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Do you think it is fine for people to simply watch unlicensed streaming anime?
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Posted 10/11/11
I've been wrestling with this question lately. I'm just looking for CR members' opinions, because you guys, like me, support legal anime.

There are some series that are currently unavailable in my area (i.e. Kamichama Karin, Suite PreCure, Nyanpire, etc.) that I watch through streams. If and when they ever get licensed, I plan to support them as best I can. I have so many legal anime DVDs that I wouldn't have bought if not for fansubs.

Just a note - I NEVER watch licensed streams of anime unless it is legal.

What do you guys think?
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56 / M / U.S.A. (mid-south)
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Posted 10/11/11
I quit streaming or downloading unlicensed anime in the early Summer of 2010. It was not a premeditated "I quit today" decision, so much as noticing after sometime that I had not done so for some time that I had not done so, due to being so busy watching legally available sources. I also noticed the time I was take rewatching series via legal sources that I had originally watched as a fansub.

At that point, I decided to make it a policy not to watch any fansubs online during the season it aired, and deferred the decision on how long to wait until I gave up on something being licensed and resort to a fansub. Frankly, at this point, I am still undecided, but I am leaned toward allowing 5 years. No doubt to someone in their teens, that sounds like an eternity.

My personal opinion is that people shouldn't resort to watching fansubs if a legal source isn't available on the first day a series is broadcast in Japan. Given that some people will take any excuse to resort to a fansub, however, I don't have any illusions about people following that.

I will say that people should not resort to watching unlicensed anime via fansubs until they have good reason to believe that it will not be licensed within a reasonable period of time, and when licensed, should be prepared to view it again via some legal means. Watching something via a fansub, and then not doing so again when it is available legally by resorting to the "already seen it" excuse is just piracy, pure and simple.
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Posted 10/11/11 , edited 10/11/11

TheAncientOne wrote:


I will say that people should not resort to watching unlicensed anime via fansubs until they have good reason to believe that it will not be licensed within a reasonable period of time, and when licensed, should be prepared to view it again via some legal means. Watching something via a fansub, and then not doing so again when it is available legally by resorting to the "already seen it" excuse is just piracy, pure and simple.


You make some interesting points throughout.

However, in your last paragraph, I think another viable option instead of simply waiting is to watch the fansub, and once it is licensed, support the series you've watched by buying the DVDs and merchandise.

I do realize that fansubs are not treated the same way as they were during their origin. People now are simply using them as free handouts and instant gratification. However, I think that fansubs are valuable while the anime is unlicensed, because it prepares an audience. Just go to an anime convention and you'll see merchandise from unlicensed anime lining the shelves.

I have many series that I want to watch, but am waiting for the licensed DVD release, such as Mahou Shoujo Madoka. I also would like to see Shakugan no Shana and Angel Beats. 2 of these titles have only just been licensed in the US very recently. But I am forgoeing fansubs because I know that I will buy them when released.

Right now, I am giving myself pretty much "free reign" in the world of watching unlicensed anime, but I don't think it is practical to buy every single episode of every unlicensed anime I've ever seen, especially if it isn't even that great.

I'm all about supporting creators - I stopped online manga reading and only buy, I resort to sites like CR and Hulu for anime, and I buy all of my music. I have a growing collection of anime DVDs and over 200 volumes of manga. At this moment, I am surrounded by wall scrolls, figures, and plushies. I do support the industry. It's just that I am watching in entirety some unlicensed series. If it were really that harmful, I'm sure the Japanese companies would be doing *more*.


----

To potential posters in this thread:

The question does not include personally downloading or distributing...Just watching unlicensed streams.
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Posted 10/11/11 , edited 10/11/11
if i am going to watch unlicensed anime then I am going to download it in the highest res possible. Besides this season fansubbers have come out with a new encoding that blurs/pixelates the scree on illegal stream stream sites called 10 bit to stop distribution online streaming sties.

@the ancient one refer to umineko, higurashi and numerous ova's that never licensed. I have waited 5 long years for kai to come to america and 4-5 for znt season two, three. That's long enough wait in my book
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Posted 10/11/11

Cecilthedarkknight234 wrote:

if i am going to watch unlicensed anime then I am going to download it in the highest res possible. Besides this season fansubbers have come out with a new encoding that blurs/pixelates the scree on illegal stream stream sites called 10 bit to stop distribution online streaming sties.


But do you think, in keeping the anime creators in mind, it is "ok" <--- Define that subjectively as you will, to watch the unlicensed streams?
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Posted 10/11/11

Cecilthedarkknight234 wrote:.

@the ancient one refer to umineko, higurashi and numerous ova's that never licensed. I have waited 5 long years for kai to come to america and 4-5 for znt season two, three. That's long enough wait in my book



In response to your edit:

I agree. A series like Mahoraba~Heartful Days~ is probably never going to get licensed, so I don't see the problem with viewing it as long as I'm not downloading or distributing.
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Posted 10/11/11

MagicalGirlMyaako wrote:


Cecilthedarkknight234 wrote:

if i am going to watch unlicensed anime then I am going to download it in the highest res possible. Besides this season fansubbers have come out with a new encoding that blurs/pixelates the scree on illegal stream stream sites called 10 bit to stop distribution online streaming sties.


But do you think, in keeping the anime creators in mind, it is "ok" <--- Define that subjectively as you will, to watch the unlicensed streams?


they still care either way because your doing something illegal, you can keep telling your self that your not but you are the question is do you care?? The streams online are fan-subs that people downloaded and uploaded online so it's beating the purpose your stating.
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Posted 10/11/11

Cecilthedarkknight234 wrote:

they still care either way because your doing something illegal, you can keep telling your self that your not but you are


And where does "fair use" come into play?

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Posted 10/11/11

MagicalGirlMyaako wrote:
You make some interesting points throughout.

However, in your last paragraph, I think another viable option instead of simply waiting is to watch the fansub, and once it is licensed, support the series you've watched by buying the DVDs and merchandise.

Buying the DVDs would still fall into the category of "view it again by legal means".

Well, one could simply buy the DVD/BD set and put it on the shelf without ever watching it, but the effect would be the same. Technically, one would not have to actively view a legal stream either; they could simply stream it in the background on their PC while doing other work.




Cecilthedarkknight234 wrote:
@the ancient one refer to umineko, higurashi and numerous ova's that never licensed. I have waited 5 long years for kai to come to america and 4-5 for znt season two, three. That's long enough wait in my book

Higurashi Kai was one of the series I watched while I was still viewing fansubs. In fact, it was probably among the first 5 series I viewed when I found Crunchyroll (some months before I finally created an account; the need to create an account after a certain number of viewings was easy to circumvent). The original ZnT and the sequels also fell into my fansub period, although I was eventually able to watch the original series on DVDs rented from Netflix. The ZnT OVA and Higurashi Rei made it in before the date I stopped watching fansubs online. (As I recall, the former was one of the last fansubs I watched, perhaps even the second to last).

With that said, as much as I want to watch the current and final Shana series, I will not be watching it this season if there is no legal source, and likely will not see if for years. The same was true for Index II, despite seeing the original series as a fansub.

While I still haven't firmly determined exactly how long I will will wait for something to be licensed, I was thinking 2 years as the minimum, and 5 years as the maximum. I think of something hasn't been licensed after 5 years, chances of it being licensed are quite low.

I also believe there some anime sources, such as OADs that are unlikely to see a license from the outset.
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Posted 10/11/11
yuuuuuuuuuuuuup chuck testa. Its fine alright


You cant get access to it here and they aren't making money off of you over there because they don't show it here. So basically they arent making money of you. Some guy comes and uploads it to a site. Then like magic they start having an increase in revenue due to people importing anime goods(hell I import anime merchandise all the time less and less though the dollar sucks compared to the yen.) If you think these companies are angels you better think again.



Either way I buy anime figures strait from vendors in japan. Im sure they have some sort of deal where the creators get a cut of the money from figure sells because the character is their property.

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Posted 10/11/11 , edited 10/11/11



Your decision seems responsible.

I've found this link. At the bottom where it point/counter-points the ethics of using fansubs is informative:

http://avatarhr.tripod.com/legalfaq.html

I have old and new series that I am watching right now that I doubt will be licensed in an appropriate amount of time...

I've just started watching Dog Days and Nyanpire. I can *maybe* see Dog Days getting licensed, but Nyanpire, I'm not so sure. Each episode is less than 4 minutes and it seem more like a Mameshiba kids' program than anything else.

Those are some of the new anime. Now let me dig up an old one:
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Normally, magical girl anime do, generally, well in the US. Just look at the sales when the Sailor Moon manga was reprinted last month. Now, Mermaid Melody has been dropped for licensing by ADV. Therefore, I think that I would be justified in watching the fansub because this series has been out for such a long time and has not been licensed.
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Posted 10/11/11 , edited 10/11/11




Fair use only comes into play if you own the said material. Now lets say for a visual novel player like myself, i order the games from japan then if there is translation patch in English then I use that play the game as seen in the cap below. That is how fair play comes into effect, your sharing a broadcast that has copyrights on it and those sites can be shut down due to that. CR was the same way from 2006-2009 and they had two choices from legal perspectives, either shut down their site or become a legal site.



there won't be for shana and index still has some hope becasue funimation is starting to move on season one with rail-gun. However if it's a genon anime "dvd/bluray' then don't give your hopes up here if ever, due to the state side business going out, they have become more restant to releasing titles. You can still buy shana one on amazon for around 45-50 dollars, so I would take that up while we could. I plan on watching shana III and just importing the blurays later.
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Posted 10/11/11
With the Berne Convention enabling international copyrights, while a certain people are streaming may not be licensed by local companies from countries that aren't Japan, they still technically are licensed overall. Sole exception (wish it would happen because it would be the only time you could avoid legal consequences save for whatever conditions) is if it was in public domain.
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Posted 10/11/11

kadmos1 wrote:

With the Berne Convention enabling international copyrights, while a certain people are streaming may not be licensed by local companies from countries that aren't Japan, they still technically are licensed overall. Sole exception (wish it would happen because it would be the only time you could avoid legal consequences save for whatever conditions) is if it was in public domain.


Yes, the Berne Convention certainly comes into play here.

However...Just as with all aspects of given laws, there are areas of gray. I tend to think in black and white at all times, which is probably a contributing factor of my starting this thread.

I'd like to move to perhaps an ethical view of this question -

How do you feel if creators are not getting the money from your viewing of their work? Or is that justified by the "free publicity" that the work get from your viewing?

A lot of anime fans tend to think that watching unlicensed streams is legal. I've researched that this is not, but since the creators and companies aren't doing much in most cases, I think that fansubs of unlicensed anime can be justified...Touching on that "gray" area.

Thoughts?
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Posted 10/11/11

MagicalGirlMyaako wrote:

A lot of anime fans tend to think that watching unlicensed streams is legal. I've researched that this is not, but since the creators and companies aren't doing much in most cases, I think that fansubs of unlicensed anime can be justified...Touching on that "gray" area.


The reason why you don't see anime/manga companies suing people left and right is because common sense will tell you its a waste of time, effort, and money. What good would it do for anime/manga companies if said majority are teenagers without any sources of income besides their parents...

Its more efficient for them to crack down on anime/manga uploaders.
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