Remember FUNimation, the moralist anime production company that tried to sue 1337 anonymous bittorrent users for downloading a One Piece fansub? Well, it turns out that for all their bloviating about piracy, they are nothing more than a bunch of filthy hypocrites.
The screenshot above is taken from the latest episode of America’s Greatest Otaku, Tokyopop’s attempt to emulate reality television with an anime spin. It shows a monitor in FUNimation’s dubbing studio, with episode 3 of Sora no Otoshimono playing for the benefit of the dub actors.
Keen eyes on the ANN forums quickly noticed something strange about the subtitle font being used. Turns out it’s from HorribleSub’s illegal rip of CrunchyRoll’s stream.
The evidence here is irrefutable. Unless FUNimation went to great lengths to replicate HorribleSub’s unique font in Aegisub, there is no question that they are using illegal rips for their dubbing work. This is particularly damaging after they made such a grand show of suing thousands of people whose only offense was WATCHING FANSUBS. No question about it, FUNimation has had their ethical soapbox shattered.
More after the break.
Of course, this is only part of a much broader hypocrisy that is systematically practiced by the American anime companies and their mouthpiece, Anime News Network. Do you expect to see an ANN report on this fiasco? I sure as hell don’t. They’ve already showed a complete lack of journalistic integrity when their corporate interests are at stake, and I doubt they’ll risk upsetting their biggest advertiser. Did you know that the CEO of ANN, Christopher Macdonald, even asked other news outlets to bury the OreImo leak story in order to protect their precious streaming rights?
And, like clockwork, the ANN forum mods have already started deleting dissenting posts on their forums. I’m sure they would love to bury this story if they could, but the word has already gotten out. Of course, ANN’s staff watch fansubs themselves for their spring preview guide… but that won’t stop them from rushing to defend their corporate buddies when this kind of scandal hits the headlines.
So, what’s going to happen? Not a damn thing. FUNimation and ANN will ignore this story, and the fickle public will forget about in in short order. The big companies will continue to whine about piracy while filing frivolous lawsuits and blaming all their problems on those evil fansubbers. It’s the nature of corporatism, and nothing you or I do will change that. If you really feel like taking action, you can join Thomas’ ongoing boycott of FUNimation. As for me, I think I’ll knock back a few Red Stripes and continue to complain impotently about all the injustice in the world.
UPDATE: Glen posted a link to a rather hilarious post on the ANN forums, which I think is worth quoting here.
Now lets discuss the ways to obtain that (HorribleSubs) release. Gee, lemme think, Bittorrent. Funimation is using Bittorrent. Well, everyone uses Bittorrent. So lets apply some logic here. If Funimation is downloading from Bittorrent, then it is 99% guaranteed (with 1% being possible for using a hacked client, which would lead to even more speculations of foul play on Funimation’s part) that Funimation is UPLOADING on Bittorrent. Now, Funimation loves to sue those that upload “their” shows on Bittorrent.
That would mean that Funimation now has to sue itself.
Can you say, hypocrisy?