Understanding Piracy in Anime and How to Stop it.

Piracy has existed as long as humans have walked the earth. Piracy is just the use of intellectual property without the consent of the author or not paying for it. Throughout the history, humans have pirated many things which include ideas, invitations, books, battle strategies, blueprints, recipes, art style, writing styles, languages, religion anything which can be thoughts and exists in our mind has pirated and used by people without the consent of the author. But with the rise of digital platforms, it has become easier to pirate artwork and entertainment media and anime is one of them. Many people talk about piracy in anime but fail to understand piracy and how it affects a medium. In this post, I will try to explain factors which affect piracy and medium which piracy is prevalent and how to reduce it because piracy cannot be stopped but it can be reduced. Let’s get started.

“why do people pirate?” this question is very important to ask. Without knowing the roots of piracy we can’t understand and end piracy. Let us ask another question “Why do people buy frozen and canned foods?” I know this has no connection to piracy but let us ask it, why don’t people cook their own food instead buy food with added preservatives even knowing that is bad for them, well it is simply because it is convenient to do so. We always choose the path of least resistance because that is our nature. Ask yourself, do you do things knowingly even when those are not good for you, we all do it simply because it is convenient to do so. I think we all pick the path of least resistant, to save time or effort. We can conclude that most people pirate anime because it is convenient than buying it legally. Of course, this is not the only cause but it is indeed embedded in the problem and most of the piracy will go down if buying anime legally is convenient than piracy, just take a look at steam and modern gaming industry where piracy does exist but it is convenient to buy a game legally rather than pirating it as long as there are not idiotic DLCs and because of this indie games are thriving.

Understanding people who pirate is also a very important step, most of you will say that it is not necessary because these people who pirates anime are worst of worst scum, even worst than people in Kuzu no Honkai, but understanding them is pivotal in understanding piracy, in the end, they are also part of our community. Most of these people are either poor or students, these people cannot afford to watch anime and most of the anime are not available in their country. These people are not a problem and blaming them for piracy is also idiotic. Pirating communities are one of the most prideful and passionate community I have ever seen. Hitting them with arguments of morality and responsibility will only break your hand, just think a little when what will you feel when you say to someone that you pirate anime and when you will have enough money you will pay for these anime and he replies “You are a scum and anime industry is dying because of you.” Just think if someone told you that you are responsible for what is happening, this kind of treatment has opposite effect on people and these people will continue to pirate anime because of their pride and distaste of mainstream anime community even if they are capable of paying, by persecuting pirate we are making sure that they never mix into mainstream community, most of you may not understand what I am saying. So I will recommend you to spend some time with people who pirate anime and understand their mentality. When someone says I am pirating a game people respond to it “If you like the game then support the developers” and we say “You will go to hell” this kind of attitude makes us unadoptable and unapproachable.

There is a big myth going on in the anime industry and that is anime industry is dying and piracy is killing it. I don’t know who made this up but I might as well try to clear it up because it involves piracy. Who paid for anime before anime become popular in west? well, of course, Japanese people did and now who is paying for anime? well of course still Japanese people pay most of it and now some income is coming from the west as well. Did you guys see the difference, more people are paying for anime than before and it is not like that anime is cheap, income never went down for anime and anime will not be dying ever. People who pirate slowly converts into mainstream community, hence increasing the popularity and profitability of the medium. We should thank piracy and fansubs for increasing the scope of anime beyond japan and making anime worldwide phenomenon rather than a Japanese one. Then what about the lack of salary of the people who work on anime? I assume most of you live in the USA, the richest country in the world and I live in India, your average wage is $3,769 per month and our is $295, Yet we are able to eat, buy houses, buy cars, pay bills, have children, get good medical treatment with less income than yours. A person who is poor in the USA is rich in India and still, Indians have nearly every life necessity fulfilled and are happy with their lives, It simply cost more to live in the USA than India and that extends to japan as well and mix it with work culture and japan economic recession you will get the result you are looking for, these are simple economics, an average animator have more salary than an average engineer in India. Another factor is companies and doesn’t say that anime companies are as good as fairies, companies want to make the profit than anything else and they are the last one to care about anime itself. just look at EA, it makes money and still pays grass it to its developers. Piracy is the least of the things affecting anime industry right now And if anime industry falls because of these companies then it will be for good for anime because it will reborn into something new that will solve the problems of past, sometimes without falling one cannot learn their lesson.(note, all figures of money are taking form first result of google search and may be wrong but that still doesn’t change the point of what I am saying)

So how to make anime great again and the answer is simple. Stop blaming piracy because most of the piracy is just there because of lack of service and high prices, piracy most of the time doesn’t hurt the industry and it is a free PR. Work around the piracy, make anime accessible, make it cheaper, remove the middleman, interact with your customers rather than thinking them as resources, don’t be a dick to YouTubers and pirates, work smart, accept piracy as important factors of Anime community and encourage them to become mainstream rather than prosecuting them, if industry follow this advice, I am sure piracy will be reduced. But giving how dense is anime companies and mainstream anime fanboys I don’t think this will be happening and failing of current system will be the only way out, let us hope this does not happen.

Thanks, every discussion is welcome in the comment section and let me know your thoughts, like and share if you liked the post and follow, you can also follow me using your email. Thanks for reading.

Note for those who didn’t get what I was saying above, I do not support piracy but I also don’t support blaming something for the mistake of the industry, everything is good in proportion and more you press it more severe it becomes.


here is a link that might brighten you up.

17 thoughts on “Understanding Piracy in Anime and How to Stop it.

  1. I think the anime industry is dying in general. I don’t know why exactly, but it is. Back in the 90s, companies made a lot of money from anime, but those days are gone thanks to the internet.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. All forms of media suffer from piracy. If pirates can kill anime, but not dent movies/games/books etc something is wrong somewhere.

    Making stuff cheaper would reduce piracy, as some anime is very overpriced so people are not willing to pay for it. Localizing stuff quicker would also help. Some people pirate a show because they won’t legally be able to purchase it in their country for a couple of years.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like the perspective this is written from. Personally I’ve always thought that piracy was a double-edged sword for anime and I could never see how it was solely responsible for the death of the industry like some make out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is indeed true, piracy can do both good and wrong to an industry. If Industry doesn’t know how use piracy for its advantage in this modern age then it is doomed. The biggest example of this change would be software and gaming industry who are adopting their products around piracy. The World is changing fast and people will no longer listen on the basis of morality and threat alone, they want their entertainment as fast as possible, as cheaply as possible and as conveniently as possible and if a componey does not cater to this demand then it will fall and fail. Entertainment is slowly becoming a life necessity. Matter on piracy existent is clear and simple, people only have to read Wikipedia page about copyright infringement to understand it and still many people who seem to not understand that the world is changing fast and means of distribution with it. With technology such as ZeroNet, piracy will become secure and easy and everyone should as question who pushed pirates to such lengths. Indeed piracy is wrong on moral ground but it is time for companies to understand and meet the needs of the modern world, fighting piracy is like fighting your shadow, you just need to stand where the sun is above your head to find piracy reduced. I recommend for you to read Wikipedia page where causes of piracy are laid out good and clear and you may get insight on how to reduce it. Thank, glad you liked the post.

      Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So, your personal needs as a fan come before the rights of the author? Entertainment is not a necessity…

        You want to consume entertainment fast, cheap, conveniently… anime by itself is a pricey item, now to provide all the mentioned things it costs money. Which is hard for japanese companies to get without a huge audience, and huge audiences don’t mix with anime because anime is a niche.

        Where I live, we have Crunchyroll so a lot of animes are available within hours of Japan, still people like you defend the piracy of the thousands of sites that make money with contents they don’t own as “good pr”, it’s not. There’s nothing more disheartening than looking a website that has thousand of illegal views/downloads against the hundred legal views, unfortunately people is more selfish than ever and they will put out any excuse to avoid paying to the authors.

        Piracy hurts Hollywood, but they can survive. Imagine what it does to a niche like japanese animation?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Who is the author of anime, is it animators and people who work on it, is it the person who wrote it or is it the company who published it. Anime is made by thousands of people and everyone must get their fair share in it. If you look at statistics, anime industry is making more and more money but people who are actually making anime are making less and less money, it is not because of pirates but because of big fat companies wanting to squeeze out every last bit of penny off their customers and not paying the original creators, giving them money is killing the industry. I have learned animation and I know how hard and time consuming it is, it hurts when animators who made a work I like live in poor condition even when I support that anime. Japnese companies are anti-consumer and backward thinking and you expect me to pay them a massive amount of money where I get nothing from it and still they don’t care about me as a consumer.

          Piracy indeed is a good pr, and sites that make money by showing pirated content are just backlash of lack of forward thinking on the anime companies part. I watched a Tamil movie Bahubali which my friend gave me, It was pirated of course and I loved it, I watched the second part of it when it came in theaters and so I gave them my money because they deserved it and not because they were entitled to it. The anime industry has to learn to earn money from its customers by giving them value. Game of Thrones is the most pirated show ever and yet its revenue kept increasing with every season and it would not have been this popular if not for piracy.

          And anime is not a niche, Indeed it is not as big as Hollywood but it is certainly not a niche anymore. Again I don’t support piracy and I am ready to support creators with best of my ability if my money reaches to original creators.


  4. Reblogged this on Binge & Feel Good and commented:
    One of the most important aspects of understanding the anime fandom that you are a part of, also comes with understanding why many fans choose to pirate. Heck, one of them might be you, whether you realize it or even care about your actions or not.

    The matter here is less so about the vengeful ‘if you pirate you are a monster’, but more so about how you as a fan is contributing to the fandom, to the industry. As true fans, you are naturally more inclined to…vote with your wallet, per say. So perhaps in order to understand why many self-proclaimed fans pirate anime, you have to first put the idea in their head, that being a fan of anime means becoming part of the cycle of progress and production as well.

    So how DO we reverse this trend of the non-participating fandom? Understanding and not demonising groups is probably a good place to start.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even piracy is still publicity. Reports saying that anime is dying because of it can just be mere propaganda. Piracy has been existing for years, and the industry is doing just fine. I don’t have the number or statistics to support this, but I sure don’t see anime fading mainstream entertainment soon.

    Besides, if the authorities and industry owners are so so serious about stopping piracy in anime, don’t they have the resources to do it? Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

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