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NEWS: Media Factory makes request to stop fansubbing


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Kagemusha



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:36 pm Reply with quote
Well, Kodansha did request that a scanslation site remove any manga that was published by them, but the site found a way around the request.
It shounld be interesting to see if this inspires other companys to do the same thing.
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The Starfall Knight



Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 130
Location: Within the hearts of the people

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:40 pm Reply with quote
My Lord, I almost cried when I saw the news on AS's site. I live for School Rumble and Genshiken...

I hope this doesn't set a precedent. I'm not going to talk about it extensively here out of fear of getting banned for talking about fansubs, but I really hope that other production companies won't follow Media Factory's example. They have every right to do so...but can't they just leave us poor non-Japanese speaking otaku in peace? Anime smile;
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Strategos



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
Posts: 91
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:46 pm Reply with quote
Sooner or later these isolated events are going to snowball into something which I believe will be bad for sales of anime titles in the US. I have no idea where all the hype and momentum for certain series will come from if there is no way to easily access fansubs of them. I have always believed that overall fansubs contribute to sales of anime rather than detract from them. I don't think any good can come from this. Companies should be focusing more on illegal distribution of bootleg DVD's over eBay and other online sites rather than the fansub community.
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ACDragonMaster



Joined: 23 Aug 2004
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:51 pm Reply with quote
The problem is that fansub groups are too big and too public. To the point where a *lot* of people post on public forums stuff like "I won't buy the DVDs, I already have it on my computer" and so on, which doesn't help the issue anyway. Keeping things smaller, and letting stuff instead get passed around between the fans who're actually devoted enough to do the work would cull a lot of the idiots like that from the whole thing.

Fansubs do and always have had a positive aspect though, in that they promote anime outside its normal market, resulting in people buying imports (directly profiting the Japanese companies) and giving the American and other companies an idea of what to liscence.

So really, the downfall of the whole thing is likely going to be just that it's getting too big and too public, and thus impossible for the companies to ignore. When it's something relatively small, people can try to look the other way, but when it's so large and well-known, there's nothing that can be done but to enforce the law.

I think it would help immensely, though, if more fans would act more responsibly and put more consideration towards buying series they've been watching fansubbed, and encouraing others to as well. Well, not if you hated the series, but if you hated it, you wouldn't have the whole thing downloaded to your PC and carefully archived onto a library of CDs, right?
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Isaaru



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Posts: 375
Location: the oppressed colonies in outer space

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:04 pm Reply with quote
Dang straight on ACdragonmaster's comment. Honestly, fansubbers need to realize that poor excuses for not supporting thier favorite anime when its liscensed (too expensive, hate the company, hate the dubbing, there gonna butcher it) are not right if they plan on keeping thier fansubs.
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biliano*



Joined: 11 Feb 2004
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:16 pm Reply with quote
While fansubs are still illegal, they do, as ACDragonMaster said, have a prominent role of future anime series getting licensed here in America, and consequentally, other parts of the world. If Media Factory and other companies are so bitter and afraid to see their products "tainted" or "corrupted", then they should wise up and start licensing their titles for the American market. Stategos made a valid point that more companies should focus on stopping bootleg copies or illegal distributions, as what Bandai was doing earier this year at Anime Expo.

Personally, I will only download a fansub if it was a title that I'm interested in watching, and right now, the only title that falls into this category is Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, which is based on the hugely popular dating sim game. I still hope that one of the companies here will acquire the license to this title, but that might be tough since there is not a big market for anime based on dating sims. However, if ADV was able to license Sister Princess (another anime based on a popular dating sim), then maybe KimiNozo will get licensed.
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DragonsRevenge



Joined: 15 Nov 2004
Posts: 1150

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:39 pm Reply with quote
Meh. There's other places to go.
If it wasnt for fansubbing, anime wouldnt have quite the audience it does outside of japan.
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cookie
Old Regular


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 2452
Location: PA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:49 pm Reply with quote
ACDragonMaster wrote:
The problem is that fansub groups are too big


With tens of thousands of anime fans (all around the world) are downloading the weekly torrent of the latest shows, the potential for monetary loss has never been greater..

And at some point, no matter how benevolently you try to do the math, in the end, it almost becomes inevitable that someone, somewhere is willfully chosing NOT to pay anime companies BECAUSE they saw the fansubs and thus no longer have the desire to buy the DVDs.

Quote:
Fansubs do and always have had a positive aspect though, in that they promote anime outside its normal market, resulting in people buying imports (directly profiting the Japanese companies) and giving the American and other companies an idea of what to liscence.


1) There are thousands of bootleg DVDs sold on eBay, and through numerous bootlegging websites every day. In comparison, a relatively small number of fans actually buy import R2 DVDs. The Japanese companies aren't concerned about the tiny amounts of revenue that they'd "lose".
2) Most American companies work directly with Japanese producers now, and can readily see shows before and during production. The people involved with these deals are just like you and me -- they know a "hit" show when they see it. They don't need a fan translation to tell them what's going to sell in America, and what's not.

Quote:
I think it would help immensely, though, if more fans would act more responsibly


It would be great if fans downloaded a fansub, watched it ONCE, and then DELETED it. But I think a simple poll would reveal lots of people are burning fansubs to CD and saving them instead. You can still find fansubs of old shows on P2P networks; I even saw old Love Hina fansubs in a recent file search -- Love Hina was fansubbed in the summer of 2000!

--

Although it appears that AS doesn't host any torrents or files, that doesn't mean they weren't in the wrong -- without the message being publically distributed, it's impossible to say for certain what their problem was, with AS. Still, MF should've targetted other sites (including one that takes donations to stay afloat. I wonder what's going to happen to the $1300 currently in his bank account? Hmmm....) instead. They should've also targetted the groups that produce the fansubs, which they appear not to have done (or, at least not done very thoroughly).

The intent is still very clear -- Media Factory is attempting to get their anime off the internet. It doesn't matter if it's English subbed or "raw", they're aware that -someone- is distributing their works illegally, and they want those people to stop.

Anyway, I'm highly surprised at how generally negative the reaction of fans has been to this development. I'm sorry, did I miss the boat? What gives *anyone* any right to complain about the illegal activities they're doing, when the appropriate authorities come in and stop it?
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 611

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:52 pm Reply with quote
ACDragonMaster is absolutely right. Fansub groups and fans who believe it's their god-given right to watch anime for free got really out of hand recently.

That said, this came as a shock to me. I hope the groups will continue subbing the shows (at least Gankutsuou and School Rumble). Just... show a little more modesty, please.
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s_j



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:53 pm Reply with quote
biliano wrote:
If Media Factory and other companies are so bitter and afraid to see their products "tainted" or "corrupted", then they should wise up and start licensing their titles for the American market.


I'm sure Media Factory, and all Japanese Anime companies for that matter, understand the positive aspects of fansubbing. They wouldn't have allowed it to go on for so long otherwise. But when the market reaches a certain size, the negative effects of fansubbing will outweigh the good, i.e. the amount of people who simply download anime is greater than the number of new fans fansubbing generates. Media Factory probably came to this conclusion, and decided to take action.

Now that Anime has a global market, the old justification used by fansubbers/scanlators that they only offer unlicensed properties is a lot weaker. Would North American companies be more or less likely to license an anime that they know have been traded thousands of times over the internet? Fansubbing may hurt the production company when they do try to license their properties. (I'm not in the anime field, but I do license manga for English release, and this is something I always have to consider.)

Fansubbing online is also quite different from the old days when people just traded tapes. Now, anyone can dl these fansubs...even people from countries that have already licensed the anime. A Japanese user can easily download a fansub made here, and avoid buying the DVD release already available in his home land.

Frankly, I can't say I disagree at all with what Media Factory is doing. And if all Japanese production studios had more financial resources, they'd probably be more apt to take action as well.


Last edited by s_j on Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cassandra



Joined: 13 May 2002
Posts: 1356
Location: Birdsboro, PA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:55 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
They should've also targetted the groups that produce the fansubs, which they appear not to have done (or, at least not done very thoroughly).


They did sent a cease and desist letter to at least one of the groups fansubbing some of their works. And that group (which I will not name) had responded by saying that they will *not* stop fansubbing the shows until they are licensed in the US.


I, personally, find those people to be morons. The company asked you to stop, so stop. Rolling Eyes
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 611

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:59 pm Reply with quote
s_j wrote:
Now that Anime has a global market,

It's not quite global. There is a need for fansubs around the world, even if some say they're not needed anymore in North America. (Which I don't agree with anyway - everyone's talking about School Rumble, but who's talking about Samurai Gun? Who wants to bet which series will be more popular when they eventually come out in English?)

s_j wrote:
A Japanese user can easily download a fansub made here, and avoid buying the DVD release already available in his home land.

In fact, that's what they do. This is my biggest problem - I, too, understand the reasons behind this, but no fansubs/raws mean basically no anime for me (and many others for that matter). And while I could've shrugged at that years ago when I wasn't a fan, I don't really want to imagine it now.
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s_j



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:16 pm Reply with quote
mufurc wrote:
It's not quite global. There is a need for fansubs around the world, even if some say they're not needed anymore in North America.


I don't mean to imply that anime has entrentched itself into every corner of the globe, but it certainly is widely available here in the U.S., and this is where this action is being taken.

mufurc wrote:
In fact, that's what they do. This is my biggest problem - I, too, understand the reasons behind this, but no fansubs/raws mean basically no anime for me (and many others for that matter). And while I could've shrugged at that years ago when I wasn't a fan, I can't really want to imagine it now.


Unfortunately, this perception plagues anime and manga because its popularity rose in tandem with the internet, and so many people think they're entitled to anime and manga for free just because they've always gotten them for free. I can see how many people will be affected and saddened by this turn of events.

But these are all just justifications, and there really just is no excuse for not paying for the hard work of Japanese creators. We are not entitled to free things just because it's the way it's been. Anime are widely available for sale online. No one (at least, not anyone here who's reading this on their computer) can say they can't get anime with a straight face.

It's not like anime companies are just suddenly pulling the plug on all anime fans. They've been quite patient...fansubs and legitimate commercial products have co-existed in this market for years. They've given us plenty of time to ease us into a transition for legit products. Fansubbers and viewers really shouldn't be shocked by this at all, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later...a lot later than it should have, imo.
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Stueypark



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:32 pm Reply with quote
A lot of people also forget, digi-subs are avaliable to anyone with an internet connection, including anime's largest market... Japan. I've heard recently that many anime companies suspect Japanese fans have been downloading a lot of fansubs for free rather than paying for DVDs.
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 611

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:40 pm Reply with quote
s_j wrote:
I don't mean to imply that anime has entrentched itself into every corner of the globe, but it certainly is widely available here in the U.S., and this is where this action is being taken.

True, but then, most people around the world watch English (or Chinese) fansubs.

s_j wrote:
Unfortunately, this perception plagues anime and manga because its popularity rose in tandem with the internet, and so many people think they're entitled to anime and manga for free just because they've always gotten them for free. (...)

I never said that I think I'm entitled to anime/manga for free. (I guess I wasn't clear enough.) I'm no leecher - what I like I buy, sooner or later, when I have money. Problem is, I (and many other anime fans) don't live in Japan or North America, so the only way for me to preview anime/evaluate if an anime is worth buying or not is to watch fansubs (or raws). No fansubs => no way to preview and evaluate (because reading a review or watching a trailer is just not enough when it comes to a 26+ episode series). Yeah, those who're under better circumstances have every right to say "well, too bad for you," but that doesn't really comfort me. *shrug*

By the way, I think everyone knew something like this would happen sooner or later... it's just that everyone thought it'd be "later."


Last edited by mufurc on Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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