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Question #91198 posted on 04/26/2018 8:12 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Is Animlelon legal? It's a a website that let's you watch anime with Japanese subs so that you can learn Japanese. It's for educational purposes but I don't know if that still violates the law.



Dear You're Welcome,

The legality of Animelon depends on whether or not they are receiving permission from the copyright owners for the use of their content. On the Animelon website I couldn't find anything that said whether or not they received permission or payed for the right to use their content. I searched Google and Reddit and the only thing I could find was that some copyright complaints were filed against Animelon a while back. 

Perhaps Animelon being a free website for educational purposes would allow them to use shows they don't own under fair use. The U.S. Copyright office website says that nonprofit educational use is occasionally protected but not always. Anne, Certainly pointed out to me that using entire episodes on the basis of foreign subtitles is probably unlikely. After all, you could just pirate anything, stick foreign subtitles on it and claim it's educational. Also, fair use typically applies to small clips, so allowing the use of full seasons of multiple shows seems unlikely.

Copyright law is tricky stuff, and we here at the Board are not lawyers. My personal non-legal suggestion would be reading a few articles about fair use and then using your best judgement to make the call. Hope this helps.


Tipperary (Not a Lawyer)