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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Dr Dedman: Left unmentioned is the biggest weakness of fansubs (besides frequent awkward dialog). Most fansubbers knew ONLY anime, any literary and/or historical reference was generally butchered badly (or a famous quote would be rendered literally instead of transposed back to its original form).

Susan Davis: Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu was such a runaway hit that there's just no way that it would ever have gone unlicensed.

Fast Eddie: Pulled hotlinked image. Please see Administrative Policy.

Looney Toons: Put a copy up locally and restored image/caption because I thought it was too good an example not to have.

Charred Knight: Deleted this part simply because its untrue, most fansubbers could give a flying rats ass about liscenses, and most people who download fansubs don't care, and if they do care its because its harder to find fansubs. Right off the top of my head Haruhi is the only series to be succesful due to the fansub community.

Conversely, most fansubbers respect importers' licensing announcements, ceasing their own production on any series which gains a legal distributor in the United States. Furthermore they usually encourage viewers of their fansubs to purchase the licensed product when it is released.

Shale: Likewise yanked "meanwhile, official releases are exclusive, so the companies have no competition to force them to do their best" as another blatant lie, unless releasing different products to the same market in the same medium no longer counts as competition.

Charred Knight: Just look at Toei, and Illumitoon which did poor quality releases and no one bought them after the first batch. Also now the whole thing is a lot less bias. I decided to risk a flame war, and added an opposing viewpoint, based off of this information. http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/12068.html I simply felt that it was wrong to only show one side of the story, and to ignore the double eged sword that are fansubs.

Looney Toons: Yes, Knight, there are pure pirates out there. But there are also very ethical fansubbers and ethical distribution channels that respect licensing deals. I don't know about your experiences, but in mine, the "ethical" subbers are just as easy to find (if not easier sometimes) than the pirates. I'm restoring the cut.

Charred Knight: That's fine as long as you make it clear that their are fansubbers interested in pirating anime like Dattebayo. I just don't like the blanket statements and strawman arguements this page had before. An example is the statement that companies ignored fansubs because they where founded by anime fans. While that's true for small companies like Right Stuf, thats false for companies like Bandai and Viz who have huge parent companies in Japan. Hell Viz has two in Shueisha, and Shogakukan.
Vampire Buddha: I pulled out this fragment:
Fansubbing resides in a legal grey area. Technically
There's no grey area here. Like it or not, fansubs are illegal.

Sean Tucker: Actually, yeah, there is a grey area. If a show is being fansubbed while it's still unlicensed, how is that illegal? Moreover, anyone who would actually bring an "ethical fansub" group to trial is batshit insane.

Charred Knight: Its illegal because your releasing a copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder. In this case the Japanese company. The liscensing only means that an american company has various rights (sell, show it online) gained for a sum of money from the Japanese copyright holder. A famous example is that Mediafactory will threaten you if they have found you fansubbing their work. Have they ever prosecuted anyone? No, but that because the amount of money gained (barely anything) wouldn't be as much as the money lost due to lawyer fees.

fleb: Really late response, but: if there's grey area, it'd be called fair use. It's complicated and IANAL, but a translation is definitely a 'transformative' use, and it's still questionable whether pirate translations published before any official release have a net negative effect on the licensed publisher's ability to make money or not.
Distributing a .srt or .ssa file with just the subtitles would probably be on the lighter side of the grey area, though.


Rebochan: Just did a little bit of cleanup, mostly for accuracy or readability. However, I'm surprised nobody ever brought up one of the counter-arguments against fan-subbing: that fansubbers themselves will always favor yet another fansub of a popular series, while many of the "niche" series that are held up as the darlings of fansubbing are frequently ignored or left to the whims of the one guy that's interested in it. Plus anime fans at large will ignore those shows in favor of Naruto anyway, so the "promotion" argument is being sadly proven to be quite weak because of anime fans themselves.

Charred Knight: I think I have developed a theory, where most "anime fans" will watch a series once give it a ten if they liked it, and then never watch it again. Compare the popularity of Code Geass to the numbers its pulling in and that includes a Cartoon Network airing. Just look at the numbers Code Geass R2 received on ANN, and then compare it to the actual response its getting on the internet, most hardcore internet users are giving it a "flawed yet entertaining series" at best, which matches an 8 not the 10's its been getting.
Looney Toons: Some moron going by the name Justyn decided to add a bullet-point elaboration in the middle of the main text. I've moved it here:

Justyn: I'm not omniscient, I just happened to forget about something and that doesn't give you the right to get all condescending and call me a moron because I forgot about your pet project.

Looney Toons: I called you a moron because you mindlessly dropped a random comment into the middle of the text, in a standard Clueless Contributor move. There are ways and places to add information so that it adds to the value of the article — just splatting it in at a random location isn't one of them.