One may be very surprised when asked whether the movie subtitles may be illegal, but the industry now sees a new debate here. The matter is that an individual operating a subtitle file-sharing portal was scoped by the law a while ago.
Norsub.com is a website which used to provide subtitles for films and TV shows. However, a Norwegian court of law believes that the website comes in conflict with copyright legislation.
The court ruled that the site operator has to close down the website and pay $2,500 for copyright violation, according to industry report. This precedent can show how the United States treat film and music studios subtitles as well. For some reason, the American entertainment industries subtitles are also falling under copyright legislation, because they are regarded as film scripts. As you might know, film subtitles in the file-sharing community usually come in the form of text files.
Worse still, these user-generated movie subtitles are regarded as the ones that infringe the copyrighted material, like any type of BitTorrent material today. In other words, if someone has decided somehow to translate a film in a language which is not currently available, he or she will be treated as a pirate and might face a lawsuit. Nevertheless, such cases were reported to be very rare until now.
By the way, a similar case actually reached the courts of the United States. This means that you should better think twice before translating a movie and create subtitles to help other nations understand the movie you like. Unfortunately, the courts seem to lack common sense.
thanks to TorrentFreak for the source of the article