Eugen Archy, the founder of fansubbing website Undertexter.se, was convicted for grounds of copyright infringement by the Swedish District Court. This is four years after the police raided the site back in 2013 after various complaints from rights holders in Hollywood. The decision finally confirms that it is a Swedish crime to distribute movie subtitles without authorization.
It can be remembered that Undertexter was one of Sweden’s leader in terms of subtitles for about ten years. The site provided their very own translations for television shows and films.
Readers and entertainment fans may be familiar with the nature of these subtitle websites, as their subtitles are mostly used alongside pirated media files.
While these fan-made subtitles may very well help non-English speakers understand English media, and for the deaf to have some means of comprehending what happens in film, the fact that these subtitles are used in conjunction with pirated media has been a pain for the entertainment industry as a whole.
Unfortunately for the case of Undertexter, the site’s operation has come to an end after police went to the site and secured their servers.
According to Torrent Freak, the raid was actually a surprise for Archy, who thought he and the site’s users didn’t do anything illegal. Back then, it was thought that should Archy be convicted, he might risk prison sentence.
Fortunately for him, however, while he was found guilty, he is also still free. It appears the Attunda District Court has sentenced Archy to be in probation, but he also has to pay $27,000, to be taken from revenues he received thanks to donation and advertisements.
Interestingly, although numerous subtitles existed inside the website back then, it appears only 74 films were referenced by the decision. It appears they were selected to provide a strong case. This might be because a lot of the films then weren’t still commercially available in the country at the time.