Wrong! It is common amongst anti-Catholic propaganda that Luther freed the Bible from those oppressive papists who did not want the masses to understand the Bible because then they would see how Protestant it really was. Nothing could be further from the truth! Scripture reading has always been encouraged by the Catholic Church and the Bible is in fact quite...well, Catholic. Honest Protestants won't perpetuate the myth that the Bible was withheld from the laity. For example, the Lutheran Ernst von Dobschuetz of Halle-Wittenberg:
"In former times, many Protestants held the view that Luther rediscovered the Bible, which had been almost entirely forgotten. They thought that there had been meagre transmission of the Bible and no translation into the vernacular at all. This view, of course, is untenable."
-from The Bible and Civilization.
Here is a list of the vernacular translations prior to Luther:
Ninth Cent.: Slavic
Tenth Cent.: Arabic
Eleventh Cent.: Bohemian
Twelfth Cent.: Polish
Thirteenth Cent.: Italian, Norwegian, and Hungarian
Fourteenth Cent.: Swedish and English
Fifteenth Cent.: Spanish, Danish, Dutch, and Welsh