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Post Reply Disable "Exclusive Stream" banner?
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Posted 2/15/13 , edited 2/15/13
Hi Everyone,

I've enrolled for a 14-day trial to the Anime-only subscription.

Whenever I start to play a stream, I get a banner across the top of the display that says "Exclusive Stream for Alan Mintaka". It lasts for at least 10 seconds before clearing.

I don't want to see it in my stream playbacks. Is this banner something that will go away if I sign up for a paid subscription after the trial ends, or will it keep being displayed?

There's no way I'm going to pay for a subscription if I have to put up with text or graphic overlays that have nothing to do with the program content. Allowing a banner like this to be displayed gives license to Crunchyroll to display anything they want, at any time, during stream playback.

Thanks for your time,
Alan Mintaka
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Posted 2/15/13
Does a 10 second semi-transparent watermark that only says your name really bother you that much? It is there even without the trial, just like the CR logo that shows up from time to time.

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Posted 2/15/13

beardfist wrote:Does a 10 second semi-transparent watermark that only says your name really bother you that much?


Yes it does. Why not? I'm paying for the stream content as released by the publisher, not arbitrary banners overlaid by Crunchyroll. I don't want them. If I pay for a subscription, I want the content, nothing more.


beardfist wrote: It is there even without the trial, just like the CR logo that shows up from time to time.


So, as I suspected, there are other overlays that "show up from time to time." Third-party advertising banners are only a step away from self-promotion.

If you're willing to pay for it, that's your privilege. I'm not, that's all. So the question remains:

Is there a way to get rid of that "Exclusive Stream" banner and any other logos and banners added to the video by Crunchyroll?

Thanks to all for your time,
Alan Mintaka


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Posted 2/15/13 , edited 2/15/13

AlanMintaka wrote:


beardfist wrote:Does a 10 second semi-transparent watermark that only says your name really bother you that much?


Yes it does. Why not? I'm paying for the stream content as released by the publisher, not arbitrary banners overlaid by Crunchyroll. I don't want them. If I pay for a subscription, I want the content, nothing more.


beardfist wrote: It is there even without the trial, just like the CR logo that shows up from time to time.


So, as I suspected, there are other overlays that "show up from time to time." Third-party advertising banners are only a step away from self-promotion.

If you're willing to pay for it, that's your privilege. I'm not, that's all. So the question remains:

Is there a way to get rid of that "Exclusive Stream" banner and any other logos and banners added to the video by Crunchyroll?

Thanks to all for your time,
Alan Mintaka




No, there is not. And it is there for good purpose.

Crunchyroll puts this watermark--as well as the occasional Crunchyroll logo in the top-right corner--on every stream for a completely legitimate reason.

If someone re-records one of Crunchyroll's licensed streams using a program such as HyperCam, and illegally shares it on free anime-streaming sites, they can claim the stream as their own and, using the watermark at the beginning of the stream, apply appropriate punishment and/or press charges against the user responsible for recording it. They can also demand the removal of their anime--all of which are licensed in Crunchyroll's name--from the site in which the recording was uploaded to.

Crunchyroll spends money on these anime licenses, and they're not exactly cheap. It's not like they're buying these without expecting to make a profit. They want people to watch what they bought on their website, which is completely fair. The staff here works hard to quickly subtitle and simulcast the episodes that they have licensed within an hour of every episode's original release in Japan. They have workers, I'm sure they do. They need money to pay these guys. The watermarks on all of the streams is a very clever and totally sensible anti-piracy technique, and I'm willing to bet that they're not about to get rid of it just because one person can't live with 8 seconds of a watermark.

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Posted 2/15/13

mwhitco91 wrote:
No, there is not. And it is there for good purpose.


No it isn't. See below.


mwhitco91 wrote:
Crunchyroll puts this watermark--as well as the occasional Crunchyroll logo in the top-right corner--on every stream for a completely legitimate reason.


As you go on to explain, the logo allows Crunchyroll to ID any streams that have been illegally copied and re-streamed or broadcast elsewhere.

Actually, as far as the logo goes, I can eat humble pie now that I know it's only displayed in the top right corner. In the earlier post, Beardfist didn't say where it was displayed or how large it was - only that it "appeared from time to time."

As such, it's no different from the channel logo displayed by the cable/satellite premium services for the same reasons. Hence the humble pie.

But not the asinine "Exclusive Stream" banner. There's no need for it. As you yourself say, the logo helps Cruncyroll identify streams that have been illegally shared. So why the added banner all the way across the top of the video in large font?

There's simply no reason for it to be there, and no reason to pay for it.


mwhitco91 wrote:
Crunchyroll spends money on these anime licenses, and they're not exactly cheap. It's not like they're buying these without expecting to make a profit. They want people to watch what they bought on their website, which is completely fair. The staff here works hard to quickly subtitle and simulcast the episodes that they have licensed within an hour of every episode's original release in Japan. They have workers, I'm sure they do. They need money to pay these guys.


I never said anything to dispute any of that, or to suggest that the Crunchyroll folks don't work hard and don't pay a lot for those streams. I only said I don't like the "Exclusive Stream" banner and don't want to pay for it. What you've said here is common knowledge, and has nothing to do with the display of that banner. It simply isn't needed, especially with the channel logo appearing "from time to time."


mwhitco91 wrote:
The watermarks on all of the streams is a very clever and totally sensible anti-piracy technique, and I'm willing to bet that they're not about to get rid of it just because one person can't live with 8 seconds of a watermark.


As I said, I'm willing to accept the channel logo, as I do for the cable/satellite services I purchase. But not the "Exclusive" watermark. There's just no reason for it to be there, and while the channel logo may be a "very clever and totally sensible anti-piracy technique" (invented by very clever and sensible cable/satellite providers long, long before Crunchyroll existed), the "Exclusive Stream" isn't. In a word, it's stupid.

I agree with you as far as getting rid of the watermark goes. Crunchyroll probably won't get rid of it just because one person can't live with 8 seconds of a watermark. With large numbers of subscribers like you who accept such standards, there's no reason for Crunchyroll to improve their service.

Keep right on paying for that banner with your name on it. Hope you get your money's worth.

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Posted 2/15/13
It would not be there if it did not have a purpose. It works in combination with the logo by allowing CR to identify the person(s) doing the copying/re-streaming and punish/remove them. Obviously it is insufficient because they could always just cut out the first however many seconds of the episode and it would not be included, but I think it is a welcome compromise. I am sure you would agree that having your name watermarked throughout the whole video would be very annoying. It might be there to meet a certain level of DRM that is required by the owners of the content CR is streaming, but I am not privy to the contract details.
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Posted 2/16/13

beardfist wrote:
It would not be there if it did not have a purpose. It works in combination with the logo by allowing CR to identify the person(s) doing the copying/re-streaming and punish/remove them. Obviously it is insufficient because they could always just cut out the first however many seconds of the episode and it would not be included, but I think it is a welcome compromise. I am sure you would agree that having your name watermarked throughout the whole video would be very annoying. It might be there to meet a certain level of DRM that is required by the owners of the content CR is streaming, but I am not privy to the contract details.

One way the "Exclusive stream for..." can be defeated would be by simply overlaying another banner over it (i.e, "PirateAnime.com").

Also, while CR has since apparently made changes that render it non-functional, there is a free Flash ripping tool that when used in the past resulted in a file that had no "Exclusive stream for..." banner, CR logo, or subtitles; perfect for any pirate wanting to re-appropriate the content for their own and add their own subtitles. For all I know, there is still a paid tool or even another free method I don't know of that still does this.

IMHO, the best anti-piracy method would be one that people wouldn't see. If it were possible to intersperse single frames with the member name in multiple places in the video, it would allow the member ripping the video to be identified. If the single frames were random, it would also be a pain for them to find on each video.
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Posted 2/16/13 , edited 2/16/13

TheAncientOne wrote:
One way the "Exclusive stream for..." can be defeated would be by simply overlaying another banner over it (i.e, "PirateAnime.com").

Also, while CR has since apparently made changes that render it non-functional, there is a free Flash ripping tool that when used in the past resulted in a file that had no "Exclusive stream for..." banner, CR logo, or subtitles; perfect for any pirate wanting to re-appropriate the content for their own and add their own subtitles. For all I know, there is still a paid tool or even another free method I don't know of that still does this.

IMHO, the best anti-piracy method would be one that people wouldn't see. If it were possible to intersperse single frames with the member name in multiple places in the video, it would allow the member ripping the video to be identified. If the single frames were random, it would also be a pain for them to find on each video.


Well said! Even the HDCP folks had the sense to make the protection invisible unless you actually try to steal a recording - as in compromising an HDMI connection by adding component or composite connectors to do a little recording to something other than the protected files on a PVR.

However, even that kind of protection can be broken if you're willing to settle for 1080i over 1080p: simply disconnect the HDMI cable, use component video with analog or optical audio, and you can record whatever you want to record. This of course is a method I've read about, not one that I personally use myself. Whether or not it's a placebo effect, I can see a difference between 1080i and 1080p, and prefer the latter. Hence, I stick to HDMI and forgo recording to anything but the protected files on a PVR. End of legal disclaimer.

Sorry to go off on a tangent there. The overall point is that both the "Exclusive" banner and channel logo don't really offer much protection against skilled pirates who can simply overlay the displays.

However, your point about protection we can't see provides a suggestion that such protection may in fact already be in use. How would we know? It would be another reason to trash both the "Exclusive" banner and channel logo, since that invisible protection would supersede both and render them pointless.


TheAncientOne wrote:
...Also, while CR has since apparently made changes that render it non-functional...


I'd like to hear more about that while I'm playing with this 14-day free trial. What's up?




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Posted 2/16/13 , edited 2/16/13

beardfist wrote:
It would not be there if it did not have a purpose.

I'm sure the folks at CR think it has a purpose. The question is whether or not it's a legitimate purpose. I don't think it is, hence my conviction that "it has no reason to be there."


beardfist wrote:
It works in combination with the logo by allowing CR to identify the person(s) doing the copying/re-streaming and punish/remove them.


In one of my previous posts I acknowledged that the channel banner was consistent with the banners used by cable/satellite premium services, and therefore no more annoying than the latter. But the stupid "Exclusive" banner is something you'll never see overlaid on the actual video content of a cable/satellite premium program. You might see a rating icon ("G", "PG") or a closed caption notice, but these are not typically splashed across the entire top of the video in large font.

If the channel logo alone is good enough in terms of DRM for the cable/satellite premium service providers, CR should follow suit and get rid of the ridiculous "Exclusive" banner.


beardfist wrote:
Obviously it is insufficient because they could always just cut out the first however many seconds of the episode and it would not be included, but I think it is a welcome compromise. I am sure you would agree that having your name watermarked throughout the whole video would be very annoying.


It's not a compromise of any kind, because "10 second banner display" or "banner displayed through the entire video" aren't the only two choices. Why should they be? There is at least one additional choice: NO BANNER. Why not compromise with that, since the banner itself serves no useful function?


beardfist wrote:
It might be there to meet a certain level of DRM that is required by the owners of the content CR is streaming, but I am not privy to the contract details.


Here you have a good point. We don't know what kind of DRM agreements CR is arranging with the license holders to be able to stream the videos. If that banner is ubiquitous regardless of who the license holders are, then there are at least three possibilities (and more, I'm sure):

1. CR is negotiating streaming rights from a weaker position than that of the cable/satellite premium providers, or even that of other streaming services like The Anime Network. Why should that be? You won't see such banners in streams on the Anime Network. You'll see the Anime Network logo, and nothing more. It begs the question: do all license holders really demand that kind of DRM protection from CR? If so, why does CR settle for imposing those banners, when other streaming services like the Anime Network aren't required to do so?

2. CR has a lot more new Anime content than The Anime Network does, particularly titles not licensed by the big hitters like FUNimation and Sentai (Section 23). In fact some of the Anime titles at CR aren't even licensed yet by USA distributors. There are also tons of non-Anime genres that the Anime Network of course doesn't have at all. CR could be adding that banner to the DRM in order to attract agreements with more licensing outfits, especially (in the case of Anime) Japanese outfits. This is sheer speculation (like a lot of what I say) but it does take into account the huge differences in content variety between the two streaming services.

3. The banner is not a DRM requirement at all. It's something that CR adds above and beyond the channel logo because one or more persons in CR management thought it was a "good idea" for some irrational reason. As The Ancient One has pointed out, protection that you can't see would be more effective in terms of discouraging pirates who would otherwise simply overlay the visible banners and logos.

So is CR hamstrung by failing to negotiate that banner out of its DRM agreements, while The Anime Network (stream) and cable/satellite premium subscribers have no such problem? Or is CR simply adding it because someone in management decided it served some kind of useful purpose (even though it doesn't, per The Ancient One's comments)?

NOTE to all responders in this thread: I did take this up with CR support. The response included this sentence (my parens):

"You should still be able to see that line (if you get a paid subscription) but I don't believe it lasts for 10 seconds. "

Not a very deterministic response. "I don't believe" means that the support tech really doesn't know for certain how long that banner lasts in the context of a paid subscription. How can I verify that it really doesn't last for 10 seconds (or longer) without paying for a subscription?

MEH!!!

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Whenever I see it...I feel kinda important.
Like, "Yeah. Thats right. Exclusive. Bitches."
Nobody else got that feeling?
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Posted 2/16/13

kalvinh wrote:

Whenever I see it...I feel kinda important.
Like, "Yeah. Thats right. Exclusive. Bitches."
Nobody else got that feeling?


Hey, that's cool if you like it. I'm an "each to his own" guy. For that reason, my thinking is that they could make me feel really important by removing the damn thing for me, while keeping it for you. They could do that by adding an option to display or kill the banner in the membership profile settings.

I have a feeling, though, that you're going to keep getting what you want, and I won't. Well, at least someone is happy somewhere. That's not such a bad deal in this universe.

You into Anime, or streaming genres in general?


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Posted 2/16/13

AlanMintaka wrote:


kalvinh wrote:

Whenever I see it...I feel kinda important.
Like, "Yeah. Thats right. Exclusive. Bitches."
Nobody else got that feeling?


Hey, that's cool if you like it. I'm an "each to his own" guy. For that reason, my thinking is that they could make me feel really important by removing the damn thing for me, while keeping it for you. They could do that by adding an option to display or kill the banner in the membership profile settings.

I have a feeling, though, that you're going to keep getting what you want, and I won't. Well, at least someone is happy somewhere. That's not such a bad deal in this universe.

You into Anime, or streaming genres in general?




ROFL! That would be a useful option to have. I wasnt sure anyone even noticed the banner. I'm into anime...although I can admit to streaming a drama or two.
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It's been there since I've been a member and since it's at the very beginning of an episode where there really isn't anything relevant to me I ignore it, distracting if an episode is picking up where it left off the cliffhanger yes and then I really notice it, So numb to it at this point I'm not as invested with that as I am about getting more anime or different way of streaming to keep my full screen between shows :D

As you say though to each their own. I seriously hope though this isn't the real reason for not being a full member.
I really don't watch the drama side and prefer the anime hence the yearly subscript for Anime only as it was the cheapest option overall and it only happens once year at the same month, so easy to budget for and hopefully gives CR the up front money to get more selection

CR has been actively changing this site for better and sometimes worse, depends yet again on personal preference, over the course of time I've been here.

Again, I really hope it isn't a detractor, as I'd rather see that than commercials or true ads and I've not gotten either

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Currently there is no way to disable this message.

Do you want me to cancel your trial for you?
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Posted 2/22/13 , edited 2/22/13
Well i think it might be there so if someone does record it and put it up somewhere they can see which user uploaded it.
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