The Ethics of Fansubbing

Consider whether you just like anime for free, or whether you like anime and are willing to support it, either by buying the Region 1 release or the Region 2 release.

Also make sure that what you're downloading isn't licensed in the US, preferrably shows that you can't buy in the US, or import with english subtitles. If you really want fansubs, I suggest

Shows such as Evangelion, Lain, Cowboy Bebop, and DBZ are all licensed, and are becoming available/completely available on dvd, with excellent results. Companies are even going out of their way to satisfy anime fans: Nelvana is allowing Pioneer to release an unedited, sub-only release of Cardcaptor Sakura in addition to Nelvana's Cardcaptors edited release.

Moreover, these days shows are being funded by the US companies. Pioneer Entertainment America has had its hand in funding several series by the creator of Lain. ADV has put up backing for series all over the place. Many shows are being licensed way before they're even produced.

It's sorta like that one editorial comic, where the "fan" goes up to the musician and says "Dude, I downloaded ALL of your MP3s!". Sure, he really appreciates your "support." But unlike the band, you can't support anime by seeing it "live."

I don't know what it is with people. They seem to feel as though they're "entitled" to anime. They go "why shouldn't I make a copy if they made it?"


Because it's a nice big FUCK YOU to the creators telling them that their venture (which is what making anime is, a moneymaking venture) is worthless and that everyone who wants it will just copy it anyways.

And I'll say this: No matter how far you are from civilization, everything you have got to you somehow. And unless it was all made right there in your own town/city/state/province/hamlet/etc., then chances are it came from somewhere else. If that can get there, you can get stuff there. I know lots of people who import stuff regularly when they could just warez it, but they don't. And they're better fans of it than ANYONE who ever things "oh hey, I can just download it!"

Sorry if anyone feels burned by this rather bad attitude, but this whole attitude of "Take take take for me and screw the maker" is one of the things that really pisses me off. It shows that you don't deserve to have anything made.

July 4, 2001:
Improved my examples.
1. - uses your installed dvd player engine, and writes the subtitles to the buffer as it plays according to a subtitle script that you load.
Over the past year or so, a program called BitTorrent has exploded in popularity amongst the anime fansubbing community. You download the BT program, find a site with files you want, and you're off!

In terms of anime, BitTorrent is generally best for grabbing new releases from your friendly neighborhood fansub group. Want the newest episode of Bleach or Mahou Sensei Negima? Your best bet on finding them, other than good old IRC, is probably BitTorrent. If you're hunting for an episode of Saiyuki or anything else that's been licensed, though, you probably won't find it. And files that are more than a week old become harder and harder to get, usually.

BT's a bit interesting in the way it works. It allocates all the space needed for the file, before you even get it. It then downloads the file in random pieces as it can get them from various seeds and fellow downloaders. It's a shared resource -- you're simultaneously downloading the file and uploading the file to others.

You can get BT here:

places to get anime:

( Anime-Keep's a pretty decent source, with lots of stuff for you to DL.
( Anime Suki is a good centralized place to find different group's torrents.
( Tokyo Toshokan is another listing of various torrents.
( SaiyaMan has a large selection of raw/untranslated anime for your perusal, uploaded shortly after their original air date on Japanese television.
( l33t-raws is another source for raw episodes.

If you find any other good sources, /msg me and I'll add 'em to the list. Hope this helps!

(as always, it's infinitely better to buy the anime. If you don't have any other way to get it, or you're desperate for the latest releases, BT is a good way to go. The ethics of fansubbing can be rather shady and questionable at times, but the cardinal rule is that, if you can, try to support the original creator with a purchase. If you like what you watch, either buy the original or wait until it gets an official translation in your country of origin.)

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