With access to emerging technologies and increased internet access, it has become easier than ever to pirate episodes of anime. The process has become as simple as going onto Kissanime or Sidereel and clicking on a series to watch for free, changing the way that people view shows. Laws and regulations have been put into place, attempting to stop the public from using these illegal sources for illegal activities, yet society still puts these websites into service; hardly any punishments or none at all have come to them.
The core of the issue ultimately boils down to whether or not the view finds it in their moral conscious to pirate anime from the creators. This can vary from person to person, as people are entitled to having their own thoughts, and they can be based upon individual philosophy, religion, or preferences. I personally hold to the Biblical view that pirating anime for personal use is the equivalent of stealing and that there is no possible way to justify it. This is not to say that I never did use these illegal websites because that would be lying. Before I was saved, I used to binge watch entire shows through Kissanime and only when I had a conversion to Christianity did I see the flaws in my actions.
When I hold a position on a certain issue, whether major or minor, I try my best to be well-informed of the side that I am opposing and learn about why they believe what they do. So in this article I don’t want to beat people with the Bible and explain that stealing is wrong and be done with it. Instead, I desire to explore the counter arguments for the community that supports anime piracy and find the errors in their thinking using general logic that is applicable to all. Although God’s word is the ultimate source for my reasons against stealing content from creators, since it is clearly written in the Ten Commandments, I believe that everyone can benefit from diving into good old common sense that is completely apart from religion so that nobody has any excuses.
1). The “everyone is doing it” clause
Gosh I hear this one so many times it makes me cringe. This fairly common argument leans upon the premise that a majority of the anime community pirates anime and I would agree with this. There isn’t any real statistical data available or studies done to provide evidence but if you analyze how many users are currently signed up onto an illegal site such as Kissanime versus the legit Crunchyroll, you will find a staggering difference.
However, if anime fans tried to interject their same “everyone is doing it” argument into other major issues, you will find the flaws behind it. Let’s think critically and logically for a moment here, having an open mind. Can it be justified to commit suicide simply because everyone is doing it? What about murdering others? Raping innocent women? Or how about robbing a bank? Point being that just because the bandwagon jumps onto something does not make it morally justifiable. Stealing is still stealing no matter how many people do it and if everyone is doing it then we just have more thieves in our society. No where does this constitute pirating anime and I believe that this argument is easily busted.
2). Japanese studios haven’t licensed certain anime in America
Gaining much more popularity recently, some from the otaku community aruge that they only pirate anime that are not localized or available in America and that this supports their position. Again, I could use the same proof as before, explaining that nothing changes the inherent nature of a bad decision, but for the sake of escaping patterns I will provide something different.
Say for example that a Japanese anime studio has a series that they have released exclusively in their home country, keeping it strategically on the back burner until the opportune time so that they can maximize their profits. I’m fairy certain that everyone can agree with me that this is not wrong; in fact it is smart business decisions. But when impatient otakus from Western countries decide that they want to be selfish and pirate anime from these companies, they are losing major profits and may have the potential to not make anymore shows period. So the next time you try to steal episodes of a series that is only out in Japan, start thinking about how much you want to see more content from them.
3). Streaming services and DVDs/Bluerays are too expensive
This is one argument that drives me insane and it is hard enough just for me to address it. Many people support pirating anime simply because they do not want to pay money to watch it and I think that that is one of the silliest things that I have ever heard. Relating to what has been discussed previously, bank robbers are not allowed a covered sentence just because they say are poor; nothing alters the moral state of an action. I’m sorry if you may not make as much money as you want to or don’t have the funds to purchase anime, but that doesn’t and will never justify stealing.
Ultimately, anime is an art created by genius studios overseas and pirating their creations makes it harder for them to keep on making more. It is our civic duty as otakus to support the series that we love by watching them legally, knowing that stealing is disrespecting the companies that produce these wonderful works. Based upon simple logic and my convictions, I am and always will be an advocate for fighting against anime piracy. Point being that stealing is stealing, and there is nothing that will ever justify it.
What are your thoughts about anime piracy? Why do you think it is justifiable or not to watch anime through illegal sources? Let me know down in the comments down below!