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Pirate Anime FAQ Updated 172

Joe Curzon writes "The Pirate Anime FAQ has finally been updated, after year of me being far to busy to do anything on the internet! The FAQ would have been released sooner, but my request on Slashdot.org produced some "interesting" feedback via e-mail. This update includes a new and improved Fansub section, which also covers Digisubs. Scanlations have been added as a point of interest. Additionally the Audio CD and DVD sections have been improved with more details on the Pirate Companies and how to spot their "products". I would also like to say that feedback from readers and the industry is critical for keeping the FAQ up to date, and without their previous and continuing support The Pirate Anime FAQ could not exist. Finally I would to remind people to be extremely cautious when buying from on-line auction sites such as eBay. The most common e-mail I get sent is from concerned fans who have just found out that they have bought some pirate goods off a seller who claimed what they were selling was legitimate."
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Pirate Anime FAQ Updated

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  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gloth ( 180149 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:21PM (#6718976)
    What's so special about this FAQ that it received so much attention here? Wasn't too long ago that even the thought of updating it made it to the frontpage [slashdot.org]
    • Re:So what? (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Taco doesn't want to go to federal pound me in the ass prison, and he runs the site.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:23PM (#6718985)
    I thought this FAQ would help me pirate Anime... sigh.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    just to make sure i know how the pirate
    items feel and look like i'll have to buy _some_
    of them.
  • I'll bet the pirate anime movies are all rated.....PG-13!

    *dodges scurvy*

  • Aw MAN. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:24PM (#6718995) Homepage
    The most common e-mail I get sent is from concerned fans who have just found out that they have bought some pirate goods off a seller who claimed what they were selling was legitimate.

    I knew that Rei blow-up doll couldn't be a licensed product...
  • OOOOOKAY then... (Score:2, Informative)

    by bersl2 ( 689221 )
    It's been updated three times since the last story [slashdot.org] about it...
  • by neiffer ( 698776 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:26PM (#6719004) Homepage
    I wonder how much of a big deal this is. Sure, protecting copyright is important, but I don't think anime expansion in the United States would have happened as fast or expansively without copyright violation. Are there are real stats (not trumped up RIAA-style statistics) saying how much of a problem this is? Also, would an FAQ be misguided towards the real problem? Younger children buying cheap ripoffs?
    • by TomHandy ( 578620 ) <tomhandyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @07:56PM (#6719405)
      Well, this is an especially big deal to the original Japanese companies. And it's not just a US issue, but the problem of Japanese anime DVD's being pirated and bootlegged throughout Asia. The Japanese companies have generally expressed an even greater concern about this. In terms of how much it affects the US companies, it's more a different issue. Fansubs generally aren't as much a concern as "import" shops that sell bootlegged anime DVD's, even bootlegged DVD's when the show is licensed and available commercially in the US. Same with eBay auctions, where some companies have been more active in trying to clamp down on bootlegs than others (AnimEigo in particular has tried very hard to deal with the bootlegs of some of the shows they have licensed and released commercially like Kimagure Orange Road and SDF Macross).

      And you are right..... the US companies in particular do recognize the role fansubs play, and the general thing they ask for is to stop distributing fansubs of shows when they are licensed..... although the digisubs phenomenon makes this more difficult, because it isn't as easy to halt digisub distribution compared to the VHS fansub days, when a fansub distributor could stop distributing a fansub, and the extent of a fansub's spread after that was less, and the quality wasn't that good anyway compared to commercial releases. This is the big issue that is dealt with regarding digisubs, which can be copied and distributed easily to hundreds or thousands of people at a time, and each subsequent copy isn't degraded like when people copied fansubs for friends, etc.

      But anyway, the focus, and the big deal is most definitely the actual bootleg anime DVD's, etc..... fansubs and digisubs aren't seen as quite the same kind of issue.


      • Certainly, a big deal to Japanese companies, but I don't that answers my original concern. These companies wouldn't have a product to care about in US markets minus the piracy. Remember, anime started off as a tiny nitch in the market. Nobody cared 15 years ago when enterprising companies were selling products based on the copyrighted images at county fairs in 1989, because at that time, it was consider publicity. Now that there is a market (again, I don't get it, it's not my taste in popular culture),
        • by TomHandy ( 578620 ) <tomhandyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @09:49PM (#6719846)
          Not really...... the fansubs that helped to pave the way for this were not really being sold (and there wasn't a big market for bootlegged anime)..... most fansub distros distributed fansubs essentially for the cost of the tape and shipping and handling. No-one complained about this because there wasn't much of a commercial anime market anyway, and they did recognize the role fansubs played in getting interest in commercial anime. I don't know about the example you cited.... by 1989 there was a nascent commercial anime market, but i'm not aware of any companies that were selling unauthorized stuff on any significant scale.

          As far as people "whining" about their copyright, I don't know exactly what you mean. Which people are you saying are whining? The Japanese companies are "whining" about digital piracy in general to the degree that it is rampant throughout Asia, and it is also devaluing their properties, and there are people profiting from their products. The companies in the US generally are only requesting that people stop fansubbing when they license a show, but they are hardly "whining".... every company is concerned about bootlegging and pirates selling bootlegged material, but I'm not sure what is hard to understand about why companies would dislike this.

          Anyway, I hope that clears it up... I'm still not completely sure what you were asking above, but anyway, the US market for anime was helped by fansubbers, fans of these shows who fansubbed and basically helped to distribute anime for no profit, and helped to raise interest in anime, and to some degree to help companies determine what shows might be worth licensing and bringing out commercially. People who sold fansubs or pirated material were never looked upon well..... whatever people were SELLING fansubs or bootlegs at "county fairs in 1989" weren't seen as positive by fansubbers or Japanese or US companies.

          Hope this helps. And at least explains the views on fansubbing, and bootlegs sold for profit, etc.


    • Sure, protecting copyright is important

      You can take issue with the copyright aspect if you want but that's not the point of the FAQ.

      The intent is to allow people who are looking for authentic goods to identify them.

      When I first began to buy anime goods, I assumed everything I saw was legitimate. I was lucky to stumble onto this FAQ by accident before I wasted too much money on inferior products. But I did waste some -- and having replaced those bootleg items with originals, I can attest to the serious
  • Is this correct? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:27PM (#6719012) Journal
    "US Citizens should note it is also a federal offence to import, buy, sell or trade these goods."

    Doesn't the law saying you have to KNOW the goods are pirate?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Ignorance is no excuse to the law.
      • by neiffer ( 698776 )
        While that might be true in some circumstances, it is not true in copyright law. If they were true for copyright, Hilary Rosen could have sat a K-Mart with pirated (arrrr...) copies of House Party III that *looked* real and brought up federal charges against any poor sap that was unfortunately enough to pick up a copy. I think the same issue applies here with anime.
      • Re:Is this correct? (Score:5, Informative)

        by kaltkalt ( 620110 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @07:32PM (#6719311)
        Yes but some laws require a mental element, i.e. intent ("mens rea" in legal fancy-latin). That's different from ignorance of the law. If I jump out at you from behind a tree and yell "boo!" to scare you and cause you to have a heart attack and die, it is not murder because I did not have the intent to kill you (even though my act caused you to die and I knew killing someone is murder, which is illegal). If you buy it thinking it is real, it is still contraband and you can't bring it into the country (it will be confiscated by Customs if they find it) but you won't be charged with a crime. Now, bringing in 100,000 units of pirated stuff might get you in some trouble b/c it could imply an intent to sell/distribute the stuff (it's clearly not for your personal use).

        Yes, this applies to drugs, too. For example, if someone sticks a bag of pot in your pocket and you had no idea they did it, you're technically not guilty of a crime, even though the stuff is in your possession. But, you'll have a hard time convincing the cops that someone stuck it in there (don't they have the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Sure... but these are drugs, and as we all know the Constitution doesn't apply to drug crimes).

        Anyway, bottom line is you're not gonna get in criminal trouble for bringing a pirated anime doll or whatever into the US from abroad. It can be confiscated, though (ya won't get it back, no matter how innocent/ignorant you were).
        • "If I jump out at you from behind a tree and yell "boo!" to scare you and cause you to have a heart attack and die, it is not murder because I did not have the intent to kill you (even though my act caused you to die and I knew killing someone is murder, which is illegal)."

          While it is probable that you won't be guilty of murder, you may be convicted of manslaughter.

          Also, you mention that "I knew killing someone is murder, which is illegal" -- this has no bearing at all on the legal case. Ignorance is no
          • Also, you mention that "I knew killing someone is murder, which is illegal" -- this has no bearing at all on the legal case.
            I know, I was trying to show the difference between ignorance of law (which the post I was replying to mentioned) and lack of mens rea.

            While it is probable that you won't be guilty of murder, you may be convicted of manslaughter.

            It's very unlikely. Surprising someone by yelling "boo!" is not in and of itself an inherently dangerous activity sufficient in and of itself to suppo
  • by vevva ( 693964 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:29PM (#6719023)
    Hmm.. should be interesting to see how this debate pans out given the parallels with MP3s. At least the Anime/Manga producers haven't got teams of goons issuing subpoenas to come round and inspect our bookshelves. "Excuse me sir, we have reason to believe you may be in possession of some unlicensed tentacle porn - would you mind accompanying us to the station"
  • by Sexy Commando ( 612371 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:34PM (#6719046) Journal
    It's worthy to note that 90% of Hong Kong Anime TV-show DVDs are from the inferior TV captured sources, not from the DVD releases. Of course you can find dedicated pirates who strive to get the same quality as the original, but it's not likely you can find them in Hong Kong made DVDs.

    If the show is unlicensed in the US, it is likely that you can download from BT sites like here [animesuki.com] and here [scarywater.net].

    • The only BitTorrent anime link you need is animesuki.com as it is a portal that tracks current and past releases and links to the respective download sites, tpyically scareywater or animetorrents... but others too like gotwoot.

      Animesuki is like Cartoon Network on demand, without all of the filler crap.
  • Uhh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:37PM (#6719059) Homepage Journal
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't selling pirated stuff even more cracked down on that downloading/sharing it? I mean fuck, that's a total kick in the face to the author. It's one thing to acquire stuff illegally, but it's another to go around selling it as if it was your's to sell. Why not just sue the crap out of everyone who sells pirated stuff and skip the consumer FAQ? Because the consumer really doesn't care whether or not it's licensed.
    • by Hast ( 24833 )
      You would think so, but not really. Besides that copyright law doesn't apply in China (de facto) they don't seem to be doing much about it in other countries either. I guess it's easier to c&d teenagers and college students, they don't really have the means to fight back.
    • Re:Uhh (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Siriaan ( 615378 )
      I don't speak Japanese.
    • by twoallbeefpatties ( 615632 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @08:41PM (#6719579)
      The U.S. doesn't have much authority to go after the people that pirate anime. The stereotypical point of sale for this stuff is Hong Kong. Though not everything comes out of there, obviously, the majority is printed and distributed from the Far East, not from within the U.S., and surely you've heard about the rampancy of piracy in countries like China, where more software, music, and movies are sold as pirated material than as the real thing. They have enough trouble as it is going after the niche stuff like anime.

      It's important to keep the consumer aware about this stuff because most of it is something "we" have no control over. If you're ever in Boston, go to Tokyo Kid in Harvard Square, an anime-goods-only store, and check out their selection. They don't sell the video ripoffs, but they do have an extremely good selection of pirated CDs. Of course, you wouldn't know that the CDs are pirates. They look just like the real thing, except for the fine print that credits "Ever Anime" as the distributor.

      Or check out eBay. I'ma hop over and type "Lain" into the search box and see what comes up. Choose the section of results from videos only. Of the 50 results on the first page, 4 of those results were people selling a region 1 DVD. The rest are selling region-free discs, and some aren't even shy about shipping directly from Hong Kong, Singapore, or Malaysia, while others are proud to be U.S. sellers. And if the sellers aren't even in the U.S., what jurisdiction does even eBay have to do about it? Are they going to go in and hand-pick out every pirate disc they find? Serious caveat-emptor.

    • The consumer does care whether its licensed or not. When somethings licensed you get less episodes per dvd as well as it costing more. If someones actually passing off unlicensed as pirated you are royally getting ripped off
    • Re:Uhh (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
      I agree, but there are problems.

      The FAQ is an educational tool. Some people don't even know that this stuff is pirated. Some bootleg packages are pretty darn convincing, and only telltake cues and sometimes even comparison to the real thing may be needed for people to spot them.

      The licencees often don't have the time to crack down on the biggest sellers. Some licencees do take the time to join eBay's little rights-owner program and get pirated stuff cancelled, but not all.

      Most of the pirated stuff is
  • heh (Score:4, Funny)

    by elmegil ( 12001 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:39PM (#6719066) Homepage Journal
    The most common e-mail I get sent is from concerned fans who have just found out that they have bought some pirate goods off a seller who claimed what they were selling was legitimate.

    You mean like that Cowboy Bebop boxed set I bought claiming "english subtitles", only to find that they were Engrish at best. Totally incomprehensible.

    • Amazon? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Cyno01 ( 573917 ) <Cyno01@hotmail.com> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:50PM (#6719120) Homepage
      I probably bought the same set, Cowboy Bebop: The Perfect Sessions [amazon.com]? After i ordered it i read some of the reviews, most of them were like "shame on amazon for selling pirate dvds". I got it and sure enough the set is a bootleg, but the entire set in decent quality for only $30, i dont really mind.
      • Actually no it's not that one. The one I got looks like possibly a hong kong release or some such (or bootleg of same). Are the subtitles on the Perfect Sessions that bad? The one I have doesn't even have dubbed english, it's all japanese or chinese.
        • Perfect Sessions has English and Japanese sound tracks and English and Chinese subtitles. The english voices are the same as on Cartoon Network. Theres 9 eps per disc and the menus are ok, but the audio loop in the menus is atrocious. Other than some pixelation during gate scenes, esp in the one with the greenpeace searat guys, the set is ok.
      • To be fair, it's not Amazon that's doing the actual selling, per-se. The "new and used" link points to external shops that are selling bootlegs of the very much out-of-print boxed set. Such shops are common on Yahoo as well. However, blaming Amazon is like blaming eBay because someone puts a bootleg up for bid. But it's easy to spot such items by price. If someone is selling an entire series, new, on three DVDs for $30, or if someone is selling an anime soundtrack CD for $9.95, you can be sure you're g
  • ... Okay, so, I was convinced that this had to be something to do with anime featuring pirates. ... Fansub section, which also covers Digisubs.

    Do those not sound like the titles of anime series to you?

    Arr, it's driving me nuts...
  • Darn... (Score:5, Funny)

    by palp ( 90815 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:47PM (#6719103) Homepage
    I was hoping for some information on Pirate Anime, not pirated anime.

    Arr, matey!
  • Fansubs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neostorm ( 462848 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:50PM (#6719113)
    Everytime something a little underground get coverage on slashdot, I cringe. I really hope this doesn't cause copyright holders to crack down on Fansub distributions, because I really dig my fansubs.

    On top of that, I'm pretty certain that anyone willing to buy dubbed versions of the same anime when they're ported to the US market (100 years after Japanese release) will still buy the DVDs anyways. That is to say, I hope this doesn't become another mp3 crackdown because some greedy bastards decide that fansubs are "ruining their profit".
    • RTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @07:44PM (#6719366)
      This is not "something a little underground," and this is _not_ about fansubs. This is about professional pirates operating out of Taiwan and mass producing physical goods to sell at a profit.

      I have no problem with fansubers and file-sharers, for anime or for mainstream media, but it really pisses me off that there are people out there making a profit off of this stuff. If i'm actually going to spend money on a product, i damn well want the profit going to the people who deserve it, not some criminals somewhere.

      Yeah, import CDs are expensive, and given the market for cheap pirated ones i can't figure out why the real companies don't make cheaper American versions. The high prices may justify not buying the original in your mind, but that doesn't excuse buying counterfeit goods. Either cough up the extra $10 or $15 for the real thing, or just content yourself with mp3s.

      • If i'm actually going to spend money on a product, i damn well want the profit going to the people who deserve it, not some criminals somewhere.

        It's worth mentioning that the "criminals" are well-known: they are the mafia. The vast majority of professional piracy (video, music, and software) is run by organized crime. These aren't small-time copy shops.

        And before anyone trots out a "Good, screw the MPAA!" joke, keep in mind that at least some of these outfits utilize "indentured" slave labor. That boo
      • I never said it was about fansubs, but it touches on pirate communities taking fansubbed work and selling it as legit material.

        The term "underground" is loosely applied. Fansubbing is pretty underground as the majority of people on the net know nothing about it.

        "The high prices may justify not buying the original in your mind..."
        I have quite a collection of domestic anime, and never once have I said I didn't support buying this form of media.

        Obscurity breeds longevity on the net. Slashdot has a knack o
    • Re:Fansubs (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RickHunter ( 103108 )

      Actually, very few American or Japanese companies have a problem with fansubbers. (Carl Macek, of Harmony Gold, is the only one I can think off of the top of my head) Fansubbers are very nearly their best friends. These are people willing to do the work of obtaining high-quality copies of episodes, translating and subbing them, and distributing them to fans for free. This gives the commercial importers/translators a great chance to judge how popular a series is before dropping loads of money on it. (Though

  • by cubyrop ( 647235 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:50PM (#6719114)
    I can appreciate that the prevailing mode of slashdotters, especially when it comes to piracy, is one of legality and reason (or so they would like to seem). Really though, is a FAQ for anime piracy _truly_ relevant?

    The reasons that piracy exists in anime is because a) most anime fans do not speak japanese (although they do certainly try, don't they) and therefore require the intermediary of fansubbing (illegal), and b) obtaining imported products, especially soundtracks, are _prohibitively_ expensive. This isn't like "go to Tower and pick up the CD for 15 bucks" ... these things run 30 and 40 dollars for the real mccoy.

    And as others have no doubt already said (or are about to say), this is not a situation where the market conditions are changing per se, as is the case domestically with CD sales; rather, this is a case of a market expanding in a way ultimately beneficial to both consumers and producers.

    There hasn't been a single case of a Japanese company cracking down on this in the US, at least that I'm aware, so really in all honesty, this FAQ comes off like that one kid in class who reminds the teacher that she forgot to give homework. So you bought a pirated CD by mistake. What are you going to do now, send it back? Or perhaps write a FAQ about it?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe because most anime fans are basically honest, and they like anime and want to support the companies that import it.

      From a more practical perspective, sometimes it is hard to tell what is a licensed or unlicensed product if you are new to anime.
    • by Nimrodel ( 637279 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @07:25PM (#6719280)
      Actually, I've found, those aren't really the reasons that people pirate anime. The most prevalent reason is that when anime are dubbed into English, they tend to be butchered, scenes are cut, translations are totally wrong (not to mention some of the voices are downright terrible). People watch pirated subtitled anime because it's 'truer' to the original. The people who pirate these are people who really love the series, so the do as much to preserve all the original meaning. Second, many very good series just aren't brougth to America. Many wouldn't translate very good (I personally know at least one that was so full of of jokes based on Japanese culture/language that it would nearly be impossible to translate and keep the real meaning). Pirated anime has much more variety than whatever you'd find on television or at the store in America. I do agree that actually buying all this anime would be prohibitively expensive. That point you made is extremely true.
      • I'm not sure about this...... I don't think it's been true for quite a while that when anime is brought out commercially in the US that it tends to be butchered, scenes are cut, translations are totally wrong, etc.

        There are only a handful of examples of this I can think of, and most of them involve the company 4Kids, which brings out some kids shows.

        Outside of that, the major anime companies like ADV, Bandai, Pioneer, Synch-Point, AnimEigo, Central Park Media, Media Blasters, etc. all generally release

        • Outside of that, the major anime companies like ADV,

          Just thought I'd like to point out that ADV does a lot of stuff that makes you both love and hate them at the same time.

          They just released the uncut original Sailor Moon first season on DVD. All of it, which is nice because they cut literally half the show when Dic dubbed it. I was amazed at what I was missing. (Shut up, you haven't seen the original if you think it's stupid. :P)

          So why do I hate them for it? Well, they did what they've done with quite
          • Yeah, not saying ADV is perfect...... even the best companies have had their share of problems. I guess when it comes to things like audio tracks, etc..... sometimes they just use whatever is provided to them, or they use whatever audio tracks they have the rights to (I don't know, do the Japanese Sailor Moon DVD's have better quality audio?). I think when it comes down to an older show like this though, the amount of audio and video remastering is probably dependent on if it is financiall feasible. If t
            • It's not really the DVD authoring part that I know that much about (I know enough to encode to MPEG2 and mux an AC3 stream into it, creating a VOB...) - but since that audio was digital, loading it into Goldwave or CoolEdit or (insert sound editor of choice) is trivial, and applying a noise gate and a normalizer would have easily improved the quality about 90%.

              For more than that, it's more advanced than I can do, so I couldn't complain at that point :) And I'm still not really complaining, since as you say
      • Actually, the only anime pirates I know who use the "butchered" excuse are ones who don't know a drop of Japanese (or if they do, just a smattering of common words) that automatically assume something must be butchered. In fact, most of the anime pirates I know will willingly buy illegal Hong Kong DVDs of series or movies that have already been given good US releases, just because they don't want to pay for it.

        Now, I've been taking classes in Japanese for two years, and while I'm still far from proficient
      • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @08:59PM (#6719640) Journal
        I do agree that actually buying all this anime would be prohibitively expensive. That point you made is extremely true.

        Of course. This is why you don't buy all the anime. I pick and choose what DVDs to buy on a regular basis. Sure, I give preference to series I have seen and liked on fansubs, but I don't use my fansubs as an excuse not to buy and support a series I liked.

        Think about it this way: BGC 2040 exists because US fans bought enough copies of the original that ADV went to the AIC and said "You know, BGC completely tanked over on your side of the ocean, but look, if you make us a new series, we'll sell it over here." And so they did, and somewhere in there, the idea of the US companies supporting Japanese animators was born. So, if you have a series you like, buy their DVDs. Encourage everyone to buy the DVDs. Just maybe, the Japanese company will say "gee, this is pretty popular over there, lets make another season." And so Big O season 2 was born (just in case you thought it was an isolated incident that wouldn't happen for your favorite series. While the Japanese economy continues to slump, expect this to happen more often).

        As for your "totally wrong" translations, what are you comparing these to? Hopefully not the horrid engrish subs on some HK discs. The fansubs? Not translating a word because you can't think of a good way to do it is a cop-out. Throwing more subs on the screen to explain the word is great for an educational video, but would never fly on cartoon network. And thats when the college student with a couple of semesters of Japanese over what ever he's learned from watching other shows gets the translation correct... When I started getting into anime, the VHS fansub groups actually hired professional translators to do the work. The digisub generation has decided that doing it right isn't worth not being the first to the servers ("mass naked child events" ring a bell to any AnimeJunkies fans?)

        Well, thats the end of my rant. If you're going to pirate a show thats SO GOOD and you don't think the US release will do it justice, buy the Japanese release. I've got several R2 DVDs. With a dvd-burner, a decent mpeg2 demuxer/muxer, a dvd sub generator, and a script you like you can make your own subtitled DVDs that will be much higher quality than any chinese subbed dvd or divxed-to-hell fansub.

        I do, and while I know there won't be a second season for Kokoro Toshokan or Saishuu Heiki Kanojo, I am preordering the pilot DVD for the second season of another show (I won't mention it since I don't want to attract too many "anime is for pedos" trolls. You can figure out which series it is) and I'd like to think that I helped the second season become reality.
        • ("mass naked child events" ring a bell to any AnimeJunkies fans?)

          I would just like to comment that that is the exact scene I was thinking of when I made my below post. ;-)
        • If you really want to be supportive of the artists, but you're tired of some of the sh*t that comes out in the US (and yes, often enough badly dubbed movies/eps with crappy voiceactors are worse than badly-but-understandable done fansubs) I think the best way would be to get the Japanese version and the fansub.

          Going with what you've described above, you can figure out the gist of what's going on from the fansub and perhaps some translational articles, and remake them if you have the equipment to do the su
      • I wouldn't consider Fansubbed anime pirating. Most groups are very concerned with the Anime business in general and stop fansubbing as soon as they find out a company has licensed the Anime for distribution in North America. I know I have felt kind of ripped off more than once when I find out an anime or manga has been licensed, but I will probably buy the manga and perhaps the anime when it comes out.

        • Most groups are very concerned with the Anime business in general and stop fansubbing as soon as they find out a company has licensed the Anime for distribution in North America.

          This used to be mostly true. Now it's at best partly true. VHS fansubbing has a significant startup cost, which kept out anyone who wasn't really serious -- pirates looking to save a few bucks on anime aren't going to spend $3000 on a subtitling rig.

          Digisubbing has zero barrier to entry. While there are lots of excellent and e
    • Blockquoth the poster:

      obtaining imported products, especially soundtracks, are _prohibitively_ expensive. This isn't like "go to Tower and pick up the CD for 15 bucks" ... these things run 30 and 40 dollars for the real mccoy

      Well, first of all, you're exaggerating the hell out of the import situation. You can find virtually any Japanese CD you could possibly want right here [cdjapan.co.jp]. They do mail order to anywhere in the world, they're fast and reliable, they're 100% legitimate, and depending on the exchange

      • $25 plus shipping sounds a lot like $30-40 to me. And even without shipping, that still doesn't compare to the Tower price stated ($15).

        As a bit of an aside, I know one of the things that bug me the most about buying real Japanese CDs is just how short so many of them are. All too often, you pay close to $30 for something a little more than a half an hour in length. The fact is that by most people's standards, the CDs are overpriced - Japan at least allows you to rent them at stores (which sell CD-R blanks
        • Blockquoth the poster:

          $25 plus shipping sounds a lot like $30-40 to me.

          If you were an idiot and bought them one at a time, maybe...

          And even without shipping, that still doesn't compare to the Tower price stated ($15).

          Now you're just being fatuous. It's an import -- deal with it.

          As a bit of an aside, I know one of the things that bug me the most about buying real Japanese CDs is just how short so many of them are.

          I don't know what albums you're choosing, but mine routinely run 60 to 70 minu

    • and b) obtaining imported products, especially soundtracks, are _prohibitively_ expensive. This isn't like "go to Tower and pick up the CD for 15 bucks" ... these things run 30 and 40 dollars for the real mccoy.

      Not true, you just don't know where to look. If you're going to Amazon to pick up your Anime you're out of your mind. Try a place like Deep Discount DVD [deepdiscountdvd.com]. I picked up Berserk [deepdiscountdvd.com] (the most awesome series ever!) for $18.00 there (4 episodes on the disk) when it's $27.00 at Amazon [amazon.com]. Same thing with the Ke

  • With few places in my area, I often have trouble comparing products, in attempt to acertain their authenticity (thats a lot of a-words). The pictures and examples found here will make this much easier.
  • hogwash... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by segment ( 695309 ) <sil@ p o l i t r ix.org> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @06:51PM (#6719125) Homepage Journal
    Why do some retailers sell them? Some retailers are unaware that they are selling unlicensed goods, this could be because they don't know enough about anime goods, or maybe they want to make a bigger profit, as unlicensed goods are cheaper. Some retailers knowingly sell these goods for numerous reasons.
    In many major cities there are hundreds of retailers selling them, hell I go into my local vid store and find bootlegs left and right. The author did a nice page of trying, but the fact is, many people from here who followed the link probably clicked the back button a few seconds later.

    Fact: There are many out there who use the net for an escape, and many of those who do probably don't have the money to amuse or entertain themselves otherwise. So is it that much of a threat for Farmer Bob's son to download something he'll probably use for a week then toss to the side? Most articles only focus on the hardcore bootleggers, and they never exclude people like I just described in their stats. Hell I dont even know where they get their stats from anyway. No one has ever called my house to ask my views on this, yet in most articles you would see something state "The majority of users blah blah blah" I've spoken to my friends, and they've spoken to their friends about these stats and whether or not someone contacted them, and you know what.... No one I know or they know has ever been contacted, and these people are on comps way too much.

    So the moral of the story is this... Absolutely nothing... People are going to do what they're going to do, it's happened in every industry, and it will continue doing so... Full circle...

    • A good reason for consumers to not buy pirated anime (or other HK stuff) is that the quality is often abysmal. I'd rather not pay for stuff that is lower quality than stuff you can download.
  • by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @07:09PM (#6719212)
    Ok, so having read the FAQ, I'd like to point out some interesting quotes:

    Occasionally the legitimate item might not be available, so fans go for bootlegs in this case too.

    And who's fault is this? I wouldn't even call this bootlegging.

    Official goods normally have good quality packaging that is well designed.

    That just isn't true. Ditto for pirated Anime but all of the Anime I own has average to crappy packaging.

    If the price is too good to be true, then it is not the real thing.

    That's a wonderfull way to spot a bootlegger! Unless they charge $30 for a 2 to 4 episode DVD they probably aren't legit. Does anyone know why they cost so much? Can't be the English subtitling, since they don't even have to know English to do their work

    if it is set to Region 0 or All Regions and has Chinese as well as English subtitles there is a very strong chance that the title is a bootleg.

    I am assuming that customers want both chinese and english subtitles, but legit DVDs do not provide those?

    • by TomHandy ( 578620 ) <tomhandyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday August 17, 2003 @07:33PM (#6719315)
      Regarding the legitimate item not being available, I'm not sure whose fault you are implying here, but you seem to think that if the product isn't available, it's the fault of some particular company, and therefore isn't even bootlegging in this case. Normally there can be a number of factors, including the rights to a show being in limbo, or some other issue. Either way, it doesn't change it from being bootlegging if you buy a bootlegged company of something. Although it is probably lower on the scale of things people worry about (i.e. if something isn't available commercially in any format).

      Regarding packaging, I don't know what anime you own, but either way, just because the anime you own has average to crappy packaging doesn't mean that is true of all commercial anime, especially more recent stuff. Certainly some modern anime releases still have poor packaging design, etc. (you can get a good idea of this by reading the reviews on animeondvd.com, which goes into a lot of detail usually on packaging, menu design, etc.). Either way, the main issue with that entry in the Pirate Anime FAQ is that a lot of pirate anime still ends up with good packaging because they are able to spend more on high quality packaging, and for the artwork they usually just steal art and packaging design from the Japanese or US releases.

      Not sure what you mean about "not having to know English to do their work". I'm not sure what commercial anime you own, but generally most subtitling is pretty good, although there are still examples of some shows released with sometimes poor translations (or at least inaccurate). But this is more the exception than the rule, and it makes me wonder what commercial anime you have, as generally it is the bootlegs that are known for very poor English translations, which are generally done by people who know very little English. Or are the bootlegs what you were referring to?

      Regarding the pricing, most of the cost has to do with the cost of licensing the show, the cost of producing it, translating it, often dubbing it, authoring it and doing the other things that go into domestic anime releases. There are plenty of costs involved, and it's not like they just take a Japanese DVD and slap on some subtitles and that's it. Aside from that, the only DVD's now with only 2 episodes a disc are usually very expensive OVA series (such as FLCL, which is 6 episodes across 3 DVD's.....compared with 6 episodes across 6 DVD's for the original Japanese release). Some shorter series get spread across 3 and 4 eps a disc, and some more high profile series are released with sometimes 3 episodes a disc in order to recoup costs, but it's becoming more common to have 4 or 5 episodes a disc.... there are even companies experimenting with doing things like 7 and 8 episodes a disc, with a higher MSRP.

      But the commercial US releases are still considerably cheaper than the Japanese R2 releases..... the point made in the pirate anime FAQ though is that if the prices are insanely low, like a 26 episode series for only $30, then it is likely a bootleg. The general economics of anime can generally explain why no commercial releases can be anywhere as cheap as a bootleg..... prices of commercial anime are coming down a bit, but they still aren't going to compete with bootlegs because bootleggers don't have to really pay for much at all, thus they can sell their stuff for very low prices.

      Your assmption that customers want both Japanese and English subtitles isn't really the reason that bootlegs have Chinese subs in addition to English subs. The Chinese subs are generally because the bootlegs are heavily popular in Asia, and so the bootlegs almost always have Chinese subs. I think you might have been saying this might be a reason why people would buy a bootleg, but that really isn't it. There are legitimate Chinese DVD's with actual Chinese subtitles that are legitimate and commercial, so people who want legitimate Chinese subs can buy commercial DVD's, not resort to bootlegs.

      To answer

    • I'll try and go point by point here:

      Occasionally the legitimate item might not be available, so fans go for bootlegs in this case too.

      And who's fault is this? I wouldn't even call this bootlegging.

      Translation: Official items are unavailable in certain regions, so consumers in those regions have a right to obtain them in any way they see fit.

      Why it's wrong: Owners of copyright have no obligation to distribute their work in every country in the world. As it is pointed out in the FAQ, it is illegal to
    • "And who's fault is this? I wouldn't even call this bootlegging."

      Well, it sure as heck isn't a legal copy. Importing a legit copy is legal. Finding an English script on the internet to go along with it is in the legal gray area. But an illegitimate copy, whether it has subtitles added or not, is still an illegitimate copy.

      " Official goods normally have good quality packaging that is well designed.

      That just isn't true. Ditto for pirated Anime but all of the Anime I own has average to crappy packaging
  • I've been waiting for this so long, I think my face is going to be blue forever. Okay, maybe not. Why do I care? Oh yeah, I don't. Do you?
  • "Normally when a title is licensed fansubbers stop distributing it, however because digisubs are so much easier to distribute a fansubber can no longer prevent others copying a digisub. Since most digisubs are of reasonable to high quality (again it depends who authors it etc), the incentive to purchase the licensed copy is less, this results in more casual or unconcerned fans not bothering to buy the title when it comes out on DVD." Well, actually, there IS an incentive to buy the series when it is releas
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They said LESS incentive. Some people don't care about all that stuff, considering that still most anime comes on a disc or tape with not much else. If you can download a DVD quality DIVX file, thats "good enough" for 90% of people out there, pirates or otherwise.

      The ONLY thing that makes me pay for anime I could get for free on the internet is the fact that I would feel guilty for stealing it.
  • This thing is good because it is a topic that needs to be discussed in Anime fandom. Ignoring does not make it go away. Discussing it doesn't legitimizes it. Its some crazy puritanical non-sense that says one can't know what is wrong or be tempted by it.

    In any event, pirates need to die. Its one thing to fansub something and let others pick it up at their own descression. Its something else to pawn yourself off as legit licensed merchandise. Being able to spot fake merchandise at some vendor's table
  • What's the point of pirated software if you have to pay for it?

  • Under each subheading I was able to replace one paragraph with an asterisk, and I added this at the footnote:

    * You can tell a pirate copy by speckles/bad color/low lustre, but then again pirates are getting better equipment and sometimes you can't tell. If there is no hologram or a bad hologram on CD/DVD cases then it's probably pirate, but some pirates are making their own official-looking holograms now.

    I trimmed the guide's size by 30%!

    Though seriously, I liked how the author explained the "moral but
  • Is the FAQ hosted on a server running Linux? What distribution? What version of Apache? Was the FAQ coded using emacs or vi?
  • Fansub groups (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    For the most part, the fansub groups only distribute unlicensed (meaning not currently being distributed by a legitimate US outfit) anime. Most of the fansub groups don't try to hide either. Tracking them down, would be much easier than chasing after people on P2P networks.

    Because the anime copyright holders aren't out suing the fansub groups to oblivion, I assume there's an informal understanding between them. The fansub groups do a lot to promote the anime to an audience that the anime producers may not
    • Re:Fansub groups (Score:3, Informative)

      by TomHandy ( 578620 )
      Yeah, there has generally always been an informal understanding, although some newer digisub groups seem to disregard the understanding more and more.

      For example, Anime-Kingdom agreed to stop fansubbing and distributing Gundam Seed after Bandai said at Otakon that they wanted people to stop fansubbing it, but AK also took a number of jabs at Bandai and seemed upset about being requested to stop fansubbing it.

      Some groups have continued on with subbing Gundam Seed anyway in spite of Bandai's request, such

  • :P (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Real pirates use DVD-ARRRRR
  • by JessLeah ( 625838 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @08:44PM (#6719595)
    I'm not trying to incite a flamewar. I AM, however, interested in seeing what SlashDotters have to say about this concept: It seems to me that there is a "double standard" on "piracy" (I hate that word; see this page [gnu.org] for some reasons why not to use this word) here. When people "pirate" the MPAA's latest, no one cares, but when people "pirate" anime, people here get upset. Why?
    • When people "pirate" the MPAA's latest, no one cares, but when people "pirate" anime, people here get upset. Why?

      Because, when people pirate MPAA's latest, it is for personal use. The type of pirating done with anime that gets people angry is when it is resold as original merchandise.
    • Primarily because the anime companies are not pushing the DMCA.

      The companies themselves have stated that they _do not_ want to sue any fansubbers, and that they wanted the fans to pressure them to stop doing fansubs of stuff like Gundam SEED.

      The industry is for the most part built by fans, run by fans, and sold to fans. This is contrary to the music industry and movie industry where the majority of people in it are there solely to leech off the millions made on the big sellers.
    • Here's the thing, /. has what, 100s of thousands of readers? And replies to stories rarely go over a thousand, does this suggest to you that maybe you are not hearing from the same people every time?
  • Last time I looked at the faq... it didn't seem to have any information regarding the quicktime versions of starblasers season 1 which I believe were released legitamatly by the copyright holders. Not sure on that issue but I downloaded them from http://www.studionext.com.

    Anyone else have info on this subject, i'm curious whether or not they may be freely redistrubed.

  • I was thinking about how much I just don't give a shit about this topic... and how lame /. has been the last few days...

    then I remembered the only anime I ever liked, before it was called that - Prince Planet. Love that show as a kid. I also know that it has never been released...

    So, if I could get a pirated version of it, then hooray for pirates!
  • One thing that animation companies could do is reduce the cost of the DVDs. Here in Canada a DVD usually costs around $28 (Canadian) excluding tax, yet an anime DVD is usually in the $36-$46 ball park. Then add to that the first DVD in a series usually has four episodes and then all the subsequent DVDs only have 3, yet at the same cost!?

    DVDs are already over-priced as they are. Though all said and done, given that I can't rent, anime DVDs, I find myself caving into buying them. There are many people who w
  • Renting Anime (Score:2, Informative)

    by corgicorgi ( 692903 )
    I've found a great way to get anime. I rent anime from this site call AnimeForest.com [animeforest.com]

    They are great and affordable. I've been with them for awhile now and I'm very satisfy. I've wait for a long time for a site like this to pop up. For all you anime fans out there, check it out, it's awesome!

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."