Patrice Riemens on Wed, 10 Jul 2013 10:35:39 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] [Fwd: <nettime> movie subtitle fansite raided]

Gaat in NL ook gebeuren, of zoiets. Just ask the [deleted by censor] at

The movie subtitle fansite 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 move subtitle fansite, literally meaning, 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

(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. Details on the exact
chain of command in this specific raid remain unclear as of Wednesday

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.

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.

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 has a statement out as of this morning: 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 a 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 is yet another piece of evidence that the time
has come to reform the copyright monopoly from the ground up.?

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