Fansubbing & Video Streaming
What is Fansubbing?
• Short for “fan-subtitled”
• Foreign movie or tv show translated and
subtitled by fans
Is Fansubbing Legal?
• International Treaties: Berne Convention
• Translation considered “derivative” work
• Author has right to who translates
• Reproduction and distribution also illegal
• Files distributed via p2p networks
• But consequences are rare (if unlicensed)
• Fansub and distribute works for free
• Only fansub shows unlicensed in the US
• If a show gets licensed, stop subbing and
• Claim this helps the industry
• What they do
• How they do it without getting in trouble
• Who likes it and who hates it
• Anime & Jdrama streaming site, founded in
2006 by a few CS/ECE majors at Berkeley
• Used fansubbed content without approval
(mostly of it was copyrighted)
• User accounts were free but site had ads
• Gained popularity, content grew...
• $4.05 million investment from Venrock in
‣ Removed all copyrighted content
‣ Added user subscription fee
‣ Struck deals with Japanese TV companies to
host popular titles like Naruto
Reactions by Subbers
• Stop subbing?
• Fear of retaliating
From the STORMY Team Fansub Membership FAQ
Open Source Software
• Fansubbed content is copyrighted, but
slightly different from mp3s – user content
• When a show is licensed, users have power
to reject ofﬁcial translations
• “Source” is available as raws
• Similar development process
• Assuming a show will never be licensed in
the US, is it ethical to fansub it? What
about to sell it? If so, should it be legal?
• Fansubbers often want to stop subbing
after their work has been stolen by a
streamer. This harms the fans. If they
attack the streamers, they risk being shut
down themselves, which also harms the
fans. What should fansubbers ethically do
in this situation?
• Do you think what Crunchyroll did was
ethical? Would you start a similar business?
Absolute Boyfriend (Zettai Kareshi) Episode 11 Part 1/3. MySoju. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <http://www.mysoju.com/absolute-boyfriend-
Crunchyroll - Watch Naruto and Anime Videos Free Online. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <http://www.crunchyroll.com/>.
"D-Addicts ::View Topic - Streaming Site with Fansubbed Work without Permission." D-Addicts :: Index. Web. 19 Mar. 2010.
"Fansub -." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fansub>.
Gao, Kun. "Crunchyroll CEO: Making Online Anime Pay." Interview. Crunchyroll CEO: Making Online Anime Pay. ICV2.com, 15 Dec.
2008. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13922.html>.
Hatcher, Jordan S. "Of Otakus and Fansubs." Welcome to Edinburgh Law School, Edinburgh Law School. 2005. Web. 19 Mar. 2010.
Love Shufﬂe Banner. Digital image. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <http://getlazy.ﬁles.wordpress.com/2009/02/loveshufﬂe.jpg>.
"STORMY Team Sub - Membership Rules." Community Center. 19 July 2009. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <http://
"Video Site with Unauthorized Anime Gets US$4M Capital -." Anime News Network. 11 Mar. 2008. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <http://