Friday, May 15, 2009

Fan Subbing - Is it really Pirating?

Well here I am throwing rocks at the Hornets nest again. I figured I would do a little more talking about this as I brought it up in the previous Blog with YouTube. I am not going to discuss the Dub vs Sub issue in this blog (another HOT topic).

Remember in the early days (probably before some of you were even born), fan subbed anime were done on VHS. These were usually traded between people and sold at fleamarkets or early anime cons (The Underground Movement). Not the best quality at times, but you never really got the chance to view Japanese Anime otherwise. Not like today with the internet and actually distribution of the shows to other formats.

My first Blog was about Basquash! anime that is airing in Japan. I was really excited to see the first 2 episodes, but they were only in the original format (japanese). I thought the series was well designed and the art was outstanding. I was actually able to find episodes 1 through 6 on YouTube that were subbed in English (btw: tons of fan service in this at times). So needless to say I watched all 6 episodes last night. With the HQ format button, it was like watching it on DVD (this of course depends on the upload).

Only issue is sometimes the subbing to english is not the best as noted by others. But with this series, I only caught one word that was not translated correctly as they had the actual japanese word in the sub. I know that others actually use this format to help learn Japanese. Something I am trying as well.

So was I doing something illegal as I did not pay for it? If I was in Japan, I would be watching it for free anyway on TBS. But I am not, so there lies within the area of Gray. I am not in Japan thus do not have access to watch it normally.

If this was something that I actually downloaded from a site, ripped to a DVD and then sold it. That would be pirating it as I was making a profit off of it. But as I am not downloading and only watching it, I think this is fine. I have gotten a couple hours of entertainment that kept me wanting more. Besides, in a way I am now more interested in the series and what products they have for sell.

So from a marketing point of view, YouTube is a great tool for that. These people are actually helping to promote this out the reset of the world for our enjoyment. Now I want to buy the CD OST, I want to get some of the Mecha to collect. Depending on the series coming to DVD, I may actually want to add it to my collection and watched it dubbed in English.

So my vote is there is no harm if for viewing pleasure ONLY!

What are your thoughts?

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