Anime & Manga News

CrunchyRoll gets US$4M Capital UPDATED

by Crystal
Mar 12, 2008 1:10 AM | 86 Comments
Crunchyroll, a video-streaming website known for offering anime titles without authorization, secured a capital investment of US$4.05 million.

Venture capital firm Venrock reportedly invested the capital in San-Francisco-based Crunchyroll, Inc., with Venrock General Partner David Siminoff joining Crunchyroll's board of directors. Several websites that report on federal regulatory filings covered the investment in brief.


Full Article: AnimeNewsNetwork

UPDATE

Funimation and Bandai Entertainment responds to CrunchyRoll's $4M funding

Funimation has been carefully monitoring the activities of crunchyroll.com for some time. Since 2006 Funimation has provided several letters notifying the site's operators of copyright infringement issues in connection with content that has been made available through this site. To date, crunchyroll.com has complied with FUNimation's demands to remove the applicable content.


Bandai Entertainment Inc. announced today that it echoes Funimation's concerns over copyright infringement by sites that illegally stream anime.

Bandai Entertainment Inc. also informed the website crunchyroll.com to remove content that infringed on its copyrights and furthermore has been working with licensors in Japan, educating them about the pervasive illegal downloading and streaming of anime that has negatively impacted the market. Bandai Entertainment absolutely agrees with Funimation's assertion that this is an epidemic that will undermine the future of the anime business in Japan and the United States.


Full Article: AnimeNewsNetwork

UPDATE

Gonzo contacts CrunchyRoll

The main administrator of Crunchyroll, a video-streaming website with many unauthorized anime videos, has said in an online post that the Gonzo/GDH anime production company contacted the site. According to Crunchyroll, the two companies have been "trading ideas about what we can do together so everyone will benefit." In his post, the adminstrator added a cover image of a dialogue recording script for episode #1 ("The Giant Tower of Druaga") of The Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk fantasy anime series. Gonzo will premiere this game-based anime in Japan on April 4. On the recording script is a signature of Taichi Hashimoto, a producer on Rosario + Vampire, Speed Grapher, and other Gonzo works.


Full Article: AnimeNewsNetwork

20 of 86 Comments Recent Comments

Eh, I could care less about Crunchyroll, (tried it about a year ago and found it to be the worst of the stream sites, but then again every stream site was terrible when compared with the GOD Stage6) but these are some peculiar developments indeed and it'll be interesting to see where this leads.

Mar 15, 2008 8:03 PM by Ben

Master_M2K said:
I've only used Crunchyroll for 1 anime series and I thought it was pretty crap. More anime fans should switch to torrents (>_<).


they have h.264 since like december (so now there's high quality video stream though resolution is still like half the size)so now I can check out anime there beforedownloading andwhat not but yeah those LQ videos are unwatchable.

Mar 15, 2008 5:23 PM by midori-

MoveThatBus said:
I use crunchyroll sometimes when I really want to see an ep.

Same here. I mean I have to be really really itching to see an ep to watch it in that quality. So I wouldn't be devastated if something happened to the anime...now my dramas...thats another story.

Mar 14, 2008 11:53 AM by mommyslttlmnstr

Shiranai said:
MagicalEmi: Yet they still profit off of illegal work. Fansub groups take donations, but they usually don't directly profit from it. Shinsen has ads, but I think those go to the server. But here we have crunchy roll which has ads and is asking for a monthly fee on anime. A site that popular shouldn't have ANY problems supporting the bandwidth with just ads. And call me whatever you like, but using someone else's work for your own profit is rather underhanded. I would be ashamed if I made money like that.


Agreed.

Mar 14, 2008 6:25 AM by CanadaAotS

katsup said:
the fact that they got this much funding from the companies baffles me. they're not even hosting the companie's subs. (okay, so there are dubbed digimon episodes on crunchyroll but the majority of it is fansubbed), and people do fansubs for free. i dont know. i just have a feeling i wont like the way this might turn out.


I'm sure the companies are thinking, "Hey, as long as their not showing our stuff illegally, what do we care if our competition's anime is taken?"

Also, it gives them a control mechanism. As I said before, if Shinji wants to keep doing business with them, he'll have to take down the stuff that they tell him to. This allows for them to have SOME control to some extent. Its probably not enough to make a huge dent on the streaming community, as even streams of Harry Potter can be found, and that is a wildly known movie series, but it will curb some of it to some extent. Also, if they wanted to, they could allow products that might not make it into the USA by distribution companies to come out, and it allows them to show anime before it is released in the USA. As the article found here stated, Fansubbing has become the way it is because of the large gap between the release of the anime in Japan and its release to American markets. This could also help to curb that, while giving a free outlet for people who want to watch them. The only problem will be pesky ads.

This all depends on what the agreement between the companies and Crunchyroll is, and the companies willingness to change a business that just isn't working to their advantage, though.

@Shiranai & MagicalEmi - Since last month, Crunchyroll no longer has ads. Just thought I'd let you two know that.

@Crystal - Update - GDH has confirmed that it has been talking with Crunchyroll. GDH is planning a formal press release in the next two weeks or later regarding newer Gonzo titles. Druaga's premiere date has also been corrected. Thanks, shadowblack. - From ANN

Mar 13, 2008 4:58 PM by Jelise

i am sort of irked by this situation as well. I mean, i have used Crunchyroll for series when i couldnt find a download (torrents dont work in college) or for older series that finding torrents is near impossible.

the fact that they got this much funding from the companies baffles me. they're not even hosting the companie's subs. (okay, so there are dubbed digimon episodes on crunchyroll but the majority of it is fansubbed), and people do fansubs for free. i dont know. i just have a feeling i wont like the way this might turn out.

Mar 13, 2008 4:20 PM by katsup

Shiranai said:
MagicalEmi: Yet they still profit off of illegal work. Fansub groups take donations, but they usually don't directly profit from it. Shinsen has ads, but I think those go to the server. But here we have crunchy roll which has ads and is asking for a monthly fee on anime. A site that popular shouldn't have ANY problems supporting the bandwidth with just ads. And call me whatever you like, but using someone else's work for your own profit is rather underhanded. I would be ashamed if I made money like that.


I can't really comment on that, since without any kind of financial documentation, I have no idea how much it costs to run such a popular site (high impact traffic requiring more hardware to support it) and how much ad revenue they get , vs. HQ video revenue. Sure they should be ashamed, but as we are talking about illegal fansubs here in the first place, the moral high ground is kinda shaky, profit or no profit. Again, I hope they opt to try to turn their venture to legitimate/authorized offerings. This thing with Gonzo sounds odd.

Mar 13, 2008 3:43 PM by MagicalEmi

MagicalEmi: Yet they still profit off of illegal work. Fansub groups take donations, but they usually don't directly profit from it. Shinsen has ads, but I think those go to the server. But here we have crunchy roll which has ads and is asking for a monthly fee on anime. A site that popular shouldn't have ANY problems supporting the bandwidth with just ads. And call me whatever you like, but using someone else's work for your own profit is rather underhanded. I would be ashamed if I made money like that.

Mar 13, 2008 3:05 PM by TheDrunkenShadow

Crystal said:
Updated first post. Gonzo has jumped into the fray. O.O And is collaborating with it's enemy (a site that is STILL distributing content illegally).


But if you think about it, now they have more control when their content can go up. All they'd really have to do is be like "Hey, we don't want that up there," and if Shinji (site owner, I think) wants to keep doing business with them, he'll have to comply.

Mar 13, 2008 2:39 PM by Jelise

Updated first post. Gonzo has jumped into the fray. O.O And is collaborating with it's enemy (a site that is STILL distributing content illegally).

Mar 13, 2008 1:56 PM by Crystal

Shiranai said:
Its not a donation if you HAVE to pay for the higher quality which is free from torrents anyway. I mean, seriously. They're still profiting off of someone else's (illegal) work. You don't HAVE to pay 'donations' to the original subbers to get the high quality.

That's where the similarity ends.


Yeah, but they aren't forcing you to get the higher quality if you want to use the site at all, or preventing people from just getting the higher quality torrents elsewhere for free. It's not like they have taken all the high quality anime off of the internet so that the only avenue you have if you want to watch high quality anywhere is to use their site and you must pay. Instead it is just an option. I am pretty sure that people who use crunchyroll are perfectly aware that the high quality versions can be found free elsewhere. If they decide to pay for it (and in turn help support what must be a massive cost to run the site) then it is pretty much similar to a donation. As it is, I think fansubs shouldn't be in such perfect high quality anyway, as it just encourages people to collect fansubs and not buy the legit releases after they are licensed.

Mar 13, 2008 1:34 PM by MagicalEmi

Its not a donation if you HAVE to pay for the higher quality which is free from torrents anyway. I mean, seriously. They're still profiting off of someone else's (illegal) work. You don't HAVE to pay 'donations' to the original subbers to get the high quality.

That's where the similarity ends.

Mar 13, 2008 1:03 PM by TheDrunkenShadow

Yeah, CR is free, but you get access to HQ streams if you DONATE. 6$ for a month. I don't hthink I ever been on a anime distribution site, that didn't aski for donations. All donations are supposed to go toward servers and hosting costs! Which I tend to believe, since a site like that can't be cheep and not many people bother to donate, when they get everything for free. I don't understand why people claim you need to pay for that site, shish. Must bee the green monster.

Mar 13, 2008 12:27 PM by inugami

Shiranai said:
magentaanbu said:
wow what could they possibly use 4mill for? Anyway good for them i guess. I use crunchyroll from time to time.


If I got $4million, I would start licensing anime myself and do my own subs rather than stealing other people's work. Of course, I would have ads on the sides to make profits, but no pop-ups. What really pisses me off here is that they're making people pay for a free service that they did none of the work for. When you start stealing illegal material, you know you're evil.


Weird, I have watched stuff on crunchyroll lots of times, and was never forced to pay anything. I imagine that running the site must be very expensive- all the server space and bandwidth, so requesting that people pay if you want the higher quality, to cover the costs of what is probably a greater strain on their systems, doesn't seem THAT outrageous, but I have never looked at the payment options, so I have no idea how much they are asking for. A lot of fansubbers ask for donations to help cover costs (well, this was more common during the VHS SASE days) too. Many torrent sites ask for donations as well, but of course you can still enjoy the sites without donating. At any rate, I hope that they use the money to pursue legal anime streaming instead.

Mar 13, 2008 12:04 PM by MagicalEmi

magentaanbu said:
wow what could they possibly use 4mill for? Anyway good for them i guess. I use crunchyroll from time to time.


If I got $4million, I would start licensing anime myself and do my own subs rather than stealing other people's work. Of course, I would have ads on the sides to make profits, but no pop-ups. What really pisses me off here is that they're making people pay for a free service that they did none of the work for. When you start stealing illegal material, you know you're evil.

Mar 13, 2008 11:47 AM by TheDrunkenShadow

I use CR from time to time too. I wonder what will happen now...

Mar 13, 2008 10:24 AM by n8tivegurl

wow what could they possibly use 4mill for? Anyway good for them i guess. I use crunchyroll from time to time.

Mar 13, 2008 10:20 AM by magentaanbu

I don't really like Crunchyroll anyway. Sucks for them though.

Mar 13, 2008 9:39 AM by MoonLite88

I never liked CrunchyRoll in the first place, but i'm interested to see what happens next D:

Mar 13, 2008 9:35 AM by ChaoticHoshi

This news makes me pretty mad. Who's bright idea was it to invest in a site that is blatantly breaking the law by ignoring copyright. Not only that. The site is looking to profit by breaking copyright. I hope that CrunchyRoll gets sued into oblivion.

Mar 13, 2008 9:30 AM by SuiDream88