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Can't wait to write a criticism section for this one... Retro2112 03:25, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

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5:31 PM--Chasewang (talk) 01:34, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

i will leave it up to the unbiased administrators and a civil, legal and fair conversation about this issue.--Chasewang (talk) 01:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


I feel that this statement: "Content hosted on Crunchyroll, such as illicitly produced fansubs of Asian shows or bootlegs of official US releases of anime titles, were illegally hosted without permission from any rights holders." does not fully tell the story of early Crunchyroll conduct, which despite what most people believe wasn't any more evil than what other sites did. I will not edit it since I am a biased source on the subject. However, I'll tell some of the full story for anyone interested.

The site had a division of community media moderators to manage uploads. For instance, I remember that official US releases were extremely frowned upon if not later banned for approval (before the legal agreements with the companies). All takedown notices were honored immediately, and added to to master "do not approve" list. Once the notice was received, the anime/show never made it's way back on the site, which is better than youtube/veoh/ect could ever say.

As far as fansub groups went, they had a lot more rights than what was granted at other sites. If a fansub group didn't want their material on the website, it would never be approved. The best example I can give of this was Dattebayo's translation of "Naruto". If the fansubbers wanted to put a better encoded episode on the site, the old one would be replaced with the new one. Fansubbers were given credit were credit was due, and if they so desired, they could ask to allow uploads from only certain accounts.

The last thing I'll say (because it miffs me) is that the site was NOT profitable at any point before the venrock agreement and the changes made as a result of that. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a dillweed who has no idea how much it costs to run a video streaming service. Anyone who remembers the early history knows how touch and go the bills were every month. (Getfightted (talk) 21:53, 10 June 2009 (UTC))


"Content hosted on Crunchyroll, such as illicitly produced fansubs of Asian shows or bootlegs of official US releases of anime titles, were illegally hosted without permission from any rights holders." Should probably be rewritten as "Content hosted on Crunchyroll, such as illicitly-produced fan-subbed versions of Asian shows or bootlegs of official US releases of anime titles, were illegally uploaded by users without permission from any rights holders." The original sentence is not NPOV and implies that Crunchyroll was complicit in any illegal activity. However, they were just a video hosting site, much like Youtube, Veoh, Dailymotion, et al. and they respected DMCA takedown requests like all the others. I think the facts bear that out and if you want me to supply sources, I will Souleater143 (talk) 11:50, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Crunchyroll WAS extremely complicit in illegal activity. Virtually all of the content was uploaded without the copyright holder's permission. Even YouTube, in the early days, didn't match that proportion of illegal uploads. The site was, of course, anime centric and, at that time, 0% of the anime on it was licensed by Crunchyroll. Turning a blind eye to the fact that your service is used this way doesn't make it legal, nor does it make them less complicit, especially when their primary intent was to make copyrighted content available without permission. Copyright law, as per the Berne Convention, is recognized internationally. Even before anime gets licensed in the US for dubbing purposes, it is still protected in the US from the moment it is created in Japan. Legally, a Japanese company could crack down with DMCA notices, but generally they leave it to the US licensor after its licensed to do that. Usually, all but the biggest sites don't take anything down without a DMCA notice, so many websites, trackers, etc that were created solely for piracy can claim something like "but we honor all dmca requests--we try to be totally legal *wink* *wink*." Of course, under increasing pressure from copyright holders and their licensors, and the potential for profit, Crunchyroll finally changed and now it actually licenses the works it streams. (talk) 10:59, 18 December 2011 (UTC) (logged out njyoder)

Wait a minute though - "turn a blind eye"? That may be slightly harsh, if I'm reading this right. Harsh in context of the industry, anyway. I thought they respected take-down requests from rights holders? I mean, that's what appears to be the history if I'm reading it right - yes, they didn't do much to PREVENT initial uploads, which makes it hardly perfect but like any video hosting site, they took things down if requested, right? If anything, that's absolutely no worse than YouTube (or ANY other major streaming website) does - and YouTube is pretty much the go-to place for illegally-hosted, copyright-violating videos (search ANY popular music artist or TV series. You will find ENDLESS numbers of clips or music videos or even whole episodes broken up into chunks).

The only difference is that the proportion of illegal or quasi-legal material would have been higher precisely because it was (to the site's founders and users) "foreign-language". And that makes the situation a little unusual. Remember: "fansubs" (NOT talking the bootlegged US releases, here, that's a much clearer, multi-level copyright violation) are a somewhat weird situation. If you're a native speaker of the language, it's arguably no better than an ordinary bootleg (I guess maybe if you're trying to learn the language it's subtitled in it might be different, but still...). So understandably over the years it was seen as exactly that by at least some studios. But. If you're foreign (say, American or British or whatnot), one could (and generally, people did in my experience) make the argument it's for "educational reasons", which brings up a contentious "fair use" argument. Certainly, the original video and audio are copyrighted, and thus a violation of copyright under most reasonable standards, but legally the translation portion is copyright of whomever is doing it. And if it is not intended as a for-profit translation - which the vast majority of fan-subtitled works aren't - then it's... I won't say a "grey area", it's not THAT "grey" anymore thanks to the sheer ease with which they can now be distributed to potentially millions of people, including very easily those who speak the language in its native country, which of course can now hurt the original release's profit margins (particularly in a country like Japan, where media releases are often quite expensive). But with no intent (on the part of the subtitlers) to profit from it, well, there's a reason there's a huge debate over it and a reason that for years and even to some extent even recently (such as with the producers of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), pretty much nobody wanted to argue against them, as it was often the way an otherwise obscure-on-foreign-shores series got a foothold in foreign markets. In fact, particularly odd, "very Japanese", or geeky series like Haruhi or Excel Saga or Azumanga Daioh, pretty much ONLY got their initial English-language following from being popular as fansubs and building word of mouth. They were successful in non-native markets precisely because enough of the viewers of the fansubs either spread the word or were willing to request and buy the fully-legal, licensed releases (if you're curious, this isn't me talking out of my rear or assuming things here; this is at very least provably the case with Haruhi, as the US DVDs feature a live action featurette on the first volume, with some of the US and Japanese voice actors, largely in-character, specifically thanking the fansub watchers for following and supporting the series enough to get an official release- and also chastising any possible fansub-watchers who enjoyed the series but refused to buy the licensed editions).

My point is, fansubs are a weird case. They're not as clear-cut a situation as say, a Lady Gaga video on YouTube posted by not-Lady Gaga; to some extent, they are or verge on fair use (or, to be completely accurate, they are one part easily-argued fair use, one part copyright violation, and in most cases tolerated, because they verge on fair use and can promote a series in a new market without effort on the part of the original owners). So, in many cases, Crunchyroll would have been, if not in a truly defensible position, at least in a less-obviously-indefensible position than you seem to think. The fact that they do have what seems to be a history of actually taking down such material when requested by the original owners from that period in the site's history, would seem to indicate that when it did become an issue, they dealt with it responsibly. Certainly, from the sounds of it, they didn't deal with it any worse than YouTube does today, and the sheer volume of YouTube's collection that violates copyright much more clearly, arguably outweighs anything a smaller, niche site like Crunchyroll could ever hope to cover. Even if the percentages of violating/non-violating were legitimately different (and given that YouTube includes more original content, this is likely the case at least slightly), the sheer volume of YouTube's violating content would I would think be a lot higher? In which case, why is your complaint not directed equally at YouTube?

Or to put it the simplest way: fansubs are only truly unaccepted (socially/economically) when the original copyright owner decides they don't want the content available that way, AND/OR if they explicitly stated (as at least one studio has) that they do not want unauthorized translations floating around before such releases, AND/OR if a legal, licensed release is available in that language (and even on that last one, in some cases, such as when there is a lack of an "accurate" or subtitled translation, as was once the case with many series - say, children's series like Sailor Moon - fansubs are sometimes seen as still a valid alternative for getting a more accurate translation, again, "educational" reasons being the most obvious argument). Otherwise, the tacitly accepted status because of its promotional and educational aspects, makes it a special case. Not a clear cut one (by far!), least of all in a context of non-limited release like video streaming (in contrast to the oldest ways of fansubbing, in which you would make a VHS tape and pass it around a single clubhouse, which was unlikely to do much if any monetary harm)... but unusual nonetheless, in a way that hosting other unauthorized content isn't. If you don't want to blame YouTube for its massive collection of blatant, much less-excusable copyright violations, than you can't fault a site more for hosting fansubs "unless requested to take them down". Not saying it's legal, just saying that it's a different flavor of violation that's a lot murkier than what you usually see on video streaming sites. And pretending it isn't is a bit odd.

Of course, it's sort of moot now from what I understand, as they no longer host fansubs/unlicensed fansubs, yes?

Which reminds me: why oh why isn't it mentioned on here whether these are "raw" (untranslated) or subtitled streaming, or a mixture perhaps, now that it's licensed? That was actually the entire reason I came to this article - I had heard of several series currently available on the site, and was curious whether they were all going to be translated or not, now that it's apparently "gone legit". Yes I realize that I could have gone to their site, but I was also confused and surprised and intrigued to hear that they were licensing releases now - I've been out of the anime fandom loop for a couple of years, and last I had checked (and by "checked" I mean "vaguely heard of", since I was never a user on the site), Crunchyroll was still known for fansubs. I came here to learn more about the history and current status of the site, and almost all I've gotten is the rough history + "now it's fully legal, because it licenses the shows". Nothing about how it currently works other than it being legally licensed. Is it ad-supported? If so, are we talking banners or Hulu-style in-episode video ads? Translated, not translated or sometimes translated? Available in English only or in other languages? None of this appears to be covered, at the moment I am writing this. This article is frankly kind of a stub - Start Class at best - and that's somewhat disappointing, to be honest. (talk) 20:57, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


should there be a comment about them taking on bleach and being licensed for this? the main fansubber for this ( posted that they would stop releasing this once a legit co took over ( I feel this is worthy of update. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Slight wording change + Citation Needed[edit]

Okay, in addition to citation request, based on what I've been able to gather, I tweaked one sentence. It's a minor change, but I wanted to explain it in more detail here in case somebody inexplicably decides to take issue with it.

I removed the words "illicitly-produced" from in front of "fan-subbed". Why? Because if you don't already know what fan-subbing is, you will look it up on that link that's already there, and discover that it isn't official or licensed, and if you DO know what it is, you already know it isn't official or licensed. And considering it is mentioned in the same sentence alongside "bootlegs" of licensed releases and the end of that same sentence mentions it was "illegally hosted", the term was unnecessary and redundant.

More to the point, in addition to being unnecessary and redundant, it also read weirdly. It's like somebody was going out of their way to make fan-subbing sound equivalent to, I dunno, heroin. That's probably a little hyperbolic to put it that way, but... well, not really. I have to wonder about that phrasing because it just makes it sound dark and creepy and vaguely exciting in a OMG DANNNNGEROUS way (when in reality, it's generally just geeky, and despite being copyvio, sometimes even tolerated by rights holders before official releases are available - note that I do say "sometimes"). I won't actually assume a lack of good faith - I'm sure whoever it was was trying to be "accurate" or whatever, and I guess it technically may be "accurate" in the strictest dictionary sense, maybe? - but the truth is it just sounds like odd, slightly non-neutral wording and the fact that the phrase was unnecessary in the context of the full sentence, well, that should say it all. The sentence is also, I feel, slightly less clunky this way. Perhaps that was even part of why it sounded weird to me - that the flow was awkward and redundant.

In any case, I do think the non-legally-licensed nature of fan-subs is already made clear by both context, and likely the article on the subject that is linked from, so I hope the new wording will stay and be okay with people, since it really does sound nicer and clearer from a prose standpoint. :)

I did have one other quibble with that section though, but I wasn't sure how else to fix it - so I simply fact-tagged it. Basically, it's obvious from the fact that they were fansubs and "bootlegs" that those videos at the time were not hosted with "permission of rightsholders". That's fine. But in the case of the fansub videos, were they really hosted without permission of the fansubbers? Which is what the article currently claims? I mean, granted, I don't know if this was the case - part of why I bring it up, it's an odd fact and I have never been a user on the site and didn't even follow news about it much even when it was still hosting fansubs - but even if I did, surely that's the kind of thing that should be cited with proper external reference? I mean, it's arguably libel if it's not true (since it can damage reputation of the site), though if true, obviously there's no reason not to include it - with citation.

Since I didn't want to remove it if it were true (no need to start an edit war if it's actually accurate, and like I said, I have no way of knowing if it is), but I didn't want to leave it like that in case it wasn't, I chose to simply fact-tag it, as I said. Hopefully one of you folks who knows how to dig up cites for this will edit it appropriately. :) Good luck! (talk) 21:27, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

What is a crunchy roll (sushi food item)?[edit]

It's really hard to find out because every Google match is about this anime Web site. What is a crunchy roll in sushi? Equinox (talk) 15:07, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Merge with The Anime Awards[edit]

Following the decision to merge The Anime Awards with the Crunchyroll article, I've copied and pasted the information from the awards article into the Crunchyroll article. I think all we need to do now is change the article for the Anime Awards into a redirect to to Crunchyroll if everyone is OK with that. ISD (talk) 07:23, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

I'll make the redirect now. Lord Roem ~ (talk) 18:00, 18 April 2017 (UTC)