Mon, 5 Jun 2000 19:30:31 -0400 (EDT)

Mark Simmons wrote:
> Brett Jensen writes,
> > illeagal to tape stuff off of TV but EVERYBODY does it.
> But speaking of taping stuff off TV - "time-shifting" is, I believe, the

"Time-shifting", I think, is 100% ok. But many people tape TV shows for
"archiving", and that's not 100% ok, that is, if you buy into the whole
legal "logic" as defined by Disney and Sony.

> legal term - some manufacturers of recording equipment actually pay
> surcharges to the media companies to defray the costs of piracy. Don't know
> whether this applies to video recorders, but it is true of audio tape

Well, since everyone is presumed guilty and forced to pay for the crime
before the act, I don't see any reason not to break the law. Those who
pays the surcharge but don't commit the crime are just duces.

> My soapbox moment: I don't think fansubbing hurts the market for domestic
> releases of anime. But it's sure as hell helped kill the subtitled market.

Now first of all, I am probably not very qualified to comment on fansubs,
because I've had very little experience with it. But reading between the
lines and attending some anime clubs showings, I developed the impressions
that fansubber were largely responsible for the success (if it's not too
premature to use the word success) of anime in the US. Many domestic
anime companies were founded by fansubbers. Without those trailblazers we
won't ever see Bandai USA/Anime Village and Pioneer get into releasing
domestic vids. And largely most of the "real" fansubbers had been careful
not to distribute unofficial subs once domestic releases were available.

What hasn't been mentioned is that fansubbing is a huge money-sink. They
invest in a huge amount of money, equpiment and time and accept nearly no
financial gains. They are largely responsible for the popularity of many
animes in N. America, including Gundam. It won't surprise me if Bandai
executives use reactions at fansub showings to decide which animes to
release domesticly.

I think what Bandai USA and others in the anime bussiness are doing is not
to employ the strong-arms logics used by RIAA and the big studios, and
just consider good bussiness. Most of the real fansubbers are very
conscientious. Real video priacy, the kind that actually cut into company
revenues, occurs all the time and it doesn't matter whether they are
selling fansubs or pirated copies of the official releases. The existence
of fansubs doesn't increase or decrease the amount of real piracy.

I also noted that (from my limited knowledge) none of the official
companies (from Bandai to small companies) had gone after the fansubbers.
I think they mostly understand the contribution of fansubs to anime in the
US was (and still is?) indispensible.

And I note that, at least in Toronto, the official distributors and video
retailers are very friendly towards the local anime clubs who participate
in the creation, distribution and public showing of fansubs. One club even
charges a per-attendance price over the membership fee for showings of
both fansubs and domestic releases. If you listen to a copyright lawyer
this would be a capital crime. But the retailers set up tables of
merchandise (lots of import and domestic videoes) at the club showings,
and there are often freebies and movie passes given out. I trust these
distributors and retailers are better bussinessmen than copyright lawyers,
if they approve of these clubs, I don't think I will lose sleep over it.

Finally I contest the assertion that fansubs kill official subs. The
market killed official subs. Despite what we diehards say, dubs are the
way to go if anime is going to make any real money here. The vast
majority of N. American don't want to read, whether it's anime or French
art film. Everyone knows that. Notice that fansubs haven't killed
bilingual DVDs.

IMHO the ban on fansub discussion is a little paranoid, but I respect
David Van Cleef's decision to ban it. However, when it does get discussed
here, I don't think the fansubbers have been given a fair shake.

Hmm I guess by posting this, I have violated the ban myself. I rest my
case here and won't continue this thread openly on the GML.

Name: Core
Patient ID: #1
Condition: Critical

Gundam Mailing List Archives are available at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Tue Jun 06 2000 - 08:30:22 JST