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Is it ok to watch an Anime that's not available to watch legally?
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M / United States
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Posted 10/5/12

TheAncientOne wrote:


Davidvauhn wrote:
I usually like to use Netflix and CR for my anime, but allot of the time, there is a series I really want to watch that isn't on either, not even Funimation has it. For instance, Shiki, I ended up watching it on otakucenter fansubbed, oh well.

Why would you have to watch Shiki as a fansub when you are in the United States and Funimation simulcast it?

I checked at Hulu and Funimation, and they currently have all of the episodes available in subtitled format to free viewers, and most of the dubbed episodes.

Their simulcasts are typically available in full (i.e., they don't shrink back to only 2-4 free episodes like library titles) at least until after home video release, so I don't expect it was different when you went to view it before.


Oh, well I clearly didn't look hard enough.
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45 / M / Memphis, TN
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Posted 10/5/12
OK? No, it's not.
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22 / M
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Posted 10/5/12
I would say it's fine as long as there is no way to see it otherwise...For example Hyouka from last season....No one had that show licensed at ALL....so I had to see a fan sub and the show still hasn't been licensed...which is a pretty sad thing due to it actually being pretty good, and was hoping to get the BD/DVD set or something of the sort...but I also think that as long as it is licensed and in simulcast I really see no reason to fansub especially now in days where FUNI is releasing them on the same day for FREE...same goes for VIZ and The Anime Network and Crunchy you just have to wait a week...But I do understand the need to see it fansubbed when no one has even touched the show for licensing....And now, I am left with the feeling that Hyouka should get licensed soon
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M/F - Michigan
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Posted 10/5/12
To the OP: Only you can answer this question. It's a morally ambiguous situation. Technically illegal, but also kinda not... unless they charge people per show aired on tv in Japan, then they were already paid for their work when sponsors and such paid for the airtime.
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23 / F
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Posted 10/5/12
I feel guilty because I often like illegal subs better than official subs. Not because of cost, but quality. Also, I think if you can't get it legally even with money, it's not a moral infraction. I say just do whatever you can to support the creators.
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18 / M / Cananananada
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Posted 10/5/12
If there is an anime that you want to watch and you can find it online illegally, I don't see how it's hurting anyone. Entertainment shouldn't have to empty your wallet (and by that I mean buying DVDs from overseas for ridiculous prices).
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the South Bay
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Posted 10/5/12
Hey man , you got to do what you got to do but as much as possible watch the legal streaming first to support the struggling industry. .
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39 / M / Utah
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Posted 10/5/12
Depends on the situation. Most people downloading anime simply want free entertainment.

TINSTAFL folks, TINSTAFL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_ain't_no_such_thing_as_a_free_lunch

For anything which is hyper popular I say no because it's very likely the show in question will get a license, wait until then and support the localization community.

However for many less popular shows there's no alternative. Shows like Potemayo, Kokoro Library, Idol Defense Force Hummingbird, and Final Approach have absolutely no hope of ever being licensed and localized into English.

Likewise some other shows which are very long running shows have an equally less chance of being licensed simply due to sheer inpossibility of localizing so much material. Shows like Chibi Maruko-chan, Sazae-san, and Doraemon are too long for companies to bother licensing.

So for those shows which are unavailable I see no reason a person can't or even shouldn't find alternative ways of viewing them. Some companies in Japan such as Gainax and Production I.G have even admitted that they don't mind their shows being fansubbed while other companies such as Media Factory have specifically asked that no fansubs of their work ever be made.
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46 / M / Within the Empire...
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Posted 10/6/12 , edited 10/6/12



I like how you set up a lovely strawman, that you promptly take down. Damn shame Its not representative of what i have said.

I most certainly do not treat all artistic media as a simple commodity, but i do treat commercial media designed as a commodity as .... well... just that. Whether you like it or not, I havent decided that anime is a product to be sold, the creators have. If it was simply a matter of "art being free" then CR wouldnt have to get streaming licenses. I like how you just handwave away what people do for a living as unimportant.

And to dismiss me because i use the words rationalizing piracy, and entitlement is a damn shame. I used them appropriately. This whole thread is about rationalizing what is a circumvention of the creators rights. (once again, im not passing judgement either way, in my post i in fact said i can understand it) and i posted in reply to someone who said flat out. "I will not give them money, i shouldnt have to, but ill take it without permission or compensation" that screams entitlement to me.




finally... "and such nonsense, and who try to treat any and all artistic media as just a simple commodity, and such thinking always leads to dangerous places."

what kind of danger lies ahead? im genuinely curious. keeping in mind of course, that i did not make this claim, or hold this to be true. the truth is, art can be a personal expression, and a product to be sold. and really, thats what anime is. thats what movie and music and tv shows are. and to claim like the original poster i responded to did, that it should never be paid for, is a dangerous place if you ask me.


If your interpreting what I was saying as handwaving "away what people do for a living as unimportant", then I feel I should straighten you out on some things.

As stated before, broadcast TV is free. That much is fact.. Problem is the signal range only reaches out a few miles from the broadcast tower. That's where sites like CR come in. Now I may be wrong and you'll have to double check with them, but I interpret what Endotropic420 is saying as "I could pay for the streaming, but the free level of membership here on CR is good enough". You say you don't like how they seem to be saying "I will not give them money, I shouldn't have to".....Well yes that's exactly right, they shouldn't HAVE to. Art is something you should support because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to. I can't speak for all CR paying members, but for me I subscribe to Crunchyroll because I am in a position financially to be able to, and more importantly because i WANT to. I certainly don't expect everyone else in the world who watches this stuff to do the same, and I'm completely OK with that. It's ridiculous to expect every person to pay for streaming if they're OK with being a week behind and having a few commercial interruptions, or to go out a buy a DVD copy of every single show they watch (especially if they don't feel a need to rewatch the show again later but just want to see it once and that's it).

Point is there are always some people out there willing to pay for a quality product. Why expect everybody to pay the same as if it were any other simple commodity like a pound of butter or a side of beef. Just like some people can only go to a museum on free admission day, or when there is a deep discount. They get to go around and look at all the fine works of art even though their admission cost doesn't even begin to cover the expenses of showcasing them, and often times only a small group of museum patrons or wealthy donors pay a majority of the cost so all can enjoy. Nobody goes up to these free attendees and says "oh you're in here looking at all the works of art but you're not contributing to help pay the cost of obtaining them....you're stealing".

This is part of the danger of seeing anime works as strictly commodities rather than as you said art that can be offered as product also. Treating them strictly as nothing more than commodities makes them sound like their means of production, distribution and communication can justly be monopolized by an elite (those who can pay). This is how that remark of if you're not willing to pay for it "don't watch it" comes across. If this is not what you meant by that remark then I apologize and this remark isn't aimed at you. But I see a disturbing trend among other peeps on these forums who say similar things and seem to have this attitude of "anime is only for those who can afford it" and if you can't, then tough luck for you. Or more like they're saying "hey I managed to get this anime...I paid a hefty sum for it, and here these other guys are just getting a free fansub they found online. That's not fair. They should have to pay what I paid or not be able to watch it at all".

I wanted to watch "Hyouka" via a legal stream, but couldn't find one. I found episodes posted on some illegal streams & had to settle for those. Did I feel entitled to watch them? No of course not. I was just lucky to come across them. If I didn't I would have been like "oh well". Now if there were no illegal fansub copies found and I told some fangroup "Hey I can't find eps of Hyouka, I want you guys to make me some and I want them now, but of course I still won't pay",....then yes you could call that a sense of entitlement. But as is I was just viewing copies I happened to come across that some fansub groups already made and that KyoAni wasn't making available. And that's what this tread is supposed to be about. Hopefully down the road I'll be able to buy the series even if I have to import it. But whether I do end up buying it or not, for the time being this is all I had to work with.

Another thing that is dangerous about just simply treating anime works, or any works of art as simply commodities is that if they are viewed as such, then the special privileges afforded to art don't apply to them and they are subject to being regulated like all other commodities. No more "freedom of expression" invoking, and governments are given more leverage to determine what is acceptable and what is not. You only have to look to the recent Tokyo Youth Healthy Development Ordinance passed last December to see the potential downside of that.
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53 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 10/6/12 , edited 10/6/12

KaiserSosei wrote: Remember though that technically....it IS free. Well, at least most of it is. Keep in mind most of the anime produced in the world, however highly you regard it or like it or dislike it, at the end of the day most of the "shows" out there are just that.....TV shows. And broadcast TV shows in Japan, like in most of the other developed countries in the world (and even some undeveloped ones) have always broadcast their content for free.

However, the TV does not pay the bills. Mostly its the DVD/BR sales that do. Most anime is made for the DVD/BR buying audience, either substantially or entirely. Some anime is made primarily to boost the sales of other associated commercial content (merchandise, manga, light novels). The only anime that is made primarily for TV revenue are the kiddie shows.


Xmas_Hat wrote: If there is an anime that you want to watch and you can find it online illegally, I don't see how it's hurting anyone. Entertainment shouldn't have to empty your wallet (and by that I mean buying DVDs from overseas for ridiculous prices).

That depends on how recent it is. Titles that are one or two or three years old are often licensed, and people that don't give themselves the "its not available legally this very minute" excuse are still part of the market for those series.

In terms of the creators rights approach, they have the right to say yes, and they have the right to say no, and just because some online bootlegger has the power to trample their right to say no ... well, might does not make right.


kitsuneshoujo wrote:
To the OP: Only you can answer this question. It's a morally ambiguous situation. Technically illegal, but also kinda not... unless they charge people per show aired on tv in Japan, then they were already paid for their work when sponsors and such paid for the airtime.

The activity of distributing creative works under copyright without permission is not just technically illegal: its really illegal. Making it the creator (or their agent) who decides who gets to make a copy is how copyright gives value to copies of creative work.

Watching them is probably not illegal in the US, at least not yet, but in different countries your mileage may vary. But if you are torrent downloading them, its illegal to seed them.

On the other hand, while its not illegal to watch leech streams, its certainly wrong, since those sites stream licensed works in direct competition with the legit streaming sites, and going to their sites gives them advertising revenue encouraging them to keep streaming bootlegs in competition with legit access.

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17 / M / Norway
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Posted 10/6/12

Des85 wrote:

CR doesn't have everything I want to watch.
FUNI blocks their youtube vids in my country, so they probably block their vids on the site for me too.
So F the licensers for being retarded and blocking animes in some countries. It's NOT weird that people choose to go the illegal way when licensers do that!


Yeah, we Norwegians don't get anything...
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26 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 10/6/12
I think that most artists want their work to be seen. So having people outside of Japan watching their shows is probably the biggest reward an artist could have.

So my opinion is that yes, it is OK to watch something that is not available legally... as long as you don't burn it and sell it to people.

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30 / F / Pennsylvania
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Posted 10/7/12

Des85 wrote:

CR doesn't have everything I want to watch.
FUNI blocks their youtube vids in my country, so they probably block their vids on the site for me too.
So F the licensers for being retarded and blocking animes in some countries. It's NOT weird that people choose to go the illegal way when licensers do that!


Actually, it's because they have a LEGAL obligation to limit the territories. Outside of CR, the only way you could see legal subs is if a dub company in your country obtained it.
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27 / M / Canada
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Posted 10/7/12
The biggest reason I buy physical DVD's and BD's is because I've watched them via fansubs. If the show is on Crunchyroll I'll watch it here, but there are a lot of shows that don't make it to Crunchyroll and they are good shows. I have no qualms watching fansubs. It's rare for me to buy something I have yet to watch. The only time that happens is when I know without a doubt it's something good.

So, in essence, the likes of FUNimation, Sentai, etc. would get less money from me if it weren't for fansubs. Fansubs are like samples to me. If it's a good show and it actually gets licensed I will support it.

I think it's also appropriate to point out that if the anime isn't an original, it usually isn't a priority. Most anime adaptions are made in order to promote the manga. That's why they don't care about messing with the ending and straying from the manga. It's meant to inspire more manga purchases and merchandise.
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Posted 10/7/12
It's not legal, but I don't think anyone will despise you for it. Piracy has been a part of the fan culture for decades, so I'm sure people will be able to understand your situation if that is the only way outside paying a small fortune in the resale market.
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