17
Dec
08

Legal HD anime streaming on crunchyroll

I was just checking my gmail when I saw this particular email from Crunchyroll. As we all know, crunchyroll is ran by a fan of anime unlike youtube which is a professional video upload site. Many have been getting their anime fix from crunchyroll and Japanese companies lose revenue. However, change have finally come as crunchyroll will be teaming up with the Japanese companies to allow legal streaming of anime. For a fee, of course. Read on to find out more.

untitled

Popular anime such as naruto, gintama, skip beat and Shugo Chara will be legally streamed. Crunchyroll also provided a sample of 720p video for viewing purpose(naruto OP). Being curious at the supposely 720p quality, I managed to download it (don’t ask me how) and use mediainfo to take a look at the encoding. Lo and behold the stats of the video, particularly the bold red text:

Video
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L5.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 12 frames
Codec ID                         : avc1
Codec ID/Info                    : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                         : 1mn 29s
Bit rate mode                    : Variable
Bit rate                         : 3 002 Kbps
Maximum bit rate                 : 11.7 Mbps
Width                            : 1 280 pixels
Height                           : 720 pixels

Display aspect ratio             : 16/9

Is it 720p? Technically, on your computer, it would be far superior to any of what the fansub groups release.  The 1:30 minutes video takes up 33.4mb of space. A 21 min video of the same quality will take up 467mb of space. How’s that for quality?

So, what’s the price?

untitled2

Fine print(take note of bold and red text):

Details:
For as little as US $5/month, you’ll enjoy the newest episodes of hit anime series like Naruto Shippuden, Skip Beat!, Shugo Chara, Gintama, and many more on the same day it airs in Japan. You also get exclusive access to HD 480p and 720p streams, no video advertisements, custom colored stars next to your username wherever it appears, 1000 bonus CR points each month, and custom wallpaper images for your profile page. Non-members will typically get access seven days later, and access to only Standard Definition streams. Major credit cards accepted. Restrictions may apply depending on your country of residence. One month is defined as 30 days. Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Membership Benefits: These benefits will begin on January 8 of 2009, when the Anime Membership launches. Star membership benefits will begin immediately.
Cancel Anytime: You may easily cancel your subscription renewal at any time, online, 24 hours a day, with no cancellation fees. However, there are no refunds for partial subscriptions.
*
Star Benefits Include: custom colored stars next to your username where it appears on the website, 1000 bonus CR points each month, and custom wallpaper images for your profile page.

If you were to be a working adult who watches anime. would you hop onto the plan? Or would you stick with standard definition as a non-member? Only time will tell how the public reacts to the carrot given out by the Japanese companies after they abandoned their stick.

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22 Responses to “Legal HD anime streaming on crunchyroll”


  1. 1 d@n
    20 December 2008 at 1:29 am

    I took a look at the 720p sample today. To me it looks like a 480 (or less) video upscaled with bicubic, either that or the compression is so high/bad it just looks that way. IMHO the 480p with flash player’s built in upscale looked better on my 19”. Either way 6 dollars a month for something that any other site would do for free with ad revenue. It’s bad business, and they obviously have such a little intrest in there product that they can’t assure sponsors that it would be a profitable venture.

    I’ll stick with HULU

  2. 20 December 2008 at 10:30 am

    however, hulu doesn’t offer the latest anime, don’t they?

  3. 29 December 2008 at 9:23 am

    I would love to see this series, especially since I think the original Naruto series is so
    great. Only thing is, I’m not into subtitles (except when watching yaoi), so I’ll just have to
    wait until they dub it. Hopefully I won’t have to wait longer than six months.

  4. 15 February 2009 at 11:52 pm

    What makes this particularly funny is that my website offers HD Anime Streaming for free. Everything that Crunchyroll is offering for a monthly fee is free at my website… With the added bonus of being able to download the anime in MP4 format. I suppose the only difference is that the videos are streaming at 910 x 512 and not at 720p. However, that’s because its set up so everyone can watch HD material.

    I will admit that there really aren’t a lot of HD Anime Streaming sites out there. So, if Crunchyroll really had any competition, it would definitely be me.

  5. 16 February 2009 at 12:25 am

    Note the keyword “LEGAL” in the title. ktksbye.

  6. 16 February 2009 at 3:48 am

    It is legal. As long as its not licensed in the US, it’s fine. Once the anime is licensed and we get a C&D, it’s removed.

    What a lot of people don’t understand is that, by allowing Japanese companies to release anime on Crunchyroll, it directly competes with anime licensors here in the states. In the end, you get one large licensing mess. US Anime companies will lose money since these Japanese companies can find a quick and easy way to distribute their products internationally. They’ll be even less of an incentive to allow those companies to license their anime in the US.

    By complying with the US anime companies, we allow for them to survive. This will in turn cause a higher influx of anime to reach the states. Besides, how do you think these US companies find out which anime is cool to license? They watch the fan subs, obviously.

    It may not make sense to you, Loba, but allowing Japanese anime to be free to watch to American audiences allows for these companies to find out what the demand is so they can license them and make a buck on Cartoon Network.

  7. 16 February 2009 at 12:14 pm

    *COUGH

    The distribution of fansubs is technically a violation of copyright under the WTO TRIPS agreement(http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/intel2_e.htm). However the TRIPS agreement does not demand that distribution of copyrighted material is a criminal offence unless it is done on a commercial scale. This means it is up to the copyright holder(Japanese companies) to bring the offender(distributers, fansubbers) to court. The copyright of unlicensed material is held by the original creator. In the case of anime this usually means the Japanese distribution company. If something is licenced, the licensee(in your case, US companies) holds the copyright and thus the right to sue any copyright infringers within the area covered by the license.

    Up until now fansub groups have had little to worry about legal pressure from Japan(being safe doesn’t mean it is LEGAL). However US companies are more likely to sue, therefore it is an additional reason for fansub groups to stop distributing a series once it gets licensed in the US.

    As for japanese + crunchyroll versus Viz + naruto.com, basically, the japanese may have screwed US companies so what the heck. Basically, instead of just having the US companies sue you, you get to have the japanese companies breathe down your neck too! If you sub or distribute license anime. The japanese companies can sue you anytime if they wish.

    In some sense, all fansubbers/online distributors are symbiotes that will be cast off whenever they lose the end of their usefulness. Make no mistake, whatever fansubbers are doing now, they are tolerated not because it’s not against the law but rather, it’s a tolerance of choice.

  8. 17 February 2009 at 3:56 pm

    TRIPS, which is what you’re using as a reference, is nothing more or less than guidelines designed to help other countries agree on copyright law. It was designed as a way to help shape domestic copyright law in developing and industrialized nations. In other words, it’s more of like a guideline on what other countries should change their laws to reflect. Not all countries have adapted to TRIPS 100%.

    What you need to do, Loba, is study the United States copyright law and laws pertaining to the DMCA. Anime, which is readily and freely available to users, is permitted to be viewed in the same catalog as presented on Ultra Edge. Only private works which are distributed in a for-profit manner would be considered outside the protections of the DMCA. The Anime that’s on Ultra Edge is freely broadcasted on basic Japanese television stations which makes it OK to play on the site. Having the videos is much like recording your favorite show onto VHS. As long as I’m not reselling the recording or making a profit from it, it’s perfectly legal.

    US companies are more likely to sue because the work they are licensing becomes a for-profit product which is distributed through private means.

    Naruto is licensed. So, it is illegal to sub it. Point blank. Anime, such as Toradora is not.

    Look, people have been fansubbing anime way before the Internet was born. You make it sound as if people who download fansubbed anime are pirating anime that is freely broadcasted on Japanese television for free. Sorry, it’s not illegal.

  9. 18 February 2009 at 1:48 am

    I will give it to you on TRIPS but you never know when it will bite you, just like how odex in singapore bite out at anime downloaders in singapore.

    The Anime that’s on Ultra Edge is freely broadcasted on basic Japanese television stations which makes it OK to play on the site.
    <= name me those ‘free basic’ japanese television stations you are talking about.

    Having the videos is much like recording your favorite show onto VHS.
    <=except we dun spread our VHS around the world like we do now. The law is too slow to catch up.

    Look, people have been fansubbing anime way before the Internet was born.
    <= Yes I know that, but the difference between now and then is the availability of so-called free anime, the quality has improved so much it kills the anime DVD industry which is one of the main concerns of the japanese companies, kudos to the few who recognise the internet as the new medium but most of the companies are still in denial/reluctance to change with the times.

    You make it sound as if people who download fansubbed anime are pirating anime that is freely broadcasted on Japanese television for free.
    <= Until you can grab me a japanese citizen who can tell us that japanese anime on tv is free, I would like to think otherwise.

  10. 18 February 2009 at 8:49 am

    Quote —————————————————————————
    <= name me those ‘free basic’ japanese television stations you are talking about.
    ———————————————————————————

    Alright. TBS, Anime+ and Aniplex for starters.

    Quote —————————————————————————
    <=except we dun spread our VHS around the world like we do now. The law is too slow to catch up.
    ———————————————————————————

    The DMCA already addresses this.

    Quote —————————————————————————
    <= Yes I know that, but the difference between now and then is the availability of so-called free anime, the quality has improved so much it kills the anime DVD industry which is one of the main concerns of the japanese companies, kudos to the few who recognise the internet as the new medium but most of the companies are still in denial/reluctance to change with the times.
    ———————————————————————————

    No. I never mentioned the DVD industry. That’s completely different. DVD is for-profit and is thus private. That digs into the complexity of law and is hard to interpret.

    Quote —————————————————————————
    <= Until you can grab me a japanese citizen who can tell us that japanese anime on tv is free, I would like to think otherwise.
    ———————————————————————————

    I know several Japanese people who currently live in Japan. However, the law in Japan is different there. They cannot distribute ANY anime whatsoever unless its anime that was originally created by themselves. However, that’s domestic law in Japan and doesn’t govern American law. So, I’m not bound by Japanese law.

    What it comes down to is, I can do exactly what the BBC is doing. I can prevent anyone outside of America from viewing the site to avoid international licensing issues if they do ever occur (though I doubt). The BBC blocks IPs who are not from Great Britain to avoid licensing issues.

  11. 19 February 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you for the enlightening comment. I shall now acquire more anime from now on and risk getting fined by the japanese companies.

    They cannot distribute ANY anime whatsoever unless its anime that was originally created by themselves. However, that’s domestic law in Japan and doesn’t govern American law. So, I’m not bound by Japanese law.
    <= Unfortunately, Singapore is not so ‘safe’. The long arm of ‘justice’ from japan reached over and slapped a few of us.

  12. 20 February 2009 at 7:08 am

    ROFL. I apologize for the laughter. It’s unfortunate that Singapore has such laws. They could use something similar to the DMCA here in America (something similar is also in Great Britain).

    In any case, if you’re interested, you’re more than welcome to visit my website and watch all the anime your eyeballs can stand. I’d also love to affiliate with you and perhaps help you earn extra hits to your blog.

    Nice discussion. I look forward to speaking more with you again.

  13. 13 Nana
    3 March 2009 at 2:29 am

    I know several Japanese people who currently live in Japan. However, the law in Japan is different there. They cannot distribute ANY anime whatsoever unless its anime that was originally created by themselves. However, that’s domestic law in Japan and doesn’t govern American law. So, I’m not bound by Japanese law.

    What it comes down to is, I can do exactly what the BBC is doing. I can prevent anyone outside of America from viewing the site to avoid international licensing issues if they do ever occur (though I doubt). The BBC blocks IPs who are not from Great Britain to avoid licensing issues.

    <—

    If you’re in the U.S. or a country who is part of the international treaty (Berne Convention), then the domestic laws in Japan (and the rights of the copyright holder) applies overseas as well.

  14. 28 March 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Hello Nana. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to this blog.

    You said: ”
    If you’re in the U.S. or a country who is part of the international treaty (Berne Convention), then the domestic laws in Japan (and the rights of the copyright holder) applies overseas as well.”

    Don’t you mean domestic copyright law?
    It’s illegal in Japan to ride two people on one bike. Such a law does not exist in the US.

    As far as copyright is concerned, in Japan, the author of the derived work(s) is/are permitted to be distributed with or without consent of the parent company that owns the rights to his/her work. Such a copyright does not exist in the US. Authors in the US don’t have the rights given to them in Japanese copyright law.

    Also, Japanese copyright law permits the use and reproduction of work(s) for private use, family use or within a limited circle. My website is for private use. It isn’t a business and I don’t make a profit from it. Perfectly legal, according to Japanese copyright law.

    The point is, mixing Japanese and US copyright law together makes one big mess.

  15. 15 Renee
    27 April 2009 at 11:32 am

    Unfortunately to those who think that anime that isn’t licensed is perfectly legal to fansub, they are most certainly mistaken in their thinking. Countries that sign WTO, GATT and other trade agreements are agreeing to implement the agreements into law, they aren’t simply ‘guidelines’.
    Secondly, these agreements cover things like translation and distribution. Anime, movie and tv companies and creators reserve the right to translate and distribute their content (in this case anime), as such, fansubs are still illegal because they don’t have the permission of the license holders to either distribute or translate anime/manga.
    Also, I’ve been reading arguments saying that legal streaming sites like CR are in direct competition with companies like FUNi and ADV for Region 1 distribution, and as such CR shouldn’t be allowed to exist because somehow it’s ‘killing’ the anime industry in North America. I can’t believe a statement like this. For years many, many people have been complaining that we are downloading and streaming anime illegally via places like CR. Now that CR goes legit, people are complaining that they’re stealing business? Give me a break. It’s up to companies like FUNi and ADV to diversify their business models and compete with CR. CR is doing a lot more for the anime industry by giving access to legal subs because the anime producers in Japan are indeed getting paid, unlike with fansubs when people are illegally downloading content that was illegally downloaded from the internent, then illegally translated and then again illegally uploaded to the internet to distribute!
    I find any argument saying fansubing is better then sites like CR to be completely invalid. Fansubbing will always be legally inferior to legal sub distro sites like CR because fansubs operate on the fact that the raw files are illegally downloaded, then illegally translated and distributed by people who don’t have permission to do what they are doing!
    Downloading in many countries, including Japan, the US and Canada is illegal. If you download content that you don’t have the right to download, then what you’re doing is illegal and you are stealing. There is not if’s, and’d or but’s about this. This is the law. It doesn’t matter where you live, you’re still stealing! How can anyone argue that downloading is legal?! How many FBI and similar piracy warnings are put on dvds to warn people that downloading is illegal? Why do you think digital rights management (DRM) exists? To stop people from illegally distributing content that they buy? Why do you think dvd region coding even exists? To stop people from piracy and to allow companies to distribute their content when they choose, which is their legal right!
    So, my points: CR is legit, that’s a good thing. Downloading, fansubs is illegal, no matter where you live.

  16. 4 May 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Wow, Renee. You sound like an agent of the MPAA/RIAA. Calm down a little bit.
    ADV (to my understanding) is on the verge of death. They aren’t sure on how to tap the anime market in America. FUNimation is having similar problems since Toonami was just given the boot last year.

    Sure, Japanese companies want money. However, they do not market their anime outside of Japan. Honestly, there’s so much anime in Japan, it’ll make your head spin. Many Japanese companies are aware that people outside of Japan are “illegally” downloading their material. However, there’s a difference between their business model and the American business model. They understand that they haven’t lost a profit.

    What does that mean? Well, if I buy a brand new car and you steal that car. I am no longer able to drive the car since it isn’t in my possession. Now, if I have a brand new car and you make an exact duplicate of that car, I lose nothing. Why? Because neither my resources were consumed nor was my car was taken from my possession.

    Let’s use another example. Let’s say you’re a software company and you create 100 copies of your software. Let’s go ahead and say you sold all 100 pieces of your software. Alright, now lets say someone in China duplicates your software and makes 100 more copies. Does that mean that 100 copies of your software were stolen? Does it mean that you lost 100 copies worth of profit? The answer is no. Why? Because the resources used to make the illegal copies weren’t taken from your company. The 100 units you sold also weren’t stolen. In fact, you still made a 100% profit.

    The Japanese realize this and only focus on Japan.

    Also, another note to make. There’s only one legit place to get subbed anime. That is currently CR. There’s no other place to find anime; especially the anime that hasn’t been released outside of Japan. What is your answer for those who wish to watch anime that never sees the light of day outside of Japan? There’s so much anime in Japan that it’s literately impossible for CR to contain it all. Not only that, CR can only broadcast certain anime because not every studio has signed a deal with them. I mean, for other shows such as ABC, CBS, Disney and etc. we can go to several places. You can even get streamable movies from several legit places. Anime? Only CR, and CR’s list is very limited. The truth is, there isn’t a viable online solution for anime just yet. The only one available demands payment. The entire system is broken, and it will stay broken until some company with cash fixes it.

    So, until you find a solution for anime lovers everywhere, you really can’t say much. Besides, they’ve tried to enforce banning fansubs back in the late 90s and it failed. A few years ago, they tried to announce that people who download fansubbed anime are pirates. Heck, they even tried going to court about it, but the case was dismissed. They failed again. Why? Because it wasn’t the Japanese companies that were going to court. Why don’t they go to court? Because they aren’t marketing their anime outside of Japan. They just don’t care. Sorry.

  17. 4 May 2009 at 5:48 pm

    What does that mean? Well, if I buy a brand new car and you steal that car. I am no longer able to drive the car since it isn’t in my possession. Now, if I have a brand new car and you make an exact duplicate of that car, I lose nothing. Why? Because neither my resources were consumed nor was my car was taken from my possession.
    <== Bad example. It’s more like I made a car, you made a duplicate to sell without getting the rights from me first. I make a loss because you sell it cheaper than I did and so I am unable to sell it.

    Let’s say you’re a software company and you create 100 copies of your software. Let’s go ahead and say you sold all 100 pieces of your software. Alright, now lets say someone in China duplicates your software and makes 100 more copies. Does that mean that 100 copies of your software were stolen? Does it mean that you lost 100 copies worth of profit? The answer is no. Why? Because the resources used to make the illegal copies weren’t taken from your company. The 100 units you sold also weren’t stolen. In fact, you still made a 100% profit.
    <==From the economics 101 point of view, you are making a very big assumption here : the market size is 200 or more.

    Well in Singapore, we fail =/ And there has been attempts to reach out currently but I think the japanese are just too unwilling to budge from their domestic market for whatever reasons they have.

  18. 9 May 2009 at 5:23 pm

    <== Bad example. It’s more like I made a car, you made a duplicate to sell without getting the rights from me first. I make a loss because you sell it cheaper than I did and so I am unable to sell it.
    ————————

    Well, that would work in some cases. However, in the case of anime, it’s more like selling a product that currently doesn’t exist in your market and will probably never see the light of day through any other means.

    <==From the economics 101 point of view, you are making a very big assumption here : the market size is 200 or more.

    Well in Singapore, we fail =/ And there has been attempts to reach out currently but I think the japanese are just too unwilling to budge from their domestic market for whatever reasons they have.
    ————–

    100 was just a number used for demonstration purposes. However, it appears as though you’re getting the idea of what I’m saying.

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  22. 22 PY
    17 August 2016 at 12:51 am

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Irashaimasen

Welcome to Bokutachi no Blog. That's "Our Blog" in Japanese. Our Anime Blog, to be exact. And if you landed to this page by accident, probably in search for ecchi stuff, then you should regret to have hit this page. Don't worry, this blog is children-safe and no misdemeanor acts here. Sorry, you bald, middle-aged perverts. But thanks for the hit anyway.

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