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Interview: Razmig Hovaghimian, Co-founder and CEO of Viki.com


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Zerreth



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 93
Location: E6

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:19 pm Reply with quote
So what's stopping the site from simply ripping subs from other fansub groups and not crediting them? Wouldn't someone be able to simply provide fansubs verbatim and just see which lines get approved and modified and just label themselves as a different person/group and no one would be the wiser?

I understand that this is all a "for the community" and an effort to learn new languages and everything is supposed to be FUBU, but didn't crunchyroll have this issue? And as long as this is a for profit organization, won't this always be the issue that stands in regards to community based projects?


Also, how are issues in regard to a community split handled? To be more clear, certain shows have extreme peculiar and/or non-existent mannerisms. Shows like Ika Musume would be an example. There are those who would prefer puns and those who would like something else, and as far as I know, many translators (fansub or commercial) are also split in this way. How is a manager supposed to handle this sort of situation? A mix would generally be disastrous as the lack of consistency wouldn't help one "learn" a new language at all. I know for a fact certain historical korean dramas use a modified speech pattern that retains a bit of the way the language was spoken back then but with a slightly revised vocabulary to avoid words which were too archaic (think shakespeare but every so often replacing "wherefore" with "why").
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3199
Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:34 pm Reply with quote
Zerreth wrote:
So what's stopping the site from simply ripping subs from other fansub groups and not crediting them? Wouldn't someone be able to simply provide fansubs verbatim and just see which lines get approved and modified and just label themselves as a different person/group and no one would be the wiser? ...

You mean, what's stopping contributors to the site from simply ripping subs ... the site itself licenses the original content and accepts submissions of subtitles from members.

At the moment, the legal protection is the copyright of the fansub group that performed the translation. Like any site aiming to qualify for US safe harbour status, Viki.com has a rights violation process.

Obviously, the fansub group could either insist that their work be taken down, or else insist that they receive credit for their work.
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Lupica



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:28 pm Reply with quote
I am so happy this site exists and understands that not everyone natively speaks the language of the country they are in! My husband's parents are delighted to finally have found a legal source for their favourite dramas from back home, and I'm delighted about the anime side.

I'd like to be able to pay and remove the ads, if possible, one day. That's the only thing I'd change about the basic premise.
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nursemcquade



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 26
Location: NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:28 pm Reply with quote
This sounds like an interesting idea. I have a feeling that we aren't going to see a lot of this content in North America. It seems like Japanese license holders have better ways of monetizing their content in the North America and other established markets like Western Europe, Australia, etc. But who knows...Things are-a-changin' so we'll have to watch and see what happens here.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12684

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:32 pm Reply with quote
I hope those fansubbers get paid eventually, because they will jump ship when they got bills, and everyone else but them is making money off the deal.
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Fletcher1991



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 514
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:34 pm Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
So what's stopping the site from simply ripping subs from other fansub groups and not crediting them? Wouldn't someone be able to simply provide fansubs verbatim and just see which lines get approved and modified and just label themselves as a different person/group and no one would be the wiser? ...


Well technically taking the subs from a group who didn't legally acquire the work isn't really a big deal. You can't steal something from someone when it doesn't belong to them. I mean I could see the groups who did the subs being annoyed, but they have no legal right to complain. Maybe this will just encourage them to contribute directly to this site.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
Posts: 8553
Location: Do not message me for support.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:55 pm Reply with quote
Fletcher1991 wrote:
Well technically taking the subs from a group who didn't legally acquire the work isn't really a big deal. You can't steal something from someone when it doesn't belong to them. I mean I could see the groups who did the subs being annoyed, but they have no legal right to complain.


Well, technically, you're wrong.

Translations are afforded copyright protection, and the copyright belongs to the translator or whoever commissioned the translation. However, as the original work is protected by it's own copyright, the translation can not be used without the permission of both the party that holds the copyright (or a license) on the original work, and the party that holds the copyright (or a license) on the translation.

It's important to note: Permission is not required to create a translation of a work. Permission is however required to distribute that translation. In otherwords, the act of creating a fansub is not infringement; however distribution of that fansub is infringement. The act of participating in infringing distribution does not negate the translators rights in regards to his translation.

So yes, it is a copyright violation to use a fansubber's translation without their permission, and the fansubber does have the right to take legal action against such use.

-t

PS: Copyright infringement is not theft.
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Chagen46



Joined: 27 Jun 2010
Posts: 4249

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:01 pm Reply with quote
As interesting and awesome this site sounds....fansubs are not reliable when it comes to quality at all. I have large amounts of skepticism for the overall quality of the subtitles for the shows.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3199
Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:18 pm Reply with quote
Chagen46 wrote:
As interesting and awesome this site sounds....fansubs are not reliable when it comes to quality at all. I have large amounts of skepticism for the overall quality of the subtitles for the shows.


Yes, the subtitles are quite decidedly not for the connoisseur ~ "why are you here at this belated juncture" is the translation I have seen on some of these K-dramas for what would most naturally expressed, "why are you here at this late hour".

So the most promising grounds for a site like Crunchyroll to collaborate with Viki on a series would be those cases where the streaming rights have been chopped up, and Crunchyroll gets a streaming contract with a big chunk of the world carved out. If Viki.com was able to get the streaming rights within that big chunk that was carved out, they could possible do a useful rights swap ... but Crunchyroll would be looking to get the right to stream its subtitles to members more broadly, not looking to get Viki's subtitles.
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Fletcher1991



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 514
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:49 pm Reply with quote
tempest wrote:
Fletcher1991 wrote:
Well technically taking the subs from a group who didn't legally acquire the work isn't really a big deal. You can't steal something from someone when it doesn't belong to them. I mean I could see the groups who did the subs being annoyed, but they have no legal right to complain.


Well, technically, you're wrong.

Translations are afforded copyright protection, and the copyright belongs to the translator or whoever commissioned the translation. However, as the original work is protected by it's own copyright, the translation can not be used without the permission of both the party that holds the copyright (or a license) on the original work, and the party that holds the copyright (or a license) on the translation.

It's important to note: Permission is not required to create a translation of a work. Permission is however required to distribute that translation. In otherwords, the act of creating a fansub is not infringement; however distribution of that fansub is infringement. The act of participating in infringing distribution does not negate the translators rights in regards to his translation.

So yes, it is a copyright violation to use a fansubber's translation without their permission, and the fansubber does have the right to take legal action against such use.

-t

PS: Copyright infringement is not theft.


Oh alright, thanks for clearing that up. Either way, I doubt a fan sub group would go that far to protect their translations.

And I am sure that many people who want to contribute to the site will probably just take subs from other groups that already translated it. But all that does is distribute their work more readily, so if they are really doing the translations just as fans wanting to share this content then I don't think it should bother them.
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glitteringloke



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:01 pm Reply with quote
I actually have more problems with a channel 'owner' not replying to PMs so i can help work on a show more than filling in blanks when one of the few approved people have done some of the timing. Master of Epic would be done by now >Sad

I'm one of those fansub group members that is trying to get our translation done the actual legal method. I totally love this idea and while some people submitting translations aren't always great at it, it's a fun way to test your own translation skills if you're learning other languages, at least IMO
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 2931

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:39 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
.. , but the way you see it from the US it might look very different, because if you look at our site from Southeast Asia it looks very prime time US, if you will. Lots of A&E, History Channel, you see Syfy shows on there, you see the BBC shows. So from the US it's pretty heavy, it looks like Asian concentrated.

Very interesting. Didn't realize that.

But what if you wanted to help out with those subs or practice translation from English to another language?
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math4origami



Joined: 07 Jul 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:12 am Reply with quote
Chagen46 wrote:
As interesting and awesome this site sounds....fansubs are not reliable when it comes to quality at all. I have large amounts of skepticism for the overall quality of the subtitles for the shows.


This was wikipedia's first major hurdle, too, but it hasn't killed it. I think that as long as critical mass is reached, we can gradually raise the bar for quality. The more people invested in a project, the greater the end result can be, by taking the best of knowledge from everyone. This of course would be a problem for unpopular shows, but it's unlikely those shows would get subs at all without this model.
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 264
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:37 am Reply with quote
Chagen46 wrote:
As interesting and awesome this site sounds....fansubs are not reliable when it comes to quality at all. I have large amounts of skepticism for the overall quality of the subtitles for the shows.


The problem here is that everyone has their own way of defining what is 'quality'. Basic issues like spelling and grammar aside, the community has always been at odds regarding issues like Literal versus Liberal translations, accuracy, cultural flavor, language nuance, naturalness, honorifics, etc... Something that you might consider to be of 'good quality' might not be 'good' for others and vice versa.
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Veers



Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 1184
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:08 am Reply with quote
Really interesting read, thanks for the interview. I'll have to check this site out.
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