How to starve the fansub beast

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


Most fansub groups operate through Paypal. But Paypal also has an acceptable use policy that said groups just might be in violation of. Hm…

Paypal’s AUP




The idea here is to toss off a friendly email to PayPal’s compliance department. You know, something that just inquires as to the possibility of copyright infringement.




You’ll get a form letter afterwards.


And a little more personal letter.


And if you’re lucky… something will actually be done about it.


See, if enough people contact PayPal, they will generally just shut down the account automatically. It’s how Google operates with Youtube and why if a bunch of random people enter copyright claims against a video, it, and the entire account, can get pulled from the website, sometimes permanently.

Not that I’m advocating you do this to groups you don’t like. And I doubt any of you would take the literal seconds it takes to send off that email anyway. It’s just, y’know, food for thought.



Further reading (one of my first articles):

199 thoughts on “How to starve the fansub beast”

        • Oh that. It’s cute that you actually think you factored into this article at all beyond simply being just another group that relies on donations because none of you have real jobs. I started this article last December and only bothered to finish it today because it was gonna be a slow night. (You can tell when I first started based on the file path of the first image “/uploads/2012/12/”.)

          If I really cared, I’d have just emailed your Paypal address to Funi’s legal team ([email protected]) and let their lawyers take over from there. Then I would have made an article laughing at you about it. Since I didn’t, I think it’s pretty obvious how much I care about you.

          Should I contact their legal team now, then? Can you really afford to lose a couple hundred dollars just for a moment of attention from me? If so, you’re more desperate for it than I thought. (But really, I’m so honored.)

            • It’s pretty easy to send an email. I don’t see where the “try” comes into play.

              I’m a little surprised RHE’s toadie would be so keen on him losing money, but oh well.

                    • If I were to bet, I’d bet on “no” as well. But if you lost your paypal from one simple email, well that’s like a gift I could just keep giving.

                      By the way, what was the “I assume you don’t have the balls to.” about? I think you and I have vastly different ideas about how email works.

                    • It wouldn’t really hurt us at all.

                      However, these comments serve as proof of how mad we managed to make you by getting A+ on Tamako.


                    • Well then shut down your donations and start taking responsibility for your group instead of begging for money from others. Maybe Vale could cover the costs. He’s a good dog, isn’t he?

                      I don’t care about Nyaa’s politics, but I find it quite amusing that you think I do. Really Commie, you’re the best.

                    • Why? People want to donate so we let them. Guilt tripping ain’t gonna work buddy.

                      And you clearly care, or you wouldn’t’ve commented on the torrent, bro.

                    • Step 1 in anyone believing you don’t actually care about “Nyaa’s politics” is probably not commenting about it on NT.

                      Just in case you were wondering.

                    • >Getting A+ on Tamako
                      >Getting Mad over it.


                      Who cares, not like it helped in the downloads anyways for them. They still get half or even less the amount Mazui does.

                    • Clearly we should simply give A+ to whichever group receives the most downloads on average.

                      (Based on the number of comments from NT users who believe the decision to be clearly and unequivocally in error, perhaps people think that’s the way it works already.)

                    • It’s not that most “Downloads” should give it an A+, which I know should never be the case, but I can bet that other people think this way. Probably most of the people who leech l0l.

                      A+ means shit too me in all honesty. I go by groups I trust and usually follow. I’ll put one groups subs over the other depending on which one I like more.

                      Though L>For Commie’s review on Tamako. I never saw the light of day for that one yet. Though with what’s happening here right now I wouldn’t be surprised to see it not happening or being biased.

          • Do you realize there are more (or at least same number of) UTW members on Nyaa staff than Commie people?
            Also, I happen to have a job while I’m in Commie. Does that count?

  1. Well, I must ask, why is fansubbers receiving money a bad thing? If anything, that’ll encourage more people to sub, and the better subbers will receive more money. It’ll act as an incentive to sub more, and better. Isn’t it worth at least considering the possibility?

  2. And why hasn’t anyone mentioned Hadena yet?
    It’s not like they just posted an announcement asking for donations or anything.

    Or do we still want Hadena around for entertainment?

    • Well Commie assumed this article was about them so that’s what it turned into. I suppose if someone from Hadena commented first, it would be all about them.

      [01:17] <Zisa> Wonder who Dark_Sage is trying to kill off
      [01:18] <Zisa> Spare Hadena so we get fail sub reviews
      [01:18] <Shiina_Mashiro> i bet it’s subdesu-h
      01[01:18] <&Dark_Sage> Nobody in particular. If I really cared, I’d list off some paypal addresses and make the form letter copyable.
      01[01:18] <&Dark_Sage> Though I am interested in seeing if I get any kneejerk reactions from fansubbers.

  3. And a wild fansub drama appears… for no “mentally sane” reason.

    I know my opinion is worth less than zero, but I don’t think that trying to sabotage fansub groups just because you can is a very elegant move.

    I say this because it’s also pretty easy to sabotage this website if someone wanted to. I’m not saying you deserve it, just that it could happen almost as easily and you probably wouldn’t be happy about it.

    Anyways…. keep it classy fansub community.

  4. Incidentally, if anything happens to Commie, I’m probably not going to finish Psycho-Pass, among other shows.

    It’s enough work fansubbing in the first place when people aren’t actively trying to sabotage your efforts.

    I’ve never received any money or any other kind of payment for fansubbing, by the way.

  5. I hope nobody reading this article learned anything. If it wasn’t incredibly obvious to you that internet piracy violated PayPal’s TOS, you have a screw loose.

  6. @herkz,

    You let people donate? What kind-hearted people you are! (Except that you go out of your way to beg for donations in posts every chance you get, but I guess we’re supposed to forget about that?) Well, maybe if you weren’t hypocrites about money, you’d have a better leg to stand on… (“money is shit, we don’t do ads, scanlators sucks cuz they’re all about the money and ads” …while three advertisements display on the page. Beautiful.)

    If commenting on the torrent that people are stupid for thinking Nyaa’s process reflects any sort of nonbiased decision-making indicates I care, then I can only assume that you apply “care” to any situation where an individual comments on something else. In which case, you care more about me than anyone else on the site. In fact, considering I can find you kneejerking pathetically on every post on this site, I can only assume that you care so much, you have a little doll with my name on it somewhere in your apartment that you use to sodomize yourself every night.

    How about you keep your cares down to a minimum from now, hm?

    • The rest of that post aside, I actually do take the A+ decision-making process seriously at NT and I don’t vote for a release unless I actually believe it to be the best.

      That’s also why I got a third party to decide the Tamako Market A+, since it was pretty close for me and I didn’t feel like I was able to make an unbiased decision.

      • I think it’s likely RHE doesn’t know what sarcasm means (go ahead click that tag and see what hilariously sarcastic articles you get). There’s no real way to interpret it other than an honest slam on scanlations. At the time the article was posted, I don’t believe you guys had ads up, so it wasn’t intentionally ironic either.

        • I personally don’t really care, Since I wasn’t with commie when that was posted. It’s not like I am anyone important in commie either. Although I did chuckle at the “*Placeholder for Maria 03-05*” in the other posts with that tag.

          I just figured it was something funny to point out while mentioning the blasphemy which is Jotaro being cockblocked by H&R Block.

    • I haven’t seen a post that asks for donations in, god, like a year. Seriously, I think it’s been a year.

      That post is mostly a joke mocking retarded scanlators.

      Yes, you care. Just deal with it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

      No. It is far, far too amusing.

      • 1. You were begging for donations in your latest large batch post. For any posts prior to that, I’d have to scour your site and operate under the assumption you didn’t delete any posts. I’m afraid I won’t waste my time on that.

        2. I don’t think you understand what “joke” means. That or your English skills are as bad as RHE’s. Though I assume you’d take that as a compliment, being compared to a native speaker, wouldn’t you? (Yes, it’s incredibly obvious this is your second or third language, though kudos for trying to learn it.)

        3. What’s the point in caring about how Nyaa runs his site? Your entire argument assumes I care just for calling people out on their bullshit. It’s a pretty shitty argument when you get down to it, because it means that you think commentary indicates interest. And if that was the case, then my commentary on you would mean I think you matter. And you unfortunately don’t.

        4. I’m afraid I must disagree with your statement, herkz-kun. Your antics of late have been more pathetic than an enjoyable diversion, so I’m not sure where you came up with the idea you were amusing me rather than boring me. I mean, I have your activity down to a pattern now.
        1. Read everything on crymore
        2. As soon as Commie is mentioned, get all defensive no matter what
        3. As soon as a group competing with Commie gets a low score, laugh at them
        4. If Commie becomes the recommended group, act like I finally got something right
        5. Make absurd comments and then ignore them when you get called out

        Honestly, a robot could do your job now, though I suppose it wouldn’t be as good at sucking-up as you are.

        Do you understand what I’m saying? You’re stale. If you insist on continuing to comment on my site, then I’m afraid you’re going to have to try harder to entertain me. Thanks for understanding, friend.

        • When was that? Feel free to link.

          I am a native English speaker. I wish I knew other languages, but sadly I grew up in the Midwest.

          No, it’d be one thing if you debated A+ on literally any other show, but since you work on Tamako, I can only assume you are buttpained that you did not get A+.

          Not my problem.

      • Pretty sure I’ve seen a post that asked for donations because some fansubber wanted to buy video games (if this isn’t begging, I don’t know what is). I think I’ve seen it happen at least twice before the posts got deleted, and this was well within the last year.

    • “I can only assume that you care so much, you have a little doll with my name on it somewhere in your apartment that you use to sodomize yourself every night.”

      Am I the only one who thinks that’s kinda hot?

  7. What, exactly, are the expenses of a fansub group? Is it to host the website? Is it to host the releases? Although, I think that most groups use torrents. I suppose some groups have a seedbox and/or XDCC bot which probably costs a fair sum of money.

    Is it unreasonable to ask for donations to cover the cost of operations? For example, let’s say I wanted to distribute a copy of some Linux distribution. I burn several copies to DVD and I charge only for the cost of the DVD. That seems fair. We all know that unauthorised Anime distribution isn’t legal so the example falls flat, somewhat. The point I’m getting at, though, is that so long as they do not make a profit there may not be anything actually wrong with requesting donations.

    Of course, we should also examine whether fansubs are even necessary with the ready availability of legal Anime sources. It depends on the attitude of the individual as well: whether they see the Anime industry as one worth supporting. The quality of those official subs have been called into question on many occasions making quality another factor to consider. How good are fansubs, anyway?
    Should fansubbers be compensated for the many hours they devote to providing quality releases? I think that this is a difficult question to answer. Fansubbing is an entirely voluntary activity whereby fans, supposedly moved by their enthusiasm for Anime, seek to provide other fans with a timely translation of their favourite shows. Some groups claim that they don’t do it for the “leechers”. If that were true, then they’d just release it among themselves and wouldn’t be so concerned with distributing the file to other parties.

    I believe that fansubbing is about a group of enthusiastic people painstakingly translating, editing, timing, quality checking, transcoding and releasing subs for their favourite shows so that both they and others may enjoy. If they didn’t enjoy what they do, what would be the point? In my opinion, fansubbers do deserve compensation for the costs of operations but not, perhaps, for labour.

    • ~$$$~

      Assuming you want to do this all on your own and don’t want to split costs with someone else, or invite people into your group that already have these things:

      Website hosting (HostGator): $4-$7/month (based on how long you want to lock yourself into their system)
      Domain name (Namecheap): $11/year
      Seedbox (YourSeedbox): $7/month
      XDCC (Not really sure how much to get one on its own — I had someone else set up ours off my seedbox (which I pay a lot more than $7/month for)): $?/month — not like anybody uses xdcc anymore, though.

      But these costs are only if you want to pay them. There are groups that have been around for years that don’t even have seedboxes — they just torrent from their home computers and delete the torrents after a certain number of initial seeds are reached. And you don’t *need* a website either. You can do all this shit for no money down.

      Some groups will argue they need dedicated servers to encode (which cost $100/month at minimum) but I think that’s bullshit. Encode from your home computer, and if that’s not good enough, don’t call yourself an encoder, you poor little shit. In fact, you don’t even need an encoder, since other groups encoding just the raws are an inevitability.

      Other costs:
      Each member’s computer, electricity, internet connection, and time. But I don’t think those (or any costs, really) are the responsibility of the leechers.

                • I was not speaking of myself earlier, no.

                  Also I mean more like good luck downloading 7×3.5GB in one day and encoding all of them (which is what our Thursday is like) without a server.

                    • What, you mean have more encoders than RHE? Haha. No, I know the reason that would never happen is because RHE likes to have control over his group (and it is *his*). As if a toadie like you even has a choice in that decision. But feel free to pretend like you do.

                    • Well, we do. Me, torchlight and Xythar regularly encode random episodes of stuff. Not to mention all those BDs we’ve been releasing lately. Guess who encoded those. Spoilers: not RHE.

                      The real reason we don’t get more dedicated encoders is because it wouldn’t make our process any faster or more efficient.

                    • Such an ace team of encoders! No wonder you’re known for your encode quality.

                      I dunno, sounds like you could alleviate some of the stress from having seven encodes in one day by simply… hiring more encoders. Since RHE is clearly down with that, why not do so? Or are all seven of those shows already split up among your *ahem* expert encoding staff? Bonus: You wouldn’t have to beg for money for those servers that you “don’t have the money to pay for”.

                    • No thanks. I like how it works now. You’re the only one who has a problem with how we do stuff.

                      Sorry for being a successful fansub group. We can’t all do that.

                    • Then why’d you ask for encoders? Don’t tell me you weren’t asking honestly!

                      As for “successful fansub group”, seems to me like RHE’s the only “successful” one and you’re just latching onto what he’s done with the group. Or would you disagree with that?

                      Edit: Also :measuring success by downloads:

  8. @Vale

    Christ, I can’t even tell which of my comments you’re replying to. I’ve gotta overhaul this fucking comment system tonight.

    Vale, I’m just saying that attributing the group’s “success” to either of you cogs would be a silly thing to do. If I’m wrong, please let me know how you matter in the grand scheme of the group. If you left, what would happen to it? Anything? Wouldn’t you just be replaced immediately? Sure, you might stall a project or two, but would the group die? If not, then you’re not really essential — you’re just another part waiting to be replaced. Whereas if RHE left (without a transfer of responsibilities, ownership, etc.), the group would be in shambles, would it not?

    If I’m wrong, I’ll take that back.

    • Uh, beheading the group would of course cause problems. Just as kicking herkz or Xythar would cause huge problems too, at this point. Just as kicking me would’ve caused quite a few problems when I was the only translator on group. The departure of essential people is always a blow, what’s new about that? That doesn’t mean they do all the work or even that they could do all the work by themselves.
      I’d say quite a number of us take credit for what we do, so I can’t really see why you’d say RHE’s the only “successful” one.
      Maybe you mean financially? Hell, I’m not doing this to make money…

      • Oh, it’s fine. I’ll wait for your response whenever you’re done with whatever show you’re subbing. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

      • “Nope. Not gonna waste my time. I got shit to do (like actually fansub).”

        Please do tell what shows Commie is actually subbing and not ripping off and changing stuff. And besides adding in the opening and ending lyrics and slapping it onto a decent encode.

        Hell who even subs these days anyways?

        • I assume by this you are asking “which shows are Commie translating themselves this season, because I am prejudiced against all subs that use translations from an external source even if the script is largely reworked and every other aspect is improved.”

          The answer to your question is:
          JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
          Tamako Market
          Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
          Vividred Operation
          (Used to be Senran Kagura, but we switched to Funi)

          Dokidoki Precure

          Enough for you?

  9. As someone who’s been subbing since 2008 and has never accepted donations, I thought I’d share my opinion on this topic.

    Fansubbing is a hobby, not a profession. Hobbies are meant to be fun and relaxing. If you cannot finance your own hobby, you should either get a job, or get a new hobby. If you want to make money from your hobby, turn it into a profession and apply for a job at CR or something (good luck with that!).

    Luckily, all you actually need to fansub is a computer and Internet connection. You don’t even need a functional brain, as many low-tier groups have shown us. So, groups that demand/”dramatically plead” for donations to pay for servers are just pulling shit out of their ass.

  10. It seems apparent to me that very few people in here (and fansubbing in general) remember how Crunchyroll started out. Back before it went legit, it used to stream FANSUBS and the only way you could watch them was by paying a monthly subscription. And yet, they took this business model (highly illegal, mind) to the Japanese studios, having accumulated a nest egg from these subscriptions, and the studios bought into it, creating the behemoth of simulcasting we have today. Now, who’s to say, that in a few years’ time, Commie or other similar donation-funded groups don’t do something of the same ilk and become a forerunner in the way we consume anime in the Western world? I suppose the old adage “the end justifies the means” works a treat here.

    But delve a bit deeper and you have to question how much “donations” can affect things. For instance, a group I was in were offered a substantial sum of money to sub a series. The series was from the 80’s and had never had an English sub for it before, and the benefactor purely wanted to spread the wonder of this anime that had given him so much joy, to the rest of the world. Now, where would anyone stand on that? The series was never going to be licensed and the benefactor was a wealthy man, enabling the group to buy expensive source materials for other projects – so do donations like this suggest that a fansub group isn’t self-sufficient?

    I think, as with anything, the boundaries are a grey area. I personally don’t agree with donations for fansubs (we do it for free and we all know we do it for free, so why attempt to monetize it unless you’re going to make ill-gotten gains?) but there are situations where the line in the sand isn’t all that clear.

    Regardless, in about five years’ time (at which point, I’ll probably still be editing), we’ll still be discussing the same issue, because that’s what we were doing five years ago. No drama is ever new drama. FACT.

    • >it used to stream FANSUBS and the only way you could watch them was by paying a monthly subscription.

      This is untrue. I never paid CR anything and probably a third of the shows I’ve watched were done so on CR back in the day.

      • Oh really? I seem to remember CR being reviled for it – I could have sworn there was a subscription fee, or a one-off fee to use the site, because I thought that was the model they based the current iteration off of. My memory is a little faulty at times though; I only visited the site once to see what all the hoo-hah was about and didn’t go back till it went legit.

          • Ah, maybe that was it. Anyway, I remember the fansubbing community being up in arms that someone was making money off of our “blood, sweat and tears”… and then it went legit on the money it made that way, and has now basically killed off fansubbing. Funny how things work out, isn’t it? Maybe this is an analogy for capitalism?

    • Let me guess: Saizen’s Igano Kabamaru?
      Weren’t they also willing to pay people to help sub that show?
      I’m sure that if Saizen had a translator interested in translating it before that wealthy donor showed up, they would have done it for free.
      Anyway, I guess the difference with that donation is that Saizen wasn’t begging/pleading for money.

      • We were asked to sub Igano, yes, and received a huge donation to get it done. The money went solely to the translation of the series and nothing else, since the rest we could do by ourselves, but lacked a translator willing to help out.

        The money that was left, we hoped we’d be able to use for other old classics that no translator wants to sub for us. Like with Slam Dunk, almost only funded by donations. Occasionally we use money to buy/rent DVDs too (unless someone already owns them), I don’t see how donations for these kind of things are a bad thing. I’m at least pretty sure, that if I had to pay up for everything myself, we wouldn’t be doing a lot of shows. ^^ Luckily we have people like CP, who bought the whole DVD collection of Yawara, and also won an auction for the VHS of the second movie recently. :)

        And no, we don’t ask for server costs, or anything really. Typically we fansub for the fun of it. ^^ It happens that we work on shitty shows though (read: PoT), but well… yolo. ^^

        • I don’t think there’s an issue with people coming up to you, asking for a show to be subbed, and then shoving money at you to allow you to do so.

          I do take issue with what most groups do right now (well, and did in the past too), which is saying “Oh we won’t be able to fansub anymore unless you give us money.” which is complete and utter bullshit.

  11. This article’s comments are great. For Dark Sage’s next project he should write an article entitled “How to get a ton of comments:” Let me help you by writing the beginning of the article.

    Step 1: Say something that Commie members might possibly take personally, even if it isn’t actually directed at them.

    Step 2: Wait around a while.

    Oh shit, I guess that was the whole article, not just the beginning. Sorry about that.

  12. What’s wrong with all of you? Fuck, you’d think we were all little girls on facebook or something. I just want to watch my Mongolian cartoons, stop fighting over numbers.

  13. I have traveled back in time 20 years where we are just waiting for ceremonies to begin the first day of trading for the IPO of the new and their innovative collaborative Internet insult program, “#spitter” which uses innovations in power management to actually cause a notebook’s keyboard to get damp as the insults accumulate.

    Dark_Sage, aka Borat, now is holding the rope to ring the opening bell and herkz, aka German PM Andrea Merkel, is holding the opening gavel. 3..2..1! –Whoops! Not entirely unexpectedly, Dark_Sage is trying to strangle herkz with the bell rope, and herkz is trying to smack Dark_Sage in the nuts with the opening gavel.

    Oh, the humanity! Back to you, Dave.

    (I’m very late, but satisfied just to have said it even if no one read it.)


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