PLEASE Alert Users When Streaming Rights Expire



  • Okay so as was recently brought to my attention last night, the entirety of Darker Than Black and Air the TV series were removed abruptly from Funimation's streaming service last night. I won't go into any theories about why or how these shows were removed from streaming because that's clearly due to licensing rights and stream expiration and all that stuff. What I would like to ask then, is this:

    Why did no one say anything?

    Is there any reason at all that you wouldn't be able to confirm that said titles will be removed from streaming on your website pretty much in its entirety. Both Darker than Black and AIR were both shows in my queue that were just suddenly gone without a trace. No announcement, no date of when said things would expire, no encouraging message to marathon these classic titles before they go back in the anime vault or something of that nature?

    Everyone has their own personal gripes about what makes a solid streaming service, but to me the idea that a certain public honesty about expiring licenses and shows that will eventually get removed really goes a long way. Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll all make the information about when these movies and shows are expiring clear to the public. Why would you do that? Well it's perfectly clear. People want to watch a show, and that's the last possible time to watch the show because who knows when the hell that show will be made available again. It gives people the time to move that up on their watch list and marathon that thing before it's gone. It's also even like a last hurrah for the expiring license so that you can get one last influx of attention and traffic before said show is removed. People get the chance to prepare their schedules and watch these shows before they're removed and then they can say they finished it before it gets taken down.

    What happens on Funimation? Without as much as a word from anyone, the show is quietly removed. Dust in the wind. And to me, as a consumer and a subscriber, that's rather insulting that no announcement of said show getting removed from the site is even brought to the attention of anyone. Hell, some people on this forum found out that the show was gone because they were IN THE MIDDLE OF WATCHING THE SHOW AND SEEING IT GONE, WITHOUT ANY PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE!!!!!!!

    Look. I'm not asking for the details of how or why these licenses are expiring or what will happen to that show henceforth. That is not something I as a subscriber really need to know. What I feel like, as a subscriber and paying customer to your service, that the information that certain programs on your streaming service will NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE TO WATCH on said service should at the very least be public and given within a timely manner. Like if you announce the show a week before it's removed from streaming, or even better, to announce it a month in advance. It's considerate, and it gives all your users that maybe wanted to eventually check the show that's being removed out but never put it quite high on their list that final push to check it before it's gone. But instead, you just take it down completely and entirely, pretending and acting like it never even happened. And that's infuriating to me.

    There's lots of users on this site, and there's probably numerous users that would have liked to watch these shows or eventually check them out. Hell, even the possibility that I said earlier that people were in the middle of watching these shows as they were removed. They had no way to know you would do this. No one had any knowledge you would do this. The fact that there was no date of when these shows were going to be pulled is frustrating and the fact that as far as it comes from everyone at Funimation is kind of acting like this never even happened.

    It's not even Darker than Black or AIR this happened with, this seems to be a thing on multiple occassions where shows will just expire on your website and no one says anything to the subscribers. To me the fact that you can just so easily pull these shows without saying a god damn thing to any subscriber on the site until it's too late is extremely frustrating and disheartening to me as a subscriber.

    So please. I don't really care to know the details of future expiring streams. I don't care about the business procedure or what will happen. But if you can't even tell your community of people that use your streaming service that shows can just disappear off of your website and that Funimation acts like no one will say or do anything is extremely insulting. I simply ask that in the future, when rights to a show streaming on your service is set to expire, PLEASE inform the people of the date that the show will be removed. Netflix does this. Hulu does this. Crunchyroll does this. And honestly I really feel that the Funimation Streaming service would ultimately be better and much more honest in the face of many of its subscribers.

    Because the idea that shows that many people love and that many others may have wanted to finally watch can just be gone with everyone acting like it never even happened….really puts a damper on my faith in your service. And it pains me to say this.

    So please. Consider this for the future Funimation. I and many other subscribers would truly appreciate this.



  • I'm gonna put my full support behind this. If sites like Crunchyroll, Netflix and Hulu can give their customers a heads-up about when one of their shows is about to expire, then there's no reason FUNimation can't give them the exact same courtesy. It's one thing to quietly pull one of the older, more obscure shows from the site (although I still think a warning should be in order), but in the case of Darker Than Black, that one is KIND of a big title. To just yank both seasons of such a high-profile show completely from the site without so much as a warning to people who may currently be watching it or have any potential interest in watching it is just…. well.... downright inconsiderate.

    Let it be known, FUNi: I love you, and we cool.... But this kinda pissed me off more than a little bit. -_-



  • Yeah it's pretty unacceptable to let things just up and disappear without any warning or notice



  • Sadly this is not surprising to me, and historically this happens A LOT in R1. It is rather rare for a company to notify people when their license is about to expire, instances like this are rare.
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-11-29/u.s-evangelion-tv-dvd-release-going-out-of-print
    Why it's still OOP: http://www.fandompost.com/oldforums/showthread.php?7440-Neon-Genesis-Evangelion-(TV)-going-OOP&p=123650&viewfull=1#post123650

    You typically find out when our friendly robot WTK finds out, Robert reports about it in his newsletter for RACS, or Rightstuf says something. It is very rare for the company to publicly admit said title is OOP. Like remember when FUNimation was distributing series like Karin, Black Lagoon, Fate/stay night, Nanoha, etc. for Geneon? We only found out for sure on some of these (FUNi did notify people on SOME before, but not ALL) after I asked about them during Twitter Time on an old ANNCast.

    I'd really like it if companies ALWAYS informed people of when rights are about to expire, but sadly this isn't likely to change. The industry hasn't been about publicly announcing this stuff in the decades its been around, from when companies were first starting out, to like when ADV and Geneon were king, to FUNimation becoming the bloated mess they are today. Only Crunchyroll really will do it, and sometimes they only find out at the last minute (See the Kadokawa titles they lost a while ago).



  • I completely agree with you. Darker than Black was the next show I was about to start, I would have watched it if i knew it was gonna go away. It is completely unacceptable that a series, especially as well known as darker than black got removed without notice or any heads up. However, I fully understand them taking Air down, noone should be exposed to that garbage Kappa



  • @kiraandl:

    However, I fully understand them taking Air down, noone should be exposed to that garbage Kappa

    Well don't be surprised when you see Sentai rescue it, get BD rights, and get episode 13 back in-print (It's only on the ADV singles….). Their close relations to TBS will help make it happen. Expect the same thing to happen with Kanon (2006) when FUNi eventually loses that (And yay, this extra will finally be widely available again, only on the ADV singles).

    ! https://youtu.be/udnIx6gG87U?t=1s
    I'm not terribly surprised it went, those Sojitz titles expire faster.
    http://www.fandompost.com/oldforums/showthread.php?1124-U-S-Discontinued-OOP-Anime-Thread&p=296399&viewfull=1#post296399



  • I only watched S1 and the OVAs; I would have liked a chance to watch S2. :( I hope some expiration warning is implemented in the future.



  • For Darker Than Black, I can confirm that Funimation no longer holds the home video or streaming license at this time. Thank you for your support of this title.

    In terms of the overall issue of notification, we do read and pay attention to the forums and what users are saying about the site and service. If you feel passionately about something we could improve and have suggestions for improvement, you should always feel free to post about it here and build discussions.

    Complaining does very little, but well thought out information and arguments, along with suggestions for improvement, move mountains. ^_^



  • @CJ:

    For Darker Than Black, I can confirm that Funimation no longer holds the home video or streaming license at this time. Thank you for your support of this title.

    In terms of the overall issue, I would highly encourage discussion of this topic here if it's something you all feel passionate about. ^_^

    Well that clears up everything. Sucks for me because I wanted to watch it.



  • @Burrahobbit1987:

    I only watched S1 and the OVAs; I would have liked a chance to watch S2. :( I hope some expiration warning is implemented in the future.

    Season 2 is still streaming on Hulu for now, if you hurry.



  • @CJ:

    For Darker Than Black, I can confirm that Funimation no longer holds the home video or streaming license at this time. Thank you for your support of this title.

    In terms of the overall issue of notification, we do read and pay attention to the forums and what users are saying about the site and service. If you feel passionately about something we could improve and have suggestions for improvement, you should always feel free to post about it here and build discussions.

    Complaining does very little, but well thought out information and arguments, along with suggestions for improvement, move mountains.

    Alright I appreciate the honest response and clarification. Thank you.

    I don't mean to complain but Darker than Black just struck me as the straw that broke the camel's back for me of something I wanted to watch just kind of disappearing without any sort of formal notice.

    If you want particular references about what I refer to about notifications before licenses expiring, here's a few prime examples of what I had in mind.

    http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-900409/marathon-time-anohana-wagnaria-viewtiful-joe

    http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-864201/marathon-time

    Both those are blog/forum posts that give an update on the various titles expiring by the end of the month and them giving a few weeks or at least a few days worth of notice to try and marathon those titles if they are able.

    Another good reference I had in mind is this particular Twitter account.

    https://twitter.com/NetflixAnime

    That guy keeps track of a number of titles that are added to Netflix, and also notes the exact day that those titles will be removed as well. I don't have a lot much more I can add at the moment, but if you have suggestions I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you CJ. I appreciate the response, truly.



  • I will add my voice to support the idea of notifying customers when a show will leave streaming at the very least. It gives people a heads up to hurry up and finish/watch it. That way they won't be surprised when it disappears from their queue. And it should lessen the anger and frustration that comes from these things. And even if you don't outright say that a show is going OOP, a notice that it's leaving streaming would prompt people to also go and buy shows they want rather than wait (unaware and thinking they still have time) and end up either unable to find it or having to pay more.

    This round of lost streams doesn't affect me. I've seen both and own Darker than Black. But I'd think it only a matter of time for when it eventually does and I know that I'd vastly prefer some sort of notice over just discovering "hey, this show I was watching/wanted to watch is gone!".



  • I guess that explains why Funi released that special collectors edition of Darker than Black Season 1 and also why they probably rereleased Season 2 prior to that. Funi was trying to milk the series to obtain as much money as they can before the license expired. Is there a reason they didn't renew it? It was fairly successful and even got an Anime Classics release.

    This may also be why FMA temporarily went out of print. Funi lost the license and renewed it. Since FMA is one of their top 5 licenses, they made every intent to renew it.



  • @dabkowski:

    Is there a reason they didn't renew it? It was fairly successful and even got an Anime Classics release.

    My guess is that Aniplex didn't let them renew it.



  • With pirate websites you should reasonably expect them or the shows on them to up and vanish like a fart in the wind.

    An actual company selling a service? No…. you should reasonably expect them to tell you when something is about to vanish.

    But hey, at least we can take comfort in knowing people are getting paid to prioritize "news" posts about national penguin cheeseburger in socks day or whatever, over actual, helpful news

    Edit: Yeah, I'm angry because Air was on my "to-do" list for this weekend. Don't judge me.



  • @classyspartan:

    Okay so as was recently brought to my attention last night, the entirety of Darker Than Black and Air the TV series were removed abruptly from Funimation's streaming service last night. I won't go into any theories about why or how these shows were removed from streaming because that's clearly due to licensing rights and stream expiration and all that stuff. What I would like to ask then, is this:

    Why did no one say anything?

    Is there any reason at all that you wouldn't be able to confirm that said titles will be removed from streaming on your website pretty much in its entirety. Both Darker than Black and AIR were both shows in my queue that were just suddenly gone without a trace. No announcement, no date of when said things would expire, no encouraging message to marathon these classic titles before they go back in the anime vault or something of that nature?

    Everyone has their own personal gripes about what makes a solid streaming service, but to me the idea that a certain public honesty about expiring licenses and shows that will eventually get removed really goes a long way. Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll all make the information about when these movies and shows are expiring clear to the public. Why would you do that? Well it's perfectly clear. People want to watch a show, and that's the last possible time to watch the show because who knows when the hell that show will be made available again. It gives people the time to move that up on their watch list and marathon that thing before it's gone. It's also even like a last hurrah for the expiring license so that you can get one last influx of attention and traffic before said show is removed. People get the chance to prepare their schedules and watch these shows before they're removed and then they can say they finished it before it gets taken down.

    What happens on Funimation? Without as much as a word from anyone, the show is quietly removed. Dust in the wind. And to me, as a consumer and a subscriber, that's rather insulting that no announcement of said show getting removed from the site is even brought to the attention of anyone. Hell, some people on this forum found out that the show was gone because they were IN THE MIDDLE OF WATCHING THE SHOW AND SEEING IT GONE, WITHOUT ANY PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE!!!!!!!

    Look. I'm not asking for the details of how or why these licenses are expiring or what will happen to that show henceforth. That is not something I as a subscriber really need to know. What I feel like, as a subscriber and paying customer to your service, that the information that certain programs on your streaming service will NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE TO WATCH on said service should at the very least be public and given within a timely manner. Like if you announce the show a week before it's removed from streaming, or even better, to announce it a month in advance. It's considerate, and it gives all your users that maybe wanted to eventually check the show that's being removed out but never put it quite high on their list that final push to check it before it's gone. But instead, you just take it down completely and entirely, pretending and acting like it never even happened. And that's infuriating to me.

    There's lots of users on this site, and there's probably numerous users that would have liked to watch these shows or eventually check them out. Hell, even the possibility that I said earlier that people were in the middle of watching these shows as they were removed. They had no way to know you would do this. No one had any knowledge you would do this. The fact that there was no date of when these shows were going to be pulled is frustrating and the fact that as far as it comes from everyone at Funimation is kind of acting like this never even happened.

    It's not even Darker than Black or AIR this happened with, this seems to be a thing on multiple occassions where shows will just expire on your website and no one says anything to the subscribers. To me the fact that you can just so easily pull these shows without saying a god damn thing to any subscriber on the site until it's too late is extremely frustrating and disheartening to me as a subscriber.

    So please. I don't really care to know the details of future expiring streams. I don't care about the business procedure or what will happen. But if you can't even tell your community of people that use your streaming service that shows can just disappear off of your website and that Funimation acts like no one will say or do anything is extremely insulting. I simply ask that in the future, when rights to a show streaming on your service is set to expire, PLEASE inform the people of the date that the show will be removed. Netflix does this. Hulu does this. Crunchyroll does this. And honestly I really feel that the Funimation Streaming service would ultimately be better and much more honest in the face of many of its subscribers.

    Because the idea that shows that many people love and that many others may have wanted to finally watch can just be gone with everyone acting like it never even happened….really puts a damper on my faith in your service. And it pains me to say this.

    So please. Consider this for the future Funimation. I and many other subscribers would truly appreciate this.

    wait darker than black is gone!? i WAS in the middle of watching that.



  • @dougswisher:

    Edit: Yeah, I'm angry because Air was on my "to-do" list for this weekend. Don't judge me.

    @gamer56:

    wait darker than black is gone!? i WAS in the middle of watching that.

    Thank you gentlemen for helping to illustrate my point.

    The only thing I really am advocating for is just in the future, should a title eventually be leaving Funimation's streaming service for whatever reason, that said title gets some sort of public announcement. I'm not gonna ask for a full legal document, just the estimated date on when said title is expected to leave the service. I'm not even talking in terms of physical release, I just simply mean in terms of the stream. Because all titles on the website, even the lesser known ones, someone probably has an interest in it. Could be on the backlog or their queue, but just by making an announcement that said title is leaving soon, the interest will be that BOY I SHOULD FINISH THIS SHOW BEFORE IT LEAVES THE SITE. That also seems like a good way to increase viewership one final time before it gets removed too.

    To me this seems like a reasonable request, and I often hear both CJ and Sophie speaking in terms of improving any and all aspects of the forums, website, and streaming service, and with the dawn of Funimation NOW coming fairly soon, I feel this would be a good thing to try doing. So we can avoid this kind of uncertainty and annoyance in the future for any and all users.



  • @classyspartan:

    Thank you gentlemen for helping to illustrate my point.

    The only thing I really am advocating for is just in the future, should a title eventually be leaving Funimation's streaming service for whatever reason, that said title gets some sort of public announcement. I'm not gonna ask for a full legal document, just the estimated date on when said title is expected to leave the service. I'm not even talking in terms of physical release, I just simply mean in terms of the stream. Because all titles on the website, even the lesser known ones, someone probably has an interest in it. Could be on the backlog or their queue, but just by making an announcement that said title is leaving soon, the interest will be that BOY I SHOULD FINISH THIS SHOW BEFORE IT LEAVES THE SITE. That also seems like a good way to increase viewership one final time before it gets removed too.

    To me this seems like a reasonable request, and I often hear both CJ and Sophie speaking in terms of improving any and all aspects of the forums, website, and streaming service, and with the dawn of Funimation NOW coming fairly soon, I feel this would be a good thing to try doing. So we can avoid this kind of uncertainty and annoyance in the future for any and all users.

    yeah they really should start making announcements like that. well i want to watch shakugan no shana one more time before it gets taken down so i better hop to it.



  • Thanks! :)



  • Guess I'm gonna have to cross darker than black off my to watch list.

    It wasn't very high to begin with but… I guess I could illegally watch it which I feel guilty doing when I did it for black rock shooter.



  • @SpacemanHardy:

    My guess is that Aniplex didn't let them renew it.

    Pretty much, and lately LOTS of Aniplex titles have been dropping like flies, to the point I had to make a list so you know what's SOL/going to be SOL as catalog titles are of no concern to AoA.
    http://myanimelist.net/blog.php?eid=781052

    And for reference, the titles not from AoA are the ones that could be meeting the same fate as Darker Than Black, so I'd recommend watching them sooner rather than later. Given even Darker Than Black is gone, it's no longer hard to imagine even the super successful FMA could disappear as Aniplex is apparently being very stubborn.

    While FUNi might notify people in the future thanks to the backlash over Air and Darker Than Black, here's a list of shows you could expect to leave in the near future. These are the Sojitz titles (Many of which have already expired the past few years), and things they've had for quite a while. Hopefully people find this helpful so they can prioritize stuff. I'd recommend getting to the Aniplex shows and Sojitz titles first.

    !
    Afro Samurai
    Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy (Season 2 of the series)
    Air Gear
    Baldr Force EXE
    Big Windup! (This absolutely BOMBED for FUNi so…)
    Black Blood Brothers
    Black Cat
    Blessing of the Campanella (FUNi dropped the home video rights and Rightstuf put it out. Eventually they'll have streaming rights when FUNi loses them.)
    Case Closed (It's a miracle FUNi still has it when it didn't do so well for them after so many attempts to make it sell.)
    Comic Party Revolution
    Coyote Ragtime Show
    Desert Punk
    Devil May Cry
    Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
    Glass Fleet
    Ghost Hunt
    Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor
    Heroic Age
    Jing: King of Bandits: Seventh Heaven (Sequel to the original series that's LONG OOP)
    Jinki: Extend
    Jyu-Oh-Sei
    Kanon (2006)-Given Air already went, this should go sometime this year probably. Sentai may rescue it as it was originally John Ledford's and everyone's title at ADV Films and they have much closer relations to TBS than FUNimation ever did (Castle Town Dandelion was FUNi's first time actually working with TBS).
    Kurau: Phantom Memory
    Le Chevalier D'Eon
    Magikano
    Moeyo Ken TV (On only Hulu, could disappear any moment now. Show page was nuked ages ago.)
    Mongolian Chop Squad (AKA Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad)
    Moon Phase
    Murder Princess
    Mushishi
    Negima! (DVD's went OOP ages ago)
    Negima!?
    Pani Poni Dash!
    Pretear (DVD's were announced years ago, they never came)
    Project Blue Earth SOS
    Pumpkin Scissors
    Ragnarok: The Animation
    Red Garden
    Romeo x Juliet
    Rumbling Hearts
    Sasami: Magical Girls Club (The series just recently went OOP)
    Save Me! Lollipop (Same situation as above)
    Sgt. Frog (FUNi DID get more than ADV initially licensed but they stopped.)
    Shattered Angels
    Shuffle!
    Solty Rei
    Speed Grapher
    Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry
    Suzuka
    The Galaxy Railways
    The Wallflower
    Tokyo Majin
    UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie S3-S4
    Utawarerumono
    Venus Versus Virus (DVD's are OOP, when they're finally all gone, they're gone)
    Welcome to the NHK
    xxxHOLiC (It didn't do that well, hence why FUNimation never got the rest of it.)
    I tried to keep it limited to titles that are on S.A.V.E./not on Anime Classics (Some shows FUNi STILL hasn't put under either line) that FUNi released before mid-2009. The Sojitz titles are in bold.


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