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Chicks On Anime - Fansubs (Pt 1)


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Ai no Kareshi



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 561
Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:56 am Reply with quote
Sorry to dig out a slightly older post...

SongstressCela wrote:
I'm going to go ahead and guess you don't speak Japanese, am I right? Because let me tell you, as someone that speaks enough to get on in every day life, plenty...plenty of Japanese voice acting is absolutely god awful. Ignorance is not an excuse to claim that they're better.

Firstly, I don't think one requires a full understanding of a language in order to judge acting in that language. Having some knowledge of the language doesn't mean your opinion of their acting trumps that of everyone else.

Secondly, as someone who knows Japanese myself, I find that while there certainly is some horrible acting, in most cases their acting is ten times better than what I hear in US anime dubs. So there's an elite opinion to counter yours. Wink

Anyway, I do not think whether the dub is good or not is relevant to this discussion. The fact is some people prefer to watch dubs, and this gives licensed releases at least one advantage over fansubs (a good thing regardless of what I think of their acting ability).
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LiuXuande



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 201
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:58 am Reply with quote
If any of the following were to happen, I would not download and watch a single fansub any longer.

-Simultaneous or even a weeks delay broadcast anime network, similar to the Funi channel...but subbed.

-Subtitled current season anime for Direct Dowload, not using the "pay per episode" business model, but the "subscription fee (Netflix)" business model. I'd be much more stingy with my money for buying single episodes, and everyone's like this. I never buy songs off iTunes either. But I love my netflix.

-In the time it takes a fansub group to make a batch torrent of a season, a company can make a Subs-only DVD with barebones packaging. The costs are really low, it's almost funny. If the Anime industry in America thinks "all is lost", why the F- are they trying so hard to sell pretty packaging at $45? They should follow companies that know better and CUT COSTS (and price). Like starbucks with its recent switch to Tea.

Drop costs by:
-Dropping dubs
-Dropping extraneous packaging and physical bonus features
-Follow the fansub model of small but effective teams. Without the dub team, there's so much wasted budget on that cast saved (I'm not a dub hater, but very few shows need dubs. Naruto may. Lucky Star did not.)

Of course there are other possibilities, and these are just a few.

People should just stop debating the legality of the issue though.

a) http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2008/03/copyright-crusade.ars

b) There's no governing INTERNATIONAL law that makes fansubs "illegal". Yes, licensed releases, of course they are. There is no law governing the shows unlicensed in this country, and most licensors are not like an international branch of the animation studio or such, just a mediator. If Japanese companies set up camp here, that might solve everything too; everything licensed/owned by Sunrise would be licensed by Sunrise USA and we'd get our faster releases etc.

Since I'm posting I guess I should respond to a comment from a while back.

Unit 03.5-ish wrote:
LiuXande wrote:
It's okay though, I loved H&C so much I bought the Japanese DVDs. I'm a true fan.


I just LOVE this argument, because it makes it sound like people who don't enjoy getting raped on prices from the Japanese DVDs are not true anime fans, they're just posers.


Nah, you love misreading things. People who haven't seen FANSUBS of Honey & Clover, are NOT fans of the series. Because fansubs were the only way any American could have been able to see the show. Fair enough? And how can they be fans if they haven't seen it? I mean, we're talking about non-Japanese here. So if you've seen H&C, you have to have seen the fansubs, raws, or randomly decided to "get raped on prices" with a blind dvd purchase, as you put it. Only fans would support the series. That's a fair statement too.

Therefore, I see the fansubs for niche titles, such as H&C. I have no hope in it coming stateside, so I buy the DVDs. Using your series of arguments, I guess you could say all the other people that saw the show and didn't import R2 are being totally illegal, but they'll have their chance when R1 comes out. I just didn't mind.

As Konata put it, それは愛だよ!

By the way, if my satelite provider had the ability to provide me directly with channels like TBS, BS-i, etc. I'd order the whole package in a heartbeat and be done with it too. My Japanese is decent, lol (going for 二kyu this year! hopefully...)
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bayoab



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 831
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:20 am Reply with quote
LiuXuande wrote:

b) There's no governing INTERNATIONAL law that makes fansubs "illegal". There is no law governing the shows unlicensed in this country, and most licensors are not like an international branch of the animation studio or such, just a mediator. If Japanese companies set up camp here, that might solve everything too; everything licensed/owned by Sunrise would be licensed by Sunrise USA and we'd get our faster releases etc.

(IANAL) There are multiple international laws and trade agreements. Essentially all foreign made properties from signatories are granted all of the same protections under another signatories copyright law in that country. Fansubs are thus illegal in the US (and most of the world) by a combination of US (or whatever country) and international laws. Which brings us to...

FaytLein wrote:

However, the US won't go after anyone who is broadcasting uncopyrighted material, that would be a case for Japanese authorites, and that is my point. If you factor in the already remote chance of being busted for copyrighted material, uncopyrighted material for most people probably empowers people to continue going since the chance of Japanese police coming down on you are about close to zero.
The Japanese company would need to contact US authorities (FBI or whatever) and file the papers in the US court system. Needless to say, Japanese companies don't exactly have lawyers who are familiar with our court system. This is why they do things like make power of attorney agreements with FUNimation to send C&Ds. However, they have sent C&Ds directly before.


Last edited by bayoab on Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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amono



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:21 am Reply with quote
FaytLein wrote:
"Federal Law provied severe civil and criminal penalties for UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures and video tapes"

So as long as something is copyrighted, even making COPIES of it are illegal, this even applies to TV programs in the US. So when you Tivo Heroes, you are TECHNICALLY breaking the law.


Not necessarily, these laws are still being hashed out in courts around the world and nothing has been decided yet. I don't think that TV networks are going to go after people who TIVO Hereos. They are going to find ways to make money whether you download a show or not. If you watch Heroes, you remember the whole Nissan Versa product placement in the show. Heroes made a lot of money doing that and the commercial content was built into the show. Even if you downloaded Heroes or TIVOed it you still had to watch Hiro Nakamura go on and on about the Nissan Versa.

Networks are not going to waste money fighting people who download TV shows, just like they didn't go after people who videotaped them off TV not that long ago. They are going to find a way to make money off us no matter what we do.
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0utf0xZer0



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 80
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:43 am Reply with quote
LiuXuande wrote:

-Subtitled current season anime for Direct Dowload, not using the "pay per episode" business model, but the "subscription fee (Netflix)" business model. I'd be much more stingy with my money for buying single episodes, and everyone's like this. I never buy songs off iTunes either. But I love my netflix.


Heh. We're almost total opposites here. While I want a source via which I can see anything legally, I also want it to have strong pay as you go elements... because I want a choice about which creators get the bulk of my support.

I guess that's why I like the "ad supported streaming plus paid high quality (preferably HD) downloads" model.
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Redbeard 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:55 am Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
Psycho 101 wrote:

No, they were complaining when after being a "cult hit" the dvd sales TANKED. At least they tanked based on the level of the shows popularity and expected sales you'd think it would get.


Yeah - Haruhi performed OK for an average anime series but waaaay underperformed based on the fan interest.

Gurren Lagann did about the same. Decent but not exactly a smash hit, especially after all the fan slobbering and whatnot.

Beyond hearing that from people inside the industry I have some friends who work some of the booths for the companies at Otakon selling dvds and the merchandise. My old boss at Sam Goody being one of them heh. He works for FYE now and I think in 07 FYE covered Geneon's booth and last year in 08 they did Funi's. He even told me that sales of the "popular" shows were no where near what they expected. He had tons of extra R1's for most of the popular shows like MOHS in 07 and last year for Hellsing Ultimate for example. I would also go so far as to say that this is probably the case with majority of Shonen Jump shows as well. I sometimes wonder how the bloody hell Viz stays in business with all the SJ shows they license for dvds. I figure majority of them tank sales wise. Compared again to the "fan base" and expected sales you'd think they'd get due to their popularity. Just my opinion/theory mind you.

LiuXuande wrote:

Nah, you love misreading things. People who haven't seen FANSUBS of Honey & Clover, are NOT fans of the series. Because fansubs were the only way any American could have been able to see the show. Fair enough? And how can they be fans if they haven't seen it? I mean, we're talking about non-Japanese here. So if you've seen H&C, you have to have seen the fansubs, raws, or randomly decided to "get raped on prices" with a blind dvd purchase, as you put it. Only fans would support the series. That's a fair statement too.

So those who have not downloaded fansubs of a show are not fans you say? In this case H&C. There are other ways beyond buying dvds or watching the show, in any format, to be a fan of the series. Saying whether or not someone is a fan by watching or doing "X" is just ridiculous, arrogant, and pathetic. Maybe you should keep your elitist "true fans" comments to yourself. Those serve no purpose other than to showcase your own holier then though attitude.
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Ambrogino



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 57
Location: York, England
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:21 am Reply with quote
Cait wrote:
Anyway, what I actually wanted to strike up in this conversation with my post was a not-so-simple question: putting aside for the moment whether or not fansubs are obsolete, which one do the people of this thread want fansubs to be? Do you want them to be obsolete or do you not want them to be obsolete?


I think it would be great if fansubs were to be obsolete, which is why I think it's important to point out when and for whom they're not. Given the instant nature of international communications we need to have a model of international trade and consumption that makes use of that in the way pirates have been able to, but whilst offering support to the artistic and technical talent involved. That goes for music, comics, cinema and live action television as well as anime.
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Unit 03.5-ish



Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 1540
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:26 am Reply with quote
Cait wrote:
No, I was saying (or rather quickly trying to this morning because I needed to leave for work like ten minutes earlier) that it is hard for anti-fansubbers (and seriously, is there a better word for us than this? I'm tired and I can't recall if there is one) to argue against fansubs without bringing up the law. The law is part of the moral framework of the issue



One of the things I feel ought to be mentioned is that because the law tries to apply to everyone based on standards they all have to comply to, and is established in order to control certain behaviors or actions of the people, to me, it makes more sense to back your arguments up with the law than to use guilt or emotion alone. It's more logical to use the argument, "Because you are violating the law, people are losing their jobs" than it is to say, "DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BARELY GETTING BY OVER THERE BECAUSE OF ALL THE LOST SALES DUE TO FANSUBS? YOU, SIR, ARE HISTORY'S GREATEST MONSTER". Appealing to emotion is often a lost cause if there is no sense of guilt amongst the downloaders; appealing to logic makes more sense.


Cait wrote:
And for the anti-fansubbers here, when will fansubs be marginal enough that you stop railing against them? When they are only for out of print licensed titles? Or maybe only unlicensed or unlicensable titles? When they are gone completely? Where is your line on the subject?


I think fansubs will only be "marginal" enough to stop bitching about them when they completely disappear. Fantasy world, I know. But then people would start bitching about how there's no more fansubs and people like me would tell them to STFU and wait for the damn shows.


So really, it's one of those endless cycles no matter how you slice it.
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2742
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:34 am Reply with quote
Cait wrote:
I think the point about who is the fanbase of fansubs is the key issue in this discussion. As interesting as it was to hear a fansubber's take on the issue (albeit with the standard defense, "I'll stop when they prove it to me that the industry is moving in a direction I like"), the fact of the matter is that the people who are "hurting" the industry with fansubs are not the ones who are releasing or consuming the "classic" titles. It's the Naruto and Bleach fansubs that are the real problem: series that are not only licensed and being released here already, but are even available on television (and in Naruto's case, now available nearly simultaneously with the Japanese airdates on the internet). It's unfathomable to me why fansub supporters continue to defend the fansubbing of series in these instances, and worse still, complain when their favorite fansubbed show is now available legally for free, in English, on TV and the internet. There's no pleasing some people.

I'm also irked about the continued argument about the "better" job fansubbers do in translating or presenting anime to the consumer. There are a host of legitimate reasons why titles are "altered" or formatted in certain ways for commercial distribution, and I have to wonder whether the complaints about licensed releases (and I will concede an inconsistency in quality in a number of cases, however many of those are from years past) isn't just a "talking point" for the side of the debate that has the most to "lose" (ie, in their wallets when they actually have to start opening them) and less about the "purity" of the artform. I've read a decent number of scanlations in my day, and seriously, people, the official English versions are always better. "Literal" translations be damned. I think there is a serious misconception there that is possibly related to the downfall of a basic understanding of proper English grammar (that allows abominations like the early DMP yaoi novels to happen and no one demanding their money back--had there been fan translations of those books in the first place, though, I guarantee you they wouldn't have been any better). Just because you get "closer" to the original Japanese doesn't make it a better read.

I think my biggest complaint, though, would be the general sense of entitlement that these people seem to have about anime, as if they deserve to get it for free. Both the US and Japan are capitalist democracies. Nothing is free and everything is marketable. I just honestly wish that people would stop lying to themselves about the reality of what they are doing when they watch fansubs. It's like no one wants to believe they are doing something wrong so they convince themselves that they aren't. It isn't helping any of us in the long run and honestly it is denying the first step, rational debate, from ever being able to take place. I'm not telling anyone to stop doing anything, but please stop saying, "I'm not doing anything illegal and I'm not contributing to the problems with the industry by watching fansubs."


I'd have to say yours is perhaps one of the most intelligent, yet respectful opinions on this matter that I've encountered.

I've heard both sides of these arguments and I couldn't agree with you more about the fansubbing of now licensed titles or series that are or have been broadcast on TV.

I still watch some fansubs, though I've made an effort to cut back as much as I can and not watch anything readily available in English. While I'm not trying to justify my or anyone else's actions, I do however try to find a handful of dubbed anime online thru upload groups. Recently I've come to terms with what I'm doing: stealing. It didn't really, truly hit me until I'd discussed it with my motehr and she made this comparison: "you wouldn't go into an electronics store and start stealing DVDs off the shelves, would you? Even if no one saw you, it's still stealing. It's the same with watching something online illegally."
In my opinion, at least, I think a part of the problem with why fansub and scanlations have become so popular with people, especially of this generation, is because cyberspace has no real human face; it's anonymity is one of the fundamental elements that draws people to it, in its worst form, the 'net allows people to act without fear or even awareness of consequences or responsibility. So I believe a lot of fans don't see the harm they're doing by continuing to watch fansubs of licensed series because they can't see or make the parallel to physically stealing something from another person.

What's more, (again speaking only for myself personally), I tend to watch dubbed bootlegs of series I haven't seen yet, to get an idea of whether or not I'd like it enough to eventually buy. Now, admittedly if an entire series is made available, I'll watch it to its end, but that usually means it is a series I've already postmarked to purchase. The flaws in this way of thinking I know are vast and obvious, as they were already made apparent by FUNimation staff members and many, many others within the industry. If I recall correctly, one used a hypothetical along the lines of, "If the 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean were run in theaters for months on end for free, and people could see it as many times as they wanted, and if it was thereafter charged for, no one would go because why would someone go pay to see something they'd already seen for free?"
In my book, I think if a balance could be found where anime fans could truly, legally sample new licensed series, and then have strict protection for said series so fansubs or bootlegs of any kind were unavailable, then fans could be more inclined to purchase them. Perhaps if a sort of incentive system was constructed where, say, if a fan payed a small service fee to sample the first 2 or 3 episodes of a reasonable-length series (for sake of arguments, let's say 26 in all), and then as an added incentive to buy the entire series, a certain discount or the like would be made available to the person because they'd payed for the "preview" service. That way, it would benefit both parties: the fan would save money, yet the company wouldn't have to sacrifice much profit in the long run, since discounts hardly make a series free, as well as taking into account the service charge into their profits.

Now, I'm sure there are many a hole in what I've just proposed, and in no way do I think that a system such as this could make fansubbing and pirating as a whole obsolete or disappear in a few weeks time, but I think if more fans try to help solve this problem, we can create a compromise that almost everyone can be satisfied with (again, as you so eloquently pointed out already, some people will always try to take what they mistakenly believe they're "owed" without giving anything in return, but then that's a reality we as a culture will likely always face to some degree, albeit small).[/i]
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LordRedhand



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
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Location: Middle of Nowhere, Indiana
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:47 am Reply with quote
Wow, just wow, you support a group that could be worse than fansubbers, the dvd-rippers.

About the only thing I can say is man you better have bought every series you saw (R1 release or equivalent) to at least make up for it, or if you take the stance of I just bought the good ones, man you just need to stop right now.


Last edited by LordRedhand on Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Unit 03.5-ish



Joined: 07 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:50 am Reply with quote
Ashen, you DO know that the bootleg DVDs support criminal activities (mafia, Yakuza, etc.) overseas, right? As much as I debate fansubs and their ethical value, bootlegs are TEN THOUSAND TIMES WORSE than fansubs, and they are not defensible by any terms. You had no right to buy those DVD rip bootleg sets, ESPECIALLY if you knew full well what they were beforehand.
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samuelp
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:58 am Reply with quote
Unit 03.5-ish wrote:
Ashen, you DO know that the bootleg DVDs support criminal activities (mafia, Yakuza, etc.) overseas, right? As much as I debate fansubs and their ethical value, bootlegs are TEN THOUSAND TIMES WORSE than fansubs, and they are not defensible by any terms. You had no right to buy those DVD rip bootleg sets, ESPECIALLY if you knew full well what they were beforehand.

Just to say.... bootlegs of anime have nothing to do with Japanese mafia, i.e. yakuza.
They have to do with the chinese mafia, primarily.

The Japanese mafia makes all its money off bars, shows, prostitution, protection money, and similar rackets including legitamite business as well.
Bootlegs in Japan are all imported from China and/or Korea (and frankly aren't much of a problem because they don't sell well in Japan at all.)
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TheresaJayne



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
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Location: UK Berkshire
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:57 am Reply with quote
i think this discussion has started going in circles, I buy anime DVDs when i can get them. I recently bought a special collection from my local anime store they were selling off vol 1-3 of Eureka 7 for £25
at the same time i ordered Negima Box set, Naruto Season 3, Red Garden vol 4-6 and ROD the TV 2,3,4 to complete the set.

I am also watching Xamd and Soul Eater fansubs - why? Because i cant get them any other way. you all talk about free streams, I cant watch them, I even got an ad in one of my manga's saying log onto tokyopop and get a free magazine, guess what, - Only if I am in the US of freeking A.
When will you all realise that Japan and USA is not the only areas in the world and that we too are anime fans. I cannot get region 1 dvds easily as due to import restrictions and "grey importing" its hard to get them shipped to europe. and while Europe is Region 2, Japanese DVDs will not play here as we are PAL and they are NTSC.
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Unit 03.5-ish



Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 1540
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:06 am Reply with quote
People in foreign countries -- and I mean no disrespect to them -- keep throwing up the excuses of region coding, TV formats, import restrictions, etc. There are ways around these things, you know. Look, we have a lot of UK fans here, and you don't see, say, Mohawk whining that he doesn't get a lot of anime DVDs released domestically for him. I'm getting a little sick of the "they don't release enough DVDs in MY country" complaint. As I said -- I know this is going to sound arrogant, perhaps even a bit elitist -- R1 is the most important region for anime companies to make a profit from, and therefore they are the focus of these corporations. So...deal.
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LordRedhand



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 1472
Location: Middle of Nowhere, Indiana
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:09 am Reply with quote
Now my question to you,

Why do you need to watch Xamd and Soul Eater right now ?

Becuase, while I'm not familiar with those 2 series, there is no way you can prove that neither of those series are not going to be picked up by a distributor.

And no streaming? While having no streaming, means you can't take advantage of that service (right now), there are other legal ways to get your anime "fix" like renting, borrowing from a friend, the library, or even releases in your area that you have not seen before, as surely you have not seen every anime series released in your area? And if you can answer yes to the previous question, guess what there is an R1 and an R2 market of anime you can buy, move to those shows.


Last edited by LordRedhand on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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