Are Anime Piracy sites being taken down as we speak?

Are Anime Piracy sites being taken down as we speak? Zoro.to down

It seems like the Copyright Gods have once again triumphed, having taken Zoro.to down. The infamous anime site has been one of the most prominently used sites for streaming anime outside of official channels. Given that such strikes are getting more and more frequent these days, fans have been wondering, are Anime Pirated sites being taken down as we speak?

Zoro.to Down: The Fall of Anime Piracy Sites?

How many Tokyo Ghoul Volumes are there
Image Courtesy of Viz Media

On 14th August 2020, KissAnime alongside its manga counterpart, KissManga, was taken down. While this is nothing worth the attention amongst the community usually, as the website would often disappear and pop up with a new domain, this time around it was gone for good. Many users speculated that this could be the beginning of the end, hinting toward the fall of anime piracy sites.

  • After the fall of KissAnime, Zoro.to emerged as sort of a spiritual successor to the fallen website.
  • Over the next couple of years, especially during the pandemic, the website garnered huge traffic and was established as the new best  Anime Piracy site.
  • Recently, however, Zoro.to, and its proxy Sanji.to redirected to a new website called Aniwatch.to, which made fans think that Zoro.to was also taken down.
  • It was later clarified by the team at Zoro.to through an official statement that it was actually a rebrand rather than a takedown.

Fan Reactions and Impact

The fall of such anime privacy sites invoked all kinds of reactions from fans across the globe. Some fans supported the intense action as it helps the overall development of the anime community and industry, while many were outraged and criticized the takedowns in public forums and social media.

Outside of the legal and moral arguments, supporters for both sides are left unsure as to what this means to the overall anime piracy sites, as a whole. Many speculate that the Zoro.to rebrand to Aniwatch.to was to avoid legal repercussions. However, fans noted that the same tactic was deployed by KissAnime and other piracy websites of the past before getting taken down.

Piracy: A Necessary Evil?

Zoro.to down
Image Courtesy of Toei Animation

The legal grounds explicitly and clearly say that piracy is totally against the law and should not be condoned. However, fan reactions have been largely mixed in this regard.

  • Many fans also regard piracy as a necessary evil that is responsible for the growth of the anime industry.
  • On the other hand, some enunciate the negatives of such sites, especially how it impacts smaller mangakas and studios.
  • At one point in time, anime piracy sites were truly considered to be a necessary evil, somewhat unanimously by fans.
  • The industry, although aware of it, turned a blind eye to it every now and then. In exchange for lost revenue, the industry gained free marketing and exposure across the globe, especially in countries where anime wasn’t mainstream yet.
  • But now that anime is almost ubiquitously accessible and mainstream, some fans and people in the industry think it’s high time we culled anime piracy.

Conclusion

Anime Piracy sites have always been in the industry’s crosshairs since their dawn, but in recent times, the legal side has doubled down on their efforts to take these websites down. The debate surrounding anime piracy is a complex one, with powerful arguments from both sides.

While accessibility and availability are key concerns for fans, supporting piracy can have detrimental effects on the anime industry as a whole. It is true that efforts on taking down anime piracy websites have increased recently, but only time will tell their effectiveness.

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