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Ace Attorney fans declare victory as fansub videos return to YouTube

YouTube had no objection to the fan translations

Three Ace attorney characters look triumphant with Sherlock Holmes
Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken

Several YouTube videos of Phoenix Wright spinoff Dai Gyakuten Saiban, featuring English subtitles translated by fans, were removed by Capcom in June. The videos have now reappeared on YouTube.

Dai Gyakuten Saiban takes place in the late 19th century towards the end of Japan’s Meiji period. Players take control of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō — an ancestor of Phoenix Wright — who travels to England and meets Sherlock Holmes, with whom he attempts to solve a few pressing mysteries.

The game was released on the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in July 2015, but has yet to make it to Europe or the U.S. As a result, two Ace Attorney fans who call themselves O and Garbage spent around eight months translating the game’s dialogue.

In an interview with Kotaku, one of the translators said that “Since I have an import 3DS, I bought the game just to try it out. Dai Gyakuten Saiban drew me in with it’s [sic] aesthetics, and then caught me in a death grip with Asougi [the main character’s rival].”

In September 2015, O and Garbage uploaded game footage captured with their imported 3DS consoles to YouTube. They then added English captions which they translated themselves. The videos remained on YouTube, gaining popularity with series fans, until Capcom pulled them down on June 25 of this year.

Some fans argued that the videos should have been protected by YouTube’s fair use guidelines, since O and Garbage captured the footage and translated the dialogue themselves. However, those guidelines warn that “even if you’ve added a little something of your own to someone else’s content, you might not be able to take advantage of the fair use defense — particularly if your creation fails to add new expression, meaning, or message to the original.”

One of the translators took to Reddit to state that they filed a counter notification against Capcom, arguing that the videos fell under “fair use and educational use.” They also mentioned plans to put the videos on an alternate video hosting site if necessary. On July 12, though, YouTube put the videos back up to view.

Fans on the Ace Attorney Subreddit reacted positively to the videos’ return. User Sherlupin wrote, “It's only natural. It shouldn't have been deleted in the first place,” while GreenPulsefire simply stated, “Not Guilty.”

While Capcom’s removal of the videos caused some fans to speculate on a potential official English localization of Dai Gyakuten Saiban, Capcom hasn’t announced any plans. The publisher expects to release a sequel to the game this August, which will also be exclusive to Japan. Polygon has reached out to Capcom for comment on this story, and will update upon response.

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