A website stealing our subs and making money out of it

There has been this website who always stole our French subtitles, it’s been known to a lot of us, French Subbers, but it’s something you’re most likely to see happen when you do this.
I recently wanted to see if they stole the French subtitles for Hwarang —which I’m a moderator on—.
It was my first visit ever, and I always use an adblocker to lower the chances to get a virus on my PC, and I was astonished to see this message pop up right before watching the video (not when entering the website) “Please disable your adblock on videos, as this is our source of income for our website”.
I thought to myself “So… they’re not only stealing our subtitles but they’re making money out of it?!”
Is this even legal? Like… First is plagiarizing so it’s illegal but also making money out of it when we’re not?
I’ve been on this one French Drama Fans Facebook group, and they’re always recommending this website and saying that it’s better than Viki because you don’t have to pay for the Viki Pass, and that makes me even more mad, it’s our work on this website and they’re telling their viewers to “thank their team for bringing you the subtitles because they’re working really hard on the drama” And when I saw that for one of the project I was a moderator I just thought “Your team did nothing, my team did!”.
I need your opinion on this because I really don’t know what to do, this is so frustrating and enraging.
Will Viki do something about it if I tell them about this or not?


Hello my dear friend
Unfortunately you can’t say its plagiarizing because our subtitles are under the Common something I can’t remember exactly how its called and it means that anyone can use them without any legal problem. However they should mention where they have taken from. Thats their only obligation. So I believe you can try to contact someone from this site and ask him to add in the information page of the drama where he/she took the subtitles and the names of the volunteers.
There isn’t anything more you can do. One friend of mine has translated scarlet ryoo in Greek outside of viki (offline)since we haven’t got the licence here and shared her subtitles with a greek group in facebook that love koreean dramas and she told us not to use them in any streaming site. However one streaming site(like the one you mentioned) just took them without her persmission. So she got angry and tried to make them take them down with no use. They also banned her from being able to comment in their discusssion threads. This site has already got down by the legal authorities a lot of times due to copyright issues as many others as well worldwidely with no use as well. It popped up again with a different name and different servers as many other streaming sites do as well.
So its very vexing. Fortunately though except from her case (where she was too angry) in all other dramas that they have stollen from us they mention that the viki team has translated into Greek. So we don’t do anything and let them be.


Most times those sites steal the video as is and you can see the logo on it, e.g. Viki. So, I guess people already know.
Also, I have the feeling that online viewers in general believe the subs are provided by the filming companies. This is what frustrates me more than stolen subs. The lack of recognition.

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Je sais qu’il y avait déjà eu un problème du même genre avec un des dramas que modérait @kawaiie et je crois me souvenir qu’à l’époque elle avait envoyé un message au staff de viki avec des copies d’écran montrant que c’était bien les mêmes sous-titres qui sont pris. Tu peux faire de même et ensuite c’est à viki de prendre les mesures, les sous-titres que nous faisons sont aussi leur propriété et si quelqu’un se fait de l’argent avec, c’est aussi de l’argent que perd viki.
IL y a des techniques qui permettent de reconnaître nos sous-titres parmi tous les autres, même s’ils enlèvent les crédits. Si tu veux quelques exemples, MP moi. Je ne l’écrirai pas ici, ce serait trop facile pour “eux”.

I made a thread about this a while ago: https://discussions.viki.com/t/websites-that-steal-vikis-subs/12697

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Isn’t hosting the video itself a copyright infringement? It’s too bad this is happening, and I hope more people will not support these kind of sites. I, myself, only watch legally obtained shows/films. Except Detective Conan. The show is available legally where I live but it’s subbed in another language so I resort to watching english subbed versions on a fan site.

Also, wouldn’t ppl know that it’s subbed from Viki because all shows have the team name shown throughout the video?

They remove the credits of course. And they put their website instead.

J’avais fait la même chose pour Five Children, j’avais retrouvé mes sous-titres anglais sur un autre site. Je n’avais jamais eu de réponse de la part de Viki donc j’ai pensé qu’il n’y pouvait rien y faire, puisque quand j’ai posté un message sur la page facebook du site en question, ils avaient direct supprimé mon message x)

I’ve never seen a video where you could see the team’s name and viki logo, they always, somehow, remove the credits and put theirs :confused:

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in the site i mentioned to you there isn’t any logo. they don’t claim they did the translation. and the page for the drama itself with the plot available (something like our channel pages) it says that the translation was made from the viki team

How about contacting @anon20195650?
Maybe she can help!

What, just one? (laughing) Seriously. It would be news if ONLY one website had our subs and were making money from them.

Sometimes I think it might be amusing to put a REALLY good typo in a spot…wait what, 24 hours…and then go look for it? I’ll bet I can find the “wrenches” and “cow tow” where they got to, I doubt they edited that out from whence they well, RIPPED :slight_smile: them! HA! (snaps fingers) Too easy. :slight_smile:

And if they make money off a less-than-perfect first sub in version, don’t they look a bit foolish trying to pass that off as our final product as well?

How low is it, in an upright way of thinking, to steal from someone who does it freely for the world?

One can possibly visualize the same lower beings as the sort that steal from the donation bins, or the money from those in true peril.

(deep breath). My cynical mind tells me that this will never end, there will always be thieves, and people who are shamelessly profiteering from such low behavior.

Imitation being the highest form of compliment, perhaps we’re getting that…world-wide.

GeNie of the Lamp POOF!!


I doubt they will. They don’t even go through our user report.

Sorry I comment here without reading all the comments, since I have not much time right now.

In Austria, quite commonly like the other countries, all kind of written texts are intellectual property and protected automatically under the copyright, even if you do not mention.
Quoting them doesn’t infringe the right but the author or the source MUST be stated.
However, rights are defined more or less differently depending on country, International rights are once more specific, internet service is almost another book of low.
You would never be able to check the situation correctly for our subs at Viki, so it must be the best if you consult the legal department of Viki (since they exactly know with what kind of lows they have to handle).

I would almost suggest it will be better for Viki to show subs only to the Viki pass-users.
I know there is a huge problem with people wo believe subtitles are a benefit which is included in Viki pass. However, itt must be possible for Viki to say only Viki pass holders can access volunteer-made subs.
The reason why I say this is, that Viki would otherwise lose potential Viki pass customers together with stolen subs, and it may not come to the extent Viki can’t afford no license for the shows.
In my opinion, Viki may protect their right to the subs, even if it’s an effort of the volunteers. It IS volunteer’s work and we don’t receive money for that, but somehow we actually do– in the form of free Viki pass.
The truth is, not (only) we subbers are losing something WE have right on, but VIKI loses something they “paid” for through the Viki pass coupon. I mean, for us, it’s a intellectual property, but for Viki, it’s a business object.

One thing we can do in this moment is, in the case the stealing site is uploading shows illegally, we can report it to the productions or broadcasting company (MBS, KBS and so on). If they as the intellectual property owner claim, the show can be delated from that website and our subs will be gone together with show. And maybe the site has to be closed as well.


The subs are under creative commons license so they are free for them to get if they are paying they are really dumb and good for the people who are selling what they don’t own… Read the license and it says it, I for one hate that it happens and I hate the fact that they change a sentence and make them theirs, but if it wasn’t like that then the subs would belong to Viki and not to the volunteers.

Well, if I consider there are some people “stealing” subs within Viki… it’s actually a widespread problem.

I didn’t mean the subs don’t belong to volunleers, or maybe they do? How is it exactly? Maybe it could be even both, Volunteers and Viki??

However, I’m worried that Viki would be losing income source and they would have problems to pay licenses.
If there are no shows at Viki, we would loose this subtitle plattform as well…

Hi, I am from Germany so the laws about copyright are not completely the same but almost like in Austria.
Then again it’s about where the company is hosted and to read the “Kleingedruckte” is something you always should do to get the proper picture. In viki’s case it’s
You can always find these points by scrolling down to the bottom of the page, in the “grey area”.
However only letting people Viki Pass users …
You think that the “copy cats” come from outside of Viki and take the time to copy the subtitles picture by picture. I don’t think so to get the subs that quickly one will access the source make a quick copy (srt file) and use it. Since it takes less effort, less time and helps with getting the most benefit out of it.

If they did what you suggest I would stop volunteering right away and cancel my account and never visit viki again. Something that is given for free must also be shared for free to those who pay and those who don’t.
Viki “paid” for the subtitles by giving us viki pass benefits? What viki “pays” us volunteers who are QC corresponds to 5 euros per month, which is not even minimum wage for one hour’s work. And I know I work more than 2 hours per day, sometimes much more so a minimum of 60 hours per month (I don’t have weekends, on the contrary, on weekends I work more).
So I don’t consider it pay, I consider it a token of courtesy. And a way for us to be able to access more shows and therefore work more. If they didn’t give us this access, we would have to actually pay out of our own pocket to be able to work on new shows. How many do you think would be willing to do that? Not only not get paid for our work, but have to pay as well? Ha! Take a guess? So it’s not only a generous benevolence but something indispensable for the volunteer system to work.
(And there are many more people who are not yet QC who have contributed completely without any compensation).

I would never have made an account on viki to begin with (something that has led to me volunteering after some months) if there weren’t any shows I could watch. And, my interest being Korean and Japanese shows, and not knowing these languages, if there weren’t any subtitles I would swiftly move away to some other website.
I believe many others are in my position.

The viki pass holders who whine are people who never read what a contract says. It’s their problem.



Thanks for the links.
But those policies are about Viki and Viki-users, and I don’t think we have any problem with Viki about subtitles?
My English ist not that good, so maybe my comment wasn’t clear.

What I wanted to say was… subtitle thievery is not only an issue about subtitler’s copyright, but it could become a problem to Viki for/if losing customers. And I think it would be better if Viki (or the sub community and Viki together) handles it. A lot of things would depend on how Viki is protected outwards, I suppose, and I don’t think it makes sense to us to find out those staff.

Sure they do not copy picture by picture. My idea was, if the subs are only available to the paid users, the thieves would have to pay “something” at least– the Viki pass.
If the subs are open to everyone, you really just have to pass by, vacuum data and go.

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I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you!

Maybe I’m too worried and maybe I’m in a kind of panic.

I suppose the true reason why QCs don’t pay for “Viki pass” is, that Viki thinks they can’t suddenly start charging what has been promised free to QCs. But how long more will it be like that?

I’m asking myself what will happen, if there were a lot more QCs.
It’s not difficult to get a free Viki pass. It only requires “some lines” to sub, and some people seem to have started to copy existing lines to fill up their “contributions”.
I’m worried if it wouldn’t be someday like… Viki full of non-paying users with a lot of so-called-subbers.

God, now I’ve started to write things what doesn’t refer to the thread, maybe I’m just talking nonsense.
Sorry, I really don’t mean to mess up the topic here! I better leave for now and get some sleep.