Before everyone starts picking up pitchforks and torches, let me dispel some reasons for hardsubs.
- Hardsubs do not prevent subtitle theft. There is nothing stopping another group/reencoder/person on the street from typing out the script, retiming it for whatever raw they use, and rereleasing it on their own. In fact, this is the modus operandi for most of the non-English fansub groups out there, and there is nothing wrong about doing that.
- As a side note to #1, there is an OCR program out there that can extract hardcoded subs. A little test of the program with some of our releases show that you can pull out our subs very easily.
- Hardsubs have almost as many limitations on what you can do with it as softsubs. Softsubs can pretty much do everything that hardsubs did years ago, with the notable exception of some of the fancier karaoke effects.
- Our editing and typesetting/styling is part of what makes each episode special to us and what we like to have pride in. Every word, and font used is chosen to complement the series. As part of our process, we try our very best to make sure everything looks aesthetically pleasing. We also try to make our font choices so that you can read it on a reasonably decent TV. (If I get into the mood, I should probably tell how I used to evaluate font readability several years ago. I don't have any of that equipment now.)
- Most of us are much older than your typical fansubber these days. As for myself, I actually got my start in fansubbing around 2003. Because of that, my encoding methods and practices are very old-fashioned. This also means that a lot of the rules I follow in terms of how I conduct the operation of this group is based on what people did back in that time. My staff are okay with that, and that is what is most important. Some of the really grizzled veterans will probably know, based on what I said, could probably easily guess a third reason why I stick to hardsubs, and they would probably be correct.
One last thing: if you want to comment on this, please attack just me and not your fellow commenters. I would appreciate that very much.