Two Years for Fansubbing

Japan Probe: Man found guilty of sharing copies of foreign movies before their Japan release date

Two years in prison for fansubbing! I always wondered why Japanese bilinguals never added subtitles to movies that come out on DVD before they are even released in theatres in Japan, and here’s the answer: the government throws you in jail for two years. I guess that’s one way to stop piracy.

W. David MARX
December 17, 2008

10 Responses

  1. Japanese fansubber sentenced to two years in prison « Otaku Nikki Says:

    [...] Meta no Tame and Japan Probe, a man who subbed foreign movies into Japanese has been convicted on criminal [...]

  2. Adamu Says:

    Hold on a minute. The code of ethics for fan-subbers is to take content down that is slated for release in the target market. What this guy was doing is substantially different. It makes this no less a disgusting abuse of state power to protect private profits, but just sayin.

  3. W. David MARX Says:

    Japan could easily stop “early release piracy” by, I dunno, stop being the only nation on earth that does not follow global release dates.

  4. statiq Says:

    @Adamu: I think that the fansub ethical code you’re mentioning only exist in the context of anime. The idea behind it is to leave some room for legit release of anime in foreign markets, fansubbers don’t want file sharing to prevent/hurt the release of legit domestic versions (whether fansubbing actually hurts or helps is another debate).

    This is not true of mainstream movies, they will be released in most countries anyway, regardless of the amount of file sharing that goes on. No code of ethics here, just plain old upload/download.

    I seriously feel bad for that guy, 2 years in a Japanese prison for that, really?

    The media conglomerates getting what they want from law enforcement agencies reminds me of drug dealers in The Wire hiring extra ‘muscle’ to get rid of the competition.

  5. LS Says:

    Fansubbers might stop distributing anime on their trackers once its licensed, but in practice, this means very little. They stick around, repackaged on other torrent sites, at least until a DVD rip comes out — often much longer.

  6. M-Bone Says:

    “Japan could easily stop “early release piracy” by, I dunno, stop being the only nation on earth that does not follow global release dates.”

    Global? Try living down under.

    Don’t they stagger the release dates for 2 reasons? So they can talk about what a big hit the movie was in America (even if it wasn’t) and so they can bring Keeanu or whoever over and trot him around to promote the movie (on opening weekend Stateside, he would be busy doing the same thing)….

  7. DB Says:

    That’s the idea, but when some Chinese lady can sell me the Sopranos box set (with subtitles in both kinds of Chinese) before it’s even out in the US I think that business model is on the way out.

  8. GAPS Says:

    “Global? Try living down under.

    Don’t they stagger the release dates for 2 reasons? So they can talk about what a big hit the movie was in America (even if it wasn’t) and so they can bring Keeanu or whoever over and trot him around to promote the movie (on opening weekend Stateside, he would be busy doing the same thing)….”

    Global release dates only really apply to really big blockbusters with globally connected distribution companies, and Australia’s gotten much better at following the world in recent years. It’s currently screening Quantum of Solace (Japan gets it late Jan), in line with the rest of the world, AND it’s already had it’s Japanese premiere with Daniel Craig hitting the carpet and all that.

    I’ve also seen Craig on at least one magazine cover, and another magazine advertising on a train an interview with Nicole Kidman about Australia (Hits Japan late Feb), not to mention Coke basing it’s current campaign around Bond.

    Seeing all this has been really confusing, as previously I would have assumed the same as M-Bone. Any clues as to what’s really going down?

  9. M-Bone Says:

    I think that Bond is an exception. It is different for different movies. They also aim for a slot in Japan where they have little first week competition.

  10. Kim Jong-il Hater Says:

    Rothbard would be very sad and dissappointed at this ruling.