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|Transcript from the Fansubber and Industry Discussion Panel at Otakon 2008. Transcription: bayoab.
Special thanks: yaoiboy@Live-evil for the audio
Notes: ( ) is usually commenting on the panel and was not said.
(??) indicates inaudiable or unclear audio at that point where a word may be missing or guessed at.
Transcript last updated: 8-21-08 rev. 2
17:41:21 <> They are setting up...
17:43:28 <> (the room is going to fill up at this rate)
17:46:46 <> (they are STILL filling the room)
17:49:49 <> Welcome to the 2008 Otakon Fansubber and Industry Discussion Panel
17:50:12 <> Um.. uh... this is basically a panel involving fellows that do fansubbing and people from the industry itself to discuss the uh... developments in the industry and in the fansub world and... um... hopefully it will be fruitful and cordial and no fights will break out.
17:50:27 <> So uh... my name is uh Ken Hoinsky. I'm with MX Media and I'll be moderating the panel. But these fellows over here are going to be doing most of the talking, so I'll just ask everyone to introduce themselves.
17:50:30 <> Yes, I am known online as Yaoiboy, I work with Live-evil as part of their matsumoto division.
17:50:38 <> I'm known as getfresh. I work with Anime-Empire, freelance fansubs, and shinsen subs.
17:50:46 <> Hi, I'm interactii. I, uh, mostly work for dattebayo but I do do a little work for Live-evil as well.
17:51:01 <> Hi, I'm HisshouBuraiKen. I also work with dattebayo.
17:51:07 <> And I'm Lance Heiskell. I'm marketing director for funimation.
17:51:20 <> I'm Sean Moyneaux and I work in production for at Media-Blasters and Anime-Works.
17:51:25 <> I'm John Sirabella and I work for Media Blasters.
17:51:35 <> Ken: So now that you know everybody we can begin.
17:51:47 <> Um... basically the format of this panel is I'm going to put up a discussion topic for the panelists to chime in on and... uh... just talk about whatever they want.
17:51:52 <> I'm assuming that folks.... uh... are familiar with fansubbing and um... uh... because we don't have a lot of time to spend on the exact details with that... uh... on this panel.
17:51:53 <> But... uh... I guess we will begin. So without further ado.
17:51:57 <> I couldn't resist...
17:52:06 <> (Mass naked child events picture slide)
17:52:10 <> Okay, now the actual first slide... okay.
17:52:12 <> Just some things to keep in mind for the panel...
17:52:16 <> This is not an us versus them thing. That-that's not the idea of the panel, that's not the spirit of it.
Powerpoint slide: This is not an "Us Versus Them" panel.
17:52:31 <> Um... I want everyone to go under the assumption that, uh, fansubbers are not going to stop working, stop fansubbing on their own. Um... It's going to take some catalyst to force that. So, don't just say, you know, they should just quit and that will solve all the problems. It's not beneficial.
Powerpoint slide: We are going under the assumption that fansubbing will not go away volutarily.
17:52:39 <> We're here to talk about how the industry can adapt and how maybe fansubbers can help and, uh, basically try to help the industry out which has been in decline recently, and, um... that's, uh... some people, you know, say that fansubbing is a big part of the problem. So that's the spirit of the panel.
Powerpoint slide: We're here to talk about how the industry can adapt and how fansubbers may be able to help.
17:52:50 <> Uh... some facts about the industry in recent years.
Powerpoint slide: Industry Changes
17:53:10 <> Fact: the industry has seen the collapse or near collapse of many anime companies. That's in the US and in Japan.
Powerpoint slide: FACT: The industry has seen the collapse or near-collapse of many anime companies in recent years.
17:53:17 <> Fact: Many companies have scaled down production. Less shows are being in made Japan right now for a variety of reasons. Um.. And uh... digital piracy, again some people claim is one of the reasons. We are not assuming that is necessarily true, but that's the idea of the discussion.
Powerpoint slide: Many companies, in the US and Japan, have scaled back production.
17:53:25 <> Fact: And sales of anime have gone down in the last couple years.
Powerpoint slide: FACT: Overall sales of anime are down.
17:53:27 <> About fansubbing, what's changed recently... um...
Powerpoint slide: Fansub Scene Changes
17:53:48 <> Fansubs are more accessible than ever, uh, a big part of this has to do with the streaming sites, youtube, crunchyroll, etc. Um.. also fansub are higher quality than they've been before. H.264 is a great codec, it's really, um, I mean, it's blu-ray that uses it, so that gives you an idea of the quality. A lot of fansub groups now have access to, um, what are called transport streams from Japan which give them the closed captions. So they litterally have the same script that the industy uses to translate from. This renders very good translations. Um, and they have access to very high quality video. Literally, what's better than on, available on DVDs.
Powerpoint slide: FACT: Fansubs are more accessible than ever before.
FACT: Fansubs are higher quality than ever before (h.264, HD video, access to Japanese closed caption scripts yielding nearly-perfect translations, etc.)
17:54:02 <> Another fact: Outside of japan, many shows are viewed more on fansubs than they are on legitimate sources. Not all shows, but certainly that's, uh, that's the case. You can just look at the download numbers for certain titles and just look at the DVD sales after the fact.
Powerpoint slide: FACT: Outside of Japan, many shows are viewed more on fansubs than they are on legitimate sources.
17:54:18 <> And, um, there was a study done by, uh, Central Park Media I believe, uh, who said that six million fansubs are downloaded or viewed every week.
17:54:46 <> That number might even be small, but, uh... that just gives you an idea of how rampant fansubbing is. And certainly, I'm sure the fellows at the end of the table can say they aren't selling 6 million dvds a week. And, uh, so let's begin.
Powerpoint slide: FACT: At least 6 million fansubs are viewed each week (quite possibly much more).
17:54:49 <> Okay, so discussion topic number 1. Um... And anyone can feel free to jump in and talk.
17:55:06 <> To what degree does the proliferation of fansubs affect the industry positively or negatively? What is your thoughts on that? Anyone can chime in.
(Powerpoint slide is the same)
17:55:12 <> getfresh: I think it's more of a grey area because... fansubbing itself has brought the attention of anime to more fans than the actual sale of dvds have.
17:55:20 <> If you look at it, there is not a whole lot of advertisement unless these shows, on like 4kids or something like that. People didn't really know it's out there.
17:55:41 <> But with a fansub hitting the internet, someone just searching for video or going on youtube, they find a fansub, and they learn about anime. They see a show, they like it, and they start searching more and more and more, and then they start going to cons and all that. (Ken: Okay. Maybe someone, Lance you want to talk?)
17:56:09 <> lance: Yea, it's uh, you know with the industry, you gotta kinda like define the industry, because, um, we license the shows from Japan, and whenever we license a show, you have to get all approvals. So, with that, it's more of, creator's rights, that, you know, that the Japanese licensor can control how its distributed, how it goes out...
17:56:13 <> And um, I mean, fansubs can do... faster to market than anything but, you know, you kind of, the creators lose control of how they want it to go out... of how it is.
17:56:54 <> And then, um, you know, at the beginning, you know, fansubbers weren't, you know, uh, I mean, granted, they did get people into the show earlier than it was legally available. But right now, you got... with all the ways to watch vide on the internet..and download video (he named a shitload of sites...)
[and then you go to series clearing house sites like...]
17:57:06 <> and it's just, I have a list of ninety four sites...
getfresh(?): Would you like to publish the list?
17:57:16 <> lance: I have a list of ninety four sites and so it's kinda like, uh...
17:57:19 <> Saying that they are easily available... they are really easily available.
17:57:31 <> It's you know, I mean, um, before i got into FUNimation, it's like EnterTheGame, IRC, XDCC, get an episode, see if you like it. That was old school.
17:57:37 <> But today's it's like, like I would say hey dad, go to this website, here's this show. Okay, click. It's really easy.
17:57:47 <> So the access, it's just like the, and the control of getting the access, is kind of um, you know, in economics, it lowered the barriers to entry.
17:57:57 <> And so yes, people love anime right now. It's just, um, the creator's rights are, kinda like, dwindling, cause they can't have control of how, when and where they want to license it.
17:58:02 <> But you know, granted, like, anime is good content. It want's to be out there. People want to watch it.
17:58:13 <> It's just, uh, you know, talking. That's why we have these panels, so we can just discuss all this stuff. Because it's good content, people want to watch it. It's just like, how can we, you know, work on this.
17:58:32 <> interactii: I think, uh, one of the major ways that fansubs... you know originally, absolutely it was a method of fans to get to know anime series and get to understand them and get a preview of them, but I think that has almost completely changed now.
17:58:44 <> Uh, and I think the people who consume fansubs are demanding different kinds of things the industry is not quite yet delivering but they moving in that direction. I think once that gap gets filled, we will see a different picture of things.
17:58:54 <> ken: Uh, interactii, if you don't mind me asking, just out of curiosity, on dattebayo, every week roughly how many transfers do you go through?
17:58:56 <> interactii: Uh, six hundred thousand?
Ken: Per week?
Ken: Okay. Uh, okay, anyone else want to chime in on this?
17:59:17 <> sirabella: I dunno, it's hard to say. I mean, I think, like you were saying, I understand it's like, it's kinda a grey area. I mean, I'm probably the oldest guy here, so I go way back to the VHS days.
17:59:38 <> So, for me, like, yea, I first watched it, like the Shinengumi fansubs of Kenshin, and stuff. You know, I mean, that's kinda I saw it at icon we used to have the stony brook meetings, and all that crap and fashion institute and whatever. And they were good, and then there was the compuserve forums way back when. Um, it's, you know... is it good, is it bad? It's there. You know...
17:59:38 <> That's all you can really say.
17:59:44 <> It doesn't really... does it really matter? Is it going to go away? Is it good or whatever? It doesn't really matter. It's there.
17:59:51 <> So, we have to, you know, on some sense, we just have to deal with it and adapt to it and see how we need to change to handle it.
17:59:56 <> Um, I think the consumer has changed alot...
18:00:10 <> That's like, being the old guy here... one used to come to a con, maybe there was like this many people at the whole con... and they were all guys.
18:00:16 <> And they were all in their 40s or something, and 30s... and they were what we would call collectors.
18:00:19 <> They were really like the star trek crowd and stuff like that. They had good, uh, spending money. They were technical and it's still today, they still have that trait where they are a little bit ahead of the curve on the technology end.
18:00:38 <> And what they do is they would collect everything.
18:00:46 <> It wasn't just, uh, they wouldn't just watch the show. The show was just part of the game.
18:00:53 <> They would buy the posters, they would buy the books, they would buy the stuff. It was everything and anything. They would bid crazy money on ebay. They would go nuts over the stuff.
18:00:57 <> It was that kind of thing for many years.
18:01:12 <> Then this thing came along called cartoon network and everybody started to think it was more than just a collector's format. What happened was it became a, consumer kind of thing...
18:01:32 <> where we get now so many girls, we get lots of exhibitionists, we get lots of different kinds of people at these cons than we ever had before and most of these kids have like $10 in their pocket or $15 and they need that to get home for gas.
18:01:36 <> And they grew up on youtube and they grew up on napster and all these things.
18:01:47 <> And what's happened is they've become very much, just "Well, I should get it for free... It's why not, it's the internet. Isn't it free?"
18:02:00 <> So it's kinda like "I have a right to watch this because they watch it in japan for free, so why shouldn't I watch it for free?" kind of thing.
18:02:04 <> There is a lot of this kind of argument that goes back and forth and that kind of thing. And you know, I understand the argument and it makes sense.
18:02:09 <> But the problem is that, we think we're big...
18:02:31 <> Meaning like we see this convention and we see fifty thousand people and we think, or what is it twenty two or something, and we think it's a big phenomenon...
18:02:32 <> But the truth is, in the big picture of things, it's actually still a very small market. You know, if you look at the opening weekend of let's say like, Indiana Jones, that might be bigger than the entire industry.
18:02:40 <> So in a sense, we're thinking it's so large, but it's still really collectors.
18:02:47 <> And the problem is when you have kind this proliferation of websites doing this stuff...
18:03:00 <> and basically these kids are working for free... I don't understand the logic about speedsubs and all this stuff, but you know, if that's what turns you on, cool.
18:03:00 <> Yea, but, the thing is, if your sub is faster than the other guy's sub than that makes you cooler.
18:03:14 <> Uh, but, you know, it's not big enough to support, this industry still isn't big enough to support such a thing.
18:03:24 <> You know Hollywood can support it. Hollywood, you know they got tons of merchandise, they got tons of ways to sell anime in the United States, I mean their stuff, you know. God knows how much, you know, Carmen whatever... you know vegas movies or whatever they're making this week is going to make.
18:03:29 <> But for anime... not really.
18:03:39 <> It's really always been supported by home video.
18:03:49 <> Sirabella: So to say that suddenly internet is going to replace that or itunes is going to replace it is kinda farfetched. Um, so that's the dilemma.
18:03:59 <> Yea, we can go in a direction of all internet, all downloads... and I think it's going to wind up that way.
18:04:06 <> But, the truth is, can it support the costs of creating this stuff and the costs of what it takes to do this? Probably not. Not through the USA at least.
18:04:21 <> The market is still not really big enough. Japan is big, but the problem with japan is they have ridiculous prices for dvds. They are still charging $50, $60 SRPs on those suckers for two episodes.
18:04:33 <> And when you go there and ask them why do they do that, they say that well, we haven't seen a change in sales. What it is, is that they've noticed that, the anime consumer in Japan...
18:04:43 <> ...that even if they lower their prices, they don't sell any more or any less. So their industry is kinda, you know, just kinda on a trend of just like that. I'll finish in one second and then...
Ken: We'll do Q&A at the end by the way...
18:04:46 <> Sirabella: And, that's it.
18:04:51 <> So now, but then there was this thing that, when i was doing it in the early days.
18:04:56 <> You know, Japan thought anime was a joke for the USA. In the early days, it really was.
18:05:07 <> When you would go to them and try to license stuff, they would pretty much laugh at ya and say why would any american want to watch this. It's not really based on, it's culturally different, there would all be these reasons.
18:05:17 <> Over the years as they started to see all this interest and they started to see the monies, they would say, well now...
18:05:30 <> ...they became dependent on it... their international sales became very dependent on the productions. So what you are seeing right now with the drop in sales and the drop of everything else is yes, the reduction in productions, because of it.
18:05:40 <> They were producing more because they felt, it just seemed like a green road ahead of them.
18:05:51 <> If they just produced more, these americans would release more, so what happened was this green road kinda dried up and now the productions are just shooting back.Ken: Okay okay. So, uh, I think we will move onto the next discussion topic. Uh, let's see what it is.
18:05:56 <> Disussion topic #2....
18:06:23 <> Okay, this is a question to the fansubbers on the table: When and why did you start fansubbing? Why do you continue to fansub? Have your motivations changed since the beginning? And how has fansubbing changed since you started? Try to just, you know, if everyone could chime in with a minute or two, that would be great.
18:06:40 <> yaoiboi: I guess I'll start. I basically found... got into fansubbing to fill a hole that really wasn't out there. See the shows that I work on tend to be twenty, thirty years old. I mean, companies aren't interested in those. But there is still a fanbase out there that wants to see these older shows, you know captain harlock, queen millenia and such. It aired back in the 70's and 80's, but you know companies, you know there is a few of them that companies are picking up,
18:06:57 <> but no these, these typically, these shows, you know, they may have been shown back in the 70's on TV or the early 80's a long time ago, back in the days when anime was severely edited and you know, lots of scenes were taken out or names were changed and it just, it was almost not the same show.
18:07:02 <> So it, this makes me feel good to be able to present the shows in the way it originally was. And you know, that's kinda the whole reason I've been doing it
18:07:05 <> and I just enjoy it and, you know, that's just keep doing it.
18:07:15 <> Ken: Okay. Heh, they like that.
18:07:26 <> getfresh: Uh, I started fansubbing a while ago... umm... why am I fansubbing, I really don't remember anymore.
18:07:42 <> No, wait, wait, I... the reason I came back, I actually had retired before, is because somebody bribed me with manga. And then Macross Frontier came out and I grew up on Robotech... which everyone thinks is the most blasphemous thing in the world but I loved when it when I was a kid so you can all go to hell.
18:08:00 <> But as being a fan of that, and knowing that no Macross series is ever going to be in the US because Harmony Gold is a dickbag. I wanted to sub it...
18:08:16 <> and I started work on it... and I saw a lot of problems in the fansub scene itself and a lot of hate issues...
18:08:16 <> and people attacking each other for no reason when we should communicate with each other better.
18:08:33 <> So I'm going to stick around until I can see some kind of solution to that and see people try to promote anime in a better, more positive sense than just "I'm fansubbing because I don't like your group."
18:08:42 <> interactii: Well I started fansubbing in 2003 and there is probably a whole bunch of uninteresting history there, but probably the more interesting part is related to dattebayo's existence and dattebayo's formation.
18:08:50 <> Um, and the reason we started subbing those shows is because we loved them... and this was before both were licensed.
18:09:02 <> And then, it grew to become that we continued to do it because the fans, or the people who were watching them, really loved it.
18:09:10 <> And we get, we get, you know, we have a feedback system on our website, and we get at least a hundred feedbacks a day and a lot of them are very positive things.
18:09:20 <> People say they really enjoy, enjoy the effort we put into subtitling them. And I think, for me anyway, that's the main reason that I continue to do it.
18:09:24 <> Uh, you know, just because people... there are still people who want it.
18:10:39 <> HisshouBuraiKen: I would say the reason I started, and I've only been fansubbing for a little under two years now so I haven't been with it for as long as everyone else has, but uh, I started out with anime. Earlier you said that you feel the consumer has changed. I don't really think it has. I think we've all been on the high end or the, you know, the cutting edge of technology and distribution from whenever.
Sirabella: You may not have been born when it started.
HisshouBuraiKen: Well, no, I wasn't born when Astro Boy started, I'll give you that, but I mean, I saved up my allowance to buy tapes of Sailor Moon from some dude I met on prodigy, you know.
Sirabella: You sure it's only one?
HisshouBuraiKen: Yea, that's all I told everyone I bought. Um, but I started it because basically, I had been doing manga translations for Naruto and a few other series. And uh, I joined up because i like what dattebayo does and I wanted to help continue to protect it. I don't want, uh, some other group who just comes on because they hate us, and there have been a few, to come out, put out an inferior product that makes the series look worse than it really is. And uh, so I joined on with them to make sure the quality stayed good, because the demand for it is there and I liked the series.
18:10:45 <> Ken: Okay, is that all? So I guess we'll move on to the next one.
18:11:08 <> Okay, to the industry, um, just two points, two events that happened. How do you think the fanbase has changed, or uh, since these happened. One was about 2002 or so when bittorrent really took off and the other was with the streaming sites, youtube, etc. How have you seen a change in consumer behavior from your company's standpoint?
Powerpoint slide: Discussion topic #3
To the industry: How have you see the fanbase change since the proliferation of digital fansubs via bittorrent (circa 2002)? How about the streaing sites (circa 2005)?
18:11:19 <> Sirabella: No you go ahead.
18:11:41 <> Lance: All right, so the torrents in 2002 and streaming sites... well... the torrent sites... um, you know, those hurt. I mean, you know you isohunt, if you send them like a "Hey take these files down" they'll take them down so their pretty cool.
18:11:45 <> It's just that, uh, I think what really hurt the industry more was the streaming sites, which is 2005, because, you know, economics barriers to entry.
18:12:00 <> Torrent sites was, um, you know, you get utorrent, you do all that stuff, and then someone drops will go (???) and then... I think, instead of, uh, with the torrent sites and all the streaming, I would probably say...
18:12:20 <> Uh, internet connection. Because by that time, a lot of people had dialup and now we have these crazy Verizon FIOS downloads that people wink and you have a show. So, um, I mean, that's what happened.
18:12:38 <> I think the, um, the torrents, you know, those were a problem, but the streaming sites were, you know, the major problem. Because like, you would see one movie on youtube that would have a million views and then if you see that on TV, well, that's a one point share.
18:12:53 <> And with that, you know you're like holy crap, and you know, it's just that people were like "Oh, it's not a problem, it's no problem" and then you see video scan, which is Neilsen video scan numbers, and you say "Oh yea, it's a problem" because some of the shows, like I do all this data, nerd stuff on analysis such...
18:13:04 <> and things that should hit a number in 2003 are not hitting that number. And we're like okay so what is that.
18:13:12 <> I mean, on our side, you know, it's.. it's you can't just live on dvd alone.
18:13:14 <> I mean, we've announced that, you know, we've been on itunes for a year. We're on xbox. If you saw E3, we announced that we are on PS3.
18:13:27 <> If you got to PS3, the video section... it says movies, television, anime. We're on like the top page, which is cool.
18:13:29 <> And then we just announced, like with youtube, where we are showing our shows.
18:13:37 <> I mean, um, you are going to see like all of Blue Gender on youtube, for free, and it's ad supported.
18:13:44 <> I mean, yeah, you want to watch your shows online but, you know, it's all about creators rights.
18:13:54 <> I mean, you have to give back so the studios can make stuff in Japan, because it's like, uh yea, we make a percentage, but that's the distribution fee, I mean that's like a licensing fee and then the money goes to Japan.
18:14:09 <> It's just understanding that if you like it, I mean, you don't have to buy the dvd, just watch it on... watch it on a 100% legitimate sites that can support this. And you know, we're also running deals with 100% legitimate main stream site that you can watch shows and so...
18:14:35 <> I know about lots of fansubs wanna, fansubbers want to promote anime. Well, we're trying to do that too because these are like major sites that, you know, anyone who has playstation: TV, movies, anime. And so you have a lot of people who will play video games and that's their first taste of anime. Cause I know that's, that's something you want, to promote anime, and we're trying to do it too.
18:14:47 <> And so, we're just, uh, it's just that, um, you know there is legalities, and then, um, also just one point on the streaming sites...
18:14:55 <> I mean, now streaming sites are getting so popular that they are charging five bucks. It's like, I'm just kinda like wondering...
18:15:10 <> ...because there's like, I mean there is one popular site that got some funds because of a $5 subscription and there's tons more.
18:15:13 <> It's just that, uh, I mean and no one's making a dime on that.
18:15:16 <> I mean the Japanese licensors aren't make a dime on that.
18:15:23 <> I mean, they built their sites on the efforts of fansubbers for free and they're making a dime from it.
getfresh: That's the worst thing ever. (??)
18:15:29 <> Lance: Those are the people you should really be concerned about because, I mean, it's just um, I mean, there's all legal issues.
18:15:41 <> You know, in like 2 years when we have this panel again... it would be interesting to have it every year just to see the difference of all this.
18:15:47 <> I mean in 2 years, digital would be more of a, more of a normality that uh... Japan will come...
18:15:56 <> and you will probably see stuff that will be streaming in Japan with subtitles on it from Japan...
18:15:58 <> because they notice this.
18:16:05 <> And then this is going to be like um, they're gonna acquire shows in advance, getting stuff.... and so, that's the future.
18:16:07 <> Right now, it's change.
18:16:16 <> I mean the whole industry, I mean, industry is like... anime industry but then there is anime fandom. It's fandom because it's like everything. It's manga, it's fansubs, it's everything.
18:16:23 <> The industry is in flux... but then there is some cause and effects on that.
18:16:28 <> It's, you know, what are we going to say about streaming sites, like what's 2008.
18:16:31 <> You know, it's going to be wifi...
18:16:35 <> Wifi is going to be everywhere, it's just you know, just really quick...
18:16:44 <> so the broadcast on tv in japan will be global broadcasts. And so, it's just that, you got to have a futuristic viewpoint on this... that it's going to change.
18:16:50 <>The topics we are talking about right here are going to change in 2 years. There is going to be new things, and so it's just understanding it.
18:17:07 <> Because industry has to grow... because of... because like we have rights... we have legal rights.. legal stuff takes a long time.. and its understanding that and speeding that up. So, that's all I have to say on that, I kinda like to be long winded, so if I am, just say "Hey Lance, shut up. Next panelist."
??:Wrap it up.
Lance: Wrap it up.
interactii: Movin' along. Movin' along.
Lance: Get-er done.
18:17:29 <> Ken: The, uh, it should be said that most fansub groups have a very anti-youtube, anti-streaming sites...
interactii: Very much so...
getfresh: Yea, we were just talking about that.
18:18:01 <> Ken: I know that dattebayo actually, according to some study that came out, which, is... I haven't seen the, it's from some MIT engineers and they were actually monitoring the takedown notices on youtube... and dattebayo has more takedown notices than FUNimation.
interactii: Number five to be precise.
getfresh: Another thing with that...
interactii: Yea, I mean really, for us, there is nothing that pisses us more than that, I mean, and that and sites profiting. We go to great lengths to make sure that, I mean, we don't get anything. We don't take donations, we don't... you know... Any money we get goes to charity. We are very, very transparent about that.
18:18:22 <> interactii: And, and I mean, that's really terrible. And youtube is the same thing, it's the same concerns, the same accessibility concerns, it's just not good.
18:18:42 <> getfresh: Yea, also, another thing that I don't like myself and I know a few others agree with me is, uh, when we post our download links for our torrents, we really hate it when someone takes our torrents and then puts them on pirate bay and every other torrent site in the world... cause we cannot control those torrents at that point. We cannot remove them, we can't do anything with them. The second I put up a torrent, every single time, it's there, within like 20 minutes.
18:18:57 <> And we absolutely, like I go on there and I try to get them to take it down or whatever else, and generally, they are pretty cool about it cause I'm not a big corporate corporation going god damn you. They are all right about it, they know I have my own tracker, they know it's available, and they don't care.
18:18:57 <> But it's just, I... don't do it, it's not cool.
18:19:20 <> interactii: I mean... I think the point... the thing is that there is, I mean, I know we at dattebayo make an attempt, uh, I mean, you know, it's arguable whether it has any merit, but make an attempt to, if some day we were asked to stop subbing the shows, we would pull the torrents and we try to keep it under our control so that, when that happens, we can do it as effectively as possible.
18:19:36 <> Now of course, as soon as that happens, I mean, of course there all the copies out there on the internet, I mean, the files out there, you can't really do that much about it. But, uh, the effort, you know, and all that kind of thing is really important I think and is something we certainly stand to.
18:19:55 <> getfresh: And as anyone who has been subbing for a while knows, and the industry can probably as well agree with this, we drop on cease and desist. There has only been one group ever that has refuted a cease and desist and their gone.
interactii: Yep, we would too, dattebayo would drop on cease and desist.
18:20:05 <> lance: And speaking of that, I know that, cause like, we just got power of attorney rights from like d-rights... and power of attorney rights is like, we act on their behalf...
18:20:25 <> because japanese companies are seeing that, you know like, like the proliferation of like when somethings out, it's like *boom*, it explodes...
18:20:26 <> Oh sorry, I just gave the sound guy a little migrain. Cause like, um, cause like Japanese companies are being more and more aware of this.
18:20:30 <> And, like, you know, it's the creators rights.
18:20:31 <> They kinda want to control how they want it because just working with them...
18:20:35 <> I know people are going to be sad
18:20:41 <> but these shows are popular and their gonna come out, but, uh, they're good shows cause it's good content.
18:21:04 <> Hitman Reborn, Nabari no Ou, Bamboo Blade, El Cazador de Bruja, and Monochrome Factor... they're d-right's shows and they.. they've signed a power of attorney agreement with us...
18:21:13 <> that's like hey, you know, these are coming to the US... I mean some of these shows, like we're not going to get...
18:21:17 <> but they are coming to the US.
18:21:18 <> And it's like going, cause contracts take a long time before the show are out, and it's like, could you, uh, you know, help us take this down, I'm like yea.
getfresh: Yea, we already got our cease and desist.
18:22:01 <> lance: But the one is, I mean they're cool because like, they sent it. I mean, I remember like before I would send cordial, Hey, how are you doing... nice, but then I saw the email and it's like this, you know, black and white DMCA. I'm like oh... it's just like sending a nice letter. But I mean, they're cool. Like six hours later, they said hey, we'll take it down. And so, you know, they do respond, and then it's like, you know, they... you know fansubbers love it with a passion, it's just that... um... you know it's just the legality rights and such because it's like... it's a hobby... but then it's like... it's this legal, you know, area that's... (interactii: greeey)... yes, it's illegal, but then it's a hobby, but then it's like... you know... its just that.. it's just that ebb in the flow.
18:22:10 <> getfresh: It is our hobby and, that being said, we obviously aren't there for the whole purpose of going " we are going to stick it to the man" Right? That's not our point and that's why we try and respond to... (:??)
18:22:17 <> Lance: Yea, yea, yea... and we understand that.. it's just like... you know... it's just like... uh... (??) it's yea... it's totally yea.
18:22:22 <> See, it's... we're not bashing heads or anything. It's just... uh... I, that's why I like this panel. It's just like it's...
18:22:33 <> getfresh: (??) adv tried...
getfresh: ADV tried a few times.
18:22:36 <> lance: Oh yea. It's just... uh... it's just... you know... under... it's a level of understanding.
18:22:43 <> You know cause, they are going to be around, we are going to be around. It's like... uh... I mean... pro... I mean take prohibition... like alcohol is still sold here. It's just that... it's just a level of policing.
18:22:57 <> Because like, um... I mean I still take down... I still find Baka-MX Fruits Basket fansubs and those were done in 2001.
18:22:59 <> You know, they are still around.
18:23:10 <> It's just getting people to understand sample, don't leech. Sample, and if you like a show, you know, vote with your pocketbook.
18:23:14 <> I mean, give japan some money. If you like the show, give Japan some money. We are the filter for that. I mean, we take our cut, and then they get a lot. They get a lot of the cut so...
18:23:28 <> Ken: I think we can all agree with that... so... moving along... um... so this actually kinda rolls into this question...
18:23:37 <> to what degree is the industry willing to put up with the existence of fansubs? Yea, the first questions are softballs.
Powerpoint slide: Discussion topic #4
To the industry: To what degree is the industry willing to put up with the existence of fansubs?
18:24:00 <> lance: Uhh.. it's just that... you know... it's kinda like... fansubs never going away. I mean, if... like, we'll announce a show, we'll like... of the seven groups that fansub the show, you will have one that will put on (the sly???) on IRC. It's policing. You know. If you get... I show people work of this stuff, and then other companies and they go (sound)... they get all pissed off about it.
18:24:06 <> But then you are just like going... it's like 30% of anime fandom will never buy.
18:24:08 <> They are just going to watch it. They, you know, their ethics is just like, I'm going to watch my shows and that's it.
18:24:20 <> But then, you know, 70% are going to purchase or at least, you know, viable means and some stuff like that. So, you just have to understand this.
18:24:27 <> It's just a level of, I mean policing is a bad... is like more of a harsh term, but you know, you just have to manage it.
18:24:30 <> You know, they aren't going to go away.
18:24:32 <> It's just that... I mean, there is a demand, you know...
18:24:41 <> It's just that, US companies, we go through tons of rights...
18:24:43 <> and then people want it now now now because that's our generation.
18:24:49 <> And then it's up to the industry and it's up to japan just to say... you know ...
18:25:00 <> I mean, pretty soon, it's like you might have like a japanese company saying "hey such and such group, we're going to hire you to do this" So it's like going, here fan... here subtitle this and Hey US company, do you want in and then it's like Hey youtube, Hey Hulu, Hey bla bla bla, do you want it. And then it's like a cordial group where everyone becomes legitimate and puts this out to promote fandom. You know, just stuff like that.
18:25:46 <> Sean: Actually, um, I think at media blasters... we're... we're pretty good about fansubbing. Actually, I'm... I'm pretty much okay with fansubbing, um, Funimation's products. You see, I really love Funimation's products, but if i bought them, I'd be giving money to a competitor and that would be terrible. But I want to keep watching them so I would really appreciate it if...
18:26:01 <> Lance: We have, we have the other, like, I don't know if anyone likes the group of the dvd rippers that you know...
lance: You got to a megafile sites and there's a mkv file with multiple language tracks, multiple subtitle tracks, and they put them on megaupload and...
18:26:05 <> Oh... we send so many emails... so many DMCAs to megaupload. Those are... those are...
(Unknown: We gotta stop DVD ripping?)
Lance: Yea, DVD ripping is the worst.
18:26:24 <> HisshouBuraiKen: I think it's people... I think it's important that people understand that you guys are not... don't have to deal with fansubs as much as make them moot, you know. I think once everything catches up to like the itunes, when that, your entire library is online and I can just go download my favorite episode and watch it fifty times and I don't have to buy a DVD when I only want one.
18:26:42 <> And I think it's also important basically that people see that you are protecting your rights, you know going after dvd rippers. I don't have a problem with that, I don't see why anyone would have a problem with that.
18:26:53 <> Um... You know people are defensive about it, people who are hardcore fansub fans, uh, if you go after them legally, those people are gonna get up in arms and start, you know, freaking out.
18:27:08 <> If you go after someone who is DVD ripping, I don't think anyone has an issue with that and I... you know, I think we all support that and we all support your legal rights.
18:27:14 <> sirabella: But that's what they said about the music industry... that they said... once it all becomes like 99 cents a song, and you download it and then everything's going to be okay.
18:27:31 <> HisshouBuraiKen: Well there's always people who are never going to pay anything. There are people who are absolutely are staunchly saying I am entitled to this for free, but once... you know, once the industry adapts, or as the industry adapts, as they think forward, that 30% who never downloads is going to go down to 20 and it's going to go down to 10.
18:27:44 <> interactii: I think the best way to compete with what dattebayo does is to do it... just as well, but legally. You know, there is an audience for that.
18:28:01 <> sirabella: I don't think it's an issue of competing. You know it's...
interactii: It's timing. I mean.. it's timing...
It's less competing.... but I mean, you know it's...
sirabella: I think it's more just, you know... the truth is, it's just like I said before, even if we switched totally to downloads, there just isn't enough money to support the industry.
??: Now remember, the music industry has risen to the challenge, you can download any song, anywhere, any time. But you think they make the money to support the industry (??)
18:28:26 <> sirabella: they make them money on the concerts. What do you think all these stars... they make more on concerts than they do with the songs. The songs are dead, they don't care anymore. They are barely making any money. It's the concerts and the live tours and the promotions and their tshirts and stuff like that... and that's not going to happen with anime.
18:28:33 <> getfresh: Well no, the music industry itself, the artist really has almost never made money off the record. The record is total promotion for them so you will go to their tour or their concert.
18:28:41 <> sirabella: Yea, but the record companies are going out left and right and laying off people left and right.
getfresh: The record companies made some really bad decisions is what it came down to and they started overcharging for a product that wasn't worth it (???)
sirabella: we're still dealing with a really niche industry here guys. We aren't dealing with, you know, Jennifer Lopez. It's a little different.
18:28:56 <> Ken: Okay okay. Let's move along to the next topic. Um... this could get ugly up here.
18:29:17 <> So, this is for the fansubbers and this goes along with the... uh... uh.... honestly would a more aggressive anti-fansub stance by the industry in the US and Japan dissuade you from fansubbing. What do you think in general most fansubbers... how they would react to that. If they came to you more directly... with more aggressively... Anyone?
Pointpoint slide: Discussion topic #5
To the fansubbers: Honestly, would a more aggressive anti-fansub stance by the industry in the US and Japan dissuade you from fansubbing? What about other fansubbers?
18:29:34 <> yaoiboy: Okay. I'd like to say if i was told, you know, "hey, you know, please don't do this anymore" absolutely. But then again, I would ask them how I am going to watch this product that I want to see. Give me an alternative just to watch this product.
18:29:40 <> I mean if you're not... if nobody is going to buy the show and put it out there, what am I going to do? I mean, I mean... I feel... that hurts me a little bit.
18:30:01 <> getfresh: Uhh... I dunno, if they told me to come out and stop subbing 100% and just don't do it. And they didn't have rights to the show or weren't going to put out the show, I'd probably tell them to take a hike.
18:30:06 <> I have no problem with them telling me to stop doing something they have rights to, they plan to release in my language, I can go watch, I can go buy. But beyond that, I would stop.
18:30:19 <> And about other subbers though. I don't know, I'm an unlicensed fansubber. I don't agree with licensed fansubbing. I have some problems in one of my own groups about that.
18:30:26 <> But I'm not going to chase other people down and shake a stick at them and go you have to stop doing this. It's their choice. So...
18:30:38 <> interactii: Yea, I mean, I think, um, you know, one of the big thing is, that if... you know... like I said, if we were asked to stop, we'd stop. And I would, you know, if someone asked me personally to stop, I would stop.
18:30:44 <> You know, I'd find something else to do with my time.
18:30:55 <> But the thing is, if dattebayo didn't exist and we stopped subbing tomorrow, someone else would be subbing that show in a week and a half.getfresh: Week and a half? Next day man!
18:31:13 <> interactii: No, we figured out that it takes about a week and half.
getfresh: I stand corrected.
Unknown: Coincidentally, that's how long it takes for the group to die out as well.
18:31:20 <> ken: So the answer is maybe i guess is what... speaking for the entire fansub scene, tough to say right?
18:31:39 <> HisshouBuraiKen: The answer is yes. The answer is we would stop if we were told personally by someone who has the legal right to a show that, who can legally tell us to stop, we would stop. (Yaoi: Absolutely)
18:31:45 <> But would someone else will pick it up, yes, (Other: absolutely) and when you tell them to stop, they will stop. It's an individual thing. You can't go after every single individual person who picks up fansubbing and that's what's going to happen.
18:31:59 <> interactii: Yea and... and you know, I think, if we were to do that, well what's your guarantee that that group who starts subbing isn't going to do something that is worse for the series. You know... um...
18:32:11 <> That... that... you know... it is debatable whether or not, how much fansubs help or hurt sales but by doing a good job or making a good fansubs, you are promoting a product and people will buy it.
18:32:24 <> I mean, we did a survey just recently that shows that, we asked the question does dattebayo... has dattebayo's fansubbing directly affected you making a purchase related to the series and the answer was yes for about 40% of people. So there is clearly a strong link there. So... you know... there is lot of positive...
18:32:32 <> ...and then... those sites, those new subbers could start charging for their work and that's something nobody wants anywhere.
18:32:40 <> ken: And I heard, I think you told me that it was about seventy thousand respondents to the survey. Right?
18:32:50 <> interactii: Yea, I haven't checked the data since I left, but, yea... I'm going to make... there will be a lot of the data available....
Ken: You should make that available...
interactii: I might actually make the raw data less the comments available for download.
Ken: Okay, that would be very interesting. Okay. Moving along. To the industry, and this is a good one.
We know about FUNimation... uh... Lance... I know you have a lot to do with their anti-piracy initiative. Focus on the bootleg sites and streaming sites, why isn't the industry going after individual fansub groups? Why isn't the industry going after individual bittorrent tracker sites such as scarywater, etc.
18:33:27 <> Powerpoint slide: Discussion Topic #6
To the industry: We've heard about Funimation's anti-piracy initiative, heavily focused on streaming and bootleg sites. Why isn't the industry currently pursuing individual fansub groups and bittorrent tracker sites to keep them from illegally distributing copyrighted material?
18:33:45 <> getfresh: Are you trying to give them ideas Ken?
Ken: This is a very candid...
lance: Well lemme see... this is like a seven part question. Uh, well, the individual groups it's... um... it's kinda like um... right now, we just got our... you know... the Geneon distro and the ARM shows... that's been our first and forefront.
18:33:52 <> I mean, I mean like in the past like with Moonphase and all that, you know, we've sent out email "hey, please stop this...."
18:34:21 <> But then there are um... some sites... some fansub sites have sites and some fansub sites are IRC only. But you know like if you go into that channel, how can you say "hey, you know I'm from Funimation" and I'm like "Yea right you are, prove it." you know... it's just stuff like that. We do a lot of stuff that people don't see. We have, you know, asked to take stuff down and a lot of that...
18:34:26 <> but then there are some groups that are not here that you know, that even though it's been licensed, they have to be told to take it down.
18:34:49 <> And some are like "Oh my server is in Belguim, you don't apply to me.". Yea, but your address says you know, you live in Phoenix Arizona. It's(?) like "Oh yea, I live there, but my server is in Belguim." You know, there are other ones like that.
18:34:58 <> Tracker sites... uh yea, we go to scarywater, we send an email to animesuki, isohunt, torrentreactor, all of those.
18:35:03 <> I mean, um, it's kinda like... we go after the devices and not the people.
18:35:24 <> And then like on youtube, we'll take down full episdoes, but if it's an abridged, if it's clips, if it's AMVs, we don't... we let that slide. It's just that whenever you are leeching stuff on those sites, that's when it becomes a problem, but a lot of the stuff like under ten minutes, you're just like "I just want to sample."
18:35:28 <> It's like... I want to see 9000 again. I mean... 9000 is always on. I love 9000. You know, it's fun.
18:35:36 <> I like the Ron Paul is 9000, that was a funny one.
18:35:44 <> Uh, and so, I mean... we do that... we're on like... and then there is also hard good counterfits because...
18:35:58 <> there are sites right now that are ripping our dubs and taking our coverart and we're like doing discovery on them.
18:36:07 <> It's just that like I think the RIAA/MPAA went after individuals and that was like, just a bad move.
18:36:14 <> You just... it's all the mechanisms of getting the stuff. That's who you go after. It's all like policing the methods of getting it, because like our stance is...
18:36:18 <> How are we doing anti-piracy?
18:36:19 <> Well (a), it's education...
18:36:23 <> (b) allowing a viable alternative... you know... we're on youtube. You can watch your stuff.
18:36:32 <> And people don't know... because if you go to funimamtion.com, you can download episodes.
18:36:34 <> We have 18 shows that you can buy episodes.
18:36:37 <> Sub and dub that you can buy...
18:36:42 <> ... and then we're growing more.
18:36:48 <> I mean, all series of our shows will be sub and dub online that you can buy and purchase.
18:36:52 <> Right now, all of our stuff is digital where you know people say "It's takes forever to get Ouran out"
18:37:07 <> Well, what we're doing now is as soon as we get the digi-betas from Japan, I mean, right in production, subtitle goes first. That you will see a lot of our stuff subtitled version months before the dvd comes out. And so that's going to be soon.
18:37:13 <> We see what people want and it's like, duh, that's how they want it, and so that's why we are shifting to it.
18:37:26 <> And so, it's just that, you know, if you are a smart company, shift to where you consumer is because the consumer will not shift to you. That's economics 101.
18:37:31 <> Ken: Okay, okay. John or Sean, for media blasters, what is your take on this topic.
18:37:49 <> Sean: You know, you want us to prosecute people and...? That takes a lot of time, energy... man... we can barely our work done and get six hours of sleep.
18:37:55 <> Um... You know, as I worked in production so... I was involved for a long time actually getting the stuff subbed and dubbed... and the DVDs made and working. And it takes a lot of time and energy.
18:38:10 <> So, when you are a small company like ours, that is pretty much our focus. You gotta get the real work done, and, um, it would be great if we could stop them.
18:38:22 <> sirabella: Yea, yea... I dunno. I'll be honest, I mean... I think the other companies have a very different approach than we do. I'm not saying their is wrong and ours is right... I guess our approach is no approach, you know... basically, we just try to just be in denial and we keep going.
18:38:24 <> It's been working. I mean the other guys aren't... Geneon ain't here. So we seem to be doing something right.
18:38:29 <> Um, so, you know, we don't mind.
18:38:32 <> I mean, it's this kind of thing you know... it's kinda like as i said in the first answer:
18:38:34 <> They exist, you know, it's been around since S.Baldric. I remember it for years. You know, I mean come on.
Sirabella: He knows S.Baldric.
Lance: He knows it?
Sirabella: What's his name, he works down in the dealers room... he used to sell those little things.
18:38:57 <> But the thing is, it's just, the lawyers fees, everything else... yes, it's expensive and the truth is just like the guy from Abado... did I (???)..
18:39:12 <> They are going to come some other place... and there is the DVD rippers, there is the pirates, there is the guys overseas, there is all this crap. So you know, deal with it. That's it..
Ken: Okay, so, we'll go along. Um... Okay, this is, the question is written a little oddly but I will try to rephrase it.
18:39:12 <> Powerpoint slide: Discussion Topic #7....
18:39:36 <> anytime... download numbers... popularity of shows while they are being fansubbed... what effect does that have on the industry's licensing decisions, licensing costs? Did it ever influence the bidding wars... dramatically inflating some of the license costs. Be honest, because a lot of fansubbers and fans are curious on this topic.
18:39:56 <> lance: All right. To be honest is... in Japan, they give us 1 or 2 episodes and we have to make a decision on that. You know, you can get a lot from 4 shows if it's good with the plot.
18:39:59 <> Cause, how we buy shows are on plot.
18:40:05 <> You know, a plot's there, we're going to buy it... a plot's not there, yank it.
18:40:27 <> And, you know, a lot... you can see a lot of people.. like... you know, a lot of the stuff that you see gets fansubbed really immediately and then you can see how many groups are doing this... holy crap eight people, eight groups are doing this... that's how you can kinda see if a show is popular or not. I mean like...what okay.
18:41:02 <> And then has it... like the licensing fees... you know I help with acquisitions. I mean, we do these huge ass spread sheets... that, you know, well, we're bidding this and then you say, "okay how can we recoup"... recoup is like, you know, if (???) we have to pay this advance per episode... and then from this advance, is like, we have to pay money up front and with the hope that people are going to buy the DVD and with projections.
18:41:20 <> And so looking at projections in 2003, you're like okay. Then, when we're licensing in 2005 and the industry has gone a little lower and our projections are not meeting it, then you are like, uh, you know, we aren't going to recoup this for a long time and that's what got... that's what snug a lot of the companies.
18:41:25 <> And then with these bidding wars, a show is popular... and it's like, some companies would buy shows where they wouldn't see a profit. You know, we want to recoup this and see a little bit of profit it.
18:41:33 <> And then like um, right now, the bidding wars are kinda... there are not a lot of people for the shows, but... and so we're like going Yeaaaa!
18:41:38 <> So like, we're getting a lot of good shows, that you know, will... make a.... I mean will make a good... well I mean... we're in it for like... to pay mortgages and such... you know... And that's going to happen.
18:42:14 <> It's just like, we're in it for good content... and then like good content, you are like going... oh yea, like 8 fansubbers are doing this... and so okay, that's a popular show, and then we watch the two from Japan and we will watch the two that are coming out... and then we make our decision.
18:42:24 <> And such, and a lot of stuff right now, is like, they are pitching it way ahead, and so, and it's like, you gotta make a bid before it's on TV.
18:42:28 <> And that's a current trend right now since they are seeing this in the states and they are doing a lot of prebidding. So...
18:42:42 <> ken: Okay. Has media blasters... have they ever looked at... um... fansub... um... fansub activity, fansub downloads in any sort of licensing decision? Has it ever influenced you guys at all.
18:43:00 <> sirabella: I mean, we look at the fansubs... because I guess we download them once in a while and look at them right. But... I mean mostly we (???)
Sean: I just download Funimation's products....
18:43:27 <> Sirabella: We need the scripts... isn't the internet free?
Lance: I thought people were expecting a battle between fansubbers and the industry...
Sirabella: But... no, it's more along the lines of... (???) ...what Lance said.. the thing is, it's just, we do sometimes look at fansubs and stuff and honestly, not that we steer away from those shows.
18:43:30 <> I mean... we have a tendency to go for a certain type of show. We do our thing.
18:43:34 <> We actually use the conventions more sometimes .
18:43:39 <> Or... we do look at some of the hits... but the truth is, it's that, um... we do like, weird stuff...
18:43:41 <> So we'll do like, yaoi, yuri.
18:43:51 <> We will do stuff because we know those people actually will pay money for the stuff. And so... they actually want it, like they want to collect it and stuff.
18:43:55 <> You know, Naruto... you know, there is like a billion people downloading it. So yea... I'm sure Naruto is like...
18:44:14 <> You know, I'm not going to go for naruto. I'll stick with something like Girl's High that nobody knows and get a few people to buy it.
18:44:18 <> You know, it's one of those kinda things where we take... we just try different strategies... also the hentai... you know, nobody wants... yea, there aren't exactly too many fansub groups for that, but there are some.
??: Very few, very few...
Sirabella: So you know, you try to do different strategies and different stuff... (???)
if you got the scripts, I mean
Sean?: Okay, there's a script..
18:44:35 <> (yaoiboy pulls out all the yaoi titles from MB) Ken: John, he's proving your point for you over here.
18:44:43 <> (And some CPM stuff) Sirabella: Always mentioning our productions, thank you.
18:44:47 <> We get the weird shit, but Loveless come on. You know, people with ears, (???)
18:45:04 <> But, it's... you know, but the problem is the prices in Japan has dropped dramatically, and there are... the licensing has gotten cheaper...
18:45:08 <> but at the same time there was the bubble, so there was the bidding wars, so they produced a bunch of crap.
18:45:20 <> And what happened was, a lot of that stuff is being produced because it was already in the middle of it. So now all this excess stuff is kinda left over. And there are some good shows there, um, but... you know, they are getting cheaper but the truth is nobody knows that really, if they can make money on it.
18:45:25 <> It's tough now to know if you are gonna make money on it.
18:45:33 <> And uh, retailers actually... one of the people who should be here is someone from a retail operation like a Bestbuy or something.
18:45:36 <> They really get affected first.
18:45:38 <> We're down the chain.
18:45:43 <> That's a (???), you have people like suncoast... they go out of business, these guys go out of business...
18:45:59 <> That's much more, where if they are mismanaging themselves... they affect us just as badly. So... you know, it's a chain reaction, but that's what's happening in Japan.
Ken: Okay, we'll move along. It's very long, but I'll summarize it for you.
18:46:23 <> Lots of people are saying that 0-day, you know... ad supported streaming or downloads like with Gonzo is doing with Druaga, Blassreiter, Strike Witches, etc. They see that as the solution. In their current incarnations on paper, they seem to benefit the Japanese companies more than the American industry. What are you thoughts on this? Is your company doing anyting similar to this?
Powerpoint slide: Discussion topic #8
Recently, many people have proposed the concept of 0-day ad-supported streaming or 0-day pay-per-downloads of translated series online simultaneously in Japan. They see this as a solution to the "Fansub problem". In current incarnations, these ideas seem to benefit the Japanese companies more than the R1. What are your thoughts on this? Is your company doing anything similar to this?
18:46:39 <> lance: Well, um... I'm still reading it.
Ken: Sorry, it's a little bit long.
Lance: I kid, I kid... you know... I mean, we're working on this...
18:46:44 <> It's just that gonzo is a cool progressive company that does this.
18:46:57 <> I mean, what people don't understand is that there are these consortiums in japan, where you know like, an awesome manga is made... they are going to make it into a show.
18:47:04 <> And then you have the, TV production studio, you have the network, you have the producers, you have the toys, you have international.
18:47:12 <> And it's a consortium... some consortiums are like one person, some can be twelve and everyone has a vote.
18:47:22 <> And then it's trying just to go through the long, long long, long, long, long process of getting approvals for this stuff.
18:47:30 <> And we've been trying to do this for like, about a year and a half...
18:47:36 <> ...and it's just... it's pulling... some companies is pulling teeth, some people are going "Yea, let's work on it."
18:47:48 <> And so, um, it's like, you know, you have six major studios here in the US and there are like a hundred of these in Japan and trying get... trying to get all these to do day-0, it's going to take a while...
18:47:53 <> And so some will, some won't. It might not be day-0, it might be day-14... you know, so I don't think it's all going to be day-0.
18:48:03 <> And, uh... what is it... companies are benefitting more than R1... well, I mean, if you kinda like prelicense it, then both companies benefit. So...
18:48:15 <> ken: So the answer is, um... if you could potentially, you would considering do this at FUNimation? That correct?
Ken: At FUNimation, if you could do this potentially, you would consider doing something similar.
18:48:17 <> lance: in a heartbeat.
Ken: In a heartbeat, okay. There you go folks.
18:48:45 <> Lance: Cause one the thing is... I started with robotech as well... im a comic-book nerd... I like to have like forty books I have that I read a month... lots of anime... uh, you know, i joined funimation back when in nov 2002 because I was a fan and, you know, I had my MBA in marketing. I'm like going " Dude, you know, i can help promote anime, that's what I'm doing" You know, they are promoting anime, ya'll are promoting anime by hopefully buying it, and showing it to your friends.
18:48:52 <> And that's what i did. Like, my part was, you know, I joined FUnimation, I wanted to do it. (???)
18:49:07 <> It was like their marketing department was four people. Now we're bigger. That was when we had six brands. Now with all the recent acquistions, we're over 150. And so I like that, it's fun. That's how I'm doing my part of promoting anime.
18:49:31 <> Ken: Okay, okay. Let's move along to the next topic. To the industry, there are many, very talented fansubbers out there. Um... We have a translator over here who is quite good. Would the industry be interested in working with fansubbers for production? What about 0-day subtitles since that seems to be the fansubbers area of expertise.
Powerpoint slide: Discussion topic #9
To the industry: There are many very talented fansubbers out there. Would the industry be interested in working with fansubbers for production? What about 0-day subtitles, as that seems to be their forte?
18:49:41 <> lance: The thing with me... is like
Sirabella: It's free already... (???)
lance: it's like well.... one thing is, it's kinda like what i said before...
18:50:04 <> if japan and the US license groups, you know, are like... hey we have these shows and we want to get these day and date... it's like, you know, convincing our production department to give it this and then chatting and then... you know... doing the contract for contract shows.
18:50:18 <> I'd probably have to say that, you know, if a fansubber group would do this, that they would have to be 100% legitimate... to do this. They can't have like side stuff or not mention the side stuff.
18:50:34 <> But, you know... you know... if that was the case... it's like, you know... like hey, you know, fansub group.... Yea, we want to do this... and then it's like Well, here's the contract, and yea, we'll stop fansubbing and you get paid for stuff and it's all legal. Yea... do it.
HisshouBuraiKen: he's trying to convert us!
lance: hey, that was the question... that was the question... i mean if they want to...
18:50:40 <> Sean: you know the last couple times we were hiring, we posted on ANN.
18:50:43 <> lance: send in the resume
18:50:52 <> sirabella: yea, i think... i don't... yea, we.. we hire fansubbers usually... most of them used to be like ex-fansubbers or they used to tell us they were ex-fansubbers...
Sean: i think we had like three or four
18:51:04 <> sirabella: three or four ex-fansubbers... actually, i think one of these guys i tried to get him some work
18:51:14 <> but it's kinda like... you know, i don't think... i don't have anything against fansubbers... if they could do it 0-day... hey more power
18:51:17 <> but, you know, let's... the japanese are slow, let's just put it that way...
18:51:29 <> they are slow as hell... so the thing is, they aren't going to change (???) for a long... until they see like no money, then they'll change... until then...
Sean: yea i mean
18:51:40 <> Sean: people think that fansubbers are really fast... well I mean, I ought to tell you that, our schedules aren't exactly... you know... we aren't exactly relaxing at the office...
18:51:46 <> A lot of times, we have to put away episodes lightning fast and get all the subtitles done in a really short time.
18:52:06 <> So, it's more of a fact, it's that we have to deal with Japanese licensing... you know, marketing and production issues... it's not really an issue of turning around uh... subtitles or uh... production or an encode or something lightning fast because we do that all the time.
18:52:13 <> lance: And also with 0-day, I mean, you've gotta like, whenever we get stuff, it's like... we get approved scripts, we get approved credits, we get approved names...
18:52:19 <> and so if you do 0-day legitimate, it's like, you have to have all that stuff ahead of schedule.
18:52:26 <> You know... making your timings, doing QC, doing all that stuff, getting the proper encodes, then getting all the proper encodes to all the... you know if you do this on iTunes and Youtube, you have to go through their systems.
18:52:29 <> So, you have to do a lot of prep.
18:52:33 <> sirabella: I think the general answer is basically yes.
18:52:36 <> Ken: Okay, so next topic. To the fansubbers, how do you want to see the industry change?
Powerpoint slide: Discussion topic #10
To the fansubbers: How do you want to see the industry change?
To the industry: Short of quitting, what can fansubbers do to help the industry in the US and Japan?
18:52:59 <> yaoiboy: See them embrace the technology that's driving, you know, with(?) anime right now. Get it online, and if online works, maybe go to a DVD model and, you know, and I really think one can drive another.
18:53:01 <> getfresh: Uh... One word: Blu-ray.
??: That's what I was going to say too.
getfresh: Another one is...
18:53:12 <> lance: Actually, blu-ray... we do all our blu-ray authoring in house. We do all the design in-house like our DVDs too.(??)
18:53:17 <> getfresh: On all DVDs(??), to the general industry, learn how to transcode. It will really help.
Ken: What do you mean?
Lance: I'm not in production so...
18:53:27 <> getfresh: I haven't seen funimation in a long time so I'm not directing it at you guys. I've just seen a lot of crap... so... I mean I buy a DVD and the black background is greywash. What's going on?
18:53:36 <> But... also, stop modifying the products.
getfresh: Stop modifying the cover art, stop modifying the songs. Who cares if they are singing in Japanese? It's a song, you don't need to understand what the hell they are saying.
18:53:41 <> And honestly, the songs you guys put on those DVDs really suck.
18:54:04 <> interactii: And, I think... I think another big thing that gets me a lot... I mean I buy a lot of DVDs... but americanization. I don't like americanization on my dvds. Give me the Japanese culture. I can handle the Japanese culture. I can handle the fact that this is going to be awkward when you translate it to english. I mean, we can accept that.
18:54:31 <> HisshouBuraiKen: I don't have as big an issue of that personally. I don't mind if there is a pun that just makes absolutely no sense in english.
Ken: Cause a translator.
HisshouBuraiKen: If there is a pun and you make a pun in english, I can deal with that. I can accept that.
18:54:36 <> But, we want to love you, We want to give our money to you.
18:54:52 <> But people... much of the fandom trusts fansubbers... or will... if given a choice, will say I think the fansubbers did a better job. I mean, there is still an image problem there left over from americanizing things or editing, censorship. That's the real problem.
18:54:54 <> And that makes a big trust issue between the fans and the industry.
Sirabella: Hey FUNimation, what's your answer to that.
Sean: We'd love to edit and modify it, but we really don't have time. So... (inaudible) I think they must be talking to him.
18:55:26 <> lance: I say the only cuts on our one piece comes from Zoro's blade. So we're cleaning up someone else's mess.
18:55:33 <> Sean: Also, um... I'd actually would like to make my own request in response. Oh my god... I really... you know what, you may have figured out by now that I watch a lot of fansubs. But those karaoke lyrics with like 6 layers and 500 different graphics going on, I can't...
Sirabella: We don't need it.
Sean: I can't read the damn sub, it's really annoying.
interactii: Here here.
18:55:46 <> Sean: We know you know how to use Final Cut Pro, it's okay.
18:55:58 <> HisshouBuraiKen: Didn't we do the last one in times new roman or something?
18:56:06 <> interactii: Yea, I used comic-sans.
HisshouBuraiKen: There you go.
interactii: Aegis-sub warned me, you rebel.
lance: Old DVD technology.
Sean: I'm sorry, I might... maybe I watched another group's fansub. Maybe someone was faster.
???: Maybe you are on the aftereffects newsletter.
18:56:20 <> lance: But Blu-ray has no problem on that... the subtitle track.
Ken: So, to the guys at the table then, short of quitting, which is not going to happen, we've already established that, what can fansubbers do to help the industry out in the US and Japan.
getfresh: Okay, we'll only sub the opening.
18:56:45 <> lance: Yea, sampling versus leeching, that's what it is.
18:56:56 <> HisshouBuraiKen: If you can get the entire internet to agree to that... then, I totally agree with that.
???: Maybe you can't, but I can.
18:57:04 <> lance: Well it's kinda like what happened with Torchwood on BBC America. Torchwood was out in england, people really liked it.
18:57:19 <> It just got crazy torrents. And then BBC america went over, the show came out in England, like next week, *boop* BBC america. It was on there. That's what they are doing too so...
18:57:23 <> Content... if content's out there on the internet, it will get out there, you just have to grow with it, understand, and deal with it.
Ken: So what do you think the fansubbers can do to change to maybe help out. Is there anything they can do or you would just say...
18:57:38 <> sirabella: No... I mean... help out? That's a hard one... I mean, really (???)... I would like... I don't think there's... I mean, they are doing what they do, so I mean, they just...
18:57:42 <> I mean, it does make awareness of the show like everyone talks about and stuff like that...
18:57:48 <> but I mean, I don't think there is anything... you know... they can really...
18:57:52 <> Ken: Nothing practical huh? Okay.
18:58:06 <> sirabella: I mean, I don't know what... you know, help? I... the only way... I guess the answer everyone is looking for is to stop doing it or something, but it's not... I don't think that's an answer. It's just kinda...
18:58:15 <> lance: And then... like when something is licensed, I mean, every group takes it off.
18:58:17 <> Not just from your website, from IRC. Take it down from every bot.
18:58:19 <> That stuff.
18:58:32 <> Because you know, we take DMCAs and it's like "Hey, can you take it off your site", it's off their site. But then you go to the IRC channel and then you hit one of their bots, and then, you know, hit list, hit blah blah.. and it's all over and so... yes, it's off, but not off.
Sean: (???) fansub groups.
18:58:55 <> getfresh: Actually, here's the problem with that, we can't just do it that way because we don't even own the our bots half the time. It's somebody else and we can't.. we can go "Hey take it off your bot." and they can go screw you.
18:58:59 <> lance: Okay, see that... that's stuff is like... we don't know that. That's why it's interesting to know. That's why we're here.
(lot of inaudiable stuff here)
18:59:19 <> getfresh: A fansub group itself generally serves nothing. The only thing we serve is a little tiny torrent file and that's it. And Enterthegame has been able to pull off, having no licensed on their network. But if you have a network that allows warez or anything like that, you can't go through every single person's fserver, every single day, to make sure they don't have your releases on there that you (??)
18:59:23 <> Lance: That's good to know. That's something. That's why I like this panel, because like... some of the things, is like... ya'll aren't aware of on our side, we aren't aware on your side, so that's interesting to know.
Ken: All right, moving along, a lot of people seem to think that the uh... what is this here... actually I'm going to move on, we talked about that... Q and A.
Lance: Q and A.
getfresh: Aww... crap.
??: Oh boy...
18:59:28 <> Q&A...
18:59:43 <> Q:I should preface this by saying I'm also part of dattebayo, so I'm kinda biased, but I just wanted to make a comment that...
Sirabella: Is that why you have DB on your shirt?
18:59:58 <> I don't, like, for instance, just giving an example of me, I don't get Cartoon Network, it's not available where I live. I don't own a PS3, I don't own xbox, I don't use itunes.
19:00:02 <> So if it wasn't for fansubs, I would basically have no access to anime at all.
19:00:13 <> So... to point out that, you know, to some of us who live in, you know, little towns that don't get all of those fancy things. There's really no other way to spread anime... Two people like me, so fansubs are, helping the industry.
19:00:24 <> I mean, maybe I haven't bought DVDs, but I've bought merchandise... I have a... some Naruto merchandise that I've purchased... so... I mean, if it weren't for fansubs, I'd have no idea what anime was probably.
19:00:33 <> lance: Well, I guess, you obviously have... high speed internet.
19:00:38 <> I mean, we are working with youtube, we are working with another big major that is not...
19:00:42 <> we haven't signed the deal yet, but it's huge.
19:00:45 <> I mean, that's what our motto is...
19:00:50 <> It's like, if we are going to police this, we have to give a legal viable alternative.
19:00:59 <> And if people are watching it for free, then we have to have it ad supported because we've got to pay the bills. So it's just like, giving an alternative. That's what it is... because you want it.
19:01:40 <> Ken: Can people who want to ask a question maybe come up... cause we don't have to run around with the mic. Just form a line or something... over here on the side please, not in front of the camera. Over in the side... that's a lot of people... I don't think we are going to get everybody guys.
??: Oh my god.
Ken: Okay, get the guy in the crutches first.
interactii: If you have specific... if you have questions for dattebayo, we'll be outside later and you can just talk to us then. And we'll have pins and tattoos, so don't ask those here.
Ken: Try to keep it intellectual okay.
interactii: Ask questions that are relevant to the whole group.
19:01:43 <> Q: Okay, this is a question regarding how fansubs can work with the industry and it's towards the industry.
19:02:07 <> I mean, I don't know if actually considered actually hiri... I mean, you said you hired fansubbers, but I'm talking about more along the lines of just outsourcing to a fansub group with a contract... say. And I'm not saying fire your entire production staff, but if fans want what the fansubs produce and their quality and stuff like that, not all fansub groups are quality, but if you hired a fansub group, say here, we'll give you $2500 an episode to produce this, split it amongst your members...
Q: Well, no... but they are doing it for free now, so if you give them $2500 bucks and I mean... I'm certain you are paying your trans... the industry is paying your translators and stuff $30000 at least a year to do series, you could... cut your costs of at least the subs part, not so much the dubs... By...
19:02:40 <> Well, have you considered that... and would you do something like that?
19:03:02 <> interactii: Well, let me just make a comment. I mean, you may think it's mostly a joke, but that dattebayo professional thing on the website, we do do work through there... and we work on subtitled projects. We don't reveal what they are, we... there are no external indicators as to what projects we work on, but we do work on things for the industry. So I mean that's already happening to some extent, I'm sure they can comment further.
19:03:06 <> Ken: Will they comment further?
19:03:14 <> Lance: A comment.. do you want to...
Sirabella: No, you can go.. I mean it's...
lance: It's cause a lot it is... is like... it's you do contract work, but, you know, if you are going to work with it as a group to do that stuff, I would say that we would have to...
19:03:24 <> a) send a resume with work, send a sample of work
19:03:27 <> and then... you know... go 100% legit.
19:03:52 <> Q: I'm a fansubber. I fansub Japanese dramas. And um, I'm talking more about, you are mentioning how japanese companies are doing an initiative to stop anime and bla bla...
19:03:54 <> Now I was wondering since Japanese dramas have such... such a small niche compared to anime and literally we cannot get it licensed outside of Jhorror or sci-fi...
19:04:06 <> Why do japanese companies attack jdrama a lot more harsh than anime?
19:04:13 <> I've seen more anime on youtube and stream sites than I see Japanese dramas being attacked. Now, in my group, we do not want... freaking stream sites, but I was wondering why do Japanese companies attack us more than anime on websites?
19:04:29 <> lance: They probably have more... they probably have lawyers that are kinda like... more educated on that. That they are protecting their rights more... that's probably what it is.
19:04:36 <> q: And also another question. Why aren't these companies... why are you guys not interested in Japanese dramas? Is it like because it's such a small niche.
19:04:42 <> Sean: Well, that's not entirely true. I mean, we did license the GTO movie for god sakes.
19:05:06 <> sirabella: I mean, we do a lot of live action stuff. I mean, that's kinda more of our specialty actually. You know, it's... I don't... it's just the dramas... it depends on the drama. And the other thing too is that, they have some wacky contracts in Japan with the voice... with their talent. Some talent can't be... they didn't clear them for world wide and stuff like that. So there is some issues with some of those.
19:05:16 <> We have actually asked about them a few shows like actually GTO and stuff like that, and there are some wacky contract issues. Otherwise, it's not like we don't want to.
19:05:49 <> Q: This is for the industry people, um... I've noticed that a lot of the little advertisements for your shows on the DVDs will have mostly, just a japanese song showing like, various scenes from the show that don't really tell what the show is about. It's just really that fans of the show will know what the show is about. I've noticed Bandai had kinda done a few things where they put more of the dubbing... like they show the dub clips or whatever and not really just doing the tune with slient clips.
19:05:57 <> Are you guys trying... are you guys going to show more, uh, advertisements that show a little more about what the show is about, have a little bit more of the dialogue?
19:06:10 <> lance: Yea, I mean, if you go to the FUNimation booth... I mean, we have a motion graphics group that's six people with Final Cut Pro, all the bells and whistles, that are making theatrical trailers.
19:06:19 <> And then if you go to like youtube and all of our other sites, we have like... tons of scenes of like witchblade and Black Blood Brothers.
19:06:29 <> We show like the first three or four episodes streaming of the shows.
19:06:38 <> You know, on like iTunes... I know that whenever witchblade will go on there, you can download the first episode for free.
19:06:45 <> And so... We are visual medium, we have to promote visually.
19:06:48 <> I mean... other companies have done the openings and you are like "What the heck is that, it's like what's the story about?"
19:07:00 <> I'm always about like... a good... it's something like... the major motion pictures got it right. I mean, get a good trailer, get people interested... and that's what we try to do.
19:07:09 <> sirabella: Yea, I don't think there is much difference... I mean, it would be good I guess if you have more description of the show within the trailer I guess you are trying to say.
19:07:15 <> We actually... we try to give as much information as possible about the shows...
Audience: something about hentai
Sirabella: Aw.. nah.
19:07:29 <> Sean: Also keep in mind... the dub is often not ready when the first trailer has to be done.
19:07:36 <> Sirabella: It's... I guess it depends on the show and stuff... but usually these shows already have a lot of fan awareness... for some reason...
Ken: What that might be...
Sirabella: We have no idea why...
19:07:41 <> We're still in denial... Go on...
19:08:23 <> Q: Okay, I'm a fansubber for Live-Evil, but my real question is actually related to my profession. I'm a circulations print media auditor. We audit the advertising side. In reason months, there has been announcements that in conjunction with Neilsen's and Scarbourough, they are now auditing the advertising in free online games and paid games and widgets... um... because the industry is growing so much. My question is what is your point of view on ad supported media? Do you think having figures... hard figures like that would help or hinder you in making your purchasing decisions when you are choosing your series?
19:08:38 <> sirabella: I guess what you are trying to say is... is that the advertising on the internet makes a difference about what show we get?
19:08:48 <> q: how much would decisions be based on ad supported revenues
(Yea, how much do you base your licensing on what you think you will get from ad supported revenue.)
19:08:58 <> lance: Ad-supported revenue online is a new thing. Cause like, our bread and butter is like totally DVD sales. (Sirabella: Yea.) It's a new medium, and we're testing out, like, different models. I know you are testing out the models.
19:09:00 <> sirabella: It's not really there yet. I mean... the truth is... again... I know people would wish that Coca-Cola could put an ad on something. Coca-cola isn't interested in something that only sells, you know, this much.
19:09:31 <> sirabella: It's tough. It's really tough. I mean, there is some things you maybe you can do, but it's very difficult. I think Bandai... like... they have the cars and stuff I've seen at the shows. But they get them... it's not like they are getting money from them, it's a different thing.
Ken: I think we have time for one more question guys, I'm sorry, and then we are going to have to wrap it up. They are giving me the sign, so whoever is next, you are the lucky winner.
19:10:18 <> Q: My question was there was... a recent incident... I think it was actually FUNimation... C&D'd on behalf of a Japanese company, the company's entire catalogue. And I was actually just sorta wondering, do you think it is ever likely that the industry, in targeting shows to try the prevent the fansubbing of, would discriminate between shows with a wide audience and shows that, probably don't. Specifically, if I recall at the time, Romeo x Juliet and Glass Mask were C&D'd at the same time and one of them has since been licensed and one of them probably will never will be. I met one other english speaking fan ever of it.
19:10:37 <> Do you think the companies would ever... treat differently in terms of how they protect the license of shows based just on popularity and how they need/benefit from additional exposure.
19:11:09 <> lance: It's like shows that... it's not their entire catalogue, it's kinda like what they are coming out with that season. And then also, I mean, you're gonna have like big shows that will do a lot, but then you have smaller niche titles... I mean, like we have Shuffle.. we didn't pay like Fullmetal Alchemist prices for Shuffle.. we know who the fan is. I mean, like... we see harem fans all over the place at cons, we know the sales, we know what it is, and so... and then some of these shows that are not really wide known, that's what digital is for... and then if the digital sales warrant... like "Wow, there's lots of people." then, you know, you can do DVDs if people would prefer the DVDs.
19:11:33 <> And so um... I mean like, there is one show, Suzuka that, I told John this... it's like Suzuka really didn't do well for us on DVDs... but on Xbox LIVE, it's our #5 show right now. I mean, this is... this is about track. Small romance comedy track show that is doing like number five.
19:11:38 <> It's finding its audience.
19:11:47 <> And so it's like... every show will find its audience, we just have to find a mechanism where they can discover it. And that's where I think digital is there and... cause (???) discovered it first on digital. You know?
19:11:57 <> Ken: And I think, from the fansubbers, any last comments? The industry has been talking for the past ten minutes or so.
getfresh: I'm really cold and I want to smoke a cigarette.
someone: Yea, it's freezing in this building.
19:12:10 <> interactii: I'd also like to thank the folks from the industry for coming out. (yaoiboy: Yes, thanks very much.) I think this has been a very, very productive and I'd hope we can do this again.
yaoiboy: Buy more anime!
Ken: See you at the rave.
interactii: And come see me after for buttons and tatoos.
19:12:23 <> Ken: All right, so I'd like to thank all the panelists and thank you guys for sticking around.
19:12:24 <> END