Mar. 20th, 2017

spirit_zone: (sweatdrop)
So there's a site called Anime Feminist, and it's kind of spiffy. While feminist writing on anime is not a new thing, and can be found on numerous blogs, this is the first site that I know of to explicitly dedicate itself to feminist criticism. I love that they pay their writers, the articles are (generally) high quality, and I hope for much more to come.

That said, I'm not comfortable with their policy on fansubs/scanlations. As it's worded, it seems to go beyond "don't link to them, for plausible deniability" to "they aren't a part of legitimate fandom, don't even talk about them under any circumstance". So I wrote this to their staff.

Hey, I wanted to ask: can you consider softening your stance on fansubs and scanlations?

This is important to me because, one: much of anime and manga fandom is built on fan translations, and two: as it stands, it seems like you aren't welcoming of poorer and otherwise marginalized fans.

I've purchased anime that I wouldn't have because of seeing the fansub, and the same is true with manga and scanlations. But even if that weren't the case, fan translations are an important part of the culture, and have been from the beginning. Fansubbers and scanlators put in a lot of hard work. And their efforts not only help raise awareness of a title, but can help to show the flaws and issues in an "official" translation.

With regional limitations to streaming media, the decentralized and international nature of file sharing can be crucial to being able to see a title at all. Also, depending on where they live and under what circumstances, someone might not be comfortable with importing a title with LGBT themes. Or even able to do so.

Finally, I don't like the division that your statement of policy creates between "real" fans who purchase and "fake" fans who pirate. All fans, including consumers of fansubs, contribute to fan culture; yes, with our money when we're able to. But also with our energy, ideas, and criticism. Our blogging and vlogging. And our sharing what we love. That shouldn't be discounted or stigmatized because it runs up against copyright law. On the contrary, it's what has made anime and manga fandom so vibrant today.


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August 2017


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