In case you haven't heard, YouTube, in its attempt to distance itself from a reputation as a place to find your favourite fansubs, old beloved television shows and your favourite childhood commercial, has a new ally in JASRAC, the JApanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and publishers. (Capitalization intentional.) They've been taking down videos in droves as of late, and were apparently responsible for last October's mass deletion too. Of course, I'm saying this because my own account is now down.
But they don't seem to discriminate, copyright-wise. Fansubs and raws are taken down on occasion, but they always find their way back or escape the cuts anyway. What really annoys me is that they treat fanworks using the video footage in the exact same way as they do wholesale posting of the full episodes. AMVs? Taken down for both the music and the picture. Parodies? Not safe. How about fandubs? The amateur voice acting community relies on YouTube to get their work out, especially the fandub sphere, and their hard and dedicated work is dismissed just the same, leaving marks against their records.
Yes, it's against the ToS to post "copyright infringement". But people that see fanworks as copyright infringement are really, really annoying; they don't appreciate the people that made them what they are nor the creativity that their own work has inspired in their fans. That's why I've made it a point not to read the books of anti-fanfic authors and the like. Is it wrong to feel a swell of inspiration and try to have some fun? I'd prefer the world be filled with Sues than the authors of quality fanworks be silenced.
What's in danger next? I don't know, but I do think that YouTube and JASRAC are going about this completely the wrong way. Maybe they should immerse themselves in our communities for a change, and see what we feel. Maybe we watch these series online because they've been licensed by an awful handler that's stuck in the ethnocentric 1980s. Or because they haven't been licensed at all. Maybe we want to bring back memories. Maybe they'd learn that there is nothing wrong with fanworks, unless they're about a new girl named Crystal that outshines everyone on the team and turns them into her personal harem and side characters. Maybe they'd learn how much work goes into what they assume is just passing off somebody else's property without personal effort.
Let's hope so. Until then, I need to find a way to host my Yes! Precure 5 parody fandubs.
Oh, and as for the shoujo fanart? Sometimes you just have to know where to look.