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Author Topic: Fan sub policy inquiry  (Read 2935 times)

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jindo

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Fan sub policy inquiry
« on: August 17, 2003, 12:50:16 PM »

For all these years I've been watching anime and still this is unclear to me.  Fans say that socalled "Fan-sub" is legal as long as it's unlicensed in certain part of region.  But once it gets licensed to be released in the states they're illegal.  Does anyone know where this fan-sub policy originated from?  
Also watching HK bootleg is illegal... so people say; but what about those who watch it off from the online(d/l) licensed anime that are distributed in the states, would that be illegal?
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Tsubasa

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Fan sub policy inquiry
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2003, 02:53:11 PM »

Lets get one thing straight: by law, fansubs, in any form, are illegal.  The argument that they are OK because the title is unlicensed in the region is completely fallicious for most countries because of the Berne Convention, which upholds internal copyrights for literary and artistic works.  So, in this light, one may wonder where the fansub code originated.  Simply put, the fansub codes are arbitrarily created rules to restrict the fansubbing of licensed material.  The fansubbing community has traditionally had a single intent: to create easier access to anime for--primarily--American fans.  If you look back into the history of anime in America, you will realize that anime was never available in large quantities until the '90's.  Fansubs actually began sometime in the '70's with the release of the Amiga.  As you can imagine, in the '70's, it was extremely hard to procure anime, let alone translated anime.  As a service to the fanboys and girls, fansubs were created and freely distributed in the community.  But as a precautionary measure, to ensure that domestic anime licensors would have sufficient business, fansubbers created the fansub codes.  They have been long-standing and thus, have become something of prevailant thought in the anime community.  Traditionally, domestic anime licensors have turned a blind eye to the fansubbing community because they were in limited distribution and because they know that fansubs actually promote domestic anime sales.  However, with the advent of digital fansubbing in recent years, the fansubbing codes are starting to lose weight because of the wide-spread distribution and because of the many who completely disregard domestic releases and, instead, download all their anime.  It is not unusual to hear about domestic companies taking measures against fansubbing these days, however, their efforts have had very little impact.

On the subject of HK subs, I am under the impression that they are very much illegal, regardless of the region and whether they are downloaded or not, as they have been reabsorbed by China.  Originally, Hong Kong did not sign the Berne Convention, which means that bootleg literary and artistic works were legal, but only within the confines of the country.  As a bit of information for you, the other countries that did not sign the Berne Convention include Singapore, Taiwan, and South Africa.
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-Tsubasa

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jindo

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Fan sub policy inquiry
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2003, 10:28:36 PM »

Whoa!! thanks for clearifying that up.
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lyricaldanichan

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Fan sub policy inquiry
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2003, 12:46:56 AM »

70's???

You must be mistaken, because the Amiga came out in the 80's!!!

Unless you are mistaken a Amiga with a Sinclair ;-)

Danielle
who had a Amiga 500 and 1200 :P
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Tsubasa

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Fan sub policy inquiry
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2003, 09:52:11 AM »

Oops, my mistake.  I wasn't computing at the time, so my facts on the early days of computing are a bit jumbled.  But I'm still fairly certain the Amiga launched the fansubbing community and that was in the 80's.
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-Tsubasa

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Mach5Motorsport

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Fan sub policy inquiry
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2003, 03:59:04 PM »

Quote from: "Tsubasa"
Lets get one thing straight: by law, fansubs, in any form, are illegal.  The argument that they are OK because the title is unlicensed in the region is completely fallicious for most countries because of the Berne Convention, which upholds internal copyrights for literary and artistic works.

On the subject of HK subs, I am under the impression that they are very much illegal, regardless of the region and whether they are downloaded or not, as they have been reabsorbed by China.  Originally, Hong Kong did not sign the Berne Convention, which means that bootleg literary and artistic works were legal, but only within the confines of the country.  As a bit of information for you, the other countries that did not sign the Berne Convention include Singapore, Taiwan, and South Africa.


What you said is true, HOWEVER: Taiwan could not sign the Berne treaty becuse it is not recognized as a legal country (thank China for kicking them out of UN membership) HK could not sign as a territory of the UK.

Also remember that US rights give the license holder sole ownership to sell in the United states> Meaning that all the other imports are illegal even "legal imports" from other countires.  It is the responsibility of the rights holder to enforce their copyright.

Now, that being said, do you see any of the US companies holding copyrights of Japanese anime titles looking to bar the HK imports of the same product here in the US?  No.  For if they did every import of that title would be barred. ...Including Japanese imported products.   US rights means simply that: you have paid for the rights to sell this particular product in the United States market.

Now also keep in mind their are lots of legal titles from HK and Taiwan that have negociated US releases.  This being the case, I doubt very much people can make blanket claims that HK and Taiwan products are illegal.  In fact, I think there are numerous Jampanese companies that have negociated deals in both countries that they would like to keep quiet and these products are legal imports here in the US.

food for thought
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