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Polish Fans Held By Police For Movie Translations

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the harsh-critics dept.

Media 204

michuk writes "Nine people involved in a community portal Napisy.org were held for questioning by the Polish police forces this Wednesday. They will be probably be accused of publishing illegal translations of foreign movies (which is forbidden by Polish copyright law). Napisy.org website was shut down immediately afterwards by the German forces (since the servers were located in Germany). The service was the most popular Polish on-line portal where users were free to submit translated subtitles for popular movies. 'According to Polish copyright law any "processing" of others' content including translating is prohibited without permission. The people held (aged 20 - 30) were questioned on Wednesday and Thursday and then allowed to leave. In case of being accused of illegal publishing of copyrighted material, they can spend in jail up to 2 years (in the worst case).'"

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Illegal thing... (5, Insightful)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179017)

If it is illegal to translate, the Polish police was right in arresting the guilty.
Rather than blaming them, the law needs to be changed.

Re:Illegal thing... (4, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179141)

If it is illegal to translate, the Polish police was right in arresting the guilty.

to a certain degree, this makes sense. witness the 2003 illegal translation of harry potter and the order of the phoenix. it was so bad that the quality of the content was dramatically reduced... at one point the translator even wrote "Here comes something that I'm unable to translate, sorry."

so, the idea of having 'approved' translators can be necessary to preserve the integrity of the content.

my source for this is here [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Illegal thing... (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179231)

Yeah, but what if it's the "state approved" translation that's horrible? You'd be up a creek. In this case, the horrible translation would be replaced by a much better one when someone realized they could do a better job. This happens a lot in the fansub community. Often the first translation is the worst because it's a rush job, but then a "HQ" fansubber will follow up and put out a solid translation.

Re:Illegal thing... (4, Informative)

Jhon (241832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179687)

Yeah, but what if it's the "state approved" translation that's horrible?
State what? State apporved what???

Did you even the article or this thread? Those translating need approval from the HOLDER of the copyright -- not the state. If it's "horrible", then I doubt the copyright holder will see much of a profit...

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180031)

Well, as in legal.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180069)

There are times in Full Metal Complex on the Cartoon Network where the translation differs from the fansubs AND it clear that the "official" translation is wrong and the fansubs were right. Without the fansubs, I would have never known just what the heck they really said there since the official translation was just goofy. I bet that it is a literal transalation of an idiom that the translater didn't know.

Re:Illegal thing... (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179563)

DO NOT WANT [exstatic.org]

Re:Illegal thing... (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179991)

HAHAHA! Reminds me of some of the badly translated Chinese versions of the latter Star Wars episodes (1 - 3). Rather than Jedi and Sith, being mentioned directly, the translators involved in the "Chinese to English" translation somehow misinterpreted the subtitles into Christian religious denominations! I can't remember which ones they were, exactly, but it made the subtitles hilarioius!

Good point - but copyright's a bad way to do it (1)

Geof (153857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180117)

to a certain degree, this makes sense. witness the 2003 illegal translation of harry potter and the order of the phoenix. it was so bad that the quality of the content was dramatically reduced... the idea of having 'approved' translators can be necessary to preserve the integrity of the content.

It is, of course, necessary to prohibit all unauthorized translations for at least half a century, as the quality of the film would be adversely affected were it to be shown with poor translation. Whereas, if the film were not shown at all then its quality would be unaffected.

I'm not really quibbling with you - you make a good point. I suspect that you may agree with me that, as it stands, copyright law is hardly the tool to achieve what you describe. It has come to be above all an instrument of control, often at the expense of quality, availability, even profit.

There are good reasons for this. Among them are the divergent interests of the parties involved (artists and publishers; corporations and employees) and the (dis)economies of scope achieved by large media companies when they are able to impose high costs on their smaller competition while maintaining internal regimes free from copyright restrictions.

Re:Illegal thing... (3, Informative)

MWojcik (859959) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179147)

If it is illegal to translate, the Polish police was right in arresting the guilty.
Translating for your own use is not illegal in Poland. Publishing is.

Same as with music and movies - we can download them, we can't publish (upload) them.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179279)

Translating for your own use is not illegal in Poland. Publishing is.
Well, one doesn't need a translation [for himself] if he can translate.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179427)

Not necessarily. Some people may only be semi-fluent, and they might need to study the movie and slowly create their own translation on paper.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179161)

If it is illegal to translate, the Polish police was right in arresting the guilty.

Here's my question: In American and European countries, would it be illegal to publish a transcript of an entire movie without permission? How about if the transcript were in a different language from the original movie? It may not be just Polish law in question.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179285)

I'm pretty certain it is in most countries (I'm certain it is in the US and in Sweden... see my earlier post in this thread). Think of it in this way: any part with sufficent originality in a movie is copyrightable. So you have copyright restrictions on using anything from the musical score, still pictures and dialogue etc.

Next you need to think about what would happen if a derivative work in form of translation wouldn't need permission from the copyright holder: I could translated Harry Potter into swedish and sell copies as I saw fit since JK Rowlings wouldn't have anything to say about it...

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179487)

You're totally free and clear to rip characters, plot devices, musical phrases, etc. It's when you substantially copy it that it becomes a problem. If you weren't allowed to use bits and pieces from previous productions society as a whole would halt.

As for the entire screenplay being written "clean house." That's still a violation. It'd be like cam cording the movie.

Tom

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179575)

Yes you could. As long as the copyright holder doesn't approve a translation for sale as hardware (i.e. books or translated DVDs), you are morally free** to publish it in any not-yet-commercialized language as long as you don't make money. And if the author feels that your translation is good enough for retail, it should be selected just for that, and you should be then paid for your work.

1.Work for free
2.Make some community happy
3.Profit! (If you work well enough.)

Now THAT's a business model I like!

** : FUCK the law. I'm not gonna kill people or steal REAL things, ever. Publishing music and movies on the net makes free publicity. Might lose some sales, though, but you can't copy *going* to a concert or theater.
Book authors should get paid once per publisher, on time-limited contracts, including translation rights and other copy-rights or not. Music authors should publish their music on the 'Net and sell beautifully-packaged CDs in stores, making their living from that, and live shows, and merchandising; record labels would just care for promotion and distribution and get some paltry percentage of sales revenue, with time-locked contracts. You get the idea... Laws that do not allow such freedoms will be scrapped at some point and ever more ignored until then.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

exspecto (513607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180185)

>Might lose some sales, though, but you can't copy *going* to a concert or theater.

If virtual reality ever progresses to what we've seen in science-fiction, someday this statement will be false.

Re:Illegal thing... (2, Interesting)

fluffman86 (1006119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179979)

>>Next you need to think about what would happen if a derivative work
>>in form of translation wouldn't need permission from the copyright holder:
>>I could translated Harry Potter into swedish and sell copies as I saw fit
>>since JK Rowlings wouldn't have anything to say about it...

You are comparing apples and oranges. These Polish people were creating Subtitle files to be added to a movie. In other words, people could theoretically go purchase an English-speaking movie, then rip it and add the subtitles. There is^H^Hshould be nothing illegal about translating a movie. They are adding TEXT to FILM. People pay for the FILM--or the content--and the TEXT helps them understand what's going on. This is additive, without taking credit for or copying the main content.

With a BOOK, however, the text *is* the main content. If you translate it for yourself, that's fine. If you read it to someone else while translating, that's fine. But if you SELL a *copy* of the book, that's wrong. Now if there was a way to *add* a translation to the book, so long as the person receiving the translation had already purchased a copy, there would be no problem.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180027)

Next you need to think about what would happen if a derivative work in form of translation wouldn't need permission from the copyright holder: I could translated Harry Potter into swedish and sell copies as I saw fit since JK Rowlings wouldn't have anything to say about it...

Yeah, I had already considered that, and that was the path I was trying to direct thinking. Since it involves copyright issues, there was the expected Slashdot kneejerk reaction, and I was hoping to get people to actually start considering what was going on. Interestingly enough, comments posted on the link provided seem to indicate that there is really some confusion over whether what they did was actually illegal under Polish law.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180187)

This is some content meant to enhance a legally obtained bit of media mogul property. This should be no more wrong than hardware and software that allows you edit out the more objectionable parts of movies. The end user should be free to create their own personal use derivatives. Merchants should be free to provide services to enable this.

This is just another case of how the current "lets treat a book like a piece of land" mentality causes stupid and unnecessary problems.

Re:Illegal thing... (1)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179805)

In the US, yes, assuming the dialog itself was original and not otherwise exempt from copyright. The transcript would be considered a derivative work, the preparation and distribution of which is an infringement. You can't just do an English transcript of the dialog -- why would you be able to do a translation of that transcript into a different language?

RIAA and lyrics (1)

Fezmid (774255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179855)

This is the same argument that the RIAA is using against websites that post song lyrics -- they own the copyright and they want to make money off of the lyrics. While I disagree with the spirit of it, the letter of law says that the RIAA is right in that case. :(

Re:RIAA and lyrics (2, Informative)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180051)

Not exactly. There is a difference between the copyright in the recording and the copyright in the underlying musical work. So, if I write a song and you record it (with my permission), then there are two copyrighted works in the recording: my song and your performance of it. So, Bob Dylan owns the rights to the song "All Along the Watchtower," but Jimi Hendrix's estate owns the rights to his recording of the song.

The RIAA goes after those who infringe on the copyright of the recording. The Harry Fox Agency, BMI and ASCAP typically handle the rights to the musical composition.

Re:RIAA and lyrics (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180121)

This is the same argument that the RIAA is using against websites that post song lyrics -- they own the copyright and they want to make money off of the lyrics. While I disagree with the spirit of it, the letter of law says that the RIAA is right in that case. :(

Yeah, I started to include this point in another post. My personal opinion is that posting song lyrics should be a violation of copyright (as it is). However the RIAA members are complete idiots for actually litigating it and/or sending takedown notices. What they *ought* to do is explicitly allow for it in their copyright notices. Why? Because it's ludicrous to think that there is really a market for song lyrics, when anybody who *wants* the lyrics to a song can listen to it over and over until they figure them out. Aside from that argument, posting song lyrics doesn't cut into the revenue stream of *any* of the RIAA members. In fact, it's highly arguable that allowing the posting of song lyrics will foster music sales. After all, if somebody can't search and find the title and artist for that cool new song they heard somewhere, how can they be expected to buy?

Re:Illegal thing... (3, Informative)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179391)

Well, it ISN'T illegal to translate only text in Poland.

By judgement of Highest Court from 23.01.2003: The making of translation of word layer of audiovisual creation does not make processing of it as a whole. Thereby it can be spread without consent of the maker of original work. The translator have copyrights to translation.
So whole action was on illegal grounds. But they found many upon many pirated films in those folks' houses, so they will have jail or fines anyway.

Re:Illegal thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179471)

"If it is illegal to translate, the Polish police was right in arresting the guilty."

What is your argument?

If it is illegal to be black, the police are right in arresting black people? If it is illegal to write sonnets, the police are right in arresting poets? Sorry, this sort of argument just doesn't hold much ground.

Both the law makers and the police who uphold a law bear responsibility. If you're too concerned about your job to oppose an unjust law, that's your prerogative -- but don't try to weasel out of responsibility for your decision by saying you were just following orders.

Re:Illegal thing... (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179473)

If it is illegal to translate, the Polish police was right in arresting the guilty.
They didn't arrest the guilty. They never arrest the guilty. They arrest suspects who may be declared guilty later. I know it sounds like nitpicking, but it is an important distinction.

Re:Illegal thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179509)

the Polish police was right in arresting the guilty.

Were the German police right in arresting those guilty of being Jewish?

Of course, this is a very bad analogy...and I have just invoked Godwin's law...so for that I apologize. However, my point is simple...sometimes law enforcement *should* refuse to enforce bad laws. All humans have a basic moral responsibility to one another, and being ordered to do something evil does not automatically justify doing it.

I will concede, however, that the moral appropriateness of this information management law is *much* more open to debate than the moral appropriateness of the German handling of Jewish people.

In my opinion, however, the law IS bad, and the police ARE bad for enforcing it.

Are you kidding? (4, Funny)

prothid (302906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179037)

This has to be a bad Polack joke. I bet they arrest signers for the deaf at concerts, too.

Re:Are you kidding? (0)

phrostie (121428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179125)

ROTFLMAO

you aren't kidding.
and me without any mod points. :D

Re:Are you kidding? (1, Interesting)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179363)

If they get the death penalty the court will order them to smell the scratch-n-sniff sticker at the bottom of the community pool.

Re:Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179873)

I heard that they have screen doors on their submarines.

Uh... okay... (-1, Troll)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179063)

So Polish copyright law forbids the translation of sub-titles. More power to them. And the Polish Police have caught people in Poland breaking Polish law. Why is this "news?" I suppose the angle here is that "gee, it sucks that what we Americans think is fine and dandy is illegal in Poland." If so, here are two choices for remedy: lobby for a change of law in Poland or convince Dub-ya to invade Poland and impose American law.

How is this story "News for nerds" or "stuff that matters?" File it under the "Polish crime blotter" category and not "Your rights online" because clearly the Polish don't have these rights.

Re:Uh... okay... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179191)

How is this story "News for nerds" or "stuff that matters?" File it under the "Polish crime blotter" category and not "Your rights online" because clearly the Polish don't have these rights.

The translated subtitles were published online. You realize that the "Your" in "Your rights online" doesn't just refer to you, specifically, right?

Re:Uh... okay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179291)

The translated subtitles were published online. You realize that the "Your" in "Your rights online" doesn't just refer to you, specifically, right?
You do realize parent poster was not referring to himself, right? Because the whole "the Polish don't have these rights" sort of made it clear that he was talking about Poles and not ugly-Americans like himself.

Re:Uh... okay... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179595)

You do realize parent poster was not referring to himself, right? Because the whole "the Polish don't have these rights" sort of made it clear that he was talking about Poles and not ugly-Americans like himself.

So you think he meant that "Your rights online" only refers to the rights that one has, not the rights one doesn't have, or wish one had? I can see how you could read it that way, but that would make for a rather dull discussion, chatting about all the things one could do online if one wished to . . .

Re:Uh... okay... (2, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179243)

On the surface there's not much to the story, but look a little deeper.

They were releasing translated subtitle files to be used with videos. Presumably, since they needed translating, these were foreign discs. Possibly imported, sure, but the implication is likely that people need these subs to enjoy material not released by the media cartels for that region, and therefore instigates piracy: the favorite bogeyman.

Of course, since the big companies couldn't be bothered to translate it and release it in that region they're not losing any money at all and piracy wouldn't have any impact. UNLESS they want to keep the options open and release localized version later.

Now we're in "region coding" territory. A technique the industry uses for no technical reasons* other than to lock customers in to buying movies at the maximum prices possible.

These weren't people making knockoff translations and selling them in the face of Polish-localized content. This was simply providing a service so people could expand their horizons a little.

I suppose Babelfish is illegal in Poland, too. Ha-rumph.

* one could argue that the content could be mastered for differences in NTSC/PAL timings and color spaces, but I'd say this if the content player can output in varied formats, the technical limitation is gone.

Re:Uh... okay... (2, Interesting)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179459)

It is NOT illegal to translate only text from a film. It is illegal to translate film and release it publickly. But they were only spreading translated texts, and translated text is not whole copyrighted material, so copyrights for translations belong actually to translator.

And now you know (2, Insightful)

palladiate (1018086) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179629)

The ideas of copyright and patents have grown into this thing we call IP. I've mentioned this dozens of times now, but it is the simple truth.

IP laws have been about control of information and not profit for at least 25 years. Simple profit motives tell you that region encoding is not a bright idea. If someone wants to pay to import a disk, have it translated, etc. they will still be in the market for a nicely done local language version. You could potentially make two sales, or one sale if you never would bother localizing the product. Region encoding stops that. Why?

Control. If information can be commoditized it can have rights "attached" to it. That means transaction regarding information you posses must be approved. Approval means cash. It's far more lucrative in the long-term to own the ideas in your book, and not own the rights to copy that book. If you own the ideas, you have control not only over distribution, but over book reviews, derivative works, viewership (5 people in your home theater? Tickets please), crappy approximated renditions on your out-of-tune guitar, or anything else the owner wants. They can even restrict you from the information entirely if they want.

This has not been about control of copy, but of control of information.

Re:Uh... okay... (1)

Movi (1005625) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179997)

Dammit, i hate how international news skew local ones. Im from Poland, so i know what's going on. Here's the recap:
Napisy.org exist for the sole purpose of providing subtitles for xvid and ogg videos. And videos of everything - Lost, blockbuster movies, you name then - they've got subs for that movie. Now, our local MPAA argued once already that this is illegal - and it's bullshit because what i create is my own and i have the right to do with my creation as i please. They tried this once already with another site - napisy.info and failed miserably.

Now they did this again with this site, but instead of sending a C&D letters they came with the police, but looking for - you guessed it - pirated movies! And they did find some! Why? Because the translators have to work on _something_.

So why is this a story? Because the media-cartel couldn't find any other way of taking down the site. Sounds familiar to you americans?

And please don't post stuff like "let US take over". No thank you, ill have this any day instead of your DMCA-scaring RIAA/MPAA litigation and religious/political censorship and software patent law. Imagine this : not only are we allowed to have modchips in our consoles (yay demoscene!), we could remove the SimLock from our mobile all along (something i hear you can do legally just now) and face no consequence - it's legal.

What we're mostly scared shitless that one day our laws and freedoms may resemble yours.

Re:Uh... okay... (1)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179321)

Um, because it's Illegal in the US as well?

Re:Uh... okay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179649)

Hmm... so, you're saying an unjust law in another country is fine, and should not be criticized by others, as long as the law is in place?

'File it under the "Polish crime blotter" category and not "Your rights online" because clearly the Polish don't have these rights.'

Perhaps their government doesn't recognize their rights, but that is different from the people not having rights. Depending on how you look at it, rights are implicit in the optimal coexistence of multiple individuals, or rights are granted by whomever enforces them. Either way, shutting up and pretending they don't exist means they will continue to not exist (or continue to be ignored).

Re:Uh... okay... (1)

linguae (763922) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179973)

You know that Slashdot is viewed worldwide, not just in the US. (And, yes, I'm an American).

Polish and Germans co-operating for law enforc.? (0)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179069)

... must be a cold day in hell today :)

Re:Polish and Germans co-operating for law enforc. (4, Funny)

Trails (629752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179397)

Vee vere invited, punch vas served. Check vit Poland.

Polish ha? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179071)

So they were arrested for Polishing those movies, this has to violate some sort of indecency law.

Same type of laws in the US (and most countries)? (3, Informative)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179083)

I would think that most countries classify translation as an derivative work. And surely the dialogue in a movie must be copyrightable. Only reason it hasn't happend in the US might be that foreign movies aren't as popular in the US and that MPAA mainly cares about homegrown material.

The following part of USC 17 Chapter 1 seems pretty clear to me (my emphasis):

A "derivative work" is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a "derivative work".
USC 17 Chapter 1:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/ usc_sec_17_00000101----000-.html>

Re:Same type of laws in the US (and most countries (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179525)

The dialogue in films is indeed copyrighted. It's just that film scripts and transcripts are one of the longest continuing copyright violations on the modern Web. (Who else was around for the whole "Kirk dies in Star Trek Generations" uproar, fueled by that script being leaked to the Internet?) So, people have just become a bit more complacent about it than most other copyright violations.

Re:Same type of laws in the US (and most countries (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179583)

The US and Japan both are the same -- translations are derivative works. I wanted to translate an old silent-era Japanese film and release it to the public, but it's still under copyright in both countries. However, there's no freaking way this film would ever be commercially subtitled, so it's a shame that potentially interested parties are being deprived of the opportunity to see it.

On a more positive note, there are other silent-era films available to watch. I suggest "I Was Born But..." by Yasujiro Ozu. Unfortunately, it's only available on VHS, and is apparently out of print. It's hilarious, and shows pre-WWII Japan for anyone who is interested in history.

Compare US:Polish film subtitle ratio (1)

evilandi (2800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179721)


The difference is, most films are made in the USA, and few USA filmmakers provide translations into Polish.

Whereas most Polish films are already available with English subtitles (admittedly- or rather, thankfully- usually EN:GB).

This sounds like something the EU normally fixes. I'm surprised the EU haven't created a legal exemption in these kinds of cases. Translating into minority languages is normally heavily supported by the EU. I wouldn't bat an eyelid if the guys take it to the European Court or somesuch and win hands down.

Re:Same type of laws in the US (and most countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179823)

The following part of USC 17 Chapter 1 seems pretty clear to me


Seems to you perhaps, but to me your understanding seems to lack the idea that film as a work of art cannot be "recast, transformed, or adapted" from just subtitles.
As well as the concept that a subtitle is really an "annotation" of what the spoken dialog would be if translated to another language.

Couldn't they just... (0, Troll)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179091)

upload the subtitles so the actual content isn't distributed?
Just a thought.

Re:Couldn't they just... (1)

MukiMuki (692124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179173)

That's precisely what they were doing.

Re:Couldn't they just... (2, Informative)

dmjones500 (781144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179187)

From the article...

Napisy.org was the most popular Polish portal where users were free to submit translated subtitles for popular movies (mostly from English to Polish, but not only). Popular video players could be then used to display the subtitles when playing a movie (usually a DVD-rip).
They were merely distributed the subtitle files to overlay onto a movie file.

Re:Couldn't they just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179295)

that's what they did and what they were arrested for, the dialogs in a movie are copyrighted just like a book so posting a translation of them is illegal (just as posting the original is).

"dura lex sed lex" or as we say in Polish "durne prawo ale prawo"

Re:Couldn't they just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179699)

on the other hand the Polish copyright allows the use limited portions of a work such as quotes so according to the letter of the law it would be legal to divide the .sub file into say .sub.[1-9] and then publish those and leave it to the downloaders to concatenate them.

Re:Couldn't they just... (1)

Domo-Sun (585730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179853)

Here's the problem. You need the DVD to extract and translate the sub pictures. After that, you make and distribute a subtitle file. I've seen these on the web. They're both text and .sub .sup or something.

The question is: did they have original DVDs, or copies. I'd guess copies, as that would speed things along being able to archive them on your computer during translation.

Other problem: To translate the original subtitles, you need to decrypt the DVD. A crime in some places. To avoid decryption, maybe you could extract the Closed Captioning from the stream... any other way of doing this would be a headache.

Re:Couldn't they just... (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179993)

You need the DVD to extract and translate the sub pictures.
You underestimet our translators. Some of them make subs just from hearing.

Re:Couldn't they just... (1)

Movi (1005625) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180085)

Actually no, we just listen to the movie, write down the original dialog, then we write the translation proper, then usually some other person synchronizes them to the movie.

Wiki.. (2, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179103)

Would that mean a Polish person can't legally alter a Wikipedia entry? If I go and deface the entry for some leading Polish politicians could they be arrested if they fixed the page? That's really quite tempting. :twisted:

Re:Wiki.. (2, Informative)

orra (1039354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179207)

Wikipedia content is *licensed* to all recipients under the GFDL, and so translation is allowed.

Re:Wiki.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179297)

It wouldn't. The whole thing was about translating audio without author's permission(and as you know, wiki is on FDL).

Re:Wiki.. (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179841)

It wasn't about translating audio, that would be illegal. It was about making subtitles which is not enough of a work altered, so translator have the copyrights for translation

Re:Wiki.. (1)

MSZ (26307) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179581)

If I go and deface the entry for some leading Polish politicians could they be arrested if they fixed the page?


No, but you would become a criminal w/regards to Polish law. You see, we can't openly call these [censored] [censored] [free speech? what's that?] what they really are. Sincere expression of our feelings carries 2 year prison sentence as a price tag.

Of course, if you just never visited our country later, you should be safe.

Polish translation by web page translator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179105)

Dziewi spoeczestwo zwinity w pewien wspólnota przewóz Napisy.org bylimy trzyma pod ktem stawianie pyta a propos Polski Police siy zbrojne ten roda. Oni maj by sta by oskary od publikowanie nielegalny przekady od obcy kino ( który jest niedozwolony przy Polski prawa wydawnicze law ). Napisy.org pajczyny by zamyka w dó bezporednio potem a propos Niemiec siy zbrojne ( skoro ten serwery bylimy umieszczony w Niemcy ). Obsuga bya ten najliczniejszy ludowy Polski u - specjalno przewóz gdzie uytkownik bylimy wolny wobec skada przetumaczony podtytuy pod ktem ludowy kino. 'According wobec Polski prawa wydawnicze law wszelki " przetwarzanie " od drudzy nawizywa kontakt wliczajc w to tumaczcy jest zabroniony rezygnowa zezwolenie. Ludzie trzyma ( stary 20 30) bylimy zakwestionowany u roda i Czwartek a nastpnie dozwolony wobec zostawia. W case od trwajcy oskary od nielegalny publikowanie od prawa wydawnicze materialny , oni puszka metalowa wydatki w jail odpowiednio do 2 lata ( w ten najgorszy case.')"

Re:Polish translation by web page translator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179305)

Sorry but that didn't work out so well :) I'm polish and I can't understand what you meant. And I know there were many desperate people on napisy.org that used to "translate" movies by using online translators.

True, it's no big deal that they got arrested. They had it comin'. It wasn't the first time someone took action against them.

Maybe now kids will pay attention at english class. If you're watching a movie with subtitles you're not watching the whole movie right.

Why is this stuff constantly posted about Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179167)

1. Tech user commits a crime.
2. Slashdot users get butthurt over what is happening.
3. Another stupid story like this is posted
4. ??????
5. REPEAT

Before you go out and do something on the Internet, please do something. Hire a lawyer and tell him exactly what your website is doing. This will help you plan for incidents like this happening. If all else fails, you can post your story on Slashdot where millions of anti-MS anti-logic anti-girlfriend Stallman GNU fanboys can reply.

WOW THE WONDERS OF WEB 2.0

Do they arrest you for learning English? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179183)

What about playing that game where you turn down the volume and do pornographic voiceovers?

subscene.com is comprehensive (1)

SaberTaylor (150915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179241)

found it with the usual search engine.

Encounter (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179259)

Officer: Ok, come along nice and easy and nobody will get hurt.
Fan: Geck, wo ist mein Auto?
Officer: Suspect appears to be armed with translated movie quotes, shoot on site!

Re:Encounter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179941)

Well, at least the guy will be safe if he can get off the site. I'd hate for them to shoot on sight, though, then the guy would never be safe.

Anime fansub (2, Interesting)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179311)

This sounds like it could have a big impact on the anime fansub culture in Poland. Fansubs distribute the entire video, seems like these people were just offering .sub texts.

Poland has nothign on the USA (3, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179315)

In case of being accused of illegal publishing of copyrighted material, they can spend in jail up to 2 years (in the worst case).'

In the USA you get less jail time for phyiscally beating someone and taking their copyrighted material than publishing copyrighted material.

Re:Poland has nothign on the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179765)

The humor of that statement tickles me and the truth of that statement saddens me.

Re:Poland has nothign on the USA (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179885)

Same here in Poland ;). Although if you harm the offender, he can sue you and you're going to jail.

Re:Poland has nothign on the USA (1)

Movi (1005625) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180123)

Exactly, its starting to be the same here - and that's why were pissed. The police spends less time going after financial frauds and big scandals than hunting the little fish.

I, as a polish citizen... (1, Offtopic)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180263)

...FUCK THE GOD DAMN POLISH POLICE.

THEY ARE RETARDED FUCKIN GOD DAMN MORONS, I HATE THEM, AND SO DOES ~75% OF OUR SOCIETY.

I had to pay a bill for crossing an empty street when the lights were red (250 zloty, about $100), but they didn't cared about the guy who stole my cell phone.

The police used to control our homes and seek for illegal installations of MS crap, mp3s, etc while they all have pirated windows running on their home computers.

And now they arrested nine people for providing subtitles, while two streets away five bandits are "politely asking" some guy to give them his cell phone, wallet, all the money he has, and possibly his clothes (yes, clothes, the things he is wearing at the moment on his body).

Same thing with our politicians. To some people, "politician" in our country means "thief", "asshole", "idiot", or something like that.

I WANT MY COUNTRY BURNED DOWN.

punishments fitting the crimes (3, Insightful)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179329)

2 years? For the equivalent of making closed caption files?

I am always reminded of the rules applicable to Commonwealth of Virginia employees when I was one.

An employee could be fired for one instance of a level 3 offense immediately. It took more than one level 2 offense to be fired.

Punching one's boss was a level 2. Sleeping on the job was a level 3.

Sleeping while driving a bus might be worse than punching a boss, but most of the time this seemed upside-down and backwards to me.

Re:punishments fitting the crimes (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179677)

Punching one's boss was a level 2. Sleeping on the job was a level 3.

What would you have to do to get it down to a level 1? Burn the building down?

Re:punishments fitting the crimes (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179947)

It sounds to me like you'd have to punch the boss twice to get fired, so a Level 1 is probably like using the photocopier as an ass camera. ...and if you burned the building down, even if you weren't caught, you'd probably not have a job to worry about.

(Yea, probably just explaining a joke...but it's not often one gets to say 'ass camera'.)

Software that helps to create subtitles on Linux? (1)

Tyndareos (206375) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179381)

On the topic of making your own subtitles: can someone point me to some software that helps you to create subtitles on Linux? I have looked, but haven't found anything really yet. I would expect something that works in conjunction with a video player like mplayer that helps to record (approximate) time stamps of when the subtitles should appear. Any hints?

Re:Software that helps to create subtitles on Linu (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179507)

I like Aegisub [malakith.net] .

Re:Software that helps to create subtitles on Linu (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179549)

SubtitleEditor [kitone.free.fr] . A screenshot [kitone.free.fr] . It is a little bit unstable, but works like a charm.

Question: (2, Insightful)

killjoy966 (655602) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179409)

Admittedly, I don't know much about the process of DVD subtitling, but I was under the impression that these were files distributed separately from the DVD rip. If that's all the site was supplying, isn't this akin to allowing the distribution of emulators but not the beloved ROM images associated with them?

Understandable sort of... (5, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179447)

So these guys enabled people to be able understand what the characters are saying in a movie.

I can see why this would be a threat to Hollywood.

After all, who will want to see the bulk of these films when it becomes common knowledge that behind the beautiful people and gorgeous back drops are atrocious dialogue and paint-by-numbers plots.

UPDATE ON THE STORY! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179481)

Fortunately, Polish authorities didn't realize they locked these fans on the outside of the jail cells at the same time trapping the police inside and the fans just ended up walking away.

And your point is....? (0, Troll)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179499)

You're amazed that Polamd has laws, and that the Polish police enforce those laws? Is that it?

I guess I understand the perspective, given that President Horehay is planning to reward the US's Mexican marine population (10 million, or so) with an amnesty.

nugget of the larger story playing out (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179515)

the impact of the internet is that it turns what were previously audiences into publishers. now everyone is a bertelsmann or a metro goldwyn mayer, in their living room or den or study. the same sort of power dynamics was at work over the creation of the printing press: fedualism depended in part on the ignorance of the serfs, the inability to read. when they were freed form this ignorance due to the sudden cheap and wide availability of the printed word, all sorts of political dynamics changed, fomenting revolutions and evolutions i think that are still playing out in the world over 500 years later

well the internet frees people from being tied to distribution channels. and as with the printing press, there is an entrenched power that is losing because of this. of course movies, music, etc. is not going away because of the internet. but how movies and music are made and distribtued and how they make money is very definitely going to change, and there are real losers because of this. big (currently rich powerful, not for long) losers

but the internet was originally designed to route around damage in the event of nuclear war. compared to that, the "damage" that entrenched media interests will exert on the net is paltry, and easily routed around

there's no putting this genie back in the bottle

So any translation will violate copyrights? (1)

Lukasz (Qr) (959203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179571)

So what is legal?
translate politician quote?
provide news after the CNN?
translate wikipedia entry?

Defense line: it wasn't direct translation, it was an interpretation of the dialogs.

Re:So any translation will violate copyrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179839)

>translate politician quote?
yes limited use such as specifically a quotation is allowed
>provide news after the CNN?
depends on what you have in mind, reporting the same story as they did is legal, copying and using their materials isn't
>translate wikipedia entry?
yup, they're GFDL.

This is international copyright law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179631)

Translation constitutes derived work. Derived work cannot be distributed without consent from the copyright holder of the original work. This is an old, established, and international concept of copyright law. There is no way Poland can break international treaties and change their laws on this.

How does this work with speech? (1)

TheBearBear (1103771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179657)

Does this mean i can go to Poland, call your non-english speaking mom a butt monkey peg-legged pirate (by singing it!), then sue you for translating it to her without my permission?

but free translations is not piracy.... is it? (1)

Hut_tuH (951048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179681)

huh, hearing that they claim these folks face jail time is odd.... yes it is illegal to make available translations of copyrighted work...but copyright laws generally revolve around the money trail. If you make cash from translations, THAT would make you criminally liable, your own govts legal system can charge you criminally. But... and someone smarter can correct me... its that exchange of money that makes it a criminal offense, if No money changes hands then that puts you in a bit of a grey area...outside of Criminal liablity in your country...when that happens international copyright laws (that your country willingly agrees to) then allows for civil responsiblity, where the copyright holder of a foreign country has the right to sue you in your countries court of law...to FIRST prove your actions caused a loss...and then to recover damages. That these folks put stuff up for free...i would have thought, would have left them open to civil liablity at most, so why the threat of jail time? UNLESS...and seeing how the polish version of mpaa/riaa is involved, the criminal charges well stem from Piracy accusations not the translations. and seeing how free translations helps polish folks watch pirated vids....its easy to see why the "he Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry" aka mpaa/riaa would WANT translations to equal piracy.

polish movie translation situation (2, Informative)

Sundawn (762701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179743)

in case anybody wonders why this happens ... movies in poland are normally dubbed with ONE guy translating all the roles in the movie. i already hate the german dubbing. not lipsync. you may even see a totally different movie with german dubbing and their creative dubbing. .. etc etc ... but at least its professional and every actor gets its own german dubbing-actor. but the most horrible thing is an age 40-50 guy translating the movie by himself. its been like that forever in poland.

Re:polish movie translation situation (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179945)

In theaters some films even don't have subbing, just polish subtitles. Like many cd's.

For now it's creation of unauthorized content... (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19179907)

but wait until people go to prison for the unauthorized
creation of content, that is the illegal creation of _original_
content. That is not as far fetched as you might think
considering there are many creative people out there
who have the skills and the technology. They might not
be able to create content as slick and polished as what
Hollywood turns out, but they might have a more compelling
story to tell. I think with anybody with a little imagination
can come up with a better plot than what they have turned out
as of late, such as the people captive in close proximity to
dangerous creatures scenarios (snakes on a plane, Alien,
Alien vs. Predator).

" they can spend in jail up to 2 years" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179915)

This post itself reads like it was translated from the Polish by an amateur subtitler.

Of course, that's par for the course for Zonk.

Of course this is insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19179965)

Translation of culture is needed for mutual understanding between nations. It's quite crazy to arrest people for translating stuff. Who in poland would/could view t without translation in the first place? ^^;;

Well yeah! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19180045)

Why should the Americans have all the fun?? Where does it say that they have a monopoly on perverted sex? It's a worldwide copyright orgy of joy and sadomasochism. Wheeee! Just be sure to keep the penicillin handy, if the stuff still works... Lots of nasty bugs out there...

Okay mods, do your stuff! Pegame duro! I'm getting excited already.
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