police raid backed by the copyright industry’s enforcement arm in Sweden is a clear escalation of violence.

(In Sweden, the copyright industry can legally order police raids. Such raids are called intrångsundersökning and are technically executed by the Enforcement Authority who enlist Police in turn. Details on the exact chain of command in this specific raid remain unclear as of Wednesday morning.)

In short, this event shows that the copyright industry will stop at nothing to reverse time to where they and they alone decided what culture and knowledge was available, and to whom. This war will not end until 1) the copyright industry is dead, or 2) they have complete control over access to the planet’s culture and knowledge. Pick your sides and place your bets.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the police is acting to protect the copyright industry, and not to uphold the law. This is very, very serious. When Netflix copied fansubs for their Hollywood movies from the fansub site DivXFinland, everybody was amused – even though it was a textbook copyright monopoly violation of those fansubs. But Netflix is part of the copyright industry, and therefore, they are above the law.

Screenshot from Netflix, where they had used subtitles from DivXFinland.org and kept the translation credits to DivXFinland.org in those subtitles, essentially advertising that they had copied the subtitles illegally.

Screenshot from Netflix, where they had used subtitles from DivXFinland.org and (mistakenly?) kept the translation credits to DivXFinland.org in those subtitles, essentially advertising that they had copied the subtitles illegally.

When the Swedish video-on-demand service Voddler sat up on its pretend high-horse-in-shining-armor and proclaimed its love for the copyright monopoly and how important it was to all of civilization, while at the same time building its entire service on GPL code and thereby committing a huge copyright monopoly violation themselves, there’s a pattern here. The rights, monopolies, and privileges don’t matter in the slightest; what matters is who holds them.

This is the emergence of a two-tier justice system, where some rules apply to one set of people (“high justice”), and other rules apply to the rest of people (“low justice”). But a two-tier justice system is not a justice system at all; it is an oppression system.

Commentary on today's events by +Emma Marie Andersson.

Commentary on today’s events by +Emma Marie Andersson.

This game is a dangerous one to play for the political elite. When ordinary people are told that there aren’t police resources to investigate who raped them, who stole their car, and who broke into their home, and get the investigations closed in 15 minutes (which was the case with a rape investigation recently) – but there are police resources to conduct raids against fan-made creations from the common folk, just because the wealthiest feel like it (there’s not even a credible threat to base the raid on) — that’s a recipe for more than growing discontent. That’s a recipe for an uprising, in one form or another. Which form such an uprising takes will depend entirely on how bad the corruption has fested.

The crew from undertexter.se has a statement out as of this morning:

Undertexter.se has had a police raid this morning (July 9) and servers and computers have been seized, and therefore, the site is down. We who work on the site don’t consider an interpretation of dialog to be something illegal, especially not when sharing it for free. Henrik Pontén [the copyright industry’s primary henchman in Sweden], who is behind the raid, disagrees. Sorry Hollywood, this was the totally wrong card to play. We will never surrender. […] We must do everything in our power to stop these anti-pirates. […]

The Swedish Pirate Party has published a press statement:

“The copyright industry is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to defend an obsolete copyright monopoly”, says Anna Troberg, leader of the Swedish Pirate Party. “Today’s monopoly scuttles and inhibits creativity in a way that is completely unreasonable. The raid against undertexter.se is yet another piece of evidence that the time has come to reform the copyright monopoly from the ground up.”

(The subtitled frame illustrating the story is from the movie TPB AFK by Simon Klose.)

See also Marcus Fridholm, Gustav Nipe, Erik Hultin, Henrik Alexandersson, Magnihasa (all in Swedish).

UPDATE; In the Facebook thread, Adam Kumiszcza tips about a similar Polish case where the charges were dropped and the expert opinion was that translating from hearing and sharing for free is not infringing the copyright monopoly. This is relevant as any EU court sets precedent all over the EU.

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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64

  1. 1
    Caleb Lanik

    “(In Sweden, the copyright industry can legally order police raids. They are called intrångsundersökning and are technically executed by the Enforcement Authority who enlist Police in turn.)”

    I think I’ve spotted a problem right here. Why is this not an election issue every year?

  2. 2
    Joe

    Geez, was it really necessary to weaken your argument and -together with that- insult professional subtitlers by making the unfounded/unfoundable claim that ‘fansubbing usually provides better-than-professional subtitles’?
    I work as professional subtitler and while I agree with the rest of your views, I can assure you that even with solid professional training it takes years of practice to become a good subtitler.
    As with any profession, there’s *a lot* more to it than you think.

    • 2.1

      “Professional” in this context means “paid for”, and in my experience, the quality of purchased subtitles has gone steeply downhill in the past decade as it’s been seen as an area where you can buy cheap translations from college students rather than hiring experienced craftsmen.

      In that light, I maintain that fansubs generally hold a better quality than the cost-cutting exercise of translation I see in the publishing houses in my field of view. I do not dispute that a skilled craftsman will take years to learn his or her trade.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 2.1.1
        Joe

        I agree that the quality of purchased subtitles has gone steeply downhill in the past decade (‘if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ applies here), but the local situation that formed your field of view is not my local situation -or so it seems.
        If your field of view is based on the Swedish or Scandinavian situation, then that would be extra sad, as traditionally Sweden is (or was) known for its high quality standards in subtitling. Maybe there they went from the one extreme to the other, but at least the situation in the Netherlands -where I work- doesn’t compare (yet), and I also doubt it’s like that in the rest of Europe.
        By the way, the biggest problem here (and maybe in Sweden as well) lies with B-movies for the DVD-market.

        • It seems we are in overall agreement on the lay of the land.

          Especially,

          By the way, the biggest problem here (and maybe in Sweden as well) lies with B-movies for the DVD-market.

          when you look at niche productions or B-grade productions, you will find that fansubs generally surpass the – your good term – peanut-level professional subtitles provided by the original production company. Another key area where this is felt is in Anime, where cartoons typically have a 24-hour turnaround in active communities (where teams fansub and check nuances with native speakers), whereas it typically takes over 6 months for official translations to appear, and those are typically of less quality.

          Still, I am happy that this crunch and costcutting has not hit your profession in NL to a noticeable degree.

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • swede

          The official subtitles for movies that I’ve seen over the years have kept their quality at a rather unchanging level. A level that indeed might be better than many other countries. (Largely, imo, because so many other countries choose to dub instead of sub.)

          On the other hand the average Swede’s knowledge of english has not remained on the same level, but rather increased a lot. Especially the young and computer savvy swedes today have an excellent grip of english. Do keep in mind that an affinity for learning language is something that can lead to both a career in translation and in programming, and a trained translator is nowhere guaranteed to be subjected to more english than said programmer who might even spend both his/her social and professional life in an english setting.

        • LennStar

          I have to agree Rick for german anime subs. There are bad fansubs of course, but I have yet to see even one commercial subtitle that is equal to a good fansub in quality.
          Mostly there are a few blatant differences of what is said and what is written.

          I have compared half a dozen animes a few years ago and I think the reason is that the translations of anime and manga aren’t japanese -> german but mostly japanese -> english -> german.
          So a sentence that makes at least half sense in english is translated again and ends up losing the half sense that was left from the first translation.
          Or some saying is word-for-word translated and ends up totally nonsense.
          One such “famous” translation error is the one with “firing a worker” and “chop his head off”. I have seen it both in fan- and commercial subs.

        • next_ghost

          Here’s a piece about professional subtitling form František Fuka, one of the most famous Czech movie translators: http://www.fffilm.name/2011/05/konec-titulku-v-cechach.html (Google translate: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&sl=cs&tl=en&u=http://www.fffilm.name/2011/05/konec-titulku-v-cechach.html)

          This guy often translates the biggest Hollywood blockbusters for theatrical release. He translated the new trilogy of Star Wars, retranslated the old Star Wars trilogy for yet another lucased release after the new trilogy has been completed, translated both new Star Trek movies and all the X-Men movies. Most of the time, he has to do it during the last day before official release or from a deliberately blurred copy where he can’t see a damn thing because the big content is afraid of pirates.

        • next_ghost

          Replying to my previous post about Fuka’s article: Note that the correct translation of the article’s title should read “The End of Subtitles in Czech Republic?”

        • B28

          Hey man, that’s great that you’re a professional subber, but this shit ain’t about you.

        • Alcator

          Hello, I’d like to point your attention to an alarming blog by THE BEST PROFESSIONAL SUBTITLE MAKER in Czech Republic, Mr. Frantisek Fuka.

          In this blog, Frantisek laments about Hollywood’s recent anti-copying activities which make the creation of subtitles dreadful for the legitimate, contracted, translators like him. Movies are delivered in the nick of time, have anti-copying protection all over the video, the video is blurry etc.; what’s worse, they have to use Hollywood’s own video player which does not have user-friendly Rewind/Forward controls.

          Frantisek describes the situation from Star Wars Episode 3, where he didn’t even get to see the scenes and was working entirely from the dialogue transcript. When he got to the bit where Anakin screams “We got him!”, he translated it as “We [killed/hit] him”, because that’s what he assumed it meant (they were in a battle, remember?). Unfortunately, the exclamation was instead meant to acknowledge that whoever they were battling with has been tricked in some way, so the translation should have been “We tricked him!”. Needless to say, audience in the cinema was confused.

          Of course, the subtitles for the SCREENER had much higher quality.

          Link (Czech language): http://www.fffilm.name/2011/05/konec-titulku-v-cechach.html
          the article is from 2011 and although you will not understand the language, notice the screenshot from X-Men first class — that’s how much Hollywood cares that professional translators can do their work well.

    • 2.2
      Jani Lipponen

      Rick is completely in the right here, but seeing it as any sort of an insult is completely unfounded. In addition to the points he already made about the constantly lowering standards in professional translations thanks to cutting costs, fansubbers simply enjoy a number of advantages professionals can often only dream of: they choose what to translate, so often they know the source material better – a professional given something to translate more or less at random typically cannot afford to spend the time to reach a fan-level in the subject. Fansubbers also usually work in groups with possibly several proofreaders, meaning quick feedback from several people. Also, they can quickly and easily improve the subtitles based on viewer feedback. They have plenty of time to improve the text, unlike a professional who all too often these days have to work at an insane pace to make ends meet.

      I have plenty of respect for professional translators and I consider the way they’re being pushed to the ground these days by unethical translation agencies putting no value on quality a disgrace. My views on the state of professional translation is based on reading the experiences of several professionals about the current state of the industry in my native Finland, where the development has, according to their accounts, professionals having to do four times as much work for less than half the pay in recent years. The resulting drop in quality has lead to a situation where many translators now refuse to have them named as the translator.

      I have no doubt that a professional couldn’t do a much better job than a solitary amateur, given the same time time and resources. It just so happens that the amateurs in question aren’t solitary and tend to have vastly more resources, resulting in better overall quality in a shorter period of time. But not everything will get the attention of the fansubbers. It requires a significant fan base.

    • 2.3
      realkman666

      As a translator and proofreader, I can confirm that official subtitling is done in a shitty fashion and that there is little effort or money put into it. I don’t know if unofficial work is generally better, but official translations are rarely amazing.

      Subtitling is often done by non-translators because the rates are too low, so unqualified people + working fast enough to make it worth your while = garbage.

      • 2.3.1
        Scary Devil Monastery

        Subtitling made unofficially is sometimes of astonishing quality. Generally speaking because it’s done by fans who have followed a series/know the canon from every possibler angle after being hooked on it for the last few years.

        Add to that it’s usually a labor of love and you end up with some unofficial subtitling which, as Rick points out, is not rarely nicked by the copyright owners.

        You’d think they should be grateful…instead they now pour contempt on yet one more sector of fans.

    • 2.4
      Anonymous

      I agree with the opinion in the article. Subs quality on bought dvd’s is terrible sometimes. You usually can find better subs for any movie made for free on the net.

      Subs on tv shows are even worse, especially when they are aired on tv.

    • 2.5
      Vesavius

      I find it dissapointing that, in this kind of discussion, people choose get offended by something like this rather than talk about the actual issue. Stop looking for reasons to be buthurt and grow a thicker skin. Stay on point.

    • 2.6
      You sir, are wrong.

      While I understand it takes time, I don’t think it is necessarily ‘years’ to become a good subtitle writer. You take a professional subtitle writer, and they work for one company. They get what they get, when they get it. You take the freelance fansub writer, someone who is annoyed that subtitles aren’t accurate, and they get an anime episode every week that they have 3 hours to translate. A team of five guys could watch an episode three times and have it down way faster. On top of that, maybe those five guys don’t just have one series they subtitle. Maybe they have six or seven that they keep up with, every week. That experience adds up a lot faster than if you’re restricted to what you’re given.

      Giving examples based on what knowledge I have, I’m not saying any of this is true or accurate. I’m saying, give this the benefit of the doubt, and maybe think from both perspectives.

    • 2.7
      Zypherion

      Years of practice to become a good subtitler??
      This consists of what? You do not state the requirements, because you want it to appear that it takes more than listening and typing. From some of the work I have seen of your co’professionals’ you all need to have your hearing checked. You are not doing theoretical physics or high end differential calculus, you are listening and typing, neither of which requires any more than a high school degree.

      • 2.7.1
        next_ghost

        It DOES take more than listening and typing. Translating is a different skill on top of the ability to understand a foreign language. Inexperienced translators often don’t understand that they shouldn’t translate words, they must translate the meaning. You can recognize their work from overly complicated sentence structure which matches the original language very closely. If the original sentence was a bit complicated, translation from an inexperienced translator will often mean the exact opposite or even become complete gibberish. Subtitling is even harder because you have to fit the translation into limited space.

        Education won’t make you a good translator. You need a few years of practical experience.

      • 2.7.2
        Sindablast

        “You are not doing theoretical physics or high end differential calculus, you are listening and typing, neither of which requires any more than a high school degree.”

        Wow, learning a new language would be so easy if this were even remotely true. There’s a very good reason why translation machines suck. It’s because translations, in fact language, are far more difficult than most people think.

        Actually, when the characters in the film are talking about theoretical physics or high end differential calculus, then you may very well need to know some theoretical physics or high end differential calculus. When the film’s plot involves poetry, you have to know some poetry. When the plot revolves around computers, you’ll be quick to make a fool of yourself if you juggle the words around in the wrong fashion. Humour is an entire category in its own right; translating humour between languages and especially cultures, is sometimes impossible and at very best, hard.

        This is all because languages are fantastically different from each other and you cannot simply replace words from the original language with words from the target language. Language simply does not work that way.

        Of course, if you’re not ambitioned enough, or badly paid enough, then you can just “listen and type”. But such translations suck. If that were not the case, then translations would generally be better than they are.

    • 2.8
      Tingle

      As you’re a professional can you explain why around 7/10 cases of subtitling includes lazy shortcuts and words which are at best approximations of what’s been said and at worse total garbage that confuse the viewer/reader. Fremantle Media’s subtitling of Homicide: Life on the Street; for example, has some subtitles that literally make no sense at all. But it’s far from the only one I’ve experienced.

      What is it? Do you guys feel that deaf/hard of hearing individuals like myself don’t deserve to have an (as close as possible) identical dialog experience? Or is it just that some of you are either chronically lazy or feel like making editorial re-writes because you’re better at dialog?

      Your industry needs some quality control and standards – there’s not even names of who’s accountable for this nonsense at times. I certainly haven’t found out who to complain to.

    • 2.9
      Joe is wrong

      Sorry I watch thousands of movies a year.. almost all subtitled. Almost all terribly bad subtitling going on. Not even close in many cases. It DOES NOT take years of training. Simply listen to the word and put them into text format and marry them to audio.

    • 2.10
      Xocolatl

      I don’t know about movies, but anime fansubs quite often include context and commentaries, which is a godsend if a) you are not familiar with Japanese culture, modern and ancient, b) you happened to be watching something serialized from a series of novel and not know the background. The jokes, etc, are not nearly as often lost in translation either, because various sources editors can work together to fix them to really fit into the context of the viewers. Another thing is that they are not afraid to use different fonts–at times, you can see fonts used to convey emotions (larger for louder speaking, REALLY LARGE for shouting, etc), and even custom made fonts to fit the theme of the shows. Another thing they do is they don’t put subtitles at the bottom everytime. Sometimes fansubs can put subtitles near the text (name of stores and various signs being shown), which means they can put into context a lot of visual gags.

  3. 3
    REx

    Inget allvarligt, bara en felstavning hittad (markerad med versaler) – “and get the investigations closed in 15 minutes (which was the case with a rape investigation recently) – but there are POICE resources to conduct raids”

  4. 4
    Nomad of Norad

    Interestingly, a few hours ago, THIS short article showed up in my twitter feed:

    http://www.geekexchange.com/brin-on-hollywood-the-writer-is-optimistic-about-its-future-once-it-implodes-69943.html#.UdyyA7Uag7Q.twitter

    Basically, science fiction novelist David Brin is expecting the current movie system to collapse in on itself and be replaced with a system where often times “…a small group of maybe six or seven guys sitting at a keyboard with a writer at the center will be able to make a high-quality 90-minute animated story, and it’ll make money,” and at the box office it will run rings around “…something stupid that cost $87 million in special effects.” And he wants to be ready for when that collapse happens. In fact, he is looking forward to it.

    • 4.1
      DavidXanatos

      I’m quite sure this will happen soon.

      If you look on movies/tv shows like Babylon 5 for example, this could be done today with consumer hardware.

      The demise of the movie industry is very near.

      • 4.1.1

        The special effects in Babylon 5 *were* dono on comsumer-grade computers — a network of Commodore Amigas.

        • my choice

          Commodore Amigas were not consumer grade hardware, in fact with the Video Toaster hardware they were some of the most capable computer graphics stations available. Now more complicated effects can be rendered faster on truly consumer grade hardware, but the Amiga when configured as a video workstation was not consumer grade.

  5. 5
    Anonymous

    this and all raids are about control and nothing else. whilst the professional subtitlers do a good job, the industry typically doesn’t want to pay. it also doesn’t want fan subs put out either. the answer as far as they are concerned is ‘if we haven’t authorised it, regardless of the fact that the quality is crap, then no one is allowed to do it. it’s just a further way of alienating customers and another way of, like stated in the article, for people to wonder why there is money for police raids over something so trivial but so worthwhile, but not for ‘real crimes’.
    it’s a shame Rik, that there isn’t a way of finding out, officially, how the entertainment industries manage to get these raids executed. there has to be a record of expenditure for each and every police action taken. there also needs to be a way of finding out who authorised this and similar raids as well as the ‘incentive’ given. yet another example, perhaps, of the ‘agreement’ between Sweden and the USA? pretty devastating if it is!!

  6. 6
    TG

    Sounds similar to the situation with guitar tab sites.

    Arguments over whether professionals are better than amateurs is a distraction. The salient point is that if the “authorised” version is lacking in some way – if it is poor quality, or it doesn’t meet specific needs, or isn’t available quickly enough, or in a suitable format, nobody else is allowed to do a better job. Such is the monopolistic nature of copyright.

  7. 7
    Daydream

    There’s something I don’t quite understand in this article…
    As far as I know (though I’m mostly guessing), fansubs would fall under creative commons copyright; do what you want with it, so long as you give proper attribution to the creator.
    In that case, what exactly did Netflix do so wrong? They copied, but they left the source’s name and website on the copy in clear view, so I don’t see what the huge problem is.

    • 7.1
      Per "wertigon" Ekström

      While some CC licenses allow for commercial, use, not all do that. Of the six CC licenses only CC BY and possibly CC BY-ND allows for commercial use the way Netflix uses them. Many subs are licensed as BY-ND-NC which explicitly bans commercial use.

    • 7.2
      Kevin P

      Fansub groups don’t generally put a license on their work, so by a strict reading of the law that means they’re all-rights-reserved.

      Admittedly the reason they don’t have licenses is because that would be hypocritical (I’m taking someone else’s content and sharing it against their wishes, so how can I tell other people what they can and can’t do with the changes I made to it?), but still, that’s the law Big Content forced on us, so that’s the rule they should play by as well.

      (Perhaps the situation is different for subs that get distributed on their own rather than along with episodes, I’m not sure)

  8. 8
    Per "wertigon" Ekström

    This war will not end until 1) the copyright industry is dead, or 2) they have complete control over access to the planet’s culture and knowledge. Pick your sides and place your bets.

    You don’t know how correct you are, Rick. But by filesharing Hollywood, you are supporting Hollywood. The only way to kill these guys, for good, would be to stop enjoying their products, or at the very least delay your viewings by six months – that way Hollywood will hurt where it’s hurt the most – the six first months they make 90% of their money on each individual movie.

    • 8.1
      Gustag

      You hit the nail on the head here. People justify their piracy citing the actions of the MPAA, but that only strengthens their resolve.

      You wanna send a message? Go without!

      • 8.1.1
        Anyone

        I won’t let the MAFIAA dictate what I can’t watch anymore than I let them dictate what I can watch

        If it is out there it is mine to share

        • Per "wertigon" Ekström

          And, by deciding to do that you also say “You know what, yeah, MPAA are a bunch of assholes, but they really put out good shit, so I’ll continue to support them.”

          By pirating hollywood, you are supporting hollywood. It really is that simple.

  9. 10
    columbo

    The intent is not to “win” the case. The intent is to disrupt operations and financially crush the site through seizure. When the case is eventually dropped (2+years), it wont matter to the site as they have been forced into absolution for the term of the case. This is the real M.O. when taking the raid (seizure) approach.

    Its bending due process to disrupt and make it expensive to even escape, must less resume.

  10. 11
    tykjen

    Now, that this happens in sweden is the last surprise. But that the police at the blink of an eye raid the site instead of doing actual policework, is a bit more alarming, but not surprising.

  11. 12

    how about some actions instead of words.

    talk is talk and useless cause they don’t care.
    doing something like raid them back makes them care.

  12. 13
    juanc

    In Mexico you can find bootleg copies of almost everything for sale on the streets, even (maybe specially) outside official buildings, and government employees buy them regularly. To me, this is illegal piracy and should be prosecuted. Not sharing, not “translating”, not adding any value or redistributing: just profiteering from some one else’s work. And no one does anything really. In México, just south of the US border. Filesharing? pfft. One congressman tried to gain support for enacting ACTA and SOPA (?) and he couldn’t even get other congressmen to learn what the hell was he talking about. Latin America is used (and even thrives) for the 2tier justice system. We know “elites protect elites” (just google Lydia Cacho). Now, with all this said, how and when did Sweden (and maybe Britain) became the Copyright Industry’s lackey?

  13. 14
    Tom

    few years ago, same situation was in Poland. Cops and copyright trolls ride on site similar to this one you just write about.
    after 2yrs trial (or even more?) verdict was unexpected. court decide it, site wasn’t illegal. as they said, translating from hearing is not a crime.

  14. 15
    Belorn

    Don’t subtitles (in Sweden) fall under exception from copyright if done to provide accessibility (aid for those with hearing disability) and if done as non-profit?

    The law in question: https://lagen.nu/1960:729#P17S1

  15. 16
    Deo Fayte

    The bottom line. If there is a demand, someone will fill it. There is a demand for movies, music, games, any and all forms of entertainment at our fingertips, someone will fill that.

    There really is nothing to be gained by fighting that. Learn from it, adapt, incorporate. Within this age of the internet you either evolve or die.

  16. 17
    jon

    I’m not a translator in any sense first off. But, concerning Anime, I think the issue is very different. I’m an Amerikan w/lots of interaction with Japan, and almost every product I’ve seen or get regulerly from JP that has ANY english on it is so bad it’s been a source of commedy for myself and partner who is a native speaker. I’m not sure if it’s just too different to translate w/out extensive effort or cost or what but it is consistent . My partners mother is a translator for Professional Sports Teams in Japan and my brother has a Ph D in the feild but i’ve never asked either why all the commercial items we recieve are so poorly translated but plan to. Any thoughts?

  17. 18
    inscius

    Another confirmation of a corrupt system. State capitalism of the political “middle”. Different government, same system (or surprise this Swede). A police raid targeting a community of fans making subtitles? It is tragicomical. It is a bit South Park over the whole thing.

    The police in Sweden is not famous for it’s efficiency. It is scadalous/hilarious they put resources in this. Non-profit subtitles??? It is laughable. I hope normal policemen one day get pissed off and demand better organisation and a decent distribution of resources.

    I have never been involved in subtitling, and I don’t remember if I ever enjoyed fan-made subtitles. One way to avoid the copyright cavallery is to make not translations, but totally new text to the Hollywood shite. Might improve it.

    The industry which corrupts the lawmaking and ditto enforcement is not only not worth our money. It’s not even worth watching/listening to their products. Just my two Swedish kroner.

  18. 19
    baranowski

    The more this sort of thing happens the more I will torrent films in retaliation against the fat cat tyrant they are

    • 19.1
      CoopDot

      Please don’t torrent films in retaliation. It’s counter productive. ‘The fat cat tyrant’ only benefit from that.

      The only way to retaliate is to ignore the films’ existence altogether. I know that isn’t easy, I’ve failed a few times the last decade myself.

  19. 21
    Duh!

    DYL: Copyrights protect the OWNER, not necessarily the CREATOR.

  20. 22
    Sion

    The number one thing that these conglomerates do not want is an educated public. Take the 2hrs spent on the movie and invest it in a creative/research project of your own. This done at a critical mass level will turn the tides on the billionaires that profit off of you, then profit off your arrests.

    Take your own power back!

  21. 23
    Anonymous

    I think that for  “2)” to  happen, for them to  have guaranteed their complete control over people’s access to culture and knowledge, they would also require complete control over what anyone is able to say or do.

    That means knowing everything going on the internet. [Surveillance and recording of all information traffic worldwide]

    Controlling who has access to communications[A great data firewall]

    Controlling who is able to say something.[Special permit required to access internet]

    Knowing who is who.[ One internet permit=1 internet ID=1 person.]

    It sounds crazy but if they do it little by little and slowly crank up their control and their position as legislator, judge, jury and police and first plant the ideas on everyone’s minds and then when the time is right, they move along when people are willing to accept it, it can happen.
    It’s my biggest fear.

  22. 24
    Naouak

    “Fansubbing is a thriving culture which usually provides better-than-professional subtitles for new episodes with less than 24 hours of turnaround (whereas the providers of the original cartoon or movie can easily take six months or more).”

    This line made my day.

    I can’t agree with someone if he doesn’t know what’s he’s dealing with.

    I work for a small anime publisher in Europe. One of those that people think are in “copyright monopoly” but are in fact just a small company without any political power of any kind.

    There is fan sub with good quality but it is a very small proportion compared to the number of fan sub available out there. Most of the subtitles for any non-english content is a translation of a translation and often without any respect of their viewer. Fansubs often suppose that you have a prior knowledge of the original language and keep words that should be translated (see the famous “just according to the keikaku” or the “nakama” thing in one piece fansubs).

    There is good and bad professional subtitles. But in my opinion there is more better than fan sub professional subtitles than better than professional fan sub subtitle.

    Subtitling is an art that require is very precise knowledge of two language and often, fansubbers lack one. There is a lot of rules to abide in subtitling so people can watch a subtitled movie without reading subtitles all the time. In fansubs, it is very rare to find people caring about those rules. How many times I saw triple line subtitle lasting less than 2 second in fansubs.

    I’m sick of people rating stuff they can’t rate. Since when everyone is an expert at everything ?

    • 24.1
      Mumfi.

      I really hope you are not one of the subtitlers of your company. Your comment was almost unreadable!

      Who cares if the subtitles are 100% true to the original dialog? I much prefer them to be swift, in character, and entertaining. Let me give you my favorite example from the movie Chinese Ghost Story. One line from the quickly translated showing at a film festival: “Evil spirits be gone!” the dvd sold by official channels tree years later: “Ghost and goblins, get out of here!”. Well, thank you so very much for your accurate rendering of the intricacies of the Chinese language (insert irony marker here).

    • 24.2
      next_ghost

      If you pick one show and focus on it, it doesn’t matter how many shitty fansubs of this show are out there. The only thing that matters is whether or not there is at least one good fansub. If that one good fansub is better than the official translation, then fansubbers score another victory.

      BTW, if you’d like to know how much I know about subtitling, head over to http://yfias.com/watch and play both episodes with Czech subtitles. I made those subs (both translation and timing).

    • 24.3
      Jani Lipponen

      Hint: not all fansubs are anime. I don’t know how the situation is in your language group, but your post couldn’t be any further from my experiences with the quality of professional vs fan made subtitles. You’ll usually find much better respect for the original message, general knowledge of the subject at hand and command of the source language in fansubs. Pretty much the only thing where you come close to having a point is regarding line length, where professionals usually deliver a shorter line. However, in my experience they often end up with too little and lose too much content to deliver an overly simplified line that’s actually too short to be enjoyable. While the fansubs I’ve come across – and that’s a lot – go for something a little longer but much better and truer to the original. And they also have very good control of line length, their target just might be a couple of words longer than that of professionals.

  23. 25
    Multics

    Is Sweden a signatory of the Berne copyright convention? If so isn’t the translations done by fans automatically copyright by the translator? Under Swedish law is there some type of lawsuit that can be brought against the police and/or copyright company regarding theft of copyright material and violation of the Berne convention, particularly if the Polish case mentioned has precedence(?). Can the fansub site then in addition sue the police and MPAA (or swedish counterpart) for damages?

    IANAL but in US law if someone basically sets the police on you and the charges are baseless/unfounded you can then sue that someone for damage to reputation, harassment, and I’m sure other charges.

  24. 26
    Anonymous

    This police raid would have made a little bit of sense if it had been about translations that replace the original work. I mean, if you translate a book from English to Swedish, then readers may choose to read the Swedish version instead of the English version; As a result, the author may make less money from their original work. THerefore, the author may argue that the translator has infringed his copyright monopoly.

    undertexter.se however, provides subtitles for movies. These subtitles are only useful in combination with a copy of the corresponding movie. As a result, the copyright monopoly holder will make more money by selling his content because the subtitles from undertexter.se make the original content accessible to a larger user base.

    This whole police raid is as ridiculous as the trademark issue between Fererro and that Nutella fan site which encouraged people to buy Nutella. Those copyright monopoly holders are harming themselves!

  25. 27
    Patrik

    This is so beyond stupid. I believe it could be considered dictation, which is helpful to the hearing-impaired. So… you could say they’re attacking people with a handicap.

    I’m just glad it’s back up again.

  26. […] Undertexter.se is no longer live. They have placed a message on their Facebook account and domain, translated here by Falkvinge: […]

  27. 28

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this website’s posts all the time
    along with a cup of coffee.

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