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Revision to Fansubber Ethical Code?


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blackstardrag84



Joined: 28 Sep 2002
Posts: 18
Location: Miami, FL
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:59 pm Reply with quote
I pretty much agree with the ethical code but I present a problem. What about series that are licenced here (US) but cut up beyond recognition and are released in dubbed cut format only (Dragonball Z Eps. 1-53 (Note: I know that Funi is redoing them but these eps have existed for at least 5 years as is) and Yugi-Oh). Is it ethical to fansub these titles despite the fact that they have been licenced? Any opinions?
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king_micah



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 994
Location: OSU
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:02 pm Reply with quote
radicaledward wrote:

I can think of at least one group that can control fansubbers - at least here in the US - you might have heard of them, they go by the name of FBI. Let's not kid ourselfs here, all fansubbers that are in the US are breaking copyright laws, and if the industry pushed for it the groups would be shut down quickly. Therefor, it is best to keep things on good terms with the companies so that people don't start going to jail.

I think it is more a Secret Service domain.
One other important issue, what about Live Action? GTO for example, I have legal versions of manga and dvd's, but Live Action GTO will never come out, nor will Your under Arrest and most importantly, who knows if Battle Royale will ever come. These are key things many hardcore fans may want to see, is it legal to fansub them? I say yes.

Also, there are still some anime that may never come due to difficulties in marketing. Jungle is one of them. The sex and alcohol jokes make it doubtful for a mass release due to the children's feel of the show. Personally, it is my current favorite, and I don't think it may ever come.
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Coral Skipper



Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Posts: 223
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:07 pm Reply with quote
Lucca wrote:

And how about instead of making this an ANN thing, there be a sepeate site... kinda like a Clique, or banner exchange (much like the READ ME disclaimer for blogs).

This way it's a matter of choice, and for those who show it, you can be assured that there can be no harm done by leeching from this company/place/ect.

I hope I'm making sense...


That works for me. The only reason I suggested ANN is that it gets alot more hits then any startup site would. For that to work we would need to get a bunch of links out there. I don't have any delusions that we can controll all of the fansub community, but I do believe we can get a set of rules, and hopefully with this idea get people who want to follow them. The thing with fansubs, digisubs in particular, by groups who don't follow the old rules and possibly the new ones hurt those of us who don't download fansubs.
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radicaledward



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 776
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:15 pm Reply with quote
king_micah wrote:

I think it is more a Secret Service domain.


Secret Service handles counterfiting issues, FBI handles copyright issues (Think of the FBI warnings on movies you watch on VHS/DVD) As for shows that we want to see that are not licensed, write the companies! If enough people petition them odds are they will take notice and aquire the license and release it, companies will take a chance on a risker title if they know people will buy it. It may take longer that an fansub group, but the rewards will be greater.
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c_julio



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Location: Allentown, PA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:18 pm Reply with quote
I think part of the major problem with all of this can be seen in the reactions of some group members, such as aceleader and mufurc. I noticed both of them refer to fansubbing as a "scene"... much like the supposed MP3-scene, the warez-scene, the DiVX/VCD/SVCD-scene...

A lot of these people aren't doing it for flat out love of the show. They're doing it for the scene cred, to be the first ones out there with the series, or be the first ones to finish the series, so they can sit back on IRC and laugh at everyone, "h4h4, j00 g0t 0wn3d".

Case in point: People are complaining about not being able to afford the LDs or DVDs of older series. Yeah... and how are all the new series getting subbed? By overlaying raw episodes captured from Japanese TV. Half these people who sub stuff don't invest any serious money into it -- they download free or hacked tools, get an AVI that was broadcast the night before, and plug away. Total cost, uh, zip. Compare that to the olden days where people would actually go out and purchase genlocks, high-quality SVHS decks, LD players, all this... a pretty hefty investment, and for a subber to actually get somewhere, they had to be pretty dedicated.

But as is seen, nowadays any wannabe script kiddie with a few extra minutes can get away with releasing a "fansub". Quality control goes way down, and as I mentioned, it stops being fandom and starts being a scene.

Kids... grow the hell up. Not everything in life is free, no matter how much you want it to be... and if things keep going this way, it's not too much longer before one of the major companies says, "Right, that's it, I'm fed up with this, we're cracking down" and starts bringing lawsuits against those that feel the need to disrespect commercial companies who pay hundreds of thousands for the exclusive license to manufacture and distribute this equipment. And frankly, with the way things have been going, I won't be all that sad to see it happen.

Thank you,
- Christopher Julio
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Lucca



Joined: 17 Aug 2002
Posts: 67
Location: Amoung the Fern-Growers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:34 pm Reply with quote
I can see your point Julio, but fansubs aren't just going to up and disappear by this article. No matter how much you avocate, someone is going to do it, and there will be followers.

But this set of guidlines, so to speak, would give the fansubbing a more... civil... face, rather this one of l00|< 4t m33!!!111 kiddie stuff.

I honestly think it'd be a little more moralistic if there was a group/clique/thing that just said "I don't Distro Licences!"

Put it on the site, have a manager to make sure people don't break the rules, and voici! A list of ethical (if you could call it that) fansubbers.
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chibikit



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 4
Location: From the land beyond dreams...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Truth be told, there aren't that many fansubbers who are of the "l337 1rc kr3\/\/" type. In fact, in my 3-year-long search for fansubs, I've only come across one fansub group that fits this description: AJ. That being said, I don't think it's fair to brand people who consider fansubbing a 'scene' (whatever that's supposed to mean... and why is it synonymous with fame-chasing anyway? seems to just be another way to describe 'community' or 'fandom') to be one of these script kiddie type personalities. In fact, a fair number of fansubbers are very civil about these things.

Additionally, I fail to see why a fansub group has to invest loads of money before they can fansub. Yes, they don't need to buy all those costly special equipment, what with the new-fangled internet and computers and all, but they're far from free. Perhaps you've heard of something called 'connection cost'; Internet connections don't grow on trees, you know. Even those on seemingly 'free' high-speed university connections have to pay tuition fees (and sometimes service fees as well). There are other costs, of course, but this is by far the most significant, becuase it's a recurring cost. Regardless, I fail to see how being able to get cheaper equipment/software makes the newer digisub groups somehow less 'legitimate' compared to the older VHS-based groups.

As for their quality, well... again, most digital fansubs have rather strict quality control, because the 'fandom', 'scene' or whatever it is you wish to call it is very critical about digisubs that are half-arse jobs. To them it shows that the group had no love for the show.

This has been mentioned before in this thread, but somehow didn't make the cut into the final list of 'ethical guidelines', as you put it: there is a lack of consideration for anime fans who stay outside of the US. Wanting to support companies who are willing to buck mainstream and bring in these 'cartoons' is all fine and dandy, but not everyone can actually get a hold of these DVDs. The whole cause of this is, of course, the whole regionalising of DVDs: many parts of Southeast Asia, for example, don't get R1 DVDs because they fall under the region that includes Japan (I think). Yes, I realise that US companies do produce DVDs for other regions, but in the case of anime, this is a very select collection, and the goodies on R1 DVDs tend to be missing.

My point? In the case of many series, the only way someone outside the US can ever hope to watch them is to get fansubs or DVDrips. By that alone, fansub groups that do not follow these ethical codes become very attractive, simply because there is no other choice (except HK pirated DVDs, which are way way worse than a fansub can ever be legally and quality-wise).

Perhaps there should also be a code of ethics for distro companies as well - if you expect fansubbers to stick by a code , why not have the companies do so as well? Anyone willing to start this code?
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 612
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:25 pm Reply with quote
Well, I certainly didn't refer to fansubbing as a "scene".... *checks post* nope, didn't...

But anyway. I'm not part of any fansubber group, but I LOVE to translate - and I don't think I'm too naive when I say that there are fansubbers who make fansubs because they like to translate and play around with the script, timing, etc... Yes, there are groups whose "work" is basically crap (AJ, for example) and whose main objective is to be the first to come out with this or that title, or to show off their l33t skillz... but there are fansubbers who actually take the time and do QUALITY work - translations and editing that are often on par with those of official releases. Too bad people usually aren't patient enough, but rather go and download from groups that are fast; but that's life - you either eradicate all fansubbers or let all of them be.

So while there are AJ and the like, there also are fansubbers, who don't do it for any other reason than liking a series and liking to translate, edit, etc. (Yeah, there ARE people like that.) So, since as someone from outside the US and Canada, I strongly object to regulating fansubber groups, I see only one solution: people should stop being impatient and downloading the releases of those groups that are rude, and who only fansub to be in the limelight; and support those groups instead who make quality fansubs. This way the number of "bad" groups would decrease, and better groups wouldn't be forced to drop projects just because no-one's downloading them (because everyone gets the crap one, 'cos it's fast).

Yeah... I think this would be a good solution. If only I could convince people about this.

(Actually, it's quite hopeless. Recently I saw a discussion where somebody [a member of a fansubber group] told something similar to people: don't download from the fastest groups, but be patient and wait for the quality translations. 99% of people responded "yeah, I appreciate your quality work, but I want my anime NOW!!" ...well, these are the people who make it possible for AJ & Co. to exist and be the arrogant groups they are.)
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Ghost



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:44 am Reply with quote
[quote=aceleader] wrote:
I'm wondering, out of mild curiosity, how many of you who posted to this thread or created this 'Ethical code' actually fansub? Or are you just commenting on this from the so-called 'outside'. I mean who are you to tell us what we 'can' and 'cannot' do? Are you going to target all of us for the actions of a few? This whole thing is a joke, since you're basically telling us what we can and can't do. [/quote]

Quote:

While I was never a fansubber, I was a part of three different groups that had various plans to sub various titles.


…So you never fansubbed. Therefore you wouldn’t understand and you are commenting from the outside.

Quote:

Also, since about 1998, I've been watching the evolution of fansubbing from the same perspective as 3NA, LGA, TechnoGirls and numerous other "old guard" fansub groups. I'll try not to put words in their mouths, but my understanding is that most quit because they felt that their work (their work, which was the bulk of the fansub scene at the time) was complete. Smaller groups could continue working on titles that weren't going to be picked up, and new groups could come along and see where fandom's come from.


Actually, the boom began in the mid-nineties. True, but The Techno Girls have not quit fansubbing.

Quote:

For example, It's a commonly held belief that Tomodachi Anime's Fushigi Yuugi fansubs lead to Pioneer licensing FY. It's one instance where fansubbing actually did manage to get a series licensed. On hearing that the title was licensed, Tomodachi Anime shut down. They did what they came to do -- and that was to generate enough interest in shoujo that girls anime would be picked up.


You are correct... FY was licensed because of the popularity of TA fansubs. ...And when NT anime redid AA version of Maison Ikoku. In 1997, Tomadachi shut down due to anime becoming mainstream

[Quote:=ANN Article]
1a. At least once a year, a fansubber should justify his or her existence by subbing an obscure or older title.[/quote]


[quote=aceleader]
WTF? You mean to tell us we have to sub something we're not interested in? I have to justify my own personal existence?![/quote]

Quote:

First of all, the ethical guidelines only apply to distribution; if you love subbing modern anime, go for it.. but if you're going to distribute it, you should also show your fans that there's more to anime than just the latest thing in Japan.


The author said “fansubber” not distribution, in which there’s a difference. No one should justify their existence to anyone subbing an obscure or older title. Like always, if you want to know about a particular series or subber, just look on the fansubber database.

Quote:

No one subtitles Chibi Maruko-chan even tho it's one of the most lauded series in Japan. I was going to translate and subtitle Ogon Yuusha Goldran (a 1995 anime), which has thus far not seen any fan translation as far as I'm aware.


I do know a fansubber who’s subbing Chibi Maruko-chan. Moreover, you have to consider that several old series are out of print and very difficult to obtain.

Quote:

Romeo's Blue Skies is another very good series that almost certainly won't see a release over here. Why not work on that? Ditto for Heidi of the Alps and any of a thousand other titles.


…Because the Techno Girls has completed the series and those of us fansubbers know they’re known for their top-level translations. As far as Heidi of the Alps, I hope Animeminers subs that.

Quote:

this list fails to list all the domestic licenses... but there's still QUITE a few series that one can see have either never been subtitled, or were only partially subtitled by groups.

There are plenty of high-quality titles that simply have little chance to be released in the States due to their age. NG Lamune is one of the older series I enjoyed watching years ago, and I was very happy to see it again being fansubbed.


The list also fails to list ALL unlicensed anime.


[Quote=aceleader]
Why do we have to prove our existence by working on something we either have no interest in, or even better yet, cannot find? [/quote]

Quote:

You can find plenty of these titles on LD with a little searching online. Heck, a decent number even got DVD releases.

Some series (like Goldran) never got LD releases or DVD releases.. so instead you might have to go back to VHS masters. Fansubbers used to use them.. and I see at least one group re-releasing Violinist of Hamelin using 3NA's original work. Those came from LD masters IIRC, but the source that was encoded was a VHS tape, probably 2nd generation.

It's not the greatest-looking encode, but it still seems to have a pretty large number of people downloading it.

There are sources available if you look for them.


Again, easier said than done. Since the Japanese manufactures stop making LDs’ and several old titles that were originally VHS are out of print.



[Quote=aceleader]
Reputation of fandom? What's that? [/quote]

Quote:

It's what the non-vocal fans (the "silent majority" as I like to call them) think of the vocal fans (the "vocal minority"). Although there are thousands of people subscribed to numerous anime forums, and thousands more idling in anime chat rooms, there are tens of thousands who simply buy the DVD and don't care what we say, or if we even said anything at all.

The fansub viewing, even for the 20,000 weekly downloads of Naruto, is still just a fraction of actual anime fandom.


Exactly. That’s why I find that article pure fantasy and amusing.

[Quote=ANN]
5b. The fansubber should promote fansub ethics by displaying the code of conduct expected of the viewer somewhere in the anime (preferrably during the eyecatch), such as: (etc) [/quote]

[Quote=aceleader]
Excuse me officer... are we supposed to use verbatim? Because I know of many groups that have these three phrases in various points of their encodes. [/quote]

Quote:

Yes, and this is a GOOD THING that fansubbers have done. This sort of warning wasn't always present in fansubs.. and it wasn't anywhere as universal as it is today.

Back in the early 90s, instead of "Not for sale or rent" you would more likely see people insulting one another during the fansubs. Arctic Animation was always good for that, IIRC. There was a group that trashed basically everybody in their Nadia subs, by putting 1/30th of a second insults in the eye-catch.


There were only a few fansubbers who did that sort of thing back in the day.


[Quote=aceleader]
go find the nearest non-fansubber and hear how they complain. That's all it is. Complaining. [/quote]

Quote:

if it's like that, then why distribute fansubs at all?


[Quote=aceleader]
Thanks for spreading some negative propaganda about us. [/quote]

Quote:

Legally, what recourse do you have against AnimeJunkies? Can you call a lawyer and get them to remove Last Exile? You can start a flame war with them. You can tell people who listen to you not to download AJ subs.

... but you cannot stop the root of the problem, which is the bad fansubbers themselves. Only legally-empowered companies have that option.

That's what I was referring to.

And, we aren't saying that all fansubbers are bad (as you seem to have misconstrued). We are saying that there needs to be a revision in what drives fansubbers, because otherwise we will continue to see more groups like AJ, who (in my mind) are no better than 0-day warez groups. In fact, the groups who take their time releasing translations _ARE_ better than AJ, and are more mindful of the industry.


No, you’re dictating an unrealistic view on how ALL fansubbers should conduct themselves. That’s the reason why this person responded in that fashion. A matter of fact, I think even “ethical” fansubbers would have a problem with that article. I know it was aimed at Digisubbers but it affects ALL of us, especially the one regarding the fansubbers’ credits. What a joke… That article is anything but neutral. Credits are the only thing that makes a fansubber proud. Not to mention, if their work is viewed publicly at cons or anime clubs. What about releasing scripts? It's a fansubbers' choice. Odyssey Anime was known as being one of the most ethical fansubbers and worked closely with a famous anime actor and they never released scripts. Neither does other oldschool fansubbers such as the Techno Girls and Sachi, (not really that OS, though).

In all fairness, I understand the problem with AnimeJunkies and other digisub download sites, there is a cause for concern. This is where the commercial companies should intervine. However, promoting censorship will only alienate oldschool fans/fansubbers alike.

It's been fun but I find these arguments boring because many are just too new and don't understand hence, my point regarding today's fandom

-Ghost-
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Shouta



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 1:37 am Reply with quote
While ANN had their best intentions with creating a new code of ethics, I personally think that a lot of it is flawed. While it's a nice idea to create a code of ethics for people to adhere to, it really is a pipe dream and with the sort of direct wording presented in the article. Instead, a true guideline should be presented that addresses the international community as well (although I personally deal with the R1 countries).

I say this because of my experience as a fansubber. I've been around for 4+ years now as an editor/translator. I worked with 3NA on the last 5 episodes of the Violinist of Hameln and did personal translations that never got off the ground. I do digisubbing now as a translator/editor (specific jobs) and as the co-founder, leader and public relations of my group Infinite-Zero (formerly Ignition-One). While the bulk of my subbing has been digital, I still consider myself part of the "old guard" because of my ideals and intents for subbing. That and I started watching anime heavily (i.e. fansubs) when trad subbing was still strong.

Like Aceleader, I'll go through the points in the article and my thoughts.

Quote:
1. The main purpose of fansubs is to allow English-language fans access to obscure anime they would never see otherwise.

a. At least once a year, a fansubber should justify his or her existence by subbing an obscure or older title.

b. A fansubber does the community no good by duplicating another's work. Therefore, if a fansub of an anime is already available, the fansubber should devote his or her efforts to another series, unless said existing fansub suffers from an excessively bad translation.


The main point is a bit English-centric if you ask me. You can't forget the Norwegian, Spanish, German, French, and etc speakers on the internet who don't get the luxury of speaking English as their primary language for fansubs.

For 1a, while I agree that old series should be subbed, it shouldn't be a means to justify a group's existence. It'd be like forcing anime fans that only rent anime to buy just to justify that they watch anime. Fansubbers aren't only people that bring anime to fans that they wouldn't necessarily see but also people who love a series, new or old, and wish for it to be seen and want to do the work. This leads into 1b.

While the intent is nice, I don't agree that one group should be responsible for bringing a series to fans. Perhaps it's my mistrust of digisub groups in general (since I've been entrenched in it) or the fact that I can understand that some people wish to do a series for the pure joy of working on it. Personally, I don't care if another group is doing it, I don't sub for the leechers of the nameless faces that come in and out but for the people that I'm friends with that don't have the luxury of knowing Japanese. Not only that, but it's a check and balance for me. It's a way of making sure I do my absolute best because the series I do, I adore. It's also a way for me to critique myself when I look back so I know what I did wrong and know what I can improve on.

Frankly, sometimes I can give a rat's booty about the community. A lot are ungrateful or unfriendly to the point of disgust for me. I stopped with inter-group politics a long time ago and decided we (my partners and I) wouldn't deal with anyone else unless we needed help from close friends.

Quote:
2. A secondary purpose of fansubs is to give fans an advance taste of anime that may someday be licensed.

a. Because of the speed at which new series are picked up, it should be assumed that a new series *will* be picked up. Therefore only the first 4 or 5 episodes should be fansubbed in order to give a taste of the anime. (roughly the same as viewing the first DVD release)

b. If, after the show has completed its run in Japan (or one year from the airing of the first episode), the title is still unlicensed, then fansubbing may continue.


I definitely don't agree with 2a. Isn't it a little pretentious to assume that every new series will be picked up when clearly it hasn't happened? While I'd be glad if I knew it was going to be licensed but then what would be the purpose of fansubbing? Besides, there is no guarantee, I don't see R1 companies picking up a show like Human Scramble (to name a new one) or any of the Yuusha series (to name older ones). My thoughts on 2b go along with 2a.

Quote:
3. Fansubs are not to be considered a substitute for owning a legal, English-language copy.
a. Do not distribute an American-licensed anime. Distribution must stop the instant a license is announced. Any distribution after that point gives the licensee legal cause to pursue the fansubber.
b. Fansubs are not meant to compete with a professional product, therefore perfection should not be considered a goal. Small improvements in video quality or translation should not be considered justification to create another competing fansub.
c. Fansubs are not meant to compete with a professional product, therefore the audio/video quality of a fansub should not attempt to match or better the quality of a professional DVD. In fact, a large filesize is a hindrance to the spread of a fansub and thus goes against the purpose of increasing awareness of a title. 175MB per 25-minute episode should be considered a maximum and 140MB a better choice.


3a's kind of standard but why the heck is there a need for 2a?

As for 3b, perfection isn't a goal for subbers, doing it to the best of their abilities and correcting their mistakes is. Yes, there are people that compete with other groups (which I don't agree with) but the intent is very different from people doing the same series who only wish to do it because they love it. I know I don't sub to compete nor do a lot of other digisubbers I know. There's a misguided assumption that all of us are competing. Again, I also will mention again that a lot of us do it because we enjoy doing it.

I don't agree with 3c. Fansubs aren't meant to compete, they're meant as a measuring stick IMO. While not all fansubbers are right, a lot of the truly good ones put a lot more effort than any domestic company I have ever seen (mind you that I've been subbing for 4+ but I've been watching for 8+) They make sure everything is right and try to keep the show as intact as possible. I've seen more than a few poorly done domestic releases here in the US and that shouldn't be happening. They're supposed to be professional products yet the final outcome doesn't come out as so. Instead, you have fansubbers doing a better job than the people that get paid to do it and the fansubbers do this for the love of the hobby, not to forget to mention free. In some regards, this helps domestic companies because loud-mouthed fans will speak up on occasion when a company does a bad job. While those are few and far between, it can be a loud message to companies who have gotten quite lazy.

I'll ignore point 4 and 5 because I agree with them except for 4a.

Quote:
4a. Do not fansub an American-produced anime. Even if the company didn't officially announce a "license" or a release date, we know it's going to come to the US.


Uh, how are we supposed to know if an anime is American-produced unless stated so? Quite an annoying point that's a bit moot unless we have the information right off the bat. You want people to not sub American-produced material? Say that you put money into it and are going to release it as soon as the actual show is announced because with that info, it's up for grabs.

I'm not going to quote 6 but I will address it.

This has been a long argued point for me amongst fansubbers I know. While the intents and purposes behind it (i.e. not to make a profit) is just, the rules forget that it isn't like that in a perfect world. Collateral damage is also expected and asking for small nominal fees (in cases of trad distribution) to help continue the work is pretty fair. A dollar here and there to help ease costs isn't asking much (very little at all actually). Many people wouldn't have the chance to see titles like this if it weren't for the people that put time into distributing them.

Now, distribution of digisubs is a totally different matter that takes a bit more explanation. I won't bother with it right now though. =b

Now, 6c assumes subbers charge people money which isn't the case. Almost all that I know of ask for donations or sponsors to help fund a series which was a common practice during the trad subbing days. There frankly isn't anything wrong with it unless the group overcharges because these people are willing to help pay for a series or etc. Asking is very different from demanding. I could go on about this but I won't unless someone has something to say about it.

Lastly, regarding 6a. I don't agree with it. Mainly because a lot of us do put a lot of hard work into it and we like to be at least recognized for it. It's a bit of an ego boost but it's harmless unless it gets really in the way like overtly fancy subtitles. Also, with the advancing abilities of people these days in the fields of video editing, it makes it quite easy for people to hack a show and call it their own. I don't know about you folks, but I don't people stealing something that I worked my pants off on.

Aside from that, I think there's a big stigma behind digisubbing. While it's understandable to an extent, the bad apples have ruined it for the good ones really fast. Digisubbers draw a lot of flak internally and externally. While the internal flak is much needed, digisubbers don't need people who really don't understand what it means to be a subber or have not been one. It's one of those cases that experience really brings a big difference in viewpoint. While I dislike the community, I will adamantly defend the good groups from people who think they know more about this than we do.

I definitely agree with Ghost's points that s/he made. Credits are the only thing that make subbers proud of themselves and that even "ethical" subbers will draw issue with the article.

Who said they wanted to see a Yuusha series subbed (other than GGG)!? Cause you're gonna have to jump on the subber bandwagon with us. =b
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ÄlveKatt



Joined: 10 Jun 2003
Posts: 96
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 7:41 am Reply with quote
If i may intersect with a small opinion.

When you talk about ethics most of you make it so onesided. What about the companies? If they are to charge money for profit on their dvds, then i think i have the right to make sure i am going to like what i buy.

I download fansubs. And i buy alot of animedvds, most often after haveing seen the fansubs. I would not have bought as much as i have today were it not for the fansubs. I don't buy all that i download though.

In my mind, the fansubbers are doing what the companies should be doing themselves. That is, giving a sample of the product, so i know that what i buy is worth it to me. I mean, 150$ is ALOT of money to spend on a wild chance. (And yes, i consider it a wild chance even after haveing read reviews. They tend to forget that people have different tastes.) I know i will buy Yukikaze and Wolf's Rain. And definately Scrapped princess. I bought Escaflowne and i have won an e-bay auktion for Animeigos boxed set of Macross. (Curses on them for refusing to ship to outside of the United States.) I am pondering about buying series such as Arjuna and Cowboy Bebop, but i am very hesitant as i have only heard what others think about those.

I must give praise to those who released the Animatrix for above stated reasons. Allthough two episodes is a bit little to form an opinion on it's a damn good start. (Sadly i don't think it will make any difference in affecting others to do the same thing, as the sales they gain from that drown in the sales they get from the hype that allready exist around the Matrix universe.)

I am very grateful to fansubbers for giving me this oportunity to sample that most of the companies deny me. (Thank you.)


I guess not all fansub-downloaders are as honest as me.
If there are to be a recommended set of Ethics for fansubbers i think all it would have to be is, "Keep the image quality visibly lower than any official release." If you want to help market the title, release one episode in full on quality so that people learn that the below dvdquality of the fansub is not because of bad animation. And maybe some text about it being nothing more than a sample.

Actually, like someone in the band Mind's Eye said about mp3. "If they had any real interest in music they wouldn't settle for the inferior sound of mp3s."

And frankly, if you are not interested enough to spend money the high quality version i can understand that you don't think it's worth the money when you can download it. I don't think these people would buy it anyway if it weren't available for download.

And i am not sure if i feel they are obliged to do so. (That is Neither a yes nor no. An agnostical standpoint.)

Thank you. I hope someone had the stamina to read my post and offer some comments.
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cookie
Old Regular


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 2459
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:08 am Reply with quote
ghost wrote:
Quote:

While I was never a fansubber, I was a part of three different groups that had various plans to sub various titles.


…So you never fansubbed. Therefore you wouldn’t understand and you are commenting from the outside.


No, I think I'm as qualified as you to discuss how fansubs have evolved over the years, because I've spent 5 years talking to the old fansubbers, listening to their thoughts and feelings on the matter. 5 years of sitting in an IRC channel with some of the biggest names in the fansub industry does that to you; you hear about when they started, about how they felt about certain distributors, other groups, the increasing speed of translations and everything else.

Also, the fact that I myself never I never put a VHS tape into a VCR and digitized the film, or used SSA, or bought a GenLock or timed a tape via a timer bar doesn't mean anything. I don't own an Amiga and I've never needed to use Flask... but I do know the technology and what goes into the process. While it's not entirely fansub related, I _AM_ translating several novels from Japanese into English, most notably the original Record of Lodoss War novels. They aren't intended for public distribution, and you know what? That suits me just fine. I'm still _CREATING_ a product the exact same way a quality fansubber creates a fansub.. slowly, making sure my work is correct, doing what I can when I can.

Anyway, I'm getting off-topic.

Quote:
The author said “fansubber” not distribution, in which there’s a difference. No one should justify their existence to anyone subbing an obscure or older title. Like always, if you want to know about a particular series or subber, just look on the fansubber database.


Well then, I'll let Dan defend what he meant; it seemed clear to me that anyone who didn't distribute their work could subtitle whatever they wanted.

Quote:
Again, easier said than done. Since the Japanese manufactures stop making LDs’ and several old titles that were originally VHS are out of print.


Doing a quick search through auction sites (I posted this in another thread), I found plenty of LDs, enough to put the entire Lodoss set together, I think. I found even more anime video tapes, including a number of titles that were never licensed here.

Shouta wrote:
The main point is a bit English-centric if you ask me. You can't forget the Norwegian, Spanish, German, French, and etc speakers on the internet who don't get the luxury of speaking English as their primary language for fansubs.


Indeed; if a title ISN'T licensed in France, I see no reason why French-subtitled fansubs, produced by groups from France, should be included.

If a series is licensed, American fansub groups need to stop subtitling it in English. Plain and simple. If they can sub it in spanish/french/german/swahili/whatever, then so much the better.. but the English-language fansubs definately need to stop when it's licensed in America.

In fact, increasing the number of foreign-language fansubs would be a good thing, because it allows fansub groups to re-do titles that previously were considered "fansubbed". Now you can go back and re-master Marmalade Boy in Finnish, because there is no announced license for Finland. Heck, sub something in Latin and revive the dead language. ;)

Quote:
I don't agree with 3c.


I think 3c (quality of fansubs) goes both ways --

Neither should fansubs be the quality of professional-grade DVDs,
nor should professional-grade DVDs be comparable to fansubs.

As such, fansubbers should not be doing 800x600 hq encodes of series. Likewise, anime companies shouldn't be making DVDs that look like Wings of Honneamise, regardless if it's an issue with the video master or with the video encode.

Quote:
Quote:
4a. Do not fansub an American-produced anime. Even if the company didn't officially announce a "license" or a release date, we know it's going to come to the US.


Uh, how are we supposed to know if an anime is American-produced unless stated so?


Check the credits; if there's an English name you can probably google for it. "Henry Goto" "anime" will turn up results linking him to Pioneer.

If there's an American company in the copyright statement, you should be able to figure out that American money was put into the series.. and as such there should be no English fansub.

Quote:
A dollar here and there to help ease costs isn't asking much (very little at all actually).


Traditional fansubbing is all but dead, so I'll ignore it as well.

Quote:
Now, 6c assumes subbers charge people money which isn't the case. Almost all that I know of ask for donations or sponsors to help fund a series which was a common practice during the trad subbing days.


I think 6c was referring to people who sell them on eBay, which is, naturally, typically not most goups, but instead bootleggers who download the videos and then burn their own CDs/DVDs.

Quote:
Lastly, regarding 6a. I don't agree with it. Mainly because a lot of us do put a lot of hard work into it and we like to be at least recognized for it.


Dallas Operator 7G simply used his pseudonym, and put it at the end of the series, not over any Japanese staff member's name.

Other old groups such as PSSFS (a university SF/anime club) went as far as translating the staff member's names for some of their internal releases.

Also, a number of older groups used to put their logo at the beginning of the tape as identification, rather than put their names in the opening credits.

I think this is, once again, what Dan is referring to, although I'll let him defend it better on his own time.

Quote:
Actually, like someone in the band Mind's Eye said about mp3. "If they had any real interest in music they wouldn't settle for the inferior sound of mp3s."


Actually...
r3mix.net (now squatted) had a bunch of lengthy articles comparing MP3 encodings to actual CD recordings.. and basically came to the conclusion that any differences between 192kbps and higher encodings were too small for any human to hear consciously, provided that the LAME MP3 encoder was used on the highest quality settings. That didn't mean that differences didn't exist -- but only people who had the most expensive audio set-ups, with the most sensitive ears, intentionally listening for defects, would be able to hear them ... ie, the "golden ears" of RIAA.

Average Joe Audiophile, however, can't tell the difference.. and with the number of people who claim 128kbit is "cd quality", Average Joe Non-Audiophile can't tell the difference either.


Last edited by cookie on Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cassandra



Joined: 13 May 2002
Posts: 1356
Location: Birdsboro, PA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:08 am Reply with quote
Hmmm...I wasn't sure what thread to put this in since it could apply to a couple of them now...but I wonder if the US anime companies would participate in something like JAILED, where there's someone (or a group of someones) to actively look for illegal distribution of licensed anime (fansubs, bootlegs, whatever) and will take action on behalf of the companies. (From a simple 'Please take this off your list at the request of X Company' to taking legal action, if absolutely necessary.) Since, from what I've seen, companies aren't doing anything to stop fansubbers...there isn't much we, as the anime-purchasing community, can do to stop them....
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Dan42
Chief Encyclopedist


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3620
Location: Montreal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:34 am Reply with quote
Quote:
…So you never fansubbed. Therefore you wouldn’t understand and you are commenting from the outside.

Indeed, that was part of the point of this code of ethics; that there was no fansubber involved. Think about it: asking a fansubber to define his own code of conduct would be like asking the movie industry to define what is right for children to see. OF COURSE they would define the standard as loosely as possible in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. I'm sorry, but even if it's subconsciously, being a fansubber will make you soft and more inclined toward easyness/practicality than ethics. And the idea here was not to create an easy code but to create an ultra-ethical one.

ANN Article wrote:
1a. At least once a year, a fansubber should justify his or her existence by subbing an obscure or older title.

aceleader wrote:
WTF? You mean to tell us we have to sub something we're not interested in? I have to justify my own personal existence?!

There, see? You choose the easier road rather than stay true to the real purpose of fansubs. I agree that the wording "justify his or her existence" was perhaps a bit strong, but the idea is there: if you claim not to be one of those l33t day-0 fansub kidz, prove it by subbing an older series.

Quote:
First of all, the ethical guidelines only apply to distribution; if you love subbing modern anime, go for it.. but if you're going to distribute it, you should also show your fans that there's more to anime than just the latest thing in Japan.

Quote:
The author said “fansubber” not distribution, in which there’s a difference. No one should justify their existence to anyone subbing an obscure or older title. Like always, if you want to know about a particular series or subber, just look on the fansubber database.

Oh for the love of God grow up. Stop nitpicking at words. If you only fansub and don't distribute (basically, if you're doing this for you and your friends), for all intents and purposes you might as well not exist. You're not even a blip on the radar screen of fansubs. If you read the article, it should be OBVIOUS that this is about *visible* fansubbers, those that distribute their anime.

Quote:
I do know a fansubber who’s subbing Chibi Maruko-chan. Moreover, you have to consider that several old series are out of print and very difficult to obtain.

There, see? You choose the easier road rather than stay true to the real purpose of fansubs. Just because it's difficult to obtain it means it shouldn't be fansubbed? On the contrary I believe that, unlike subbing a title that any dozen groups can do, there is a LOT of merit in fansubbing something that fandom would never be aware of otherwise.

Quote:
this list fails to list all the domestic licenses... but there's still QUITE a few series that one can see have either never been subtitled, or were only partially subtitled by groups.

There are plenty of high-quality titles that simply have little chance to be released in the States due to their age. NG Lamune is one of the older series I enjoyed watching years ago, and I was very happy to see it again being fansubbed.

Quote:
The list also fails to list ALL unlicensed anime.

So? What's your point? You can still see there's a helluva lot un-licensed un-fansubbed anime. And there's even MORE un-fansubbed anime since, as you put it, the list fails to list all unlicensed anime.

aceleader wrote:
Why do we have to prove our existence by working on something we either have no interest in, or even better yet, cannot find?

Quote:
Again, easier said than done. Since the Japanese manufactures stop making LDs’ and several old titles that were originally VHS are out of print
.
There, see? You choose the easier road rather than stay true to the real purpose of fansubs. (man, I'm never gonna get tired of cut-n-pasting that sentence). I agree with aceleader that there's no point in fansubbing something you don't like. But I'm sure there are older series that haven't been fansubbed and that are worth it. And if they're worth it, shouldn't they be brought to the attention of fandom? Isn't that the point of fansubs?

Quote:
The fansub viewing, even for the 20,000 weekly downloads of Naruto, is still just a fraction of actual anime fandom.

Quote:
Exactly. That’s why I find that article pure fantasy and amusing.

It's not because fansubs watchers are a minority that it absolves them from being ethical about it. I fail to see any connection.

ANN wrote:

5b. The fansubber should promote fansub ethics by displaying the code of conduct expected of the viewer somewhere in the anime (preferrably during the eyecatch), such as: (etc)

aceleader wrote:
Excuse me officer... are we supposed to use verbatim? Because I know of many groups that have these three phrases in various points of their encodes.

Yes, there *are* many groups that use these phrases, and that's good. This article wasn't intended to point out what fansubbers don't do, it's writing down and elaborating on the current unspoken code. And don't be an ass about using those phrases verbatim, use your judgment if you have any.

Quote:
There were only a few fansubbers who did that sort of thing back in the day.

Then that means it's not a problem if we put it in the code right?

Quote:
No, you’re dictating an unrealistic view on how ALL fansubbers should conduct themselves.

We're not dictating, we're *suggesting*. We're hoping against all hope that someone might agree that ethics are a good thing. That minimizing the impact of fansubs on the industry is a good thing. That fansubbing a more diverse array of anime is a good thing. Is that really too much to understand?

Quote:
That’s the reason why this person responded in that fashion. A matter of fact, I think even “ethical” fansubbers would have a problem with that article. I know it was aimed at Digisubbers but it affects ALL of us, especially the one regarding the fansubbers’ credits. What a joke… That article is anything but neutral. Credits are the only thing that makes a fansubber proud. Not to mention, if their work is viewed publicly at cons or anime clubs.

Credits are the only thing that makes a fansubber proud? Please tell me that's a bad joke. If even ethical fansubbers care only for their ego, we're in sad straits indeed. And here I thought that making an anime you love available to the public is what should make a fansubber proud. Isn't it enough to put the name and URL of the fansubber in there? What's the point of adding credits like "translator: AvnGor666" and "timesetter: haxx0r_dud3"? So they can see their own nick and gloat? Maybe I'm just weird, but just knowing a fansub was made by me would be enough for my pride.

Quote:
[color=blue]What about releasing scripts? It's a fansubbers' choice. Odyssey Anime was known as being one of the most ethical fansubbers and worked closely with a famous anime actor and they never released scripts. Neither does other oldschool fansubbers such as the Techno Girls and Sachi, (not really that OS, though).

Well, I agree there's a problem with the distribution of scripts: any script kiddie (literally) could take it and slap together a fansub with his name on it. But on the other hand, it would be great if people could buy the R2 DVD and then watch it with the subtitle script overlaid on the screen. I'm not quite sure how to reconcile those two points.

Quote:
In all fairness, I understand the problem with AnimeJunkies and other digisub download sites, there is a cause for concern. This is where the commercial companies should intervine. However, promoting censorship will only alienate oldschool fans/fansubbers alike.

This isn't about cencorship, it's about ethics. We're not asking anyone to stop producing fansubs, we're just asking to do it in a way that's more mindful of the industry that creates those anime in the first place.
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ÄlveKatt



Joined: 10 Jun 2003
Posts: 96
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:39 am Reply with quote
Quote:

Actually...
r3mix.net (now squatted) had a bunch of lengthy articles comparing MP3 encodings to actual CD recordings.. and basically came to the conclusion that any differences between 192kbps and higher encodings were too small for any human to hear consciously........

Average Joe Audiophile, however, can't tell the difference.. and with the number of people who claim 128kbit is "cd quality", Average Joe Non-Audiophile can't tell the difference either.


You might be right about that. But i can't see that it affects my arguementation, as it was about fansubbers lowering qulity in the interest of delivering an inferior product. Allthough it is certainly interesting for me as "Average Joe Audiophile" fits in on me rather well, i think.

But still, Vinyls have noticably higher ranges than a cd. Would that make a highKbit mp3 compression of a vinyl superior to a cd?

I must say that i can hear a difference between a 256 compression and a cd. That has most probably more to do with my soundcard than anything else. But then, to my great sadness, my sterio isn't exactly top notch either.[/quote]
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