The Denver Anime Meetup Group Message Board › A friendly discussion of fansubbing, bootlegging and etc.

A friendly discussion of fansubbing, bootlegging and etc.

A former member
Post #: 40
So, this can of worms has been opened, so let's have a nice friendly chat about the state of the anime industry.

When I got started in anime, there were no, repeat NO professionally subtitled anime titles available. There were thirty years of anime on laserdisc sitting over in Japan. They only things that made it over here were edited and poorly dubbed.

The first anime fanclub was CEFO (I can no longer remember what it stands for)which most people remember as Seafood now. They were the first subtitlers (back in the early 80s, no less). By the time I got on the scene, it had disbanded but one of their members taught me anime and fansubbing. This was 1990, the year of the first subtitled anime releases. (bonus points if you can name the first subtitled release)

Fast forward ten years. Every club in the country is doing fansubtitling thanks to increased grafic cards on PCs. (we did ours on Amigas). There is no release in Japan that isn't being taken on by one or more groups. American distributors are racing to buy properties before they are released in Japan just so they can announce them here and stop fansub distribution. Most legitimate fansubbers adhere to this. Some go ahead and sub it anyway.

By now, bootleggers in Hong Kong and America have caught on to our fan based work and are stealing scripts and timing from our web sites. (most time they just make bad copies of our already distibuted stuff)

I remember seeing the first bootleg with my name on it. I was furious! (Gundam X 1-4, in case you were wondering)

Meanwhile, anime prices keep going up instead of down.

Now, here we are, 2004. With DVD ripping technology the way it is, you can take a domestically released anime and make an exact copy. Photocopy the sleeve and make a similar DVD label and you'd be hard pressed to know the difference.

Sell a disc that normally costs $24.99 in the store of $8 and who cares who the money goes to, right?

I have met, drank with, sung badly with the owners or presidents of Pioneer (now Geneon), Viz, AD Vision, CPM and Animeigo. This are real people who all once were fans, just like you, who took their love to the next step and got stabbed in the back by their fellow fans.

Do I have fansubs? Yes. Thousands of them. Some as recent as this year.

Have I replace my fansubs with domestically released anime? Some, but far from all. I do not have the money to buy everything as it comes out. I pick a series or two and buy it until its completion. I have over 400 VHS, 100 LDs, and 150 DVDs just in anime.

What do I think is fair? (like my opinion really matters, but I started this, so I'll put my 2 bits in)

1.I believe getting anime for free from a subtitler before it's released here in the states is legit. Getting it for free after it's been released is unfair to the studios. but not everyone knows what's out there. Once it's been put on TV, it's fair game to everyone.

2.Buying a copy of an anime from a bootlegger at a convention, online, or at a store is theft. Pure and simple. That's why bootlegging is ILLEGAL! Fansubbing is not illegal nor has any fansub group been prosecuted to my knowledge in 20 years. Proof of purchasing a bootleg will land you in jail and/or a fine. Owning a fansub you got for free will not.

Well, that was long. If you got this far, you either enjoyed my tale or really love anime. I hope I have not offended more than I felt I had to. I feel that I didn't live this long not to state a few truths now and then.

Thank you for your time and have a great day!

Dave (Longshot) Boop cool
Al S.
Zarabadoo
North Reading, MA
Post #: 37
only bootlegs i ever use are when i first hear of an anime and am curious about it. if it is released domestically, i will see if there are some fansubs online and download an episode or 2 jsut to check it out and see if it is worth my time and money to buy it. if it isn't released yet, i may download a few episodes and see what it is all about and see if it has a chance in hell of ever being released here.

there is some funny stuff out there, but will never be released here because of cultural clashes and CN would never beable to edit it to a viewable version for them.
A former member
Post #: 22
Having followed the fansub/bootleg discussion topics on several large message boards over the years, there probably isn't a legal or ethical angle I haven't seen put forward at one time or another.

One of the biggest 'shocks to the system' has been the combination of broadband internet and file-sharing (be it WinMX, KaZaa, or BitTorrent). It's no longer relevant if the fansubbing groups take their 'product' off their website once it becomes licensed commercially, because they're no longer the sole source for a good copy, like they were when it was VHS tapes by mail. The 50th-generation copy of a DiVX file from a website which continues to offer licensed episodes is as good as the original.

While I can understand US companies doing their best to license popular titles, many of them (ADV a notable example, from what I've heard) are choking on the number of titles they have but have yet to begin releasing. In this situation I don't think I have much of a problem with fansubbers going ahead and doing it themselves, if the street date of the commercial product is over 8 months away.

My own adherence to the proper ethical code is mixed at best, due to a combination of finance and laziness both. In addition to my R1s, I have fansubs which are and aren't licensed over here, fansubs which have since become commercial releases (I have a hard time simply throwing things away), older poor quality VHS rips in RM format, and some bootlegs. Some of the bootlegs I got before I knew what they were, sometimes I got fooled on eBay, and sometimes I knew I wasn't doing the right thing. I also have a small number of R0s ripped from as-yet-unlicensed R2s and squished 6-8 eps per DVD, with crappy subtitles and mediocre video quality. Usually I get those when I can no longer find the fansub.

I haven't been as fortunate as Dave w.r.t. interacting with US anime execs, but friends who have tell me that the VAs (and execs as well) usually have salaries comparable to that of a teacher, and some need more than one part-time job to make ends meet.
A former member
Post #: 5
I agree that downloading off the internet has kinda put the whole bootlegging issue to moot, but you have to think about the import of this to the average anime fan. It can cost about 240 bucks to complete the average 24 part series if you buy domestic dvds. Ok, say you multiply that by 6 or 7 series-do you see where I'm going with this? In other words to have a collection the size of mine I'd be in the poorhouse. I'm not going to go into the whole legimate vs. illegal argument. It's just if a person can get anime cheaper, law of supply and demand. Close one door and if there is enough demand another will open elsewhere. So what is anyone gonna do about it? Set up a bigbrother to watch and tattle on anyone who downloads or buys "bootlegs"? Good luck!! Ever hear of Robert Woodhead of Animego? Good, then you're no the only one. I had a runin with the @#!&^)*()! not to long ago. In conclusion-to each their own, the world's a big enough place for all of us and our various opinions.
A former member
Post #: 46
Hi, thanks for responding. I wanted to hear from you n this, since it was you who broached this subject originally.

It can cost about 240 bucks to complete the average 24 part series if you buy domestic dvds. In other words to have a collection the size of mine I'd be in the poorhouse.

Then you have to be choosy about your anime series. I mean half the series out there right now are just knockoffs of other, better series. Yes, it's expensive. You just can't buy everything.

I'm not going to go into the whole legitimate vs. illegal argument.

Actually, you are. This is exactly what we are talking about.

It's just if a person can get anime cheaper, law of supply and demand. Close one door and if there is enough demand another will open elsewhere.

And if it's illegal? I could find crack cheap, but should I buy it? I used to own the bumper sticker that said "Anime. Crack is cheaper."

So what is anyone gonna do about it? Set up a bigbrother to watch and tattle on anyone who downloads or buys "bootlegs"? Good luck!!


If the government chooses to close down Animeniacs, they can seize their customer records and go after anyone they sold to. Every pay by credit card, check? Big Brother doesn't have to do anything. Remember Napster and the thousands of people who got fined for using it? It's not that hard to believe that they can find you.

Ever hear of Robert Woodhead of Animego? Good, then you're no the only one. I had a run in with the @#!&^)*()! not to long ago.


Ten years ago I knew they guy well. Nice guy. A little worried about his desire to dub Urusei Yatsura. Some Anime shouldn't be dubbed. People can change, but let's face it. He's right if you are talking about downloads and bootlegs. You are taking money from the man's pocket. How would YOU feel about that?

In conclusion-to each their own, the world's a big enough place for all of us and our various opinions.

Opinions, yes. I think you are breaking the law and the law backs me up. That's a fact. Now for my opinion, You are betraying the spirit, faith and idea of anime. You are hurting people starting with the retail outlets of anime, the distributors, the producers, the voice talent in America, the voice talent in Japan, the animators, the director, and the person who originally came up with the idea for the anime itself. Would you like to walk up to Hayao Miyazaki, creator of the best animes out there (my opinion, yes) and tell him, "Hi! I stole from you"? Did you ever think beyond yourself?

If you want cheap anime, go to www.rightstuf.com and look at their weekly specials. 64% off most anime. If that is still too expensive for you, then how about used? Someone paid for it at least once, then resold it. That stuff is dirt cheap. I just got Nuku Nuku Dash vol 1 for $3. Love it and pass it on. That's what I do. I am tired of moving my large anime collection. If that still doesn't work, then you go right ahead and keep stealing your anime.
A former member
Post #: 8
I've had long and involved discussions with lots of different people about this including another person who has a collection about 1/3 the size of mine. Our conclusion? He really doesn't care where it comes from. Point to be made? For example-some people have different sexual orientations, we might not approve of it but the world is big enough for all of us to do our thing as long as we respect the other persons rights. Ditto for anime.
A former member
Post #: 43
I know people on anime boards that collect Region 2 DVDs. THAT is expensive. Over $50 for a disk that almost always has only 1 or 2 episodes on it, with only the Japanese language track.

And bootlegs actually short-circuit the laws of supply and demand, which boil down to the relationships between product availability, product demand, and product price. There is no shortage of anime supply, so the situation is analogous to buying a stolen watch from some punk on a street corner, when several jewelry stores that have exactly what you want are scattered around town...

And whose rights are being respected when you buy stolen goods instead of legitimate ones? If I rented an anime DVD, made 10 copies with my burner, and sold them on eBay for... $5 apiece, the only way a pirate company like AnimeCartoon is any different is that they have better labels and packaging.
A former member
Post #: 76
For example-some people have different sexual orientations, we might not approve of it but the world is big enough for all of us to do our thing as long as we respect the other persons rights. Ditto for anime.
Being gay is not illegal (in most states). Buying bootlegs is. You should just give up watching anime all togther. You have no respect for the people that create it. You are trying to justify theft by adjusting your view of the world to meet your limited budget.
You are a thief. Deal with it.
A former member
Post #: 78
DAY OF RECKONING: Hollywood studios sued more than 200 alleged online movie pirates Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Damages of up to $150,000 were sought for each film offered or downloaded via file-sharing networks.

How soon will it be before they start looking at anime in the same light? Not as far off as you think.

Db
A former member
Post #: 9
I read your opinion of Animeniacs-guess where I buy anime when I'm not downloading it? I know the owner pretty well and guess what some of the discussions we've had have been about? I also know the owner of Gimmie Anime fairly well, we both know our respective positions on this topic and just don't talk about it. I kinda know this is like waving a flag in front of a bull, but if you ask a lot of other anime fans you'll get the same views that I have. How do I know this? Cause I've asked a lot of fellow anime addicts. So we can keep on discussing this ad infinitum or just let it die a natural death.
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