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Old 12-08-2004, 01:58 PM   #1   [permalink]
heart havok
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When Piracy Becomes Promotion

here's an interesting essay i found. it's a shame that U.S. companies are about adapting, controling and capitalising instead of respecting the works and the subculture of Japanese anime/manga.

When Piracy Becomes Promotion

we need to get major distrobution companies like ADVfilms (coiughnaziscough) to read essays like this and take them seriously.


hell... sometimes, i think the entire world should just boycot ADVfilms. -_-
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:04 PM   #2   [permalink]
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Meh.., I doubt a company like ADV would care anyway.., they may have been fan-orientated to start with.., but like most companies that become successful, the only things they give a crap about are how they can protect their investment, & how much money they can make.., they don't care about the hardcore fans, or how the underground fansub movement helps promote titles.., all they see are pirates out to reduce their profit margins..,

I am one of those fans that watched raw Japanese anime in the 80's.., I had penfriends in the UK, France, US, Hong Kong & Japan, who sent me VHS tapes (& Betamax too before it died) of all manner of series, & without them, I doubt I'd still be an anime fan today..,
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:51 PM   #3   [permalink]
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I think the US companies aren't as bad as you think. They realize that there's a lot of people who download fansubs off the internet, and I'm pretty sure they've got a bead on what people are downloading, and get ideas about how certain series will do if licensed judging from how they do in the fansub community. In fact, they never really make a fuss about downloading unless fansubbers are still distributing licensed material.

They're probably counting on those fansub downloaders to promote series, because those people can get the word out before the series come out commercially. I mean, think about a series like Azumanga Daioh. Without fansubbers, I doubt it would have generated much interest in the anime community, definitely not before it's release, and maybe not for years afterwards. Yet because of the buzz of people who'd seen it, a lot more interest was generated.

US anime companies are not stupid. I'd stake my meager bank account on the guess that they recognize their symbiotic relationship with fansubs and even welcome it, for the most part. If they were all about adapting, controlling, and capitalizing, then they would try to shut down fansubbers completely and close down all sharing of anime material. The only thing they're against - sensibly - is the distribution of property that they have the legal rights to, because that cuts into their profits and makes things more expensive for everyone.
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Old 12-08-2004, 06:58 PM   #4   [permalink]
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It's just a fact that corporations are greedy. Japan may very well be a lonely-exception to that rule.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:01 PM   #5   [permalink]
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on the contrary, dheu, i went to two anime conventions this year and at BOTH conventions ADVfilms stated that they are completely against fansubbing, and that it's illegal and they aren't going to tolerate it and will do anything they can to stop it as a whole.

i'd like to point out that the first of the two conventions took place shortly after IRC's Aniverse server was DDOS attacked and shortly before anime.mircx.com was shut down.

i also know two other fansub distribution places (names undisclosed) that have had letters delivered from ADVfilms about shutting them down if they don't drop all ADV titles.

not to mention that the ADVfilms representatives (two of the co-founders) BOTH TIMES were crude and rude to fans who asked questions and treated everything as though they are programing us to follow their every marketing spleandor.

i think Geneon USA doesn't care though. they haven't done anything.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:31 PM   #6   [permalink]
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re :greed.

Greed is not bad in a capitalistic society. Short term greed is bad.

Japan media companies know that tolerating some "fair use" by the fans makes them feel more like they are in a special group. That increases sales long term.

Even Paramount learned to back off of fans with their Trek web sites. They tried going after them and then realized how stupid this was... heh heh.
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Old 13-08-2004, 02:27 AM   #7   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by heart havok
[b]on the contrary, dheu, i went to two anime conventions this year and at BOTH conventions ADVfilms stated that they are completely against fansubbing, and that it's illegal and they aren't going to tolerate it and will do anything they can to stop it as a whole.

i'd like to point out that the first of the two conventions took place shortly after IRC's Aniverse server was DDOS attacked and shortly before anime.mircx.com was shut down.

i also know two other fansub distribution places (names undisclosed) that have had letters delivered from ADVfilms about shutting them down if they don't drop all ADV titles.
Well, see, there's my point right there. When an anime isn't licensed by a US company, whether or not it's legal to fansub them and release them in the US is lost in the murky abyss of international law somewhere. American anime companies tolerate this segment of fansubbing. But once a title's been licensed, ADV has every right to request that fansubbers don't distribute their material. They own the rights to it, after all. They're the ones putting down a bunch of money to license and release the anime in the first place. That stuff ain't cheap. You don't think they deserve to make some money as well?

According to that article, in the early days of fansubbing, fansubbers distributed anime to widen the range of otaku and let people see anime that might never have been brought over from Japan any other way. They worked to build up the industry. Many fansubbers nowadays abuse that hard work. They try to rip apart the industry, because by distributing material that has been commercially released, they give fans an option to get anime for free rather than supporting the industry that has created and translated that anime professionally.

I'd bet you anything that if no fansubbers attempted to distribute licensed anime, if they just limited themselves to releasing anime that hadn't been licensed, the US companies would never attempt to shut them down. Not only would it be much too financially draining to lay a lawsuit on a fansubbing group when there have been no licenses on any of the anime involved, but I doubt that the US companies would even have legal ground to create a lawsuit. So if fansubbers get shut down permanently by legal means, blame the groups who like to steal from the legit companies, not the companies which have workers to pay and which are just trying to make money.

Quote:
not to mention that the ADVfilms representatives (two of the co-founders) BOTH TIMES were crude and rude to fans who asked questions and treated everything as though they are programing us to follow their every marketing spleandor.
Hmm. What was the context of that rudeness? What were the fans asking? I can't justify the personality of ADV reps. All I can say is that they are within their rights to send letters asking for distribution of their anime to be stopped, and it's silly to think that the fansubbers are the injured party.

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i think Geneon USA doesn't care though. they haven't done anything.
I think that they have made a few polite requests to certain groups who didn't immediately stop distribution of their anime.
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Old 13-08-2004, 10:03 PM   #8   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by dheu
Well, see, there's my point right there. When an anime isn't licensed by a US company, whether or not it's legal to fansub them and release them in the US is lost in the murky abyss of international law somewhere. American anime companies tolerate this segment of fansubbing. But once a title's been licensed, ADV has every right to request that fansubbers don't distribute their material. They own the rights to it, after all. They're the ones putting down a bunch of money to license and release the anime in the first place. That stuff ain't cheap. You don't think they deserve to make some money as well?
Your point is quite valid. It misses my point, however, which is that ADV reports that they will to stop ALL fansubbing, not just distribution of US licensed series because "You should just assume it's licensed."

Originally Posted by dheu
Hmm. What was the context of that rudeness? What were the fans asking? I can't justify the personality of ADV reps. All I can say is that they are within their rights to send letters asking for distribution of their anime to be stopped, and it's silly to think that the fansubbers are the injured party.
I'm paraphrasing here but (to the best of my knowledge), at the first convention, someone asked: "How do you at ADV feel about the respectful fansubbing community's relationsh..." Which case, ADV reps interrupted: "Fansubbers aren't respectful. Fansubs are illegal."

The questioneer responded: "Yes, but I mean, when the fansubbing community respectfully ceases distribution of something once it's licensed... how does ADV feel about a respecful relationship between the fansubbing community and corporate anime distributors?"

This time, ADV reps let the attendee complete his question, and they responded: "It's all illegal anyways. It's bootlegging. Besides, fansubbers don't even do that. We won't tolerate it. Next question."

At the second of the two a similar question was asked, yet more detailed, about fansubbing and ceasing distribution and the such. ADV's response was that that they were going to do anything they could to stop it all because all fansubbing is illegal.

I then interrupted "Unless you own it. If you've legally purchased a copy, then it's completely legal to download it." Which, then, the reps turned towards me, stuttered a "Yes..." Then turned back towards the thick of the room: "Yes, IF you OWN a legit copy of the material, then it is legal to fansub or download a fansub of it for your own personal use. But once you distribute it, or share it with others, it's illegal again." Which case, someone else interrupted: "What about when it's not yet licensed?" And they responded: "Anime is getting licensed almost monthy. Just because it isn't publicly announced doesn't mean someone hasn't purchased distribution rights or is in the process of doing so. If you don't know, you should just assume it's licensed. Just about everything is getting licensed anyways. Unless it's extremely old, like from the 70s. Older series aren't being picked up as much since there are so many new titles coming out in Japan now... etc."


Originally Posted by dheu
I think that they have made a few polite requests to certain groups who didn't immediately stop distribution of their anime.
probably... i wouldn't be surprised. i haven't noticed any in particular though. and Champloo is being fansubbed like it's crack. Geneon doesn't seem to mind. hell, you know Samurai Champloo will sell better because of this.
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Old 13-08-2004, 11:02 PM   #9   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by heart havok
Your point is quite valid. It misses my point, however, which is that ADV reports that they will to stop ALL fansubbing, not just distribution of US licensed series because "You should just assume it's licensed."

I'm paraphrasing here but (to the best of my knowledge), at the first convention, someone asked: "How do you at ADV feel about the respectful fansubbing community's relationsh..." Which case, ADV reps interrupted: "Fansubbers aren't respectful. Fansubs are illegal."

The questioneer responded: "Yes, but I mean, when the fansubbing community respectfully ceases distribution of something once it's licensed... how does ADV feel about a respecful relationship between the fansubbing community and corporate anime distributors?"

This time, ADV reps let the attendee complete his question, and they responded: "It's all illegal anyways. It's bootlegging. Besides, fansubbers don't even do that. We won't tolerate it. Next question."

At the second of the two a similar question was asked, yet more detailed, about fansubbing and ceasing distribution and the such. ADV's response was that that they were going to do anything they could to stop it all because all fansubbing is illegal.

I then interrupted "Unless you own it. If you've legally purchased a copy, then it's completely legal to download it." Which, then, the reps turned towards me, stuttered a "Yes..." Then turned back towards the thick of the room: "Yes, IF you OWN a legit copy of the material, then it is legal to fansub or download a fansub of it for your own personal use. But once you distribute it, or share it with others, it's illegal again." Which case, someone else interrupted: "What about when it's not yet licensed?" And they responded: "Anime is getting licensed almost monthy. Just because it isn't publicly announced doesn't mean someone hasn't purchased distribution rights or is in the process of doing so. If you don't know, you should just assume it's licensed. Just about everything is getting licensed anyways. Unless it's extremely old, like from the 70s. Older series aren't being picked up as much since there are so many new titles coming out in Japan now... etc."
Hmmm. Alright. That does seem like a less cooperative attitude than the Japanese companies in the article might have.

Not to sound repetitive, but I was just trying to say that the ADV attitude towards all fansubbers can be partially blamed on the fansubbers themselves. When certain groups (*cough AJ cough*) who distribute licensed material get annoyed at the anime companies and refuse to comply when the companies request for distribution to be stopped, it's gonna leave a bad impression of fansub groups in the minds of the companies. Not that AJ is representative of the entire fansub community; it's just that when companies look at fansubbers, a group like that is what they will see rather than a group that follows the unwritten rules. Of course they'll consider fansubbing groups as something that should be taken down, because they'd see it as possible that any of those groups could get just as arrogant as AJ.

Anyway, I see your point. Thankfully I think it's only ADV with that strong of a negative opinion about fansubbers. But frankly it's just not something that can be blamed entirely on the companies, because many fansubbers willfully ignore the legality of sharing licensed material. It is the arrogance of these certain fansubbing groups that might end up bringing about the destruction of the whole community.

Quote:
probably... i wouldn't be surprised. i haven't noticed any in particular though. and Champloo is being fansubbed like it's crack. Geneon doesn't seem to mind. hell, you know Samurai Champloo will sell better because of this.
Wasn't Geneon the one who made the request that ended up closing down anime.mircx.com, when they asked for Champloo to be removed? Or it was probably ADV. Hmmm... nevermind.
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Old 14-08-2004, 09:07 AM   #10   [permalink]
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I don't believe that US companies will ever think it is ok. But they can't shut down fansubbing 100%.
There are always ways to get something if you know where to get it...

I just wish some of the long running series(Like Naruto) would be licenced already.
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Old 14-08-2004, 10:54 AM   #11   [permalink]
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Just like stated before, ADV has no legal basis to go against fansubs of something they personally haven't licensed. They'd have to bring it to the attention of the rightful owner (a company in Japan, if it's a "respectful" fansub), which of course will probably be allowed to continue, because it's good for promoting overseas.

It sounds like ADV's attitude is way out of line, like they treat it like file-sharing. But fansubbing has been going on long before the war against file sharing, so it's not the same at all. Once ADV licenses a title, then and only then do they have any right to say jack ----.

All the anime I own I had heard about from word of mouth, or seeing fansubs. If American companies want to see more revenues, they could also look into merchandising on a larger scale, especially domesticated soundtracks. There should be a somewhat decent market, and they could expand their production to what is needed.
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Old 14-08-2004, 02:55 PM   #12   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by dheu
Hmmm. Alright. That does seem like a less cooperative attitude than the Japanese companies in the article might have.

Not to sound repetitive, but I was just trying to say that the ADV attitude towards all fansubbers can be partially blamed on the fansubbers themselves. When certain groups (*cough AJ cough*) who distribute licensed material get annoyed at the anime companies and refuse to comply when the companies request for distribution to be stopped, it's gonna leave a bad impression of fansub groups in the minds of the companies. Not that AJ is representative of the entire fansub community; it's just that when companies look at fansubbers, a group like that is what they will see rather than a group that follows the unwritten rules. Of course they'll consider fansubbing groups as something that should be taken down, because they'd see it as possible that any of those groups could get just as arrogant as AJ.

indeed, AJ certainly would be 99% of the fansub community's last choice for representative. they aren't the only ones who keep distributing licensed material though, so it'd be rude to give them all the blame. there are so many who distribute licensed also without a problem... DVD rips, even... kinda' makes you wonder.


Originally Posted by dheu
Anyway, I see your point. Thankfully I think it's only ADV with that strong of a negative opinion about fansubbers. But frankly it's just not something that can be blamed entirely on the companies, because many fansubbers willfully ignore the legality of sharing licensed material. It is the arrogance of these certain fansubbing groups that might end up bringing about the destruction of the whole community.
it sure seems -atleast- that ADV is the only one taking much forceful action towards fansubbing, which says alot about ADV when considering that they are one of the most wealthy US anime distribution companies around...
Originally Posted by dheu
Wasn't Geneon the one who made the request that ended up closing down anime.mircx.com, when they asked for Champloo to be removed? Or it was probably ADV. Hmmm... nevermind.
almost positive that was ADV as well.


Originally Posted by Shadow War
I don't believe that US companies will ever think it is ok. But they can't shut down fansubbing 100%.
There are always ways to get something if you know where to get it...

I just wish some of the long running series(Like Naruto) would be licenced already.
One Piece and InuYasha are both licensed, and they're still being fansubbed and nothing's being done about it. i wish Naruto would be licensed too, though... by ADV even... i'd really like to see them bust down on that one!

it's true, i'm also a strong believer that the people will always find a way. it's extremely important that people do, too. because no matter how legal or illegal it may be, it's most certainly crucial. anime would be nowhere it is today if it weren't for fansubbing and it wouldn't be doing so well if it weren't for fansubbing - yes, i boldly believe that. the online anime community has become a major portion of anime consumers...

i bet if we could get ahold of statistics, we'd find a hell of alot of evidence to promote the use and distrobution of fansubs. hell, i know if i couldn't download something before purchasing it, i'd buy a WHOLE LOT LESS anime than i do. in fact, (save Escaflowne and Now & Then Here & There) every purchase i have made without viewing the anime first, i have been unhappy with. based on that alone, i would buy a WHOLE LOT LESS.



Originally Posted by raynebc
Just like stated before, ADV has no legal basis to go against fansubs of something they personally haven't licensed. They'd have to bring it to the attention of the rightful owner (a company in Japan, if it's a "respectful" fansub), which of course will probably be allowed to continue, because it's good for promoting overseas.

It sounds like ADV's attitude is way out of line, like they treat it like file-sharing. But fansubbing has been going on long before the war against file sharing, so it's not the same at all. Once ADV licenses a title, then and only then do they have any right to say jack ----.

All the anime I own I had heard about from word of mouth, or seeing fansubs. If American companies want to see more revenues, they could also look into merchandising on a larger scale, especially domesticated soundtracks. There should be a somewhat decent market, and they could expand their production to what is needed.
i'd have to agree, that they do treat it like filesharing. like they said: you should assume it's licensed because just about everything is now days. better merchandising would be awesome... instead of having to import or purchase bootleg wallscrolls and artbooks and statues and nik-nacs the such... domesticated soundtracks is becoming less and less of a problem though. i've always wanted embroidered patches for backpacks and the such. more apparel would be nice though... especially if they'd stop assuming every anime fan is L-XXL (bastards).
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Old 14-08-2004, 11:21 PM   #13   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by heart havok
it's true, i'm also a strong believer that the people will always find a way. it's extremely important that people do, too. because no matter how legal or illegal it may be, it's most certainly crucial. anime would be nowhere it is today if it weren't for fansubbing and it wouldn't be doing so well if it weren't for fansubbing - yes, i boldly believe that. the online anime community has become a major portion of anime consumers...
How crucial are fansubs anymore? In the beginning, fansubs were a replacement for the non-existent commercial industry. But now, so much stuff is being licensed that you no longer really have to depend on fansubs to get your anime. Perhaps it is only impatience now, rather than necessity, that makes fansubbing so important. The desire to be in the loop with what's coming out right this moment. About 97% of the anime I own, I bought without having seen an episode beforehand, and I've only been disappointed occasionally. Fansubbing isn't really necessary to finding good anime.

Sure, in the early days it was very important to creating the fanbase. But now, anime can be found on TV, and in most stores that sell dvds. It's no longer the underground, cult phenomenon. I don't see the anime industry stalling if no one was able to watch fansubs, not now that it's come so far.

That said, I'd hate it if any company did anything to prevent unlicensed anime from being fansubbed. Licensed anime, sure. But unlicensed, heck no. There's no legal right for an American company to stop it. And the ADV comment about assuming most anime is licensed even though it's not announced is absurd. If no announcement has been made, it's sheer idiocy to think that people are just going to assume that it's off-limits. Gah.
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Old 15-08-2004, 06:58 AM   #14   [permalink]
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But not everyone lives in the US. We can't watch anime on the television, as there aren't any that airs on television. And we can't go down to the local videostore and browse, as they don't carry anime. So we're still dependant on fansubs: To know what is out there and certainly to know if they're worth the expense of importing.
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Old 15-08-2004, 12:08 PM   #15   [permalink]
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That's something ADV wasn't thinking about. What about the countries with a very small market for anime? Without fansubs, those otherwise would-be otaku would have no exposure to anime, and wouldn't buy very much if it did get licensed eventually. Somebody needs to educate ADV that they aren't up on our golden pedestal, and they aren't the only company that licenses anime. They ought to stop acting like it.
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