[vlc-devel] Subtitles downloader for VLC

Jean-Philippe ANDRÉ jpeg at via.ecp.fr
Thu May 8 00:04:19 CEST 2008


Le Wed, May 07, 2008, Felix Paul Kühne a écrit :
> is your module compatible with both the Terms of Usage of the related
> websites [...] ?

I did not ask the webmaster, but I assume this is compatible, because
OpenSubtitles.Org gives an open-source subtitles downloader, an open API,
and provides a simple XML webservice (which I use). There are lots of
things for developers. Moreover, the webmaster himself posted on the
VideoLAN forum :

> and European copyright laws ?

I don't know. I am not a law expert at all.
I suppose providing copyrighted subtitles is illegal, but there are not
only copyrighted materials.

> On 07.05.2008, at 21:09, Rafaël Carré wrote:
> > Nothing prevents you from creating your own subtitles database, to be
> > used with your own video material, with the help of this module, and a
> > lua script written by you which will fetch this database.
> As long as this is a website with subtitles for your own home movies,  
> that's correct. OpenSubtitles.Org is obviously not. Subtitles for  
> (commercially) distributed movies should certainly considered as as  
> properties of their distributors.

That is right, of course. But the disclaimers on these sites providing
subtitles always affirm they do not share any illegal files, or that
they are not aware of that. The distributors should be people writing
their own subtitles. This may be a little hypocritical, OK, but can't we
just assume this is right ?

Could not we have such a disclaimer displaying each time
the user wants to use this module ? Would this be contrary to the
VideoLAN philosophy ? Then, what about these lua scripts downloading
pictures from Google Images ? These images may also be copyrighted.
« Image may be scaled down and subject to copyright. » (google).
But VLC allows downloading such images, but does not even warn about
copyright issues (there's only that message saying something like
« The VideoLAN team hates software accessing the internet without
  authorization ») Same for youtube, etc... scripts.
These scripts make VLC be a cool media player.

> Not providing default websites or the lua module itself within VLC  
> would not be sufficient solutions for me, as the GUI and its options  
> still endorse the theft of intellectual property.
> Please think about this and consider to talk to one of VIA's lawyers  
> (if available) if needed. There were similar reasons why we decided  
> not to include a certain module to support a certain file-sharing  
> application back then.

At VIA, we do not really have any lawyer...
My goal is really not inciting people to steal anything, of course. I
just want to provide some easy way to get *free* subtitles. The user
must be responsible of his own acts. If he downloads something non free,
then he is responsible of this.

The module should not (and does not) download anything in a fully
automated way. The user always has to accept and demand the download.

Best regards,

Jean-Philippe André - JPeg
Sorry for my bad english

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