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Post Reply Legal means of watching Dragon Ball Super...?
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/7/16

Von_Goethe wrote:


XxDarkSasuxX wrote:


Von_Goethe wrote:


"Fansubs" are not illegal, "disseminating licensed content for free without permission of the license holder" is. Fansubs sometimes are a means of accomplishing such illegality, but if there is no license holder, exactly what problem would they be causing? It's perfectly legal to translate light novels, manga, anime, or whatever into English and spread it about the Internets if no one in North America has the rights to it, which, as far as I know, is the case with Dragon Ball Super. Obviously, FUNimation will eventually acquire the rights and translate it themselves, but until that happens, it's open season.

The fact that you didn't pay for the content that you are viewing makes it illegal. And fan translations are illegal, too.


After checking on the matter, I stand partially corrected. It is technically illegal under Japanese copyright law to disseminate the audio/video of the original series, licensed or not, though not to translate it (posting a script of an English translation looks to be okay), although the laws seem to be such that as far as overseas Internet fansubs are concerned, they would be difficult to enforce, and I have found no precedent of any serious attempt having been made to do so. Back in the so-called "Golden Age of Fansubbing", it was sort of common Internets wisdom that subs of unlicensed material are not in violation of any laws, which was where/when I picked up that notion.

Now, as for the viewing of fansubs of unlicensed material, that actually does not appear to violate any aspect of Japanese copyright law (they were not really written with the curbing of overseas fansubbing in mind, Japanese companies have historically given few enough fucks about this that exceptions to the rule stand out as truly bizarre) so OP is still good to go if sheer legality is his only concern.

To save a long speech, what you are saying is tantamount to saying that it's okay to download music illegally because it's already been ripped.

Pirating is a huge problem here in the U.S. but how many people do you know who openly say that they visit sites like pirate bay? You're acting like it's less of a problem because the laws are hard to enforce. Hence why, I shall once again state that, it is more of a concern towards your own morality.

Also, I kind of find it disrespectful. You are ripping off artists and studios that have worked hard to make that content available because you couldn't wait a little bit for it to be licensed. Not to mention that that is the reason why so many pandering shows and merchandise are being made since everyone has high demand but just refuse to pay for anything because they can just download it/watch it for free.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

To save a long speech, what you are saying is tantamount to saying that it's okay to download music illegally because it's already been ripped.

Pirating is a huge problem here in the U.S. but how many people do you know who openly say that they visit sites like pirate bay? You're acting like it's less of a problem because the laws are hard to enforce. Hence, why I shall once again state, that it is more of a concern towards your own morality.

Also, I kind of find it disrespectful. You are ripping off artists and studios that have worked hard to make that content available because you couldn't wait a little bit for it to be licensed. Not to mention that that is why so many pandering shows are made since everyone has high demand but just refuse to pay for anything because they can just download it/watch it for free.


Talking just as far as DBS is concerned, as I said, it seems it is not illegal to view the fansubs, however you may feel about it. I'm no expert on international copyright law, and as I've admitted, I've been wrong on one aspect of this already, but now that I've actually done my homework beyond the level of "this is what I heard back in the day", I remain confident that OP is good to go, even if the people who make the subs and/or share them with others may not be. If you'd like to dig into it yourself real quick and find I've misread that point, then by all means do so, I would not care to go about with further illusions on the matter after having just dispelled the one.

As far as your last paragraph goes, if you really want to make this into a "my values are better than yours" debate, I guess we can do that, too (probably inevitable that somebody fires those opening shots sooner or later in a thread like this), but since until this last post you'd been pretty good about not pushing your values on others, I had planned to continue giving you the same respect. So far, I'm just talking about the laws relevant to OP's options, and as I now understand them, he is still okay to view the fansubs of an unlicensed series; fansubbers are even okay to translate unlicensed shows, the only thing not okay is to attach their independent translations to audio/video files of the original material, the dissemination of which alone is the legal issue (meaning RAW provision and fansub dissemination is illegal for exactly the same reason with neither being treated as a special case). Again, could be misreading all this, but it would have to be for more of a reason than what I'm saying not vibing with your personal common sense and morality.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/7/16
Yah.. well.. okay.

Well, to OP, as I said, it's really a matter of personal views. If you are just the kind of person who tries to uphold the law where you can then fansubs are a no go.

Like I said though, most people don't care and already do watch fansubs, and as I mentioned before, the only way you can really get caught is if you or someone else reports you. So it's just your call mainly.
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Posted 2/7/16

Lemontitties wrote:

I can't find a streaming service that simulcasts episodes of Dragon Ball Super anywhere. Has no one acquired the license to do so yet?


I've moved this to the Advice, Info, Recommendations forum, but I think you've got the answer (no), plus bonus discussion. In the future please post such requests in the Advice, Info, Recommendations forum.to start with.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

Von_Goethe wrote:

Talking just as far as DBS is concerned, as I said, it seems it is not illegal to view the fansubs, however you may feel about it. I'm no expert on international copyright law, and as I've admitted, I've been wrong on one aspect of this already, but now that I've actually done my homework beyond the level of "this is what I heard back in the day", I remain confident that OP is good to go, even if the people who make the subs and/or share them with others may not be. If you'd like to dig into it yourself real quick and find I've misread that point, then by all means do so, I would not care to go about with further illusions on the matter after having just dispelled the one.

As far as your last paragraph goes, if you really want to make this into a "my values are better than yours" debate, I guess we can do that, too (probably inevitable that somebody fires those opening shots sooner or later in a thread like this), but since until this last post you'd been pretty good about not pushing your values on others, I had planned to continue giving you the same respect. So far, I'm just talking about the laws relevant to OP's options, and as I now understand them, he is still okay to view the fansubs of an unlicensed series; fansubbers are even okay to translate unlicensed shows, the only thing not okay is to attach their independent translations to audio/video files of the original material, the dissemination of which alone is the legal issue (meaning RAW provision and fansub dissemination is illegal for exactly the same reason with neither being treated as a special case). Again, could be misreading all this, but it would have to be for more of a reason than what I'm saying not vibing with your personal common sense and morality.


The Berne Convention, of which both Japan (since 1899) and the United States (since 1989) are parties to, guarantees that member countries recognize copyrights originating from, or registered in other member countries. This means that an animated work created in Japan is automatically regarded as a copyrighted work in countries such as the United States, and all protections awarded to copyrighted works originating in the United States are to be extended to those originating in other member countries.

Additionally, just because a work exists doesn't mean you have an obligation to watch it. There are other works that you could be watching that aren't legally ambiguous, or morally indefensible.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

eyeofpain wrote:

The Berne Convention, of which both Japan (since 1899) and the United States (since 1989) are parties to, guarantees that member countries recognize copyrights originating from, or registered in other member countries. This means that an animated work created in Japan is automatically regarded as a copyrighted work in countries such as the United States, and all protections awarded to copyrighted works originating in the United States are to be extended to those originating in other member countries.

Additionally, just because a work exists doesn't mean you have an obligation to watch it. There are other works that you could be watching that aren't legally ambiguous, or morally indefensible.


It was in light of the Berne Convention that I corrected my original statement on page 1 of the thread. There doesn't appear to be anything in there, as far as I can tell, that would make explicitly illegal the mere viewing of a RAW/fansub of something unlicensed in your country that was already uploaded on a streaming site as long as you're not spreading around copies of the thing yourself, despite the fact that whoever took the act of uploading it in the first place for your viewing pleasure was in violation of the law.

And, again, it's not like I went through and read every word of the whole thing, so I could be wrong. I would appreciate being told if that's the case, but no one in this thread so far seems to be just coming out and saying, "No, even the mere free-of-charge viewing is illegal, and here is where it says that," just implying that since the distribution of the AV files itself is illegal, any activity associated with their existence must be as well. While common sense may well suggest that, I don't see where the law does.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

Von_Goethe wrote:

It was in light of the Berne Convention that I corrected my original statement on page 1 of the thread. There doesn't appear to be anything in there, as far as I can tell, that would make explicitly illegal the mere viewing of a RAW/fansub of something unlicensed in your country that was already uploaded on a streaming site as long as you're not spreading around copies of the thing yourself, despite the fact that whoever took the act of uploading it in the first place for your viewing pleasure was in violation of the law.

And, again, it's not like I went through and read every word of the whole thing, so I could be wrong. I would appreciate being told if that's the case, but no one in this thread so far seems to be just coming out and saying, "No, even the mere free-of-charge viewing is illegal, and here is where it says that," just implying that since the distribution of the AV files itself is illegal, any activity associated with their existence must be as well. While common sense may well suggest that, I don't see where the law does.


Redistribution is certainly a violation of copyright, and torrenting, which is the most common means that people seem to use to obtain media illegally, defaults to re-sharing files.

Whether or not the use of viewing via streaming sites is itself illegal, it should be considered that many of these sites are operated by crime syndicates, much the same as bootleg DVDs, and the use of such services may be directly benefiting criminals engaged in drug and human trafficking, among other activities, in addition to not compensating the creators of a work that you are consuming.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

To save a long speech, what you are saying is tantamount to saying that it's okay to download music illegally because it's already been ripped.

Pirating is a huge problem here in the U.S. but how many people do you know who openly say that they visit sites like pirate bay? You're acting like it's less of a problem because the laws are hard to enforce. Hence why, I shall once again state that, it is more of a concern towards your own morality.

Also, I kind of find it disrespectful. You are ripping off artists and studios that have worked hard to make that content available because you couldn't wait a little bit for it to be licensed. Not to mention that that is the reason why so many pandering shows and merchandise are being made since everyone has high demand but just refuse to pay for anything because they can just download it/watch it for free.



Yawn. If it weren't for fansubbing I wouldn't have become an anime fan since watching it 10 years ago was almost impossible off of legal avenues and I would have never have dumped $100s in buying DVDs of those series I enjoy the most.

If companies don't legally license it that's their problem what viewers overseas do. This might be one of those technically illegal cases, but you are not going to get in trouble, and besides you can't technically be stealing since if there is no legal avenue in your region what potential revenue are they missing out on? If you are a legal scholar and you are going to lose sleep over this then I guess your only option is to literally pack your bags and move to Japan just to watch a single show....
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

eyeofpain wrote:

Redistribution is certainly a violation of copyright, and torrenting, which is the most common means that people seem to use to obtain media illegally, defaults to re-sharing files.

Whether or not the use of viewing via streaming sites is itself illegal, it should be considered that many of these sites are operated by crime syndicates, much the same as bootleg DVDs, and the use of such services may be directly benefiting criminals engaged in drug and human trafficking, among other activities, in addition to not compensating the creators of a work that you are consuming.


Okay, so then it sounds like we can agree, to the best of both of our knowledge, that the viewing on a streaming site is not an illegal act, however you or anyone else might want to wax moralistic about it? Because what OP asked is if there was a legal way he could view Dragon Ball Super, nothing more than that, and answering that question exactly as it was asked, without trying to additionally tell him that he either should or shouldn't act according to my own ethical tastes, is the only thing I've been seeking to do so far.

But, hesitant as I am to even touch this little ball of crazy you've thrown into the court, I do feel compelled to add that you appear have a laughably paranoid perception of anime streaming services. To say that accusing someone of human trafficking because they run an anime streaming site is insane would almost be giving insanity a bad name. Do you have one source to back that up? I mean, even if you did, it would obviously apply only to the sites mentioned in the source, with no significance for the act of anime streaming generally, which can self-evidently be gone about independently from human/drug trafficking, so you are still mostly full of sensationalistic bullshit under the best of circumstances for your argument. But if you can't even provide the one source…well, "sheltered", I guess, would be the nicest word that comes to mind to describe your understanding of the black market.

Also, if you're browsing their site with an adblocker running (which: why wouldn't you be?), then you're not directly supporting them.
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

eyeofpain wrote:

Talking just as far as DBS is concerned, as I said, it seems it is not illegal to view the fansubs, however you may feel about it. I'm no expert on international copyright law, and as I've admitted, I've been wrong on one aspect of this already, but now that I've actually done my homework beyond the level of "this is what I heard back in the day", I remain confident that OP is good to go, even if the people who make the subs and/or share them with others may not be. If you'd like to dig into it yourself real quick and find I've misread that point, then by all means do so, I would not care to go about with further illusions on the matter after having just dispelled the one.

As far as your last paragraph goes, if you really want to make this into a "my values are better than yours" debate, I guess we can do that, too (probably inevitable that somebody fires those opening shots sooner or later in a thread like this), but since until this last post you'd been pretty good about not pushing your values on others, I had planned to continue giving you the same respect. So far, I'm just talking about the laws relevant to OP's options, and as I now understand them, he is still okay to view the fansubs of an unlicensed series; fansubbers are even okay to translate unlicensed shows, the only thing not okay is to attach their independent translations to audio/video files of the original material, the dissemination of which alone is the legal issue (meaning RAW provision and fansub dissemination is illegal for exactly the same reason with neither being treated as a special case). Again, could be misreading all this, but it would have to be for more of a reason than what I'm saying not vibing with your personal common sense and morality.


The Berne Convention, of which both Japan (since 1899) and the United States (since 1989) are parties to, guarantees that member countries recognize copyrights originating from, or registered in other member countries. This means that an animated work created in Japan is automatically regarded as a copyrighted work in countries such as the United States, and all protections awarded to copyrighted works originating in the United States are to be extended to those originating in other member countries.

Additionally, just because a work exists doesn't mean you have an obligation to watch it. There are other works that you could be watching that aren't legally ambiguous, or morally indefensible.

It was in light of the Berne Convention that I corrected my original statement on page 1 of the thread. There doesn't appear to be anything in there, as far as I can tell, that would make explicitly illegal the mere viewing of a RAW/fansub of something unlicensed in your country that was already uploaded on a streaming site as long as you're not spreading around copies of the thing yourself, despite the fact that whoever took the act of uploading it in the first place for your viewing pleasure was in violation of the law.

And, again, it's not like I went through and read every word of the whole thing, so I could be wrong. I would appreciate being told if that's the case, but no one in this thread so far seems to be just coming out and saying, "No, even the mere free-of-charge viewing is illegal, and here is where it says that," just implying that since the distribution of the AV files itself is illegal, any activity associated with their existence must be as well. While common sense may well suggest that, I don't see where the law does.

Redistribution is certainly a violation of copyright, and torrenting, which is the most common means that people seem to use to obtain media illegally, defaults to re-sharing files.

Whether or not the use of viewing via streaming sites is itself illegal, it should be considered that many of these sites are operated by crime syndicates, much the same as bootleg DVDs, and the use of such services may be directly benefiting criminals engaged in drug and human trafficking, among other activities, in addition to not compensating the creators of a work that you are consuming.

I'm sorry, I fully agree with the first paragraph, but the second is sooooo off-base that it borders on" tinfoil hat" and "grassy knoll" theory. I met my first anime fan-subbers when I joined an anime club in the mid-to-late 90s. Were they gangsters and reprobates? No, they were anime fan clubs who were tired of not being able to see anime they wanted so they traded tapes and fan-subbed them for each other. This was the way it was and this is still the way it is in most cases. Most fan-subbers I meet are just a few college kids with time on their hands who want others to see the anime they love that we don't get over here. As a matter of fact, Crunchyroll was once one of those sites you look down upon. They came out of the dark into the light and became one of the biggest proponents of legalized anime. Are you saying this site we're on down was once run by organized crime? I believe that as much as I believe men can get pregnant and chickens can fly upside down. Even when you see the news on fansubbers/posters getting arrested or sued it's always "an individual: or "or_ individuals" which I've never seen go more than a handful.

As to they why you rarely see people get sued for titles that aren't licensed over here? It's always been the case that to claim damages you have to prove real physical cash lost. If something isn't available it's nearly impossible to claim real losses on it. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but exceptions aren't the norm, they're exactly what they sound like...exceptions.
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Posted 2/7/16

kevz_210 wrote:


XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

To save a long speech, what you are saying is tantamount to saying that it's okay to download music illegally because it's already been ripped.

Pirating is a huge problem here in the U.S. but how many people do you know who openly say that they visit sites like pirate bay? You're acting like it's less of a problem because the laws are hard to enforce. Hence why, I shall once again state that, it is more of a concern towards your own morality.

Also, I kind of find it disrespectful. You are ripping off artists and studios that have worked hard to make that content available because you couldn't wait a little bit for it to be licensed. Not to mention that that is the reason why so many pandering shows and merchandise are being made since everyone has high demand but just refuse to pay for anything because they can just download it/watch it for free.



Yawn. If it weren't for fansubbing I wouldn't have become an anime fan since watching it 10 years ago was almost impossible off of legal avenues and I would have never have dumped $100s in buying DVDs of those series I enjoy the most.

If companies don't legally license it that's their problem what viewers overseas do. This might be one of those technically illegal cases, but you are not going to get in trouble, and besides you can't technically be stealing since if there is no legal avenue in your region what potential revenue are they missing out on? If you are a legal scholar and you are going to lose sleep over this then I guess your only option is to literally pack your bags and move to Japan just to watch a single show....

Good thing I reworded and saved the long speech if that bored you.

But congratulations, you basically just reworded everything I said and added your own very misrepresented accounting of the law with reasons why you think that its justified.

And what's so wrong with being a legal scholar? xD Rules may be a pain in the ass to follow some times but, I mean, most of them are there for a solid reason. I think it's quite hilarious that as a consumer you could give any less of a fuck how many people you fuck over with your ripped content but you'd be singing a vastly different tune if you had a product that could potentially sell well and it was getting pirated instead.

But whatever xp
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Posted 2/7/16 , edited 2/8/16

neugenx wrote:

I'm sorry, I fully agree with the first paragraph, but the second is sooooo off-base that it borders on" tinfoil hat" and "grassy knoll" theory. I met my first anime fan-subbers when I joined an anime club in the mid-to-late 90s. Were they gangsters and reprobates? No, they were anime fan clubs who were tired of not being able to see anime they wanted so they traded tapes and fan-subbed them for each other. This was the way it was and this is still the way it is in most cases. Most fan-subbers I meet are just a few college kids with time on their hands who want others to see the anime they love that we don't get over here. As a matter of fact, Crunchyroll was once one of those sites you look down upon. They came out of the dark into the light and became one of the biggest proponents of legalized anime. Are you saying this site we're on down was once run by organized crime? I believe that as much as I believe men can get pregnant and chickens can fly upside down. Even when you see the news on fansubbers/posters getting arrested or sued it's always "an individual: or "or_ individuals" which I've never seen go more than a handful.

As to they why you rarely see people get sued for titles that aren't licensed over here? It's always been the case that to claim damages you have to prove real physical cash lost. If something isn't available it's nearly impossible to claim real losses on it. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but exceptions aren't the norm, they're exactly what they sound like...exceptions.


Although I agree with you that the dude's well into nutter territory with that second paragraph (if that wasn't abundantly clear already from my last post), I think he was directing his accusations at the streaming sites that host embedded videos of fansubbed material, not the fansubbers themselves. I would say he actually entered Tinfoil Hat County several miles back in believing that these sites have anything to do with human trafficking, but they are a bit shadier than the fansubbers, in that they do rarely confine themselves to unlicensed material, and even a lot fansubbers themselves tend to be displeased about their work being hosted without permission on those kind of sites.

Again, not saying it's any less of a crazy thing to believe, just that I can see a teensy bit more how a very sheltered person who just regards everything on "the wrong side of the law" as a sort of hazy, demonic mythworld could arrive at that opinion of the streaming sites than he could of the fansubbers (not saying there are no other avenues by which he could have reached that bizarre perception, but "very sheltered" is my first hypothesis).
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Fansubbers and the people who run illegal streaming sites are not necessarily the same groups.
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Posted 2/8/16 , edited 2/8/16

eyeofpain wrote:

Fansubbers and the people who run illegal streaming sites are not necessarily the same groups.


And by the history of this site we're on, they're not necessarily the way you think either now, are they?
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