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Anime Distributor Dubs Using ‘Pirated’ Subs

In an attempt to crack down on pirating anime fans, American anime distributor Funimation announced lawsuits against 1337 alleged BitTorrent downloaders two months ago. An unusual move, and perhaps even a tad bit hypocritical, as behind the scenes footage from the Funimation dubbing room has now revealed that they themselves are using ‘pirated’ subtitles.

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Reibooi4270d ago

There was a big thread about this on the ANN forums and while it's pretty certain that indeed Funi was using Fansubs it doesn't matter. They own the rights to that show meaning they are completely within their rights using those fan subs if they want to do so. Many have said it's violating the fan subbers copyright as they made the subs but this is untrue in the case of HS(horriblesubs) who just rip the files from CR including the subs(and the rights to those subs that CR made revert to the licensor and then to the licensee which in this case is funi) and then just change the styling so they have no rights in the first place. And even if they had made the subs themselves they still have no rights as pirating a show even if you do your own translation gives you no rights.

Bottom line is that Funi owns the rights to the show and can do whatever they wish with the fan subs out there if it helps them save a little time not having to sub it themselves during that process. Not to mention it's not like they are using these subs for the DVD or Blu-rays they just used the files for their recording process. Which could be due to countless things like not getting the official materials from the studio on time(something that is quite common) As you can see from the screen their official translation and script appears on the left side of the screen so it's not like they are putting anyone out of a job for using these files.

Would it have been better not to let people know about this? Sure. But they are well within their rights as the licensee of the show in question and it would be the same for any other show as long as they are the rights holder.

Bottom line everyone making such a big stink about this needs to stop. No one is being harmed from it and no ones rights are being violated. People have been saying Funi are hypocrites.... HOW? They are not downloading this and then giving it away for free with their name on it. They are just using it as a piece of the production process which again they are well within their rights to do.

Archaic4269d ago

You know, my first thought reading this article was that maybe Horriblesubs are actually run by Funi's marketing department themselves, as a way to drum up interest in series they're planning on releasing. Have they shown any obvious bias to shows that Funi have licensed or which they initially declared an interest in licensing?

Reibooi4269d ago

That's not the case. I don't watch many fan subs(or any in the past 5 years or so) but what I was able to get out of what Horriblesubs on the ANN thread about this topic is that all they do is rip the shows that are on Crunchy Roll and then just restyle the subs but aside from that are the exact same thing on the CR site.

Not to mention there is no way any company would secretly run a fan sub group to build up interest in a show. Firstly they would get sued all to hell by the licensor.(They have the rights to sell the show not give it away for free) 2nd it's been proven that interest in a show online does not equal success when it's released. Haruhi was a perfect example as it had a insane rabid fanbase online which is what got Bandai to license it and while it sold enough to net them a profit it wasn't nearly as much as the internet hype indicted it should have.

And to answer you question on if horrible subs shows bias towards shows Funi showed interest in the answer is no. They state on their site that they rip everything from the CR, Funi and used to rip from ANN.

Xof4269d ago

Fansubs are illegal, right?
So the people who make the fansubs don't really have a legitimate claim on their work, right?

Then what's to stop legitimate companies from, say, buying the license of a show and then selling the fansub versions online?

Hell, if the industry really wants to change, actively incorporate fansubbers into the process. License them as a 3rd party. Pay them a small fee for the translation, and handle distribution yourself. This way fansubbers would get paid for their work (even a small amount of money is more than the big "zero" they've got now) and the companies owning the license could distribute the anime online or through iTunes for $1-2 an episode--that way everyone profits. Sure, the licensing companies won't make as much money off each individual episode as they would if it were translated in-house, but considering their only expenses would be the initial licensing fee and the cost of online distribution....

It's a win-win-win.

Archaic4268d ago

Weeeelllllll.....that's a good question actually. If this was a question about the translations, it'd be an interesting legal point, since it's quite possible to write a translation for something and have a legitimate claim to copyright on that specific translation (to some extent), even if you're not allowed to commercially distribute it.

In this case however, we're looking at a group which only rips official subs from Crunchyroll anyway, so there's no such legal ambiguities involved.

As for the industry incorporating fansubbers into the process....that's Crunchyroll. Before they started buying licenses, they just streamed fansubs and raws, crowdsourcing for translations. After buying licenses, they continued some of that translation crowd sourcing. I've heard on several occasions that certain figures who have been known for translating for major groups have done work for Crunchyroll.