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Why NRK can't translate Skam

Music rights issues prevent NRK from adding English subtitles to the TV series Skam.

Isak og Even i Skam

SEASON 3: The third season made the Norwegian TV show Skam popular in several countries.

Foreign fans ask NRK for English subtitles for the TV series Skam.

The hashtag #WeNeedEnglishSubsForSkam started trending Tuesday night, and 1250 have signed a petition asking for subs.

The fans come from all over the world, including Argentina, France, Germany, Italy and China.

– Only for Norwegian youth

NRK responded Friday, refusing to add English subtitles to the successful show, with the explanation that the content is made for Norwegian youth.

But the international audience is not satisfied.

«Seriously how can English subs take away content from the Norwegian youth? This makes no sense at all», Marta Bresicia Nyny responded on Twitter.

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Music rights issue

Today NRK provided a new explatation, and it is related to the music being used in Skam.

Skam can be seen in Norwegian through skam.p3.no all over the world, but the music rights are only negotiated for a Norwegian speaking audience.

– Our deals with Norwegian rights owners are good, but they are only valid for the Norwegian speaking market. Adding English subs will make the series available and understandable in the entire world, and that would violate the intentions behind our agreements, said Håkon Moslet.

He is editior in chief for TV in NRK P3, the broadcaster that makes Skam.

Moslet adds that he is very happy that so many people care about Skam, but says NRK has to follow the rules.

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Will remove translations

Moslet assures the fans that he will look into the issue again, but cannot promise anything.

– We have probably never seen a petition like this for a Norwegian TV series, so it is pretty unique.

Moslet's view is that the content of season 3 would be valuable for youth all over Europe, but NRK will anyhow take action against those who are spreading unofficial versions online.

Youtube clips containing more that 50 per cent original Skam content, will be removed automatically, according to NRK's lawyer Kari Anne Lang-Ree.

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