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NEWS: LA Times Article on Fansubs


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djarch



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:50 am Reply with quote
Here we go again, huh guys? Well then. Let's do this thing... Let's get it started...

As I spent the last HOUR reading all of these posts, I happened to glance back at my "bookshelf." It used to have lots of, uhm, well, books. The only books that are there now, are some issues of Newtype USA, Shonen Jump, and some manga here and there. To be clear, I download a CRAPLOAD of anime. I'm talking about consistent bandwidth, up and down. Bittorent reigns surpreme in my room, and what I'm not leeching, I'm seeding. However to say that I have directly cost the anime industry a loss in profit would be marginally true at best. My "bookshelf" is flooding with anime dvds. It's a 6 shelf system, each shelf quadruple stacked, to fit about 200 dvds each. Do the freakin math. I'm not rich either, I'm a starving student like I'm sure everyone else is, but I've made some clear cut choices. My car is a piece of crap, I still live at home, and I work a crappy job. But I've bought a crapload of anime, because that's what I love. I think it's important to support something if you want to see more of it. I'm not talking about crappy Region 0 3 dvd boxsets either, I'm talking about the overpriced crappilly dubbed ADV stuff. My room is like my own personal anime heaven. And every tuesday, I add something to it. True, I've spent thousands of dollars, that I'm sure other people can't afford. But that's not how it started. 1 or 2 dvds a week is like 30 bucks. that's like a dinner at a nice restuarant. That's like a half of what the average person pays for high speed internet.

"We all have choices! Some people like to stand in the rain without an umbrella!" -Roger Smith, The Big O

I download a crapload of anime. But I buy a crapload too. If I download something, and then hate it, am I going to buy it? Hell no.

If I download something, love it, am I not going to support it just because I've already seen it?
Hell no.

You can talk about your ethics, morals, ethnics, I don't freakin care. If you choose to not support something just because you've seen it already-- you probably wouldn't have bought it anyway. That's just the kind of person you are.
Congratu-freakin-lations, you're an ass. Not much anybody can do about it except preach at you like I've been.

To be clear, in the United States, (home of Region 1) if you download a show without permission, it's illegal. I'm pretty sure we can all agree that if something is illegal, you probably shouldn't do it. You can say it's not black and white, BUT IT IS. IT'S ILLEGAL. Accept that, then do what you want. I don't think we're experiencing what will be the death of the anime industry. It's prospering like they never imagined... let's not forget that at one point, renting a movie out was considered "shady."



Support what you love, simple as that. The problem is, not everyone does, I know. We'll turn them over to our side eventually... be a candle in a world of darkness, if you will...
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Necros Antiquor



Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 571
Location: Funny in a car crash sort of way

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:20 pm Reply with quote
Napoleon wrote:
Right or wrong, fansubs are great for previewing anime.

I'm sick and tired of hearing this excuse used. What about domestic movies? How do you know you want to spend the money on them, whether it be the theater or DVD? Maybe you can just "preview" the movie online before you go to see the real thing. Oh wait, that's illegal and the movie industry is cracking down on it. Placed in that context, fansubs are not right for "previewing" a show, especially if it's already licensed. The anime industry isn't cracking down on these technically illegal fansubs because it's too hard and there isn't a clear line about who they should go after (or even why).

Want to know if something is good or not? Read a review. Ask around. That's what movie-watchers usually do; they read a film critic's review or ask a friend. ANN and AoD are full of reviews and forums to discuss shows.
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:38 pm Reply with quote
Necros Antiquor wrote:
I'm sick and tired of hearing this excuse used. What about domestic movies?

And I'm sick and tired of the movie example. People like to forget that paying for one movie is not the same as paying for an anime series.

Necros Antiquor wrote:
Want to know if something is good or not? Read a review. Ask around.

Based on a review or on other people's opinions I might rent a DVD. I'm definitely not going to buy it just because someone said it's good stuff. I've been burned too many times for that. (Same with music CDs.) But what can one do when there's no way for him to rent anime? (Because, say, he doesn't live in the US.) Or when he can't find what he wants in the rental store? While the fansubs are sitting there waiting to be downloaded?

Fansubs may not be legal, but they're convenient. Also, believe it or not, for many people they're the only way to effectively evaluate anime.


Last edited by mufurc on Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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djarch



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:38 pm Reply with quote
-Look two posts above this-

Sorry dude, I don't think your example is a good one. Anime is done in bursts, sometimes long ones. Shortest anime series (other than ova) is usually 13-26 episodes. They get longer than that. Well, take a look at Detective Conan / Case Closed.

Maybe liken it to TV shows that you have to buy in boxed sets, not movies in the theater. Most people can justify/afford 7 bucks to see a movie. I spent over $200 on Evangelion Platinum Collection. I think you're heart's in the right place, and your reason is valid... But do you think we would even have as much a anime as we do if it hadn't been for fansubs? I remember watching Akira, back in the day, on VHS, bootleg copy in my neighbor's garage. It wasn't available stateside at the time. The action being done is exactly the same thing... why do we consider it so much more wrong now than we did at that time?

Maybe because of money. Regardless, I think you're right. It's black and white, illegal, and by most moral standards, wrong. Read my post above, after all. I can live with myself tho.
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darkhunter



Joined: 13 May 2004
Posts: 2992
Location: Los Angelas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:26 pm Reply with quote
original article from the la times by Charles Solemon
latimes.com

Quote:
(Copyright (c) 2005 Los Angeles Times)

When the highly rated anime fantasy-adventure "Fullmetal Alchemist" debuted in the U.S. on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" last November, many American viewers had already seen all 51 episodes that premiered in Japan in 2003. Some of them owned the entire series before the first DVD appeared in February (the second arrives this month).

The version they're watching is known as a fansub, a subtitled version of the program done by amateur fans. At considerable cost -- and some legal risk -- fansubbers bring the hottest titles in Japanese animation or anime to eager audiences who can't wait for the American versions of those shows to air here.

Japanese animation or anime has become a big business in America, accounting for $500 million in video sales and about 10 times that in licensing, rights and related merchandise sales annually. Anime enjoys widespread popularity among adolescents, teens and twentysomethings, and fansubbers constitute one of the oddest subgroups within the larger culture.

Fansubbers begin by obtaining a copy of an episode of a Japanese TV show, either by buying it or downloading it. If they don't speak Japanese (and most don't), they have to find someone to prepare a line-by-line English translation. Each line then must be timed and digitally added to the correct scene. Endless technical glitches can occur during the subtitling process, and specialized websites offer step-by-step advice.

Fansubbing began in the 1980s, when few anime titles were available in the U.S. Because it's a legally gray area at best, people involved in fansubs use only their first names. Jeki, a 27- year-old fansubber, recalls, "I grew up watching 'Robotech' and the few other Japanese series that were on. I wanted to see more of that type of cartoon, but all Saturday morning offered was 'The Smurfs' and 'Alvin & the Chipmunks.'

"When I was 12 or 13, I met a couple of people on message boards who shared my interest, and we decided we could make fansubs as a group. We bought Japanese laser discs and copied them; some of us knew Japanese and could do the translations. We really, really liked these shows and were sure other people would too. But they just weren't out there in the marketplace, so how were people going to find them if we didn't sub them?"

Barry, a 34-year-old software engineer and anime fan, began watching fansubs in college. "One of the clubs on campus had a collection of videotapes that you couldn't get in stores, like 'Kimagure Orange Road,' " he says.

Fansubbers initially distributed shows on videocassettes: Someone would send in a blank VHS tape and get the fansub by return mail. But the growth of the Internet and the shift to digital technology has made fansubbing easier and faster. "There are fansubbing groups in Japan that digitally capture a show as it's being broadcast and send it to whomever's doing the translation," Jeki notes. "The fansubbers here have software and technology that makes it possible for them to have a good, translated copy circulating on the Net in two or three days.

"The [anime fan] conventions no longer show fansubs; distributors use them to launch their new domestic releases. Digital fansubbing means you don't have to go to a club to watch new anime."

The Web has become the most popular way to distribute fansubs: People log onto a site and download files of subtitled animation. The individual files are large, so to get new material users have to share the fansub programs they have. This electronic swap-meet mentality dovetails with the attitude of fansubbers, who insist they are neither pirates nor bootleggers.

"From day one to the present, the attitude of fansubbers has been we will not proceed with the subbing or the distribution of a show that has been licensed in English," says Betty, a member of one the nation's largest fansubbing groups. "Fansubbers hate to see people selling their work commercially, whether it's listing copies on EBay or selling them on a website."

"When a title comes out commercially, all the distribution sites I go to say, 'We don't have it anymore,' " agrees Barry. "I toss out any DVDs I've burned and delete the files. I buy the stuff I like. If I didn't like a title, I know not to spend $20 on the DVD. There are sites where people sell things that are licensed or offer free downloads of them, just as you can get movies off the Internet, but I've never looked for them."

Not surprisingly, American distributors take a dim view of fansubbing. Rod Peters, senior marketing manager at Houston-based ADV Films, the largest U.S. anime distributor, says, "Once we announce we've acquired the rights to distribute a program, that program cannot be subbed or distributed by anyone outside ADV. We give anyone who does a cease-and-desist order; if they continue, we turn them over to our antipiracy division for legal action." Chad Kime, corporate planning manager at Geneon Entertainment, the distributor of the hit series "Samurai Champloo," says bluntly, "Fansubs are illegal and a form of piracy. We cannot condone fansubbing."

Fansubbers counter they provide distributors with valuable market research. "Like it or not -- and they certainly don't like to admit it too loudly -- distributors know fansubs provide gold-plated marketing information," Betty says. "If a series is popular as a fansub, they know it will sell. There have been cases where a company declined to license a title, because it had been fansubbed and 'everyone had seen it' and regretted the decision."

Kime says that might have been true several years ago, but currently, "the bidding on many titles begins before the show even airs. Additionally, more and more 'B' titles are being ignored by the fans; many companies suspect that sales of these titles is impaired by distribution in fansub circles."

In December, four major fansub sites received e-mail from a Tokyo law firm representing the Japanese distributor Media Factory, requesting that they stop uploading their client's series and/or stop inducing visitors to visit websites where those series could be downloaded. Despite these countermeasures, the consensus among otoku (devotees of anime) is that fansubbing, like downloading music, has become too widespread to halt. The debate will undoubtedly continue over the next several years, as fansubbers vie to present the first versions of favorite series, and distributors on both sides of the Pacific mount counteroffensives.
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darkhunter



Joined: 13 May 2004
Posts: 2992
Location: Los Angelas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:41 pm Reply with quote
mufurc wrote:
Necros Antiquor wrote:
I'm sick and tired of hearing this excuse used. What about domestic movies?

And I'm sick and tired of the movie example. People like to forget that paying for one movie is not the same as paying for an anime series.

Necros Antiquor wrote:
Want to know if something is good or not? Read a review. Ask around.

Based on a review or on other people's opinions I might rent a DVD. I'm definitely not going to buy it just because someone said it's good stuff. I've been burned too many times for that. (Same with music CDs.) But what can one do when there's no way for him to rent anime? (Because, say, he doesn't live in the US.) Or when he can't find what he wants in the rental store? While the fansubs are sitting there waiting to be downloaded?

Fansubs may not be legal, but they're convenient. Also, believe it or not, for many people they're the only way to effectively evaluate anime.


Uh there are a lot of trailer online. And if you buy dvd, there are many trailer on the dvd too. Trailer give you a glimpse of what's the anime is about. Many people buy 1 dvd, find a sevaral other new series that they're intereted based on the trailer (gungrave, champloo etc).

And if an anime was already license, you can't just go online and download the fansub for that series. The rule is once a series become license, they have stop distrubing the file.
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Kazuki-san



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 2251
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:45 pm Reply with quote
darkhunter wrote:

And if an anime was already license, you can't just go online and download the fansub for that series. The rule is once a series become license, they have stop distrubing the file.


That's the "fansubbers code," not a rule. The law is you can't distribute or download fansubs at all, licensed or not.
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darkhunter



Joined: 13 May 2004
Posts: 2992
Location: Los Angelas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Kazuki-san wrote:
darkhunter wrote:

And if an anime was already license, you can't just go online and download the fansub for that series. The rule is once a series become license, they have stop distrubing the file.


That's the "fansubbers code," not a rule. The law is you can't distribute or download fansubs at all, licensed or not.


Uh, I wasn't imply the rules of the "law" but rules for fansubber which basically mean the same thing as code. Rules or Code, it's just mean something that they follow.
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hikaru004



Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 2305

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:49 pm Reply with quote
Why is it that the article highlights the English fansub groups?

How come no one mentions that fansubs are done in alot more languages then just English?
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Godaistudios



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2038
Location: Albuquerque, NM (the land of entrapment)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:22 pm Reply with quote
hikaru004 wrote:
Why is it that the article highlights the English fansub groups?

How come no one mentions that fansubs are done in alot more languages then just English?


There are two major reasons for that...

1) Fansubbing is predominantly done in English. While fansubs do occour in other countries, it's primarily a phenomenon of the English speaking world. Sure, I've seen some fansubs pop up in German and Spanish, but that's fairly rare.

2) Even if the first part weren't true, the article is written in English, for an English speaking audience. It would be superfluous to bring up fansubs done in other languages when they have little to no effect on the U.S. industry.
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djarch



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:54 am Reply with quote
darkhunter wrote:
Kazuki-san wrote:
darkhunter wrote:

And if an anime was already license, you can't just go online and download the fansub for that series. The rule is once a series become license, they have stop distrubing the file.


That's the "fansubbers code," not a rule. The law is you can't distribute or download fansubs at all, licensed or not.


Uh, I wasn't imply the rules of the "law" but rules for fansubber which basically mean the same thing as code. Rules or Code, it's just mean something that they follow.


This to me has always been something a lil bit funny. First off, not every group follows this "code." Lots of groups don't drop something once it's licensed. Others like to release dual audio. Others fansub even after a show has been licensed (probably because there aren't many that are willing to touch it). Regardless, it the same act, both are illegal. I love how some people will get self righteous about this in particular. Both are breaking the same laws! Don't kid yourself here. Maybe one is slightly more ethical than the other... but both are ILLEGAL.
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