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I posted links to Baka-updates and mangaupdates earlier and the links were removed with the reason being it was a link to an illegal fan sub / scanlations site. However Bakaupdates is neither a fan sub group or a scans group. They are simply just an updates website. There is actually nothing illegal about that website. They provide the info for the latest releases as well as the info for who subbed / translated them.

With that said, is there also a major difference between writing the name of the site and then adding the .com at the end to make it a link?

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    As a note, many other useful sites track fansub groups for shows, such as AniDB and MAL. In addition, VNDB (probably the largest VN database in English) tracks fan-translations/patches. I think it would be a shame that we couldn't reference such sites just because they contain information about illegal downloads. – atlantiza Aug 8 '13 at 23:45
  • I referenced MAL in the same post as well, but that link was not removed. Only Baka and mangaupdates – krikara Aug 9 '13 at 0:02
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    @atlantiza Just information shouldn't be enough to be ban-worthy. We really want to be as inclusive as possible, but maintain a professional image, which in my view stops just short of direct links to fansub/scanalation sites/groups with the intent of distributing the content rather than answering the question. Also, as a note, I've created what I hope will be a canonical list of such references here. Feel free to add your own (that's why it's community wiki). – Logan M Aug 9 '13 at 0:22
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I don't think these should have been removed, as you're right that it only tracks edits and doesn't contain any links to the content (even if it did, it's debatable whether it should be removed). I've rolled back the edits. We're in the midst of a discussion regarding what content is acceptable to link to, mostly in chat. When there is a consensus you can expect a new meta post announcing this and also the decision to be added to the help center. Until then, apologies for the confusion, but it'll probably continue to be a bit confusing until we have a clear consensus.

As a note, our policy is mostly about maintaining a professional image, not copyright concerns. Copyright is handled by Stack Exchange directly, and the community here never gets involved. Our goal in limiting the discussion of fansubs/scanalations is to maintain a professional image, but the boundaries of that are still rather rough.

In fact, we discussed this particular answer. The conversation begins here but got somewhat sidetracked. However, I think everyone agreed in the end that there was nothing wrong with these links.

  • In that case, I'll be happy to simply prefer to add anidb and mangaupdates links as reference links :S FWIW, there was an earlier meta thread where this was discussed and to my memory, the general consensus was that WP and IMDB links were fine and MAL, Anidb links were not. – coleopterist Aug 9 '13 at 4:42
  • The aforementioned (and original) thread is here. – coleopterist Aug 9 '13 at 4:45
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    @coleopterist As far as I can tell, that one is specifically referring to asking questions about external sites, e.g. "On MAL, how can I search for all magical girl anime between 1980 and 2005?". – Logan M Aug 9 '13 at 17:50
  • Good point. I misremembered it. – coleopterist Aug 9 '13 at 18:11

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