I recently got Amazon Prime (Austrian Version), and I spontaneously decided to re-watch a few episodes from Season 1 of “Heroes”.
Original Version or German Dubbed Version? Well, translation is sometimes a necessary evil, but hey, I understand English.
So I start watching. Part of the action is in Japan. I have to manually enable subtitles, my Japanese is not quite good enough yet.
On to episode two: No subtitles available. None at all.
I’m left with a choice between the original version, without subtitles for the Japanese parts, or the German Dub, which has Hiro Nakamura speaking German, which becomes quite ridiculous as his command of German grammar varies according to who he’s talking to. And the voice actor must have had a previous career in dubbing children’s anime series.
So, back to the pirated version, I’ve paid for it now anyway, haven’t I?
Piracy is still pretty convenient in comparison. I usually even get a choice whether to have subtitles and what language(s) to use, independent of my current location. And Amazon recently told me that they won’t show me high-definition content, because I’m running Linux and my 30" screen is not connected via an encrypted HDMI cable. I’m still paying for getting less than I get when pirating.
And extend that to translations & adaptations.
I want the right to buy and use third-party subtitles for the things I watch.
I do not want to pay so that dubbing companies make American War Heroes speak perfect German to Evil Nazis.
And I don’t want to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger speak with a Northern German accent (well, maybe it is preferable to his own interpretation of the German language).
And I want the local middle school theatre club to be allowed to perform “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” without asking for permission first. Or their own stage adaptation of a movie they happen to like.