The discussion about people pirating anime has been a daunting one, with one side of the community actively advocating the importance of using legal services in order to support the industry, one side unable to use said services to watch the anime that they want due to copyright and the remaining side simply not given a damm and going to those illegal sites. So what is the cause for people knowingly going to these illegal sites to watch anime, even going to the extent of donating to the illegal site pateron?
With services like Crunchyroll and Funimation offering more than 25,000 episodes and 15,000 hours of officially-licensed content from leading Asian media producers directly to viewers, translated professionally in multiple languages within minutes of TV broadcast, it’s safe to say that anime isn’t hard to find and the benefits of using their services definitely out weighs the crappy fan dubs right? This should be enough to steer any fans away from those illegal sites…or is it enough?
Popular influencers in the anime community have advocated, and those who work in the industry have on a daily basis urged fans to use platforms like Crunchyroll to watch anime and avoid going to illegal sites, however many still opt to go to the illegal sites rather than forking over $4.99/month. The question is why? Well, the answer is rather simple really…it’s easy! Plain and simple!
OK, maybe it’s not all that simple but it’s a starting point to understand why thousands of people pirate anime daily. Lets break it down and analyse each point.
For the most part, its simply much easier to just go to google, type in “said Anime name episode #” and click on the first link that shows up” and you’re on your way. However, you’re probably saying, “but you can do the exact same thing to reach Crunchyroll“, and you are right in saying so, problem is, that not the point. My point is that finding anime online is way too easy to the point that most consumers would start to wonder, “what’s the point in paying for service “A”, if service “B” is offering the same deal but for free“.
You see, the influencers of the Anime community, and those that work in the industry have being urging fans to stop using those services simply based on moral basis, that it’s wrong and its hurting the industry. Which it is mind you, but in reality its up to the studios in Japan to ultimately make sure that their anime doesn’t end up in these illegal websites, or make it extremely hard for people to even consider going to these illegal websites in the first place.
If you’re still confused on what I’m trying to say, then take a look at the music industry. In the past, people opted to download their favorite music online, rather than paying for the CD’s.
However with the introduction of services like iTunes, followed by Spotify, Soundcloud and Google Play/YouTube, it has made finding and getting music so damm easy that people have chosen to pay for their tracks, while systematically making it much difficult and frankly a hassle to find and download music online.
Same can be said with HBO, Netflix and Hulu. Another argument to be made is that Cruchyroll and Funimation don’t offer all the anime that people want watch. Now this is of no fault of Crunchyroll, these guys are trying their best to find a way to support and provide a service that people can enjoy. You can direct your attention to these studios in Japan, who have opted to refuse to license their anime. It also doesn’t help that most countries can’t even watch certain anime due to copyright issues.
You’ll have people say, “just wait for the Blu-Ray to come out and watch it then but don’t go to these sites” and etc, but that just ridiculous and not a permanent solution to an clearly obvious problem. People WILL go to watch anime illegally, especially when everyone is chatting it up about a new anime and they don’t want to be left out of the discussion. Piracy can never be stopped but it can be reduced and dealt with if done properly.
Look, I’m not trying to justify pirating of any kind, but when you look at it from this perspective, you can see why people pirate. Yes, Japan has started to take action against these sites, but if the anime studio don’t start loosening up and work with Crunchyroll and other similar sites, then more illegal sites will just pop up again to offer what Crunchyroll cannot.
Let me know your thoughts on this subject.