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Old 2014-12-01, 22:22   Link #21
Marcus H.
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But we can't continue to have feet in both sides of the issue. The original mission of the site: to promote anime through fansubs, has been accomplished in spades. You're suggesting that we turn to the next "battle", so to speak, in the form of light novels. However there's already a site for that: Baka. They're far better designed for the task than we are.
Have you even seen how DEAD the series discussions are on that site? Some series even share a single subforum for discussions. That's how ill-suited BT's forums are for discussing anything.

Quote:
It's hypocritical to put these rules in place for some things and not others.
Meh, you can't use the word "hypocrisy" in rules. That's the very reason why rules can be amended.
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Old 2014-12-02, 00:16   Link #22
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Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Have you even seen how DEAD the series discussions are on that site? Some series even share a single subforum for discussions. That's how ill-suited BT's forums are for discussing anything.
I have, actually. That doesn't make the forums ill-suited, it just suggests that people are discussing somewhere else. Going by your protests, you seem to think that discussion is mainly located here. It also leads me to believe you are implying that if we were to go ahead with this policy change, discussion would be driven away from here, to somewhere else.

If that's truly the case, it stands to reason that discussion is more focused on translation and acquisition over all else. Or to put it another way: the kind of discussion not allowed in any other threads.

Besides that, you're implying that BT, despite what it is trying to accomplish, is somehow inferior to what we provide. Yet, you're not really explaining why.

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Meh, you can't use the word "hypocrisy" in rules. That's the very reason why rules can be amended.
.....sort of like we're doing now?
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Old 2014-12-02, 00:47   Link #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I have, actually. That doesn't make the forums ill-suited, it just suggests that people are discussing somewhere else. Going by your protests, you seem to think that discussion is mainly located here. It also leads me to believe you are implying that if we were to go ahead with this policy change, discussion would be driven away from here, to somewhere else.

If that's truly the case, it stands to reason that discussion is more focused on translation and acquisition over all else. Or to put it another way: the kind of discussion not allowed in any other threads.

Besides that, you're implying that BT, despite what it is trying to accomplish, is somehow inferior to what we provide. Yet, you're not really explaining why.


.....sort of like we're doing now?
Constructive Question?:
  • About the spliting of manga and light novel section what about the old treads which compost of light novel and manga? will the mod separated them too "It will hard if separate all the post the concern the manga and light novel"? I hope it's ok to ask ......
  • Lastly can we say/post that tl have updated the translation without linking the said site that's all I will ask ?
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Old 2014-12-02, 01:02   Link #24
Marcus H.
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I have, actually. That doesn't make the forums ill-suited, it just suggests that people are discussing somewhere else. Going by your protests, you seem to think that discussion is mainly located here. It also leads me to believe you are implying that if we were to go ahead with this policy change, discussion would be driven away from here, to somewhere else.
There are actually dozens of places where these discussions happen. Fansub groups have their own blog sites where fans of their projects can comment on the latest episode and translating discussions can happen in IRC and 4chan, between smaller groups of people and the translators themselves. But why can't Animesuki be such a channel for these conversations to happen? Come to think of it, if even light novel translation talk can't happen here, should we be waiting ten years (or forever) for that LN to be licensed to actually discuss about something?

Quote:
If that's truly the case, it stands to reason that discussion is more focused on translation and acquisition over all else. Or to put it another way: the kind of discussion not allowed in any other threads.
Light novels are an entirely different topic to handle compared to anime and manga. Only a small percentage of light novel series ended up getting licensed overseas, and I'm sure you know how incompetent light novel licensees can basically destroy any opportunity of enjoying the content of the series. One big example was how Shakugan no Shana's incomplete release of the light novel series (thank you Viz!) indirectly killed the discussions in Animesuki because the translation project was canned and nobody in Animesuki would want to break rules by trying to translate the novel themselves.

Quote:
Besides that, you're implying that BT, despite what it is trying to accomplish, is somehow inferior to what we provide. Yet, you're not really explaining why.
Let the numbers tell you everything.

Toaru Majutsu no Index LN threads
in BT: 2615 posts in 45 topics (shared with Chrome Shelled Regios)
in AS: 55447 posts in 27 topics (shared with Index manga)

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei LN threads
in BT: 5858 posts in 38 topics
in AS: 24914 posts in 31 topics (shared with Mahouka manga spinoffs)

High School DxD LN threads
in BT: 2777 posts in 15 topics
in AS: 46416 posts in 25 topics (shared with DxD manga)
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Old 2014-12-02, 01:22   Link #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
There are actually dozens of places where these discussions happen. Fansub groups have their own blog sites where fans of their projects can comment on the latest episode and translating discussions can happen in IRC and 4chan, between smaller groups of people and the translators themselves. But why can't Animesuki be such a channel for these conversations to happen? Come to think of it, if even light novel translation talk can't happen here, should we be waiting ten years (or forever) for that LN to be licensed to actually discuss about something?
I thought it was said that content can still be discussed, just no mention to where it's from.
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Old 2014-12-02, 01:22   Link #26
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kusabireika View Post
Constructive Question?:
  • About the spliting of manga and light novel section what about the old treads which compost of light novel and manga? will the mod separated them too "It will hard if separate all the post the concern the manga and light novel"? I hope it's ok to ask ......
  • Lastly can we say/post that tl have updated the translation without linking the said site that's all I will ask ?
Sure, I can answer those.

1. This is our biggest issue at the moment. In addition to migrating hundreds of dedicated threads, there are also many more where the novel and manga discussion is heavily intertwined. We'll probably have to make some kind of compromise to make the transition work, but what that will be exactly, we don't know yet.

2. Links to and mentions of fan translated and/or hosted content won't be allowed, by anyone. Simply saying something like "the latest chapter is out" isn't a big deal. And of course, any spoilers should be tagged as such. ^^ But the basic idea is to have less focus on who is fan translating and where to get it, and more focus on what happened in the latest release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
There are actually dozens of places where these discussions happen. Fansub groups have their own blog sites where fans of their projects can comment on the latest episode and translating discussions can happen in IRC and 4chan, between smaller groups of people and the translators themselves. But why can't Animesuki be such a channel for these conversations to happen? Come to think of it, if even light novel translation talk can't happen here, should we be waiting ten years (or forever) for that LN to be licensed to actually discuss about something?
Who said we aren't allowing discussion about releases? The policy forbids using the forums as a hub for translations and acquisitions. It's the exact same policy we enforce for anime and manga.

Quote:
Light novels are an entirely different topic to handle compared to anime and manga. Only a small percentage of light novel series ended up getting licensed overseas, and I'm sure you know how incompetent light novel licensees can basically destroy any opportunity of enjoying the content of the series. One big example was how Shakugan no Shana's incomplete release of the light novel series (thank you Viz!) indirectly killed the discussions in Animesuki because the translation project was canned and nobody in Animesuki would want to break rules by trying to translate the novel themselves.
This complaint falls on deaf ears. There are plenty of anime and manga that suffer the same problem. The only fan translations we have ever promoted were unlicensed anime. With the changes in the industry and the fan subbing community, this hasn't been the case for years.

Quote:
Let the numbers tell you everything.

Toaru Majutsu no Index LN threads
in BT: 2615 posts in 45 topics (shared with Chrome Shelled Regios)
in AS: 55447 posts in 27 topics (shared with Index manga)

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei LN threads
in BT: 5858 posts in 38 topics
in AS: 24914 posts in 31 topics (shared with Mahouka manga spinoffs)

High School DxD LN threads
in BT: 2777 posts in 15 topics
in AS: 46416 posts in 25 topics (shared with DxD manga)
This tells me nothing except that those franchises are popular. You haven't explained why what we provide is superior to BT. Unless you're implying that it's because of open sharing of translations in the threads....?
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Old 2014-12-02, 01:37   Link #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Sure, I can answer those.

1. This is our biggest issue at the moment. In addition to migrating hundreds of dedicated threads, there are also many more where the novel and manga discussion is heavily intertwined. We'll probably have to make some kind of compromise to make the transition work, but what that will be exactly, we don't know yet.

2. Links to and mentions of fan translated and/or hosted content won't be allowed, by anyone. Simply saying something like "the latest chapter is out" isn't a big deal. And of course, any spoilers should be tagged as such. ^^ But the basic idea is to have less focus on who is fan translating and where to get it, and more focus on what happened in the latest release.
Thank you for the answers ^_^ that is all I will ask thx
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Old 2014-12-02, 01:49   Link #28
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
2. Links to and mentions of fan translated and/or hosted content won't be allowed, by anyone. Simply saying something like "the latest chapter is out" isn't a big deal. And of course, any spoilers should be tagged as such. ^^ But the basic idea is to have less focus on who is fan translating and where to get it, and more focus on what happened in the latest release.
Just want to add to this... you shouldn't make posts only to provide translation status updates. You should stay on-topic and actually discuss the work itself. If people are constantly posting translation status updates, all it does it beg the question of "where do you find this stuff?" which will lead to either a) people asking about it in the threads, which could lead to bans, or b) people asking for it via PM, which is still against the rules. (If people are providing information about illegal content via PM, they too could be banned.)

So I don't recommend people make posts only to advertise translation status. In fact, I don't recommend that now either, even under the current rules. I assume that people will be able to figure out the translation status for themselves when people start discussing the actual content in the thread. So once the fan-translation is released, discuss the actual contents once you've read it. Then people who haven't read it will know that they too can read it now. If someone happens to mention that they read the fan translation as a matter of course, then fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Come to think of it, if even light novel translation talk can't happen here, should we be waiting ten years (or forever) for that LN to be licensed to actually discuss about something?
Yeah, this is the main misunderstanding I want to clearly straighten out as well. Even with the rule change, you can continue to discuss the latest LN chapters as they are fan-translated or even released raw. This is just like how it works for licensed manga and anime. It just means that you can't post the fan translations themselves, or link to or talk about where they can be found. This has been the case on the site for licensed anime forever, and it has never stopped discussion from occurring on this site. It does not at all mean that you have to wait until the release is licensed before you can start talking about it. Again, please look at how anime and manga (and even games) work. Most people read manga these days on "manga reading" sites that make no distinction about licensing at all, and while we don't allow linking to any of those sites, discussion of the content always occurs as chapters are released.

So again, the change is: the rules that we currently apply to licensed content would apply universally to all content, and nobody has to figure out/remember whether something is licensed any more. Read/watch/play whatever however you get it, but just talk about the content itself in the threads, not about how you found/got it (unless you bought it legally).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
One big example was how Shakugan no Shana's incomplete release of the light novel series (thank you Viz!) indirectly killed the discussions in Animesuki because the translation project was canned and nobody in Animesuki would want to break rules by trying to translate the novel themselves.
Animesuki's rules had nothing to do with that. There was nothing stopping a fan translator from continuing to translate the novels after the point Viz dropped them, and if someone did, they would have been discussed on the site. There's no way that our forum rules stopped anything, just like they've never stopped fansubbers or scanlators from translating the latest chapters/episodes of licensed works. AnimeSuki's licensing policy has no "influence" in the fan translation world at all any more, and it's not as if we were leading the charge on those rules in the first place -- they were just a reflection of the common consensus of a certain group of fansubbers 10 years ago. Times have changed a lot.

Besides that, even under the old rules, once it became clear that Viz had dropped the novels, I'm not sure that we would have considered future volumes licensed anyway. So even if this were a factor in someone's mind, a simple conversation could have cleared it up.
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2014-12-02 at 02:12.
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Old 2014-12-02, 02:04   Link #29
Solace
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^ what he said. That post got bigger.
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Old 2014-12-02, 03:35   Link #30
Marcus H.
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This tells me nothing except that those franchises are popular. You haven't explained why what we provide is superior to BT. Unless you're implying that it's because of open sharing of translations in the threads....?
It tells how minimal posting each series gets on BT as opposed to AS. But I don't think I need to explain any further. RF seems to have covered everything.

Quote:
So again, the change is: the rules that we currently apply to licensed content would apply universally to all content, and nobody has to figure out/remember whether something is licensed any more. Read/watch/play whatever however you get it, but just talk about the content itself in the threads, not about how you found/got it (unless you bought it legally).
Aren't those already covered by the "Licensed by" tags beside the thread title for anime/manga/light novel threads and the "no warez" rule enforced on games and other software?
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Old 2014-12-02, 05:49   Link #31
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[I have revised this note 2 times, trying to tone down my immense frustration. It will still seep through, sorry.]

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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
How is it impeded, Mentar? You speak as if you wouldn't have any knowledge of who was doing the translations if they weren't posting in the thread.
I do, but newcomers might not. So we'll have another round of make-believe and pointless winking and PMing for _no reason at all_. And the next time I hear an AS mod sigh about how much work it is to uphold the rules, I need to suppress the urge YET AGAIN to strangle a kitten.

Quote:
We are not going to officially sanction BakaTsuki. We have no control over what they do.
They're doing fan translations in a very responsible way, not run a terrorist site. If that would change, THEN nobody would complain about rule changes. But okay - I can follow you this far.

Quote:
The alternative is also unacceptable. The point of the policy change is to remove inconsistencies between forum policies. We don't allow any links to unlicensed scans, episodes, movies, games, music, or sites that promote them. Why should we allow this for novels as well?
Because LNs are a field which has next-to-zero commercial impact on anyone, and which generally cannot be enjoyed AT ALL if not for the works of fans. The same is not true for the other categories.

Quote:
It's hypocritical to put these rules in place for some things and not others.
No, it is not - because the situations are completely different. Everyone can buy a music CD, but only people with Japanese proficiency can read LNs on the market. Different rules for different situations.

Quote:
We're no longer the torrent listing, fan translation promoting site. Sorry, but it's the truth. We promote discussion, not illegal access. We're not stupid, we know some people are getting these things illegally, but the same case can be made for all media. That doesn't mean we should prevent any discussion about the content just because there's a certain population of people who don't consume that content legally.
And now _that_ is hypocrisy. This is exactly how Animesuki started, and if the mods decide to move the site in a new direction, at the very least I don't want to read stuff like "it was never intended this way". It was, until you decided otherwise because it wasn't necessary anymore. The fansub section has been made redundant over the years. The LN section is not.

I apologize in advance if the following question enrages you, but please ask yourself: Who are you making this change for? It's certainly not for the sake of those fans you are going to annoy with rule infractions when they dare mentioning the source of the material they are discussing. It's not for the sake of the fan translators which ENABLE this discussion in the first place, who in my opinion DESERVE the appreciation of the community (since this is what drives them) and who cannot proudly present the fruits of their labor on AS, but have to hide them under the counter. And it's also not for the sake of the community by protecting the site from legal prosecution, because I'm fairly sure there hasn't been anything in the LN field. So, from my point of view, it's primarily for the self-gratification of the moderators which is taking precedence over the interest of the community. Can't you see?

Anyway, relentlessflame used the correct term. "Don't ask, don't tell" is the name of the game. Which is neither a sincere nor a healthy status in my eyes.

Quote:
But we can't continue to have feet in both sides of the issue.
Of course you could. It's been doing perfectly fine in the past, and there is no problem that needs to be "fixed". You simply decided that "rule consistency" should take precedence over the concerns I listed, that's all.

Quote:
The original mission of the site: to promote anime through fansubs, has been accomplished in spades. You're suggesting that we turn to the next "battle", so to speak, in the form of light novels. However there's already a site for that: Baka. They're far better designed for the task than we are.
No, they are not. The B-T forums lack the critical mass, as Marcus H. pointed out.

Quote:
So let me ask again. Clarify your position. What makes us the better choice, as opposed to us closing the door entirely?
The (dwindling, but still great) community of fans. And the fact that you even posed the closing the door question - rhetorical or not - should make you pause in a calm minute.

Quote:
Why should we open the door wider for light novel fan translations when BT exists and is frequently used?
Because there is a growing interest in LNs within the AS community, maybe? I don't have the statistics, but I suspect that the Manga/LN board is currently the most active and interesting one in the whole site.

I just can't wrap my head around your thinking Solace, I'm sorry. I always thought that the moderator's primary job would be to take the AS community interest and guide it along a reasonable path. Too often I feel that instead, the moderators believe that they should decide on the community path themselves and then monitor that the community adheres to their decision.

Quote:
You're arguing that we should continue to allow an exception for light novels even though it is currently the outlier to our policies. More than that, you're arguing for our policies to embrace them more than we already have.
Again, the situations are not comparable. "Internal consistency" is empty vanity if it harms the community interests, in my opinion. You obviously disagree.

Quote:
You know our current position. "No, please, don't! You'll ruin everything! Think of the community!" is not exactly a compelling argument. In fact, it's a bit insulting that you would even think that we wouldn't weigh such things into our decision making.
Oh, I'm absolutely sure that you DO make these considerations, I am merely lamenting the conclusions you draw out of the process. I am - not for the first time - frustrated about the ease with which you are piling more "forbid, forbid, forbid" on the community without a need.

I know some B-T translators who consider this decision a completely undeserved kick in the teeth. It is disrespectful and totally unnecessary. Then again, I'm also someone who feels that rules like "do not make 2 consecutive postings" are unnecessary. So what do I know?

Quote:
And yes, we're currently drawing up plans on how to split the forum. It's a bit complex given how much they intertwine, however.
I can understand THAT part, it's a herculean task. Good luck with it.
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Old 2014-12-02, 06:24   Link #32
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How the mods intend to accommodate this or not is up to them but I'd like to point out that Mentar is very right in at least one thing:

The light novel fans are here. They're using AS extensively. It's a growing section of the new members, and possibly the "future" of the community. Fan translators often carry out their discussions here. Users on other sites refer or send people to AS from time to time. This doesn't happen (any more) with fansubs or streamed anime series and most certainly not with manga. Talking about Baka-Tsuki is not an excuse; people are not using that site, they're using this place, for whatever reason. If you don't want to accommodate, fine, it's your site, let them know. Not sure it's the best idea ever, but you are the moderating team and not me.

From my point of view, unless you legitimately have a concern that AS will be targeted by anti-piracy measures in a way that will threaten the site's existence or integrity, I don't see a reason why you need to be particularly concerned with enforcing, or even having, the rules against site-linking translation blogs, BT, and the like. If having the rules on the template but simply "don't ask; don't tell" (and don't report, because most people won't) is necessary against DMCAs or whatever, sure do it that way, but I don't see how discussions and user-shared links to translations threaten the site. You guys had the torrent listing forever, and that was an integral part of the site rather than user-generated discussion content; even with the "unlicensed" deal, which doesn't really apply legally anyway since both Japan and the location of AS' servers are under the same copyright treaty framework, how is AS still around?

If you're keeping the rules out of consistency or principles or whatever -- that's overrated. Pointless, pls ignore. Because the users will. The rules intuitively don't make sense to them, and as moderators you need to ask why before choosing to extend and enforce them.

Linking raws I get, that's more toxic, but translations? Meh.
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Old 2014-12-02, 07:05   Link #33
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I'm inclined to agree with Mentar and Irenicus' position on the LN discussion.

My impression - And this is speaking as an anime-only viewer - Is that Irenicus is right on how the LN fans are already here, and that AS has gained a lot of newcomers on the LN side.

Given the recent discussion here, I think an argument could be made that AS should strive to be as welcoming as possible to newcomers in general, and that would include newcomers on the LN side.


If Anime Suki's moderating staff are genuinely concerned about the legal ramifications of direct links/references to B-T translations, then so be it. I can understand wanting to do everything possible to avoid legal problems.

However, if this is more about rule consistency than anything else, then I agree with Irenicus and Mentar. As Mentar points out, there are significant differences between anime fansubs and LN fan-translations; differences that I think could warrant having different site policies for the two.


Anime Suki tends to err on the side of order, harmony, and caution. That's been my experience after being here actively since 2009, anyway. And, to be fair, erring on the side of order, harmony, and caution has served AS well in some ways. But I also wonder if it isn't a factor in things like a decrease in forum activity.

As sentimental a guy as I often am, I don't think I'd want Anime Suki to eventually become a place where it's just a bunch of us old-timers talking about the glories of the days of Haruhi Suzumiya and Code Geass. I want to see the site continue to grow and attract (and keep) new members, and I think AS' policies should be geared towards that as much as possible.
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Old 2014-12-02, 07:08   Link #34
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Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Aren't those already covered by the "Licensed by" tags beside the thread title for anime/manga/light novel threads and the "no warez" rule enforced on games and other software?
Yes, but the point is that the whole concept of "licensing" the way we defined it ten years ago doesn't really make any sense in the modern age. Anime is almost 99% licensed for streaming out of the gate now, and none of the modern places to find fan-translated anime care about licensing. Manga is similarly almost entirely hosted on sites that make zero distinction between what is and isn't being released officially. The amount of games that get fan translations projects are a tiny percentage of the threads in that section (and, again, many of the sites that host/distribute fan translations are like the manga sites and make zero distinction between licensed or not). So in practice, for anime, manga, and games, we have an effective "no linking, no mentioning" policy already just because of the way things are.

That only leaves Light Novels as the one possible exception, and that's only because it so happens that the central hub for most novel fan translations has some sort of licensing policy. But even then, that policy isn't in alignment with our own view. When a work gets licensed, they take down the downloads right away, but leave up the wiki pages with the translated for an extended period of time so that everyone has a chance to catch up, copy/paste, etc. This sort of facilitates a "get it before it's gone!" race that isn't in alignment with our policy. So, then, who is left? The odd standalone person who posts thing on their own personal blog and also agrees for some reason to abide by our licensing policy? Given that this isn't being handled through a centralized resource but text and images are often posted on the forum proper, trying to enforce the licensing policy in the threads is difficult in the cases when a work does get licensed. So as it stands, we already don't allow full fan translations or illustration collections to be posted in the threads, because we do not host illegal content on this site, nor do we want to.

All in all, it just gets way too difficult for the average person to understand "why am I allowed to post links to this place, but not this other place, when they both host fan translations?" It requires training in a concept that has largely lost its relevance in the broader sense. People get warned/banned all the time because they don't understand this byzantine rule structure. All the staff, in collaboration with site owner, feel there is a compelling case for eliminating this archaic rule set.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
I apologize in advance if the following question enrages you, but please ask yourself: Who are you making this change for? It's certainly not for the sake of those fans you are going to annoy with rule infractions when they dare mentioning the source of the material they are discussing. It's not for the sake of the fan translators which ENABLE this discussion in the first place, who in my opinion DESERVE the appreciation of the community (since this is what drives them) and who cannot proudly present the fruits of their labor on AS, but have to hide them under the counter. And it's also not for the sake of the community by protecting the site from legal prosecution, because I'm fairly sure there hasn't been anything in the LN field. So, from my point of view, it's primarily for the self-gratification of the moderators which is taking precedence over the interest of the community. Can't you see?
1. It benefits the community by simplifying the forum rules, and removing a complex and antiquated rule-set that constantly causes confusion and frustration (and warnings/bans) among site members.

2. It benefits the community and the site owner by visibly disassociating the forum from all illegal activity.

3. As evidenced by the anime, manga, and game sections of the site, the same "no link/mention" policy regarding fan translations for licensed works has not demonstratively impacted the quality or quantity of discussion of the fan translations as they are released, which is still driven primarily by the popularity of the work.

4. As evidenced by the aforementioned sections, it does not in any way preclude the translators from continuing to engage with the community, and being part of the conversation about content as fan translations are released. The conversations that are already happening now can almost entirely continue to happen here with little-to-no change.

5. This change is not expected to have any impact on the workload or tasks of the moderation team, other than allowing for simpler/clearer explanations of what can and cannot be posted when incidents occur. (The existing policy already requires a lot of links/mentions to be deleted as explained above.)

I do not feel that "self-gratification of the moderators" played any role whatsoever in the conversations that led to this decision.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
You guys had the torrent listing forever, and that was an integral part of the site rather than user-generated discussion content; even with the "unlicensed" deal, which doesn't really apply legally anyway since both Japan and the location of AS' servers are under the same copyright treaty framework, how is AS still around?
The torrent site (and forum aligned to its existence) operated within a very narrowly-defined and published set of guidelines that were what the site owner and founding administrators were comfortable with according to their own standards. This was not without risk, and was not without consequence (including, in some cases, legal consequence). In some ways it allowed for site growth, but in other ways it inhibited site growth. But that doesn't mean that the same willingness is automatically going to be extended on principle to everything that may come in the future. By moving to archive the torrent site, we are severing the visible link to piracy, and the direction from the owner was to forbid all linking to pirated content (including, I would note, from our own archived torrent site). The forum would continue to exist as a place to discuss all the latest in Japanese anime-related entertainment (and beyond, as the community is interested), but without having the cloud of illegality hanging over the community's proverbial head, whether we believe that there's a huge impending risk of a take-down or not.

So, all this to say, it'd take a better logical argument than what has been presented so far to override that direction, as far as I can tell.

Like some of you, I've been on this site for over 10 years now (it'll be 11 years this month). In all my experience on this site, licensing rules have never held back content-related discussion in the threads. I truly don't see how extending the same rules across the board would damper overall discussion about the content. We still intend to try to make the forum a better place to support discussion of light novels, including by separating it out from manga, and considering other means to help discovery. We recently created four sub-forums for popular light novel franchises, and I don't see that trend stopping. So I think we can continue to foster the community and would like to find ways to do that. But I think we can do that without links/mentions, and this would be consistent with the strategic shift we're taking by severing the link to the torrent site. In the end, I don't have to tell anyone that everything on the Internet is very easy to find these days; I think we're long past the days when people would be completely unable to find anything without a direct link.

I know my having said all that isn't necessarily going to make everyone agree with the direction and decisions, but I hope you can at least see where we're coming from and what we're trying to accomplish, even if you personally might have had a different willingness and risk-tolerance if it were entirely in your hands. I think we can work with the LN community to make things work despite this change of rules, and I hope that the community will support us in that endeavour.
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Old 2014-12-02, 08:28   Link #35
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I do not feel that "self-gratification of the moderators" played any role whatsoever in the conversations that led to this decision.
I wouldn't go so far as what Mentar said, but I would seriously ask if the moderating team is working from very, very different ways of thinking to most of the user base, and what that implies regarding the health of the community.

Quote:
The torrent site (and forum aligned to its existence) operated within a very narrowly-defined and published set of guidelines that were what the site owner and founding administrators were comfortable with according to their own standards. This was not without risk, and was not without consequence (including, in some cases, legal consequence). In some ways it allowed for site growth, but in other ways it inhibited site growth.
It also never really defended you guys from anything legal, unless it's genuinely brought up into a court case -- DMCAs and copyright notices are one-sided communications, the other party can comply or not, and the subtleties of licensing don't matter one bit except for who can legitimately file those notices. Wherever Animesuki's servers are (Netherlands?) or the majority of its user base are (USA?), the copyright treaties extend copyright protection from Japanese owners across the board. It's okay if it was for self-directed principles, which it was, but let's not mistake it for legal protection here.

You either are hosting illegal content or you are not, and you were, and more importantly, you won't be even if people start posting nyaa links everywhere tomorrow.

In fact, even if you are really super uncomfortable with links, throw that can't-name-things censorship out the window. Just mentioning nyaa doesn't put you guys under any threat. We all know about the kings of pirates, TPB. The BBC names those guys. The BBC's not being sued. You can say, please don't post links, please also don't post exact URLs that leads to Chapter 1 of Mushoku Tensei up on B-T even if it isn't clickable blue, and people may comply even if they don't really understand what's the deal. You say they can't even mention the name of a clearly known website they use, and the newbies are seriously going to ask, wtf, who are these guys trying to fool?

Quote:
By moving to archive the torrent site, we are severing the visible link to piracy, and the direction from the owner was to forbid all linking to pirated content (including, I would note, from our own archived torrent site). The forum would continue to exist as a place to discuss all the latest in Japanese anime-related entertainment (and beyond, as the community is interested), but without having the cloud of illegality hanging over the community's proverbial head, whether we believe that there's a huge impending risk of a take-down or not.
This is going to sound much harsher than it should, but quite frankly, nobody cares about Animesuki as a piracy target now that this is just a discussion forum.

1) The community doesn't give a damn about piracy vs legitimacy. This isn't ANN (which is quite dead for a reason). The moderators may care, and fair enough it's up to you what you care about and how you want to be "seen," but let's be frank, the users really don't. They complied with the rules during the Fansub era because those were the rules; they were never the ones under threat of litigation.

2) The legal owners of these source materials aren't going to care how nice you guys are playing or how legit you posit yourselves. They are only going to care if it's their stuff or not, if you host that stuff or not, if you intentionally and actively spread access to the hosted stuff or not (and who *you* are -- there's a difference between user-generated content and site owner, plenty of grey areas to be safe in if you really need to write up the rules), and finally, if you fall under their radar or not.

Ergo, what are you doing this for, for whom, and why?

Quote:
Like some of you, I've been on this site for over 10 years now (it'll be 11 years this month). In all my experience on this site, licensing rules have never held back content-related discussion in the threads.
It has actually always been a subtle compromise between how much you are enforcing the rule and how much the community tolerates having their posts deleted from time to time. Unhappy discussions happened. Some people did leave the community a bit miffed. You should actually be a lot more in the loop than I am; I'm almost always out of it.

Quote:
I hope that the community will support us in that endeavour.
They are going to complain. They are already complaining. They might leave, which whether that would be a loss to you or not is really not my place to say.

You are mostly hearing this feedback from frequent, long-time users of the site for now, because we are more invested in the community and more inclined to influence its direction. For other people, it's a choice of whether to even join, or to leave early after the first visit didn't turn out very nice. 90~% of bad restaurant visits don't end up on Yelp. Those customers still "help" restaurants prosper or go out of business.
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Old 2014-12-02, 09:03   Link #36
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
1. It benefits the community by simplifying the forum rules, and removing a complex and antiquated rule-set that constantly causes confusion and frustration (and warnings/bans) among site members.
No benefit, but a self-inflicted wound. If there were less unnecessary rules, you would have to do less policing and hand out fewer infractions. An "inconsistent" situation is still better than a consistently worse solution. In the past, I can't even remember any "no links allowed" problem related to LNs in the first place. That is going to change. Yay.

Quote:
2. It benefits the community and the site owner by visibly disassociating the forum from all illegal activity.
Zero benefit for the community, minimal (to my knowledge zero) benefit to the site-owner.

Quote:
3. As evidenced by the anime, manga, and game sections of the site, the same "no link/mention" policy regarding fan translations for licensed works has not demonstratively impacted the quality or quantity of discussion of the fan translations as they are released, which is still driven primarily by the popularity of the work.
Straw man argument. This is not about the discussion of the _content_ alone (we have no problem there), it's also about how the content comes to be in the first place.

Quote:
4. As evidenced by the aforementioned sections, it does not in any way preclude the translators from continuing to engage with the community, and being part of the conversation about content as fan translations are released. The conversations that are already happening now can almost entirely continue to happen here with little-to-no change.
Again, straw man. It's not about the CONTENT discussions.

Allow me to illustrate the sideeffect of your decision: Depending on how rigidly you plan to enforce the ruling, a LN translator is suddenly forbidden to make a post "Hi guys, I've completed chapter 5" anymore, if he has a link to his blog in the signature. Instead of getting kudos from the AS community, he'll suddenly get hit by a rules infraction. You consider THAT a benefit to the community? Seriously?

I know at least one B-T translator who is going to post a big "FU" once he gets his first infraction, and who is then going to leave. Then, the "FU" is going to be deleted, the translator will return to his blog (or simply cease his efforts) and everyone can be happy. Until people start asking why there are no updates anymore. Then I'm curious how you're going to handle that.

Quote:
5. This change is not expected to have any impact on the workload or tasks of the moderation team, other than allowing for simpler/clearer explanations of what can and cannot be posted when incidents occur. (The existing policy already requires a lot of links/mentions to be deleted as explained above.)
I expect significant overhead when you try to enforce your new policy, paired with significant irritation by the community when you do. You should, too. For NO tangible gain.

Quote:
I do not feel that "self-gratification of the moderators" played any role whatsoever in the conversations that led to this decision.
And the fact that you don't is the most disheartening aspect of it all. I have already given examples of what I consider the unwanted effects of your decision. Still, you decide to IGNORE all that for the sake of patting your shoulders, because your rules are now "consistent". For me, this is self-gratification, because nobody cares about this consistency other than you.

Quote:
So, all this to say, it'd take a better logical argument than what has been presented so far to override that direction, as far as I can tell.
I do respect that you're trying to explain your decisions from YOUR point of view, but I criticize that you are consciously ignoring the protests of the community from THEIR point of view. And if you feel that the annoyance displayed by multiple veterans on this fringe board is unpleasant, let's look forward to the first time you hand out an infringement to a LN translator or someone relaying a translation.

EDIT: I feel the need to add something. I genuinely feel that the moderators really care for the site. I acknowledge that some of the recent changes (separation anime/manga, handling threads of popular show discussions) have been outstanding. The mods _do_ read feedback and deal with it - I always get proper feedback. So, in summary, Animesuki is still by far the best-managed anime board out there, and I guess I do owe the moderators much more appreciation than I let on.

However, I also feel that AS has turned more and more restrictive over the years, not only keeping things in check, but gradually, bit by bit, stifling the development of the community. Both rules and mods are much more invasive than they need to be, solving problems that didn't really exist earlier in the first place (the whole legal discussion on LN translations is a perfect example). A bit more freedom would be most welcome, ESPECIALLY giving small growing communities a bit more room. Considering myself part of the LN subcommunity, I feel that the results of the proposed changes are SIGNIFICANTLY more negative than the mods seem to anticipate.

Please reconsider. Or, if is really too much of you to ask, then please exert utmost caution when "enforcing" them (or simply don't enforce them at all). Otherwise, you are going to inflict damage.

Last edited by Mentar; 2014-12-02 at 09:21.
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Old 2014-12-02, 10:29   Link #37
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
In fact, even if you are really super uncomfortable with links, throw that can't-name-things censorship out the window. Just mentioning nyaa doesn't put you guys under any threat. We all know about the kings of pirates, TPB. The BBC names those guys. The BBC's not being sued. You can say, please don't post links, please also don't post exact URLs that leads to Chapter 1 of Mushoku Tensei up on B-T even if it isn't clickable blue, and people may comply even if they don't really understand what's the deal. You say they can't even mention the name of a clearly known website they use, and the newbies are seriously going to ask, wtf, who are these guys trying to fool?
This particular policy direction is not really being reconsidered at this time. That's been the policy of this forum for any content that does not fall within the limited acceptable guidelines forever. If we're not going allow links to illegal content, we also won't allow insinuations about how to find it without the explicit link. This isn't a question of "who are you trying to fool", it's a question of the principle of whether it is or isn't okay to talk about. You don't say "we don't want to be associated with illegal content" on the one hand, and then privately say "but we'll let you *hint* at it so long as you don't spell it out". That's the true "who are these guys trying to fool", at least in my opinion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
1) The community doesn't give a damn about piracy vs legitimacy. This isn't ANN (which is quite dead for a reason). The moderators may care, and fair enough it's up to you what you care about and how you want to be "seen," but let's be frank, the users really don't. They complied with the rules during the Fansub era because those were the rules; they were never the ones under threat of litigation.
I don't think this was always the case, and I don't think it always is the case for all members of the community. I am a member of the community too, and on a personal level I do care about piracy vs. legitimacy. We allowed discussion of piracy in a very limited case that met self-imposed guidelines that seemed to make sense at the time. And I think we can continue to be a perfectly viable community without the direct connection to piracy, just as there are plenty of very active, vibrant gaming forums (for example) where discussion of piracy or mentions of sites where piracy occurs are forbidden. Whether people personally choose to pirate or not, or what rules they apply to themselves over what's acceptable or not, doesn't need to be a factor in terms of the nature of conversation that should be allowed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
2) The legal owners of these source materials aren't going to care how nice you guys are playing or how legit you posit yourselves. They are only going to care if it's their stuff or not, if you host that stuff or not, if you intentionally and actively spread access to the hosted stuff or not (and who *you* are -- there's a difference between user-generated content and site owner, plenty of grey areas to be safe in if you really need to write up the rules), and finally, if you fall under their radar or not.

Ergo, what are you doing this for, for whom, and why?
This may just be a philosophical difference. I personally believe that trying to keep everything 100% legal and above-board should be the default, desired scenario. So if we can host a vibrant and viable forum that doesn't need have anything illegal about it, I think that should be the preferred choice. In my view (and I think that of the site owner and founding administrators) fansubbing, scanlation, and LN fan-translating are not the preferred solution. We do not believe "all content should be free!" as a philosophical point, as I know some do. Fan translation is a consequence of the fact that demand is not being legally/legitimately met; there is no other way to get the content in English if not for the fan work, until it's licensed.

At the time when AnimeSuki started, there seemed to be a need and real benefit in providing a solution that leveraged and coalesced this demand, hence the torrent site was born. The forums supported the torrent site. But nowadays, novel fan translation has its own momentum, and its own outside sites and services that already support and leverage the demand. That aspect of the process can continue to function completely aside from what this forum does. And my experience, along with that of the rest of the staff, suggests that this move when applied in the past did not preclude active, ongoing discussion. So, in that scenario, the desire should be to return to the preferred, default state of not hosting or allowing any discussion of illegal content.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
It has actually always been a subtle compromise between how much you are enforcing the rule and how much the community tolerates having their posts deleted from time to time. Unhappy discussions happened. Some people did leave the community a bit miffed. You should actually be a lot more in the loop than I am; I'm almost always out of it.
There will always be disagreement any time there are multiple opinions. Some people joined this site because they were looking for illegal content outside of what we allowed; those people probably didn't stick around when we informed them otherwise. I'm sure that some people also joined other communities because they could talk about all forms of piracy openly there. It's possible that some also left the site for that reason, and it's also possible that some might leave when we implement this decision.

But I think what AnimeSuki Forum is good at -- and the reason it deserves to survive even though the torrent site is dead -- is supporting good, in-depth, (hopefully) well-moderated discussion of (particularly) Japanese anime-related media. While piracy will always continue to exist, I don't think we need to be part of that picture any more.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Again, straw man. It's not about the CONTENT discussions.

Allow me to illustrate the sideeffect of your decision: Depending on how rigidly you plan to enforce the ruling, a LN translator is suddenly forbidden to make a post "Hi guys, I've completed chapter 5" anymore, if he has a link to his blog in the signature. Instead of getting kudos from the AS community, he'll suddenly get hit by a rules infraction. You consider THAT a benefit to the community? Seriously?

I know at least one B-T translator who is going to post a big "FU" once he gets his first infraction, and who is then going to leave. Then, the "FU" is going to be deleted, the translator will return to his blog (or simply cease his efforts) and everyone can be happy. Until people start asking why there are no updates anymore. Then I'm curious how you're going to handle that.
This is not a "straw man". The forums are not now, nor were they ever, intended to be the place people go to find out if new chapters/episodes have been released. We even have a rule that forbids asking the question. Even back in the day when the torrent site was active, the new releases would be posted on the torrent site, and then the forum threads would be used to discuss the content. The fansub teams didn't show up in the content threads and post like "hi, we just released a fansub!" -- or at least, that was exceedingly rare. We had the torrent submission section that supported the torrent site in that regard, in cases where the releases weren't automatically caught, but never in the content threads.

Even under the current rules, as I explained earlier, we strongly discourage posts that are purely about translation status updates (or purely a token thanks to a fan translator), because the topic of the thread is the content. The meta-discussion about the translation process has never belonged in the forum threads about given works. This is why we had the "Fansub Groups" forum -- so that all the meta talk would go there, and not in the content threads. But we don't have a "Light Novel Fan Translators" sub-forum because other sites already exist for that. Light Novel threads are not meant to be "Fan Translation Project Threads", but threads to discuss the content. So, if anything, you're holding up an unintended apparent current use of the threads as an ideal, and then attacking the change because it'd destroy that non-goal. It should not surprise you, then, that I'm not so sympathetic; that seems more like a "straw man" to me, considering the intended design and organization of the site from its inception.

Novel fan translators spend a lot of time volunteering their hours doing a tricky job for a largely unappreciative community. But, while we certainly should appreciate the effort being done, I personally think we should not glorify them above the original author whose work they're using without permission. Seeing a lot of people talking about a work you were involved in fan-translating is itself gratifying. If people are using this forum as a sort of personal ego food-bank and they're going to lose all motivation if we stop regularly feeding them adoration, the focus is, in my view, a bit out of alignment.

If discussion in the thread is going to die because the translator didn't stop by to tell everyone that they've posted the content at the usual place (and it's so obscure that no one would otherwise notice), then that's a separate problem this forum was never intended to solve. Someone should build an actual LN translation release tracker. If people are using this forum as such a tracker because the community hasn't made something yet, then that's the real problem to solve here. Heck, I might even consider personally offering some time to that project completely aside from AnimeSuki. But that's not what this forum was ever made for. If people are using it that way because no better aggregation tool exists... that's the real disconnect. (And if this really is the problem, then at least I'm glad we've identified it, because we were always going to be at odds if people were expecting us to support a non-goal.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Please reconsider. Or, if is really too much of you to ask, then please exert utmost caution when "enforcing" them (or simply don't enforce them at all). Otherwise, you are going to inflict damage.
Just as an aside about this... I would never support a rule that I did not intend to enforce 100%. I realize the staff fail to do this in practice because we're a limited team that doesn't read every thread, so things slip through the cracks more often than they should. But I would personally consider it unethical to post a rule that I didn't truly intend to enforce. So I would say that should be your expectation whatever way this finally falls. Same as it being against my principles to forbid a technicality but allow allusions, or disclaim responsibility for what is allowed given that we're actively moderating the site. Whatever is or isn't allowed will or won't be allowed, and everyone should expect the rules to be followed consistently to the extent that everything can be caught. This is why the staff spend so much time debating the rules and the wording of the rules to make sure that it's something we can clearly and consistently enforce. Again, even though in practice it isn't perfect.
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Old 2014-12-02, 10:52   Link #38
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In other words, it is your explicit intent to sever the contact between LN translators and their fanbase. The contact that has grown a bit over time, and a contact that is definitely sustaining some people putting in work in a hardly glorious and unrewarding field.

And why? Because it's not "in focus", as I learn. Because "Someone should build an actual LN translation release tracker". In other words: "Screw you, we don't want this here, go elsewhere."

And you ask the community to still support this. Now that's chuptzah.

Well, it simplifies my reaction at least. No, I can't support you. This is a terrible decision, and indeed one which is going to _harm_ the subgroup of the LN fans. It also underlines once more my reservations that mods are increasingly out of touch with at least vast parts of the community, and I am certain that if this issue would actually put to a vote to find out what the community really thinks (god forbid!), your decision would be voted down massively.

But then again, it's seemingly like I said in the beginning: You know better what's good for us than we do ourselves.

Case closed.
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Old 2014-12-02, 11:18   Link #39
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
In other words, it is your explicit intent to sever the contact between LN translators and their fanbase. The contact that has grown a bit over time, and a contact that is definitely sustaining some people putting in work in a hardly glorious and unrewarding field.

And why? Because it's not "in focus", as I learn. Because "Someone should build an actual LN translation release tracker". In other words: "Screw you, we don't want this here, go elsewhere."
In no other content-centric section of the forum have we ever in the history of this site had a focus on being an communication platform for fan translators to talk to "their fanbase". Fan translators often did participate in the discussion, but content threads have always been for the fanbase to talk about the content. The fan translations were a means to an end: allowing people to experience the content.

So what you're asking us to agree to support is completely different from everything we've tried to support before, and completely different to everything else on this site. Like I said, until this conversation, I would have considered it entirely a non-goal because none of the rest of the site works that way at all.

I'll ponder what you said, but from my point of view, you're asking me to embrace a major philosophical shift just because you assert that it's the right thing to do even though it was never something we were were trying to do at all. So yes, there's clearly a disconnect here. And I do honestly think that a forum is not the right tool to be a release tracker, regardless of willingness. That's why AnimeSuki had a torrent database with various views, RSS, and so on. These days, you'd probably also want a Twitter bot that broadcasted with hashtags or something. Using a forum is like "if you only have a hammer, every problem's a nail".

Anyway, embracing the direction you want would require a strategic change, which requires approval from the site owner, so I can't guarantee that there will be interest or results you'll like. But we'll talk about it.



Edit: Just as an aside to support that I'm not pulling my expectations for on-topic discussion in content threads out of my butt, over a year ago we gave Highschool DxD LNs its own sub-forum, and a standard template was created for new volume threads that said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Please stay on-topic...
  • No shipping talk
  • No pointless chatter
  • No posting raws or novel illustrations
  • No posting translations of the novels themselves
  • No asking about when translations will be done
  • No posts only to update people about translation status (or to just say that something's "out")
  • No posts only to thank translators (please us PM or VM instead)
The only reason the other LN threads don't have that same rule is because the OP post for each thread wasn't based on this template. So from my point of view, this issue that you're complaining about isn't even really a change in policy. I guess it has just been not clear to everyone, and poorly-enforced.
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Old 2014-12-02, 15:04   Link #40
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I had decided to stay away from the thread in the past since I can see the writing on the wall and am wasting many people's time, but this last addition went beyond my self-control. It's just too... too... *haah*.

relentlessflame, don't you think that this is waaay too lax? You should definitely forbid a dozen more things to ensure the quality of the _content_ discussion. Let me offer a few improvements:

o No posting using foreign languages
o No posting while drunk or stoned
o No postings which simply say "I agree"
o No multiple postings in sequence
o No 177t or haX0r speak
o No addressing others in the posts
o No public disagreement with mod decisions
o No posting of emoticons with more than 5 characters

[Bonus points for who manages to identify those entries who are actually rules already]

relentlessflame: As someone who is fairly active in the LN threads, I can positively assure you that at least half of the rules you listed are _regularly_ broken. And you know what? Nobody cares, and no problems arise out of the breaches. When I check the LNs I like and I find a typical posting sequence like

P1: Chapter 3 out on BT!
P2: Yay! Kudos to (censored), our lord and savior!
P3: About time, I was looking forward to that!
P4: Gaah, that was awesome, I need c4 right now! Come oooon!
P5 from (censored): c4 will take a while, I need to learn for an exam. Maybe in 2 weeks!
P6: Hey, take all the time in the world! We'll wait patiently. Really! *scratches the tablewood*

...then you can take this as a series of "rule breaches" and start dishing out infractions. Or you can see this as an example of a lively, healthy and positive exchange which gives positive feedback to someone who does translation work, and several community members having fun. If I find something like this, I smile and check the mentioned site to enjoy my hobby.

The prospect of having our beloved mods protecting the hapless community members from disastrous illegal excesses like the example above does not please me, it fills me with dread and frustration. If you are really convinced that doing so is in the best interest of the Animesuki community, then by all means, do your best! It sure as hell isn't in mine. And strangely, I think that I'm not remotely the only one.
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