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NetFlix Caught Stealing DivX Subtitles From Finnish Pirates

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the why-duplicate-effort? dept.

Piracy 284

An anonymous reader writes with word that NetFlix recently opened its streaming service in Finland and was promptly caught stealing movie subtitles from a local DivX community site. How were they caught? NetFlix failed to remove references to the pirate site in the subtitles.

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721475)

Subtitle this!

Re:First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721597)

B-b-but the headline explicitly reads Subtiles , so what on earth are you talking about?

Arrrrgg...... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721477)

Pirates don't watch movies!

Re:Arrrrgg...... (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41721795)

They watch Arrrr-rated movies

Re:Arrrrgg...... (-1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 2 years ago | (#41721911)

They watch Arrrr-rated movies

Hang them from the yardarm by their lutefisks.

but they will waste no time (5, Funny)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#41721479)

telling us how piracy is hurting their business and costing them money!

Re:but they will waste no time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721495)

The article summary is deliberately inflammatory. It's not "stealing" - it's exactly the sort of sharing which I assume a "pirate" would support. The original DivX site hasn't lost the use of these subtitles. Indeed, it's been given free advertising. The best thing it could do is issue a press release congratulating Netflix for acting in the spirit of cooperation and free dissemination. Everyone wins.

Re:but they will waste no time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721543)

The article summary is deliberately inflammatory. It's not "stealing" - it's exactly the sort of sharing which I assume a "pirate" would support. The original DivX site hasn't lost the use of these subtitles. Indeed, it's been given free advertising. The best thing it could do is issue a press release congratulating Netflix for acting in the spirit of cooperation and free dissemination. Everyone wins.

Except that they demand money.
Ripping of some ip and sharing it for free is different from ripping it of and selling it for profit.

Re:but they will waste no time (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#41721625)

I don't see how that means it's stealing.

Re:but they will waste no time (5, Insightful)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#41721775)

Also, it's hypocrisy on the part of Netflix, since Netflix opposes piracy. Instead of sending out s press release commending Netflix, they should ask Netflix to send out a press release saying that piracy is good because it's nothing more than what Netflix does themselves.

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#41722021)

Except that they demand money.

They don't demand extra money for subtitles. And the subtitles are not copyrighted by the pirates in the first place. You can't copyright someone's work by just transcribing it.

Ripping of some ip and sharing it for free is different from ripping it of and selling it for profit.

Correct. Giving it away is worse. Damages for copyright infringement are not based on whether you profited from the infringement, but whether the copyright holder was deprived of profit. If you infringe and sell the copies, you are competing with the content owner and depriving them of some profit, but if you give the content away for free, you are undermining their whole business model and depriving them of much more profit.

But in this particular case, the pirates don't hold the copyright, and weren't charging for the subtitles anyway, so none of this applies.

Re:but they will waste no time (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722105)

Except that they demand money.

They don't demand extra money for subtitles. And the subtitles are not copyrighted by the pirates in the first place. You can't copyright someone's work by just transcribing it.

Incorrect. Under the Finnish copyright law, the translator has the copyright to the work (i.e. the translation). But since it's a derivative work, the author of the original work also holds copyrights. Unless the original copyright has lapsed, in which case the translator gets the sole copyright.

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

Mashdar (876825) | about 2 years ago | (#41722029)

Trading your rip for quid pro quo access to other rips would be considered proffiting in most places.

Not that I agree with MPAA/RIAA methods for extracting "damages"...

Re:but they will waste no time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721559)

It is using the work for a commercial purpose, that would probably violate a GNU license equivalent, though i really doubt the subtitle files have been licensed at all.

Re:but they will waste no time (4, Informative)

Kidbro (80868) | about 2 years ago | (#41721619)

that would probably violate a GNU license equivalent

No. GNU licenses have never been about restricting commercial use, only prohibitory use.

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41721721)

But with GNU you have the right to modify and redistribute and I kinda doubt Netflix allows that to occur so if it were licensed under GNU they would be in violation.

Re:but they will waste no time (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#41721829)

But with GNU you have the right to modify and redistribute and I kinda doubt Netflix allows that to occur so if it were licensed under GNU they would be in violation.

Not only does netflix require that all shows they distributed be tried down with DRM, they even forbid the author from including a blurb at the start of the movie telling viewers were to get a DRM-free version. [ninapaley.com]

Re:but they will waste no time (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41722025)

You have that backwards. Netflix is forced to have DRM on the content they stream or else they wouldn't be able to license it.

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

jpapon (1877296) | about 2 years ago | (#41721987)

It wouldn't be very smart to put your name and copyright on a file which is being disseminated with pirated material. Just sayin.

Re:but they will waste no time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721655)

It's not "stealing" - it's exactly the sort of sharing which I assume a "pirate" would support.

And the industry does not.

Re:but they will waste no time (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#41721921)

Netflix is not the industry though.

netflix wants DRM on their streaming, as they aren't charging buy a movie/show prices and need your stuff to expire when you stop.paying.

netflix has a place in the world even without copyright law though, in fact a stronger place I imagine, they could still charge for their convenience, and their suggestions.

netflix is most likely going to get sunk by the industry in the next couple of years.

but they will waste no about face. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721703)

Hopefully these particular pirates will stick with their principles and issue that press release. Anything else? Well hypocrisy is such an ugly word.

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#41721733)

The article summary is deliberately inflammatory. It's not "stealing" - it's exactly the sort of sharing which I assume a "pirate" would support. The original DivX site hasn't lost the use of these subtitles. Indeed, it's been given free advertising. The best thing it could do is issue a press release congratulating Netflix for acting in the spirit of cooperation and free dissemination. Everyone wins.

Of course it's not stealing - but it is according to NetFlix (when others do it).

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41721925)

I'm saying when a corporation does it, it's not illegal.

Re:but they will waste no time (4, Informative)

lindi (634828) | about 2 years ago | (#41721783)

As far as I can see divxfinland uses the CC-NC-SA 3.0 license. This is does not allow commercial usage.

Re:but they will waste no time (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#41721959)

this surprises me. I would really expect pirate groups to stick to free and/or open principles.

I guess they're just another group of hypocrites, ugh.

note: NC is neither free or open in the sense of the word used in this context. In fact, it could be argued that making the subs themselves available on any site with ads is a license violation, It's almost impossible to safely distribute in any real way something that is marked NC.

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

TuringTest (533084) | about 2 years ago | (#41722091)

How is releasing content under CC-NC-SA 3.0 license opposing free and/or open principles?

Re:but they will waste no time (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#41722147)

The fact that they don't comply with your expectations doesn't make them hypocrites. If DivX Finland doesn't copy the films for commercial purposes, using a non-commercial license is not inconsistent.

Re:but they will waste no time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721891)

Huh, I was going to write that it is technically plagiarism, but I see from the TFA that Netflix included the credits right in the text. Good on them.

So this actually does appear to be an almost symbiotic mutual breach of copyright.

Re:but they will waste no time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722161)

Everyone wins.

Is something I'm sure you spent your childhood hearing and that's clearly affected your adult life.

Re:but they will waste no time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722171)

While you may be right that it's not 'stealing' as far as pirates are concerned....
Pirates are not the ones who have been calling it stealing and trying to sue everyone for the last decade. Pirates are not the ones lobbying for laws to ruin someones life for this kind of 'stealing'. Pirates have cost no individual their time, money, or freedom.

If the positions were reversed someone would be in jail/court/in trouble.
Instead since a media company did the 'crime'. Nothing will happen at all.

Gotta love business hypocrisy.
Go pirate something. I'd like to see everyone involved out of business.

Re:but they will waste no time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721501)

ok heres another one from today... microsoft is irrelevant, oracle sucks, righthaven is screwed, spammers are going to federal prison, and pirates in finland pwn netflix. oh the glory.... its christmas in october. :D

Re:but they will waste no time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721505)

I don't think Netflix has done much whining about piracy. They don't produce much in the way of content.

Fair enough... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721487)

The pirates are stealing from them (from the whole industry), so what's wrong with stealing a little from pirates? I guess these pirates can see how it feels now.

Re:Fair enough... (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#41721805)

The pirates are stealing from them (from the whole industry), so what's wrong with stealing a little from pirates?

Well, apart from the fact that it's not stealing, it's unlicensed copying, nothing.

I guess these pirates can see how it feels now.

Probably: great; I would be laughing like hell if I had done this and Netflix took my subtitles.

However, you are completely missing the point here. There are some of us who think it's okay to "pirate" and do so. There are others, like myself, that feel that unlicensed copying should be allowed in many more circumstances but don't feel like breaking the law. Until now there's been a third group which is benefitting from the laws, but was following them. Finally there's been group, such as congressmen's children, which are breaking the law because they can get away with it.

What we are seeing now is that in fact, there's no third group. The RIAA "pirates" music for their ads. The big media distribution firms demand adverts on other people's YouTube videos because of some real or false positive fair rights use of their material. The media distribution companies, like Netflix, are completely happy to "steal" material from anywhere they feel like. These people do things that, if you did them, would end you up in jail or paying hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines [pcworld.com] . They pay nothing and rarely even apologise.

This is all about the Amercan corporate royalty and their "Droit de Seigneur [snopes.com] " with your ideas, privacy and creations. This is not news because the copying is immoral; it is news because, it's yet another slip of the front and makes it 100% clear that you too are plebs [independent.co.uk] and the only thing wrong is letting you know it.

From someone who has read slashdots comment before (-1, Troll)

bigdavex (155746) | about 2 years ago | (#41721491)

Oh no! What will the local DivX community do without their subtitles, now that they've been stolen!!

Oh wait, not really.

Re:From someone who has read slashdots comment bef (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721631)

Pirates distribute for free. Netflix is reselling it and making money. That is scum.

Re:From someone who has read slashdots comment bef (0, Troll)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#41721729)

You're saying that netflix charges extra for the use of these subtitles? Or are you saying you're an idiot?

Re:From someone who has read slashdots comment bef (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41722155)

He is saying they wouldn't be able to charge in the absence of such subtitles... Subtitles are required to sell movies in places that do not have English as their main language.

Re:From someone who has read slashdots comment bef (1)

bigdavex (155746) | about 2 years ago | (#41721763)

Regardless, it's not stealing because the DivX community still have them.

Re:From someone who has read slashdots comment bef (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41721945)

Wait until the DCMA take down from netflix comes...

From TFA (4, Funny)

MicktheMech (697533) | about 2 years ago | (#41721507)

"Online TV giant Netflix was closed captions unauthorized use of his pants down..."

I predict "unauthorized use of his pants down" to be the new "not want".

"Stealing" from Pirates (1)

Galestar (1473827) | about 2 years ago | (#41721521)

Makes total sense!

Google translate caught with his pants down (5, Funny)

negablade (2745981) | about 2 years ago | (#41721523)

Methinks Google translate is having trouble with Finnish to English. From TFA

Online TV giant Netflix was closed captions unauthorized use of his pants down, when the Finnish users ...

Re:Google translate caught with his pants down (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721661)

No that is normal in Finland, we like to get around with our pants down for Google [theregister.co.uk] .
Possibly NSFW.

Re:Google translate caught with his pants down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721707)

I didn't know Jerry Sandusky worked at Netflix.

Re:Google translate caught with his pants down (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721807)

Keeping in line with illegal translations, I'll give you my own translation of the article from Ilta-Sanomat (since Google translation may have missed a couple of nuances):

Netflix, who opened their service in Finland on thursday, is using crowdsourced subtitles without permission. According to a copyright entity, even translations of subtitles done by hobbyists are illegal.

  Network entertainment giants Netflix was caught red-handed when Finnish users began using their service on thursday. At the beginning of the translations the creator of the subtitles is marked as DivX Finland, which is an Internet community working on translating movies and television series into Finnish.

  DivX Finland shares their subtitles free on the Internet, but according to the licensing rights on their site the usage of those subtitles for commercial purposes is prohibited.

  DivX Finland admin Jarmo Hakala found out about the issue Thursday evening on IRC-chat and received a screenshot for proof.

  - "Oops. :) It's nice that they find the subtitles relevant, but they could've at least asked for permission. I'm sure we'll have a nice discussion with Netflix tomorrow", said Hakala thursday evening on the Facebook page of DivX Finland.

  Ilta-sanomat was able to get hold of Hakala via telephone on Friday.

  - "I feel mostly amused. We're not taking this too seriously. We would've given permission, should they have asked for it. Netflix could've avoided this hassle", said Hakala to Ilta-Sanomat.

  - "But many (in our community) have felt a bit bad, since there's money and commercialism involved. Someone has taken voluntary work for profit and called it their own", continues hakala.

  According to copyright holders' representative Antti Kotilainen, one could say that it in this case something has been stolen from a thief. Legally amateur subtitles even for non-commercial use is not legal, nor does DivX Finland have the copyright for the translations.

  - "It is clear that what DivX Finland does is illegal. As for Netflix, their operations should be governed by contracts that they have done with (program) copyright holders", says Kotilainen to Ilta-Sanomat.

  According to Kotilainen the subtitles do not become legal just because Netflix started using them.

  Kotilainen says that copyright law allows making translations for personal use and copying them to friends and family, but not sharing them openly online.

  - "Translation is from copyright point of view a copy. If you place one on a netsite, you need copyright holder's permission to do so."

  The Finnish representative of Netflix has promised to comment the issue fairly soon.

  Netflix, a U.S. company, broadcasts movies, TV-series and documentaries on the Internet for a monthly fee of 7.99 euros. It has over 27 million customers on three continents.

subtiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721531)

subtiles subtiles subtiles subtiles subtiles subtiles

That one bugs me more than it should.

Re:subtiles (3, Informative)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#41721613)

Every summary contains an obvious typo, formatting error or similar glitch to encourage people to post and to increase ad traffic. Try putting an oblivious mistake into one of your posts and see how long it takes for people to respond to that rather than your original point...

Re:subtiles (1, Troll)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41721811)

Fn idiot. Why the hell do you end with an elipse???

Re:subtiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721949)

What's an "elipse"?

Re:subtiles (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41721823)

thought it said subtitties

Re:subtiles (3, Funny)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41721937)

It's a subtle error.

Re:subtiles (1)

obarel (670863) | about 2 years ago | (#41722159)

They wouldn't have stolen the subtiles if the pirates kept them encryped.

Stealing subtitles? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41721535)

And the people who wrote the subtitles stole them from the movie script whose rights Netflix licences. I fail to see what's the problem here, maybe someone who speaks Finnish can explain.

Re:Stealing subtitles? (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 2 years ago | (#41721587)

That's what I was thinking. Technically, the copyright owner owns the rights to derivative works. I don't see this as hypocrisy on the part of Netflix, Netflix owns very little content. If the studios did it, then OK, I see that as hypocrisy in a way. But people complaining that someone stole something from thieves? That's a different kind of special right there.

Re:Stealing subtitles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721667)

But people complaining that someone stole something from thieves? That's a different kind of special right there.

Bank robberies...

Re:Stealing subtitles? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#41721765)

That's what I was thinking. Technically, the copyright owner owns the rights to derivative works. I don't see this as hypocrisy on the part of Netflix, Netflix owns very little content. If the studios did it, then OK, I see that as hypocrisy in a way.

It's actually the other way around, for the reason you note... The studios own the copyrights, so if you make an unauthorized derivative work, they could claim that as copyright owner, they have implied rights in that work too. Netflix doesn't own the content, but is just a licensee, so the studios would have to grant them a license to the implied third-party derivative work, which starts getting a little sticky.

Re:Stealing subtitles? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#41722037)

It's actually the other way around, for the reason you note... The studios own the copyrights, so if you make an unauthorized derivative work, they could claim that as copyright owner, they have implied rights in that work too. Netflix doesn't own the content, but is just a licensee, so the studios would have to grant them a license to the implied third-party derivative work, which starts getting a little sticky.

No, they don't have any rights to unauthorized derivative works. What saves them in practice is that if you "steal" a movie from Netflix, and Netflix "steals" subtitles from you, you are not in a position to take them to court. (There _have_ been people calling the police because someone stole drugs from them, which is a bloody stupid thing to do. And I read about one case where the police successfully arrested both the thief, and the victim of the theft for drug possession).

Re:Stealing subtitles? (4, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41721887)

That's what I was thinking. Technically, the copyright owner owns the rights to derivative works.

No, he does not. Because it involves the creative work of the translator. This translation is probably an infringing derivative work, and the original copyright owner could stop it being published, but could not claim it as his own property.

If I write a Spider-Man fanfic, Marvel cant just take it and publish it as their own. They might sue me, but they can't take my work.

Re:Stealing subtitles? (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | about 2 years ago | (#41721905)

That's what I was thinking. Technically, the copyright owner owns the rights to derivative works.

In the sense that you need their permission, yes.
But the original creator does not own all the rights - you will also need the permission of those that created the derivative.
You have to satisfy both of them to publish legally.

Re:Stealing subtitles? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41721593)

Well obviously not, or there would be no way to tell.
I assume that they did their own translation, something that costs money (unless you know a translator who works for free) and is not a one to one relationship.

Re:Stealing subtitles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721747)

unless you know a translator who works for free

Check the opening credits to any torrented, unlicensed anime.

Re:Stealing subtitles? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41721621)

They didn't steal "subtitles" they apparently stole some new thing called "subtiles".

It's stealing royalties (4, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 2 years ago | (#41721629)

The people that should have made money from writing those subtitles and that probably have done so for Finnish Television or Cinema companies, have not been paid, nor has their product been used. That means that these people are deprived of royalties in favour of illegally obtained translations that have violated the copyright of the show in question.

Either that, or the whole model doesn't make sense, take your pick.

Not the first time (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721539)

It has been shown that Netflix also used portuguese community generated subtitle files for its Brazilian site. Netflix used it with errors and all. I don't think that its illegal, technically... but IANAL.

Here is the source [http://blog.lancamentosnetflix.com.br/2012/09/netflix-baixando-legendas-da-internet.html]
Sorry, i don't know how to create the fancy links in the comment. :(

Interesting, I wonder who's fault it is... (2)

Ecuador (740021) | about 2 years ago | (#41721561)

I mean I am sure the CEO of netflix did not give an order "hey, get pirated subtitles - I am sure they are professional quality and won't contain profanities etc that could get us in trouble".
So, somewhere in the chain of passing out the requirement for, I assume, low cost translation, some "bright mind" had this idea. It is very likely that even the actual translator paid to do the work thought he/she might save some time!
But in general, it would be a great thing for someone like NetFlix to hire a well known sub-release group for their translations, but I really don't see that happening...

Re:Interesting, I wonder who's fault it is... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41721635)

Why would profanities get them in trouble? You realize that Netflix streams plenty of R-rate movies, right?

Re:Interesting, I wonder who's fault it is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722005)

They also stream plenty of childrens' films and shows, right?

Re:Interesting, I wonder who's fault it is... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41722031)

Yes, and?

Re:Interesting, I wonder who's fault it is... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41721787)

So, somewhere in the chain of passing out the requirement for, I assume, low cost translation, some "bright mind" had this idea.

I suspect that they probably contract out the work, and are not going to care because they already went with the lowest bidder.

It is only a crime ... (5, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41721575)

... If you are not powerful enough to get away with it.

hypocrites (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721607)

Stealing? How? Were the pirates deprived of the subtitles? The Slashtard hypocritical use of "stealing" then whining when the "MAFIAA" uses it the same way is hilarious.

Re:hypocrites (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#41721779)

It's stealing by the standards of the people who did the stealing.

It's not hypocritical to say
1) it's not stealing but
2) it's what you call stealing

Re:hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721947)

It's stealing by the standards of the people who did the stealing.

It's not hypocritical to say
1) it's not stealing but
2) it's what you call stealing

1) But that distinction was not at all made in the post, so I would say it is hypocritical use of calling this "stealing" when we normally ridicule calling it this. It is not at all the first time it has happened either, when someone "pirate" bits that are under OSS licenses we tend to jump to the stealing accusation we normally hate. We are underminining our own position by doing this.
2) Citations needed on Netflix ever calling it stealing.

Re:hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722041)

Your lame justification doesn't change the hypocritical use of the term. Either stop whining when the other side does it or stop using the term incorrectly.

Re:hypocrites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721803)

Are you 5? That's a pretty simple concept for the rest of us older than 5.

Re:hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722039)

No, I'm just using the same standard that Slashtards use when whining about the "MAFIAA" saying that copyright infringement is stealing.

Small Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721615)

I wouldn't think there would be a big market for movies subtitled in Finnish - even in Finland I think most people can understand other languages (like English, or French, or German or the other Scandinavian languages)

Re:Small Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722057)

The market might not be big but it's big enough to be worth taking care of.

Google Translate (1)

cwarrior (2594465) | about 2 years ago | (#41721671)

First sentence of original article translated by Google from Finnish into English ... "Online TV giant Netflix was closed captions unauthorized use of his pants down, when the Finnish users began to use the service on Thursday." Unauthorized use of his pants down?

Re:Google Translate (2)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41721927)

Unauthorized use of his pants down?

And that's why Netflix didn't just use Google translate to make their own subtitles -- I've done that when I had no alternative, and while you can follow what's happening, obviously idioms are a problem, you get lots of wacky stuff like that..

Capitalism at work (1, Funny)

SlashRAH (1236462) | about 2 years ago | (#41721715)

This is an excellent example of capitalism at work: they went with the lowest-cost supplier!

How do you steal something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721751)

... that's being given away for free?

Copying != Stealing (4, Informative)

cpghost (719344) | about 2 years ago | (#41721813)

For the n-th time, repeat after me: copying != stealing. The Finnish group still has access to its subtitles, they were merely copied, not moved/stolen. If we complain that the MAFIAA uses wrong terms in its campaign against free file sharing, so we should also refrain from using the same flawed terminology.

Re:Copying != Stealing (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41721969)

But they did not get credit for their work. The correct term here is plagiarize. And Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name.

Re:Copying != Stealing (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 2 years ago | (#41722047)

Sure they did:

How were they caught? NetFlix failed to remove references to the pirate site in the subtitles.

Re:Copying != Stealing (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41722079)

Caught is not the same as giving attribution.

Re:Copying != Stealing (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 2 years ago | (#41722097)

But they did not get credit for their work. The correct term here is plagiarize.

Actually, the pirates did (inadvertently) get credited for their work. The summary says "Netflix failed to remove references to the pirate site". I'd say that counts as getting credit for their work.

Besides, it's kind of a weird paradox to say that NetFlix plagarized the pirates. It's a bit like - if I gave a speech in public, then someone writes down my words, and then I copy-and-pasted the text - now I'm guilty of plagarizing the textual version of the speech I originally wrote. Generally speaking, people don't like plagarism because it's people taking credit for ideas that they didn't come up with in the first place (for example, taking credit for a book I didn't write or a quote I didn't originally say). In this case, it's the movie creators' words/ideas, not the pirates ideas.

Amazing (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41721841)

People still use DivX?

How is this stealing even in the loosest sense? (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 2 years ago | (#41721893)

Aren't the subtitles openly available to anyone?

Finnish perspective (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41721931)

A few comments from someone who lives in Finland.

First, Netflix reacted by posting a note saying it was sorry for the trouble (the exact wording changed a time or two). It has also removed those programs where the DivX Finland subtitles were used. Or said that they will do so, I am not a subscriber, so I am not able to check.

The representative of DivX Finland is just feeling amused, although he did say "well they could've asked for permission..." (this from TFA) - there is no outrage there.

Apparently Netflix buys their subtitles from Broadcast Text International, who in turn buys them from a multitude of sources, including a number of freelancers. Probably one of those sub-contractors just got them from the easiest location.

According to a blog post [blogspot.fi] (in Finnish) from the website av-kaantajat.fi (video subtitler's site), Netflix is getting their subtitles with super-tight schedules and expecting to get 1,5h worth of subtitled programs per day, whereas to do this properly it would usually take a week.
From the same blog post, in an interview with the Netflix subtitling chief Neil Hunt, he said outright that he's not interested in quality. So apparently the subtitling for them is just a feature checkbox that needs to be ticked off, with minimum cost and without other considerations.

Now for some background. At the same time as this has happend, the major Finnish TV media house MTV3 has recently in September outsourced all of it subtitling and translations to the same Broadcast Text International. MTV3 used to employ more than a hundred translators in-house. The difference is that BTI is offering to pay freelance translators to what amounts to less than a third of the income from a monthly salary.

The translators have been taking quality seriously, and now with these changes the quality is expected to go down a lot. While this saves money for the media companies, there is an argument that there are subtle effects on the population. For example, many Finnish children and youths start to learn to read from subtitles, and some also start to learn the English language from English programs with Finnish subtitles. Another point was that poor subtitling may make the whole movie worse, without the viewer realising that the source of poor dialogue is not in the movie itself, but just in the translations for the subtitles.

Netflix's approach to "quantity over quality" is just another move in the same direction, and as such, worrisome. It's also not a surprise that when paid very little and expected to deliver a lot, someone would resort to the easiest approach. Also, given Netflix's attitude, I'm not surprised if they don't have any quality control of their own for the subtitles which is why something like this would pass through.

Re:Finnish perspective (3, Informative)

Wizzu (30521) | about 2 years ago | (#41721941)

The above was written by me. Ah, didn't notice I was logged out, didn't mean to post anonymously. Not that it matters.

Re:Finnish perspective (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722163)

One week for 1.5h hours of subtitles? Enderman (I don't know if it's a simple guy or a group) makes awesome quality subtitles for a lot of series a couple of hours after they've been aired.

Oh well (1)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about 2 years ago | (#41721991)

Corporations always take shortcuts just to save a few bucks from polluting the earth instead of cleaning up after themselves to being lazy to hire extra people to add subtitles to their streaming movies. Movies in Netflix do come and go do to licensing but I always see the same movies coming back and same with tv shows. Netflix has the balls to allow the service on linux devices like Roku or mobile OS's like Chrome OS which is running the linux kernel, but yet they piss on the Linux desktop. But i have to admit that the netflix streaming is a lot better than broadcast tv and cable(unless your a sports and news fan), even hulu and crackle are still better than regular tv.

Simple solution (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about 2 years ago | (#41722027)

I guess we just have to "pirate" some stuff back.

Subtitles for the deaf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722061)

Wasn't netflix recently told they'd have to offer subtitles or risk breaking the disabilities act? This seems like a perfectly reasonable step. They paid for the rights to stream the movies but ripping the subtitles for those would take a long time, it's much easier to download them.

The IP for the subtitles is bundled with the movie; you buy the movie it includes subtitles, therefore surely they have the right to show the subtitles no matter what source they acquired them from.

Looks like their business is Finnish. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722071)

hurrr durr

Oh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722149)

This reminds me; I have a Netflix account.. I guess after watching Arrested Development and a few movies here and there I forgot all about Netflix

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