I e-mailed customer service to let them know I was unhappy with the constant and deceptive advertising through PMs from fake personas and they essentially told me to bugger off. "Minor things like this" (being upset over deceptive emails) are just "an excuse to validate pirating anime"... they write this to someone who's never pirated anime and has paid them to watch it legally.
It's undeniable that there are plenty of people who pirate because it's free, and because they can. But if legal, practical alternatives are to survive, even if it's only as they begin, the key shouldn't be profitability, it should be making sure customers enjoy the experience.
Of course, that then leads to Hulu's problem - trying to introduce a paid structure too much too soon.
Certainly annoying and spammy to send 10 over the course of 10 days before I was motivated enough to click unsubscribe.
I guess that's called bootstrapping.
But that's irrelevant: this is supposed to be a legitimate business. Legitimate businesses aren't supposed to build a business model around selling others' works without permission.
Unless you're claiming that Crunchy are just as equally "thieves" as the pirates they supposedly work against, in which case I agree.
The Berne Convention also guarantees that authors have the exclusive right to make translations. 
If this was true, Google Translate's "translate a website" feature would have been sued into nonexistence years ago. In fact, it probably would have never been created: its predecessors, like Babelfish, would have died first.
Translation is format-shifting. It is no more illegal for me to translate a movie from German to English than it is to convert it from a DOC to a PDF.
What would be illegal is if I paid for the movie, translated it, and then distributed it for free. The mere fact that it's a derivative work does not make it any more "mine" than the original, and thus it's just as much piracy as me distributing the original, untranslated version. Similarly, converting the movie from an iTunes MP4 to an MKV will not make it any more or less legal for me to redistribute it.
The legally dubious part is distributing just the translated script (i.e. subtitles), but not the movie itself. A reasonable fair use case could be made for this, though whether it would hold up in court likely depends on how much money each side spends on lawyers. Most likely, nobody will ever even bring such a thing to court, as there's no profit motive for doing so.
On one hand, you have someone who loves the content (but who would not buy it) and so pirates it - this is "unrealized" revenue for content owners.
On the other hand, you have a company that makes money and pays no royalties - this is outright theft from the content owners.
Those subbers only translate and distribute stuff that isn't licensed outside of Japan, so the "would not buy it" is, in fact, "can't buy it because it's not for sale and even if it were it would be in a foreign language".
"Not for sale or rent. Especially not to be used to raise a lot of venture capital to stream online to try to make boatloads of money."
That's not to say there aren't any problems that need to be ironed out though. Off of the top of my head, my two biggest complaints with CR stem from the consistency of their subtitles, which can range from decent to atrocious, and the lack of availability of titles that I had been looking forward to watching. Obviously, they won't be able to get their hands on every show that's out there since they're competing with the likes of Funimation, but it'd be nice if they could wrap their arms around a greater percentage of titles each season.
It'd also help too if the Japanese studios would try to embrace the internet rather than constantly resisting against it. Sometimes, I get the feeling that they're so stuck in the PPV television rut and aren't confident enough to start releasing episodes online.
> the site has grown into profitability, trying to take away every advantage that piracy has—including price.
I think the above two lines are very telling. It's very interesting and very encouraging to see how they are competing against a business problem like infringing sharing by providing free versions supported by advertisements as well as paid versions without advertising. It's essentially similar to many of the freemium models being used but is being applied to media. I wonder if something like this would work with books?
And I think that doesn't matter. Give people easy, legal access to the shows at a decent price and they'll pay. (Well, some won't, but some never will.) That's the best you can hope for.
Those services that do exist are all inferior to piracy. LoveFilm streaming does not work well on my PC, and has a poor selection on the PS3 (not to mention that if any torrent website was down as long as PSN has been, someone would have created a new one by now).
Hopefully one day systems will exist whereby I can play any song and watch any film or tv episode from my home via the internet in exchange for cash. I'd probably pay £100 a month for that (Spotify is a bargain at £10 a month) - but I can't. On the TV side of things, there is no existing service that even comes close to piracy + XBMC.
I hope so, too, and I'm in the US.
I'd probably pay £100 a month for that
That's a bit steeper than I'd pay, but I'm not not a heavy consumer of content (and, basically, never consume individual songs). I might still pay that if it were for my entire household and not per device, since I could offer it to renters as a benefit.
I would even go so far as to pay à la carte for the content, but only if it were a reasonable "rental" price. The current Amazon prices are too steep, especially since the selection is so limited and the interface is separate from Netflix's service. I'm not, however, willing to "buy" a permanent license, especially to a TV show.
 As opposed to radio-style where someone else picks which songs are played.
It's the beginning of the entitlement generation. People aren't getting what they want, so they take it. Unless the content is $0 and you can get it whenever you want, the vast majority of people pirating will not stop.
I've haven't seen the end of the excuses. There are plenty of legal services for music (trying for free and buying for cheap). Yet, piracy is stronger than ever. What makes you think it will be any different for movies?
I also think about piracy when I start a new business idea. I no longer release any commercial apps..only commercial services.
1. "It's those @$#% kids!" In other words, promulgating and perpetuating an unnecessary generational divide. The "entitlement generation" will soon enough be running the show, so the incumbents are only doing humanity a disservice by taking a scorched-earth-like policy instead of figuring out how to run a sustainable business that satisfies the demands of the technology-enabled consumer.
2. "Pirates gonna pirate." There is no "pirate" demographic, no one reason why people copy instead of buying. Maybe they've watched the first season of a show on Hulu, but the later seasons are unavailable. Maybe they'll pay for content or watch ads, but not both at the same time (Hulu). Maybe they missed an episode of their favorite show and don't want to wait 30 days to a year for it to show up on Hulu/Netflix/DVD.
Assuming that all pirates are of equally dubious moral character is defeatist, elitist, and self-damaging. It's defeatist and self-damaging because it's ignoring the potential to expand one's market to reach some of the pirates. Each incremental step out of the inglorious dark ages of big media and into the digital light will capture another n% of the currently-pirate market. It's elitist because it regards having a different moral code as inferior, when in reality, it's just different.
This addresses your second-to-last paragraph. Pandora is a pain because it's deliberately crippled. If you get a mix you don't like, you can only downvote or skip a few songs before you're forced to listen to whatever they play, and that restriction applies across all of your stations. In other cases, it's a deficiency of marketing/awareness/trust, user interface, selection, ISP bandwidth/throttling, or pricing.
Finally, give it time. The typical college graduate has probably "acquired" more music over the past 7 years of their lives than they could ever have hoped to pay for. Some of those will eventually convert to paying customers as they begin earning real money, and their increased access to creative content during school may have inspired them to greater societal contributions, from which all of us can benefit.
You're making a straw man argument, I made it very clear that I am willing to pay, and I'm not the only one.
> Yet, piracy is stronger than ever.
You know what else is stronger than ever? Online music sales, and record company profits. The easier method of iTunes is killing the old model.
> What makes you think it will be any different for movies?
7% of US citizens now subscribe to Netflix, making it bigger than any single cable company. I would say this is good evidence that people are willing to pay for legal, convenient access to content.