The admins of the fansubbing group WITH S2 asked if I could post up a notice of their recent decision to stop subtitle releases temporarily, and I thought I’d also take the chance to explain the stance a bit. It’s quite frustrating to see people who don’t understand the situation just jump to the conclusion that WITH S2 doesn’t have a good reason for their actions. Trust me, it does.
I’m a member of the group, but I’m not speaking FOR the admins, just expressing what I hope clears up possible confusion. (Read: Please don’t email me to protest/complain/rant!)
The group’s announcement:
We have warned everyone repeatedly on the issue of hardsubbing & streaming our subs.
We sincerely appreciate everyone’s efforts to spread the drama love, but we’re growing increasingly frustrated, not to mention worried, over our repeatedly ignored requests not to upload our material to Veoh, Youtube and other streaming sites.
Perhaps you guys aren’t aware of the problems facing WITH S2, but the flagrant disregard for our requests puts us in an increasingly vulnerable position as a fansubbing group. We don’t want to be shut down (which is something we are in constant threat of) and if our rules are not honored, we may well be.
Therefore we once again make this request:
Please do NOT harsub & upload any of our subtitles to streaming sites.
If people do not comply, we will be forced to stop releasing our subtitles
for ALL our current projects until the request is met, full stop.
We regret that we have to take such a drastic stance, but our requests have gone ignored for the past year. There’s not much more we can do to protect ourselves and to continue bringing these dramas to fans, but we believe that taking these precautions now will keep us operational for the long run. And we hope to keep bringing these dramas to English-speaking fans for a long time. Please help us by abiding by our rules.
Here’s the issue: WITH S2 translates and subtitles dramas, and releases “softsubs.” (Softsubs are text files that sync with the video, so you play both files simultaneously. WITH S2 does not put out “hardsubs,” which are videos that come with the subtitles already embedded into the file.)
Lots of well-meaning fans then take the WITH S2 translations, “hardsub” and upload them onto streaming sites like Youtube or Veoh. THIS IS BAD. The reason is not because WITH S2 is stupid or annoying or mean. (1) It’s disrespectful to the subbers’ wishes, but more importantly, (2) Fansubbing is not legal, and with the popularity of kdramas growing, legitimate companies have licensed the dramas for DVD releases outside of Korea.
That makes fansubbers a target — although fansubbers make no money, legally the companies have all the right to shut it down. Because WITH S2 is a prominent fansubbing group, it’s at constant risk and legal threat. When you put videos on Veoh, that exposes the group and makes it a big target.
To this end, WITH S2 has politely and repeatedly asked uploaders on many streaming sites to STOP UPLOADING their files. Many people assume that the uploaders have WITH S2′s permission, but that’s not true. The uploaders have basically ignored all polite requests to stop.
Which is why WITH S2 has decided that they will put a hold on their subtitle releases until the uploaders comply. (Personally, I think the fansubbers have been way too nice so far, but the admins are truly good-hearted people who just want to do their best to bring kdramas to English-speaking fans.)
WITH S2′s second-year anniversary is approaching (January 10), and the fansubbers would all love to celebrate the occasion by resuming sub releases. If you’re an uploader, please DO NOT UPLOAD WITH S2′s SUBS to any more streaming sites.
It might be annoying to have to figure out how to watch dramas without Youtube or Veoh, but trust me, it’s really not that hard. And some fans complain, “I don’t know how to do it! It’s too hard! I need Veoh!” Well, if we fansubbers can figure out how to download dramas, translate them, time them, edit them, release them, and provide the raw video files separately — surely you can learn how to watch them. (Soompi and d-addicts have detailed instructions.) Or buy the DVDs when they’re released officially.
WITH S2 is providing a SERVICE — a free, fast, reliable service. Fansubbers would like to keep providing the service, so we hope everyone can understand why this decision has been made. WITH S2′s wish is NOT to shut down drama-sharing — it’s to keep it alive for the long run. Please help by considering the bigger picture.
Without streaming sites, drama-watching may become less convenient, that is unfortunately true. But it’s better than shutting down fansubbing entirely — ’cause then you’ll have no dramas at all.
And finally, Emily from WITH S2 would like for me to extend the group’s best holiday wishes. On behalf of WITH S2: