As anime fans know, FUNimation Entertainment and Toei Animation had planned for the first ever online simulcast of the series ‘One Piece’ tonight at 9:00 pm CDT., just one hour after its premiere on Japan’s Fuji Television. Unfortunately, in the last 24 hours we have determined that the FUNimation servers were compromised, even though we employ strict security standards. An unknown individual accessed and posted episode 403 online and as a direct result of this illegal act, all U.S. and Canadian fans will be deprived of access to this great anime series for the immediate future. We will make every effort to locate and prosecute the perpetrator(s)to the fullest extent of the law and will provide updates regarding this most serious matter.
Now, while this may seem like some 1337 hacker cracked into the FUNi video server, the real truth is a little simpler. A streaming video server stores the real video files elsewhere on the online server. In theory, you can only access the streaming video link and not find out where the real video file is stored. Of course, if you can figure out how to work a torrent file then figuring out where a video is stored is just as simple. Cartoon Network learned this the hard way. As G.I. Joe: Resolute premiered on TV and on their website, an employee would load the next episode or two to be ready to go in a few days. Well, if you use a fairly generic file structure like ASFIX_GIJOE_EPISODE01.FLV for the original file, someone is going to put two and two together to find the other ten videos that may be stored in the same directory. FUNi ran into the same problem by uploading files hours — sometimes days — in advance of when the video would go online. Eventually someone starts posting links to the real video files on different forums and someone else may even upload the video to other streaming servers.
The aftermath of the situation had quite a few videos pulled from the server last night. Phantom would run the front ad and then give an error for the actual show episode, for example. As of right now, One Piece and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood appear to be the only two shows with its episodes complete pulled off the server still.