Anime: Buying it?

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Anime: Buying it?

Post  Yordy on Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:50 pm

One of the topics always sparking up a bunch of controversy is the age old debate of wether you buy your anime, or download it....

Personally, I always buy my anime, with the exception of some new series I want to follow as soon as they air, but I always buy them after (Gundam 00 is a good example).

With the risk of offending people I do believe that by downloading licensed anime shows, you damage the anime industry outside of Japan. I have no issues with people downloading anime that has not been licensed outside of Japan, since that is not available in any other way, but as soon as a localized copy exists, my opinion is you should pay for your copy.

Of course, not everyone has the financial means to buy everything that comes out, but with the new trend of releasing everything as a full season box set for $30 or less, it should be possible for everyone to buy (at least part of) their anime. And in the US, you get anime on TV, and you get streams from the licensors of older series (like Code Geass and Gundam 00), so you can check the series out, and then decide if you want to buy it.

I would really like to hear your thoughts and opinions on this.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Mitsugi on Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:51 pm

It's a shame but unfortunately the US anime industry has been a "rotting corpse" for awhile. As a person 3/4 of the way to having an MBA I feel confident discussing that there are a number of factors that have caused companies like ADV to dissolve over the last 5 years. First of all, the economy is terrible. Who in the name of god is going to by anime for $10/episode from FYE when they can rent it from netflix or torrent it? Nobody. I mean it's a nice thought to go ahead and support the industry but doing something like that goes against economic principles of consumerism. People will do whatever they can to satisfy their needs at the best price.

You might want to ask yourself, why are the DVDs $30? Well that's a good question. I imagine that even at that price, companies like ADV were probably not making much of a profit margin. Too many costs are involved. Voice actors, translators, packaging, employee salaries, overhead, and most of all licensing.

Plus, not you have Itunes releasing anime for like $2/episode. Yordy, what are your thoughts on that? Are you ok with paying $2 for an episode off Itunes?

Here are some links for you regarding the anime industry in both the US and Japan.

Anime Industry in Japan

State of the US Industry

Catgirls to the Rescue
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Yordy on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:09 pm

Just a quick reply before going to sleep... :-)

To answer your last question first, no I would not pay $2 per ep on iTunes, but that's because I don't like paying for "nothing"... I would rather pay a little more to get a real disc in a real keepcase than to save some money on vaporware. But that might be me, because I kind of collect DVD's, Blu-Rays etc...

But I don't really agree with the standpoint of anime companies going to shit in the U.S. Looking at how Bandai, Funimation, Aniplex are doing, and how even Geneon is making a comeback, I would say that the companies are doing quite well. Yes, ADV is in pieces, but that's more due to mismanagement than due to their series doing bad. You can only have so many daughter enterprises before your business fails, no matter what business it is.

Also, regarding all the costs, this is true for newer players on the market, but all the established names have got their pipeline down, and will have streamlined that process. Add to this the releases that are only subbed, like some of the older series on for instance the Anime Legends label, you're left with the license, production, advertising (if any) and logistical costs, which are a lot lower than you might expect, especially the production and logistical. Add to this again that licenses often come in packages... You get my drift. :-)

Now I'm not an expert on the situation in the U.S., but I have seen this process end to end for some of the really small (in comparison to the U.S. players) local distributors here in the Netherlands. And the market here is a lot smaller, but still they get buy and make profit...

But I will read your links tomorrow, because I don't know how bad the economy in the U.S. really is. I had the impression it was not too bad, or at least that's what I hear from my American colleagues. Here the economy is actually not impacted that much... (I think I spend like 400 € a month on DVD's, Blu-Rays and games.)

So, I will read your links tomorrow. A good night for now!
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Mitsugi on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:52 pm

But I don't really agree with the standpoint of anime companies going to shit in the U.S. Looking at how Bandai, Funimation, Aniplex are doing, and how even Geneon is making a comeback, I would say that the companies are doing quite well.

I really don't mean to be so negative on the issue but the companies are struggling.

4Kids Entertainment has suffered a 59% drop in Q3 2009 revenue from the same period 2008 and has lost $21 million for the first 3 quarters 2009.

4Kids Entertainment

Bandai really isn't a good example. They do a great deal more than anime. You really can't take Bandai's performance as an indication of the anime industry. HOWEVER, if you want me to go there as well, Bandai has suffered a net income drop of 50% since 2007.

Bandai Financials

92% of Funimations 2Q 2009 revenue came from a video game license and NOT anime DVD sales.

Funimation

I'm not sure what else I can do to indicate that the current economic climate is having it's way with the anime industry. Even the largest company in the industry, Bandai, is having a difficult time. I would look for a rebound once the economic climate improves over the next 3 years. Also, look for the US anime industry to be much more consolidated.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Mitsugi on Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:03 pm

I just want to clarify that my position is not in any way an attack on the anime industry. Simply, I'm taking an educated position for the sake of debate. I love the US anime industry.

I personally have mixed feelings about downloading vs buying. I download a great deal of anime for this podcast, most of it isn't licensed in the US because its Japan current, however if anime companies want me to buy the DVDs, they should make the prices more affordable. If they cannot afford to, they need to improve their internal efficiencies to allow for cheaper products.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  The Green Gentleman on Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:15 pm

I rarely buy anime because here in AUS, we only have one company that does any licensing and production of anime (madman) and because of this, it's hard to find any DVDs of suitable region to play at home comfortably. You might say that I could buy a region-free or american region DVD player, but for use solely for anime, this seems excessive. Download always, buy after if I REALLY loved the series, and madman makes it.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Plixik on Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:30 pm

Almost all the money I've given to the anime industry has been on everything except the actual anime. I haven't bought anything in a long time, but i used to spend a bunch of useless things like figures, cards, posters, shirts, manga, and all that garbage(which is where it all is now). Since that stuff doesn't really appeal to me anymore I honestly don't see how they're going to get any of my money since most of the anime I watch is online. If i had to pay to watch anime then I would just not watch it. I have to pay for video games and I almost never buy those. If I'm not going to buy games, the thing I'm going into a career for then I really can't see wasting away money on anime. This could just be because I'm in college and I have no money, but I'm pretty content with not buying anything.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Dark Lord Xabrin on Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:58 pm

I think It should be alright to download the first few episodes of an anime to see if you like it. After all no one wants to pay for shell fish and then find out that they are allergic. I downloaded death note and code geass but I am buying the dvds as I find them.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Dark Lord Xabrin on Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:01 pm

Plixik wrote:Almost all the money I've given to the anime industry has been on everything except the actual anime. I haven't bought anything in a long time, but i used to spend a bunch of useless things like figures, cards, posters, shirts, manga, and all that garbage(which is where it all is now). Since that stuff doesn't really appeal to me anymore I honestly don't see how they're going to get any of my money since most of the anime I watch is online. If i had to pay to watch anime then I would just not watch it. I have to pay for video games and I almost never buy those. If I'm not going to buy games, the thing I'm going into a career for then I really can't see wasting away money on anime. This could just be because I'm in college and I have no money, but I'm pretty content with not buying anything.

Wait, does that mean you're doing game design. I'm doing that next year at Qantm. Which Uni are you at that does it.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Plixik on Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:21 pm

Dark Lord Xabrin wrote:
Wait, does that mean you're doing game design. I'm doing that next year at Qantm. Which Uni are you at that does it.

I go to the art institute of pittsburgh. I'm doing game art with some design thrown in there as well. Are you going specifically for design or art/programming?

and to stay on topic, that buying anime is some pretty crazy stuff. all expensive and what not...
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  bakuhasu on Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:10 pm

I feel guilty for not buying anime. As for one I get my anime through the godsend of fansubs and that's about it. Since that is the only way I can get it, paying for anime is the lowest of the heap ( not that I support the idea of not paying for anime either). Not only that we (the people) are getting lazier when it comes to anime.
I think people who call themselves Anime Addicts who watch only 5 shows of the whole genre won't buy anime at all.... Through the internet and now sites like youtube and veoh provide not only anime but streaming anime, anime is pretty much on demand and above all free...

About my say on these things. I think that it's good to support the anime industry but its also hard at the same time coughing up maybe $40- $60 dollars for a box set. Physical media to me is pretty useless. I won't watch it everyday and the boxes will collect dust. What I am saying here is that I am not a rich person ( games nowadays now cost alot) and would like to invest in something that I would use and remember throughout the rest of my life. But coming to this forum and listening to Podcast like Gundamn! (not promoting them) and AAA really made me want to invest in anime in physical media. I know I am going everywhere without making a point. I just want to give my view on these things....

O and if they made Clannad and Clannad After Story for Blu Ray, the buying will start there.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Saber on Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:15 am

Yordy wrote: have no issues with people downloading anime that has not been licensed outside of Japan, since that is not available in any other way, but as soon as a localized copy exists, my opinion is you should pay for your copy.

The issue here is that downloading anime that's not liscensed in the US or your native region does still hurt the industry market. The most important market of them all: The one that makes it, Japan.

Technically it's just as bad or even worse than downloading anime that's available for buying in your region. Be aware that most of the raws you find on torrent sites like TokyoTosho and Co have been recorded and uploaded by native Japanese people. The Japanese of course don't need subtitles since they, obviously, understand Japanese. The fansub groups grab those raws and seed them in the process, thus also allowing more Japanese to download them instead of buying the (much overpriced) DVDs later on. Not to mention that the Japanese industry is wholeheartedly afraid of re-imports from North America and Europe because the DVDs there cost less than in Japan itself and usually has more episodes on them. This fear goes so far that some license holders will not allow the companies they give the liscenses to to produce DVDs where you cannot switch off subtitles when watching the original Japanese audio.

No matter how people want to justify it, from my point of view, downloading in general hurts the industry, no matter if the anime/movie/video game in question has already been licensed or not.

---

Mitsugi wrote:It's a shame but unfortunately the US anime industry has been a "rotting corpse" for awhile.

If that's the case for the American industry, I have trouble coming up with an adequate description for the German market. I'm getting most of my stuff from the US market these days, simply because American DVDs by comparison have higher standards than what I can get here. If the American industry dies, it's Game Over I'm afraid. Which means more people in the US should "donate" their money to FUNimation. The way I see it, they derserve every cent.

First of all, the economy is terrible. Who in the name of god is going to by anime for $10/episode from FYE when they can rent it from netflix or torrent it? Nobody.

Well, the Japanese at least seem to have no trouble buying DVDs of Suzumiya Haruhi's Endless Eight with 2 episodes on it for the equivalent of $45. It all comes down to how hardcore of a fan you are I guess. Being a fan of Japanese animation these days is something you can't do on the side. Well, some people do it that way I believe, but most of them don't. This stuff consumes so much time and money, you get either completely swallowed by it or you leave it be. It's a downward spiral no matter what.

The big question is, just how much is a single episode of an anime series of your choosing really worth? I can't stand hearing so many people bitch about the prices anymore. People keep forgetting that the people who actually make this stuff need to pay their rents and food with this, and animators in Japan have been underpaid for years if not decades. It's hard to make a living doing anime, most animators these days stay in the industry because they actually LIKE doing anime, despite it becoming less and less lucrative. You can't sell major anime series for 70 Cents an episode, people will starve. Anime fans seem to forget that there's actually people behind the stuff they download. These people need money in order to survive.

Perhaps it's special for me because I'm not American, but comparing prices between what anime costs here and what anime costs in the US, it's like freaking paradise.

To give a proper example:

CODE GEASS - Lelouch of the Rebellion Part I, American Release by Bandai Entertainment
$29,99 - that's roughly 20 bucks here, for 9 episodes.

CODE GEASS - Lelouch of the Rebellion Box I, German release by KAZÉ (formerly known as Anime-Virtual)
35,95€ (used to be 5 to 10€ more when it came out last week) - that's $54, for the same amount of episodes, without the picture dramas but with the booklets that only come in the US limited edition

Seeing the difference?

---

As for the mentioned thing of buying digital copies of shows on iTunes or various other on-demand platforms, I personally would not do that if I could, simply because I want something in my shelf for display.

---

4Kids Entertainment has suffered a 59% drop in Q3 2009 revenue from the same period 2008 and has lost $21 million for the first 3 quarters 2009.

Nobody's gonna buy shit from 4Kids Entertainment anymore, people have finally begun to realize what kind of terrible quality they tend to release. Seriously, who was NOT relieved when FUNimation picked up One Piece from them and started doing it uncut, huh?

HOWEVER, if you want me to go there as well, Bandai has suffered a net income drop of 50% since 2007.

I would say this is also due to all the changes that have been going on at that time. IIRC, Bandai-Visual was still around at that time and they were still pricing stuff like hell, thus most likely also sullying whatever reputation Bandai Entertainment enjoyed back then. Bandai Entertainment certainly has been beginning to adapt their sale models to the current market, as have most other labels. You rarely see someone releasing anime on single volumes anymore, most people have started to go for double DVD sets or season or half-season bricks. In my opinion that's the way to go.

bakuhasu wrote:I think people who call themselves Anime Addicts who watch only 5 shows of the whole genre won't buy anime at all.... Through the internet and now sites like youtube and veoh provide not only anime but streaming anime, anime is pretty much on demand and above all free...

The thing with anime, or anything media related in general (and that does include books as well) is that it is becoming more and more disposable. The urge to re-visit something one has already seen is rapidly decreasing unless it is something that you really love and think of tenderly. I for one rarely rewatch animes or general movies unless I really love them and I can't actually think of any situation in which I've read the same book more than once.

Nowadays people seem to grow more fond of getting something on demand. When you feel like watching this or reading that, order it for the time being and then give it back/throw it away afterwards. Attention spans are also decreasing, people seem to become less fond of actual storytelling or something that requires them to pay attention or develop a meaning of their own. It drives me crazy when I hear that stuff like Ikkitousen is selling like hot pockets over here whereas "more demanding" anime like, say, PLANETES, doesn't sell at all.

---

Now, my situation. I used to do nothing but downloading. But at some point I began to realize that this kind of consumption of something you're supposed to enjoy is wrong in some way or another. There's people who put their hands' hard work into these things as well as their passion and creativity to create a product that is supposed to appeal to people. And then I simply steal it. I think it's not fair. Another thing that made me realize this is when I was going downstairs to our little storage room with the spare fridge. In there, my dad literally has a wall full of DVDs standing there. And almost none of them are genuine products. It's mostly stuff he's recorded off television and then printed out the DVD cover for them he found on the internet. It made me sick to look at it. Over time, I've thrown out all DVDs of that kind I had in my room and replaced them with the real thing.

I know a lot of people hold the opinion that buying DVDs will only result in them catching the dust because they are used to rarely and take up space etc, but seriously, what's the alternative? That's right, emptiness. The shelves will either remain unuccupied or they get filled with other stuff which will catch dust.

I for one love having elaborate boxsets and DVDs on my shelves. While I may not be so comfortable with non-anime fans coming into my room, it at least means something to me. Perhaps I'm with the oddball faction when compared to the general anime-watching crowd, but this stuff has become part of my life and I want that to be visible and I mean not in the kind of way by just pointing at the full GBs on my notebook and external harddrives or stockpiles of self-burned DVDs on which I've scribbled the contents on with some marker.

I still download stuff, I will by no means deny that. But I'm still buying stuff as well. And I buy a freaking lot, probably a lot more than the average anime crowd. I've become an actual otaku. If I like something, what reason is that not to buy it? Because there's free, illegal subtitled versions of it on the internet? And what if the internet would never had been invented? What would be the excuse then? Good entertainment deserves to be paid for.

People tend to say "You don't owe these people anything." I reply to these people
"That's the problem in this current day and age. Everyone thinks everything's for free. When the day comes when everything is for free, it's not gonna hold any value anymore."

How is economy supposed to work when you enjoy the goods without having paid the people who made the goods in the first place? If you don't pay them, there will be no more goods produced. And people WILL want more goods, and the goods are supposed to be good. If you don't pay, what reason would the people making the stuff have to keep making them, if making them won't help them pay their rent anymore?

Working just for the fun of it won't fill up your stomach.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Plixik on Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:05 am

My issue isn't that I don't think they deserve money or that I'm not willing to give them any money. The problem is that the price they ask for is too much. If i finished watching a good series for free and there was a paypal donate button there, I would give them whatever i thought it was worth. I realize I could finish watching a series and go buy whatever amount of episodes i feel they deserve the money for, but that is out of my way and I don't want the DVDs anyways. I'd just throw them in the trash. They should stream more ad filled animes like hulu does and make money that way. Everyone else streams their shows online and that is where i watch most of my shows. If I didn't have a free source of watching anime then I probably wouldn't even care about it anymore.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  lamperouge98 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:01 am

I like the idea of the donate button. If I had had to pay the full $30.00 for Dragonaut-The Resonance I wouldn't have partaken in that particular piece of terribleness. Also, I wouldn't still be watching Kampfer (sorry for no umlaut). I mean after I saw Eureka seveN on [adult swim] and it had run its course, I said wow, i want that and bought the whole show. Same for Code Geass first season and I'll get to R2 in a little while. But that's because those were really good and worth what I paid for them. But I'm an internet guy. I don't use torrents, but I do have a site that streams episodes from the new fall anime season in Japan. Also, being a freshman in college (I'm at Duquesne, Plixikl, so we're in pretty much the same area), I just don't have the money resources to drop on animes. I wish I did, but it's not in the cards right now. Sad, but true.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  bakuhasu on Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:19 am

Newcomers to anime will probably learn not to pay for anime. Just because they we're given the luxury of high quality raws with excellent fansubs Oh yeah and they're free. It's not bad.... but if you think about it, it's kinda depressing.

@Saber: excellent discussion we should have this in a upcoming segment for RRFDP
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Saber on Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:28 pm

bakuhasu wrote:@Saber: excellent discussion we should have this in a upcoming segment for RRFDP

Certainly.

Speaking of which, there's still that preparation for the KnK segment that needs to be done, unless you've found other sources in the meantime.
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REVAMP!!

Post  bakuhasu on Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:55 pm

Sorta revamping this topic with a question..

What if something like the government or the anime industry found someway to ban all raw and fansubbed version of anime, how would you guys feel? How would it change the industry in your opinion?


I personally feel that I will slightly be ticked off but what I have been doing all these years such as downloading fansubbed goods isn't necessarily right. Much like.. oh well, might as well look at the wallet. As for the industry, I am more on the decline when it comes to the populous that is enjoying anime. I think that there is probably more than half of the anime viewers in the world who are soo used to not spending a dime when it comes to Japanese animation. That in turn we might see a huge decline in people watching anime and or is introduced to it. But it might change the industry a bit, for some people might have a mindset like me in actually wanting to spend money on anime but don't just because of the convenience of no price is attached.

Something worth mentioning here though I feel like the anime industry outside of japan has it's own cult of people that is willing to pay for it. And I feel like that the industry is "hanging on" into that specific group of people.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Mitsugi on Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:49 am

I can guarantee it would decline the overall viewership. However, it'll never happen because until it's licensed in the US, it's not illegal. There are older shows from the 70's, 80's, and 90's, that STILL aren't licensed.

I personally, if it happened, would probably watch much less anime. I'd rather buy FF13 in stores than get to see 8 episodes of anime. It's 100 hrs of entertainment vs 3 hrs. Easy decision.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Saber on Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:44 am

Mitsugi wrote:I can guarantee it would decline the overall viewership. However, it'll never happen because until it's licensed in the US, it's not illegal. There are older shows from the 70's, 80's, and 90's, that STILL aren't licensed.

It's still illegal no matter what. It' goes as illegal modification of owned property or something like that. However, companies don't really seem to be caring about crap from the 90s and earlier anymore, those titles are old and thus they don't appeal to the modern day audience anymore and those who fansub it are the niche of niche fans. So it's simply overlooked or "tolerated". Probably also because it would be too much of a hassle to C&D those people.

I personally, if it happened, would probably watch much less anime. I'd rather buy FF13 in stores than get to see 8 episodes of anime. It's 100 hrs of entertainment vs 3 hrs. Easy decision.

While there's some truth to what you're saying, it's still pretty sad, isn't it?

What would I do if fansubs were to vanish from the internet from tomorrow onwards? Huh, tough question. While I'm continuing to buy DVDs of animes that I like or am interested in, I'm still pretty much hoarding fansubbed animes on the THREE 500 GB external harddrives I own, so I guess I wouldn't be running out of stuff to watch for the time being. I'm currently downloading some older stuff that I got introduced to via other podcasts and what not, stuff like Fist of the North Star and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. That's both stuff we'll never see getting a proper release outside of Japan.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Mitsugi on Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:33 am

Saber wrote:
Mitsugi wrote:I can guarantee it would decline the overall viewership. However, it'll never happen because until it's licensed in the US, it's not illegal. There are older shows from the 70's, 80's, and 90's, that STILL aren't licensed.

It's still illegal no matter what. It' goes as illegal modification of owned property or something like that. However, companies don't really seem to be caring about crap from the 90s and earlier anymore, those titles are old and thus they don't appeal to the modern day audience anymore and those who fansub it are the niche of niche fans. So it's simply overlooked or "tolerated". Probably also because it would be too much of a hassle to C&D those people.

I personally, if it happened, would probably watch much less anime. I'd rather buy FF13 in stores than get to see 8 episodes of anime. It's 100 hrs of entertainment vs 3 hrs. Easy decision.

While there's some truth to what you're saying, it's still pretty sad, isn't it?

What would I do if fansubs were to vanish from the internet from tomorrow onwards? Huh, tough question. While I'm continuing to buy DVDs of animes that I like or am interested in, I'm still pretty much hoarding fansubbed animes on the THREE 500 GB external harddrives I own, so I guess I wouldn't be running out of stuff to watch for the time being. I'm currently downloading some older stuff that I got introduced to via other podcasts and what not, stuff like Fist of the North Star and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. That's both stuff we'll never see getting a proper release outside of Japan.

Every country has different copyright laws. Under US law, it is not illegal to fansub Japanese anime from inside the USA, if it is NOT YET licensed in the USA and is not sold for money. Fansubs were originally made as a favor to the Japanese anime industry to help disseminate interest in anime throughout the Western world. The unwritten rule of the anime fansubbers is that when the anime they fansub does make it to the USA, then the fansubs have done their job(building interest) and are no longer needed, so they are SUPPOSED to be removed from downloading. The problem is that this does not always happen.

The difference is that when the fansubs are made/downloaded AFTER the anime is finally licensed in the USA.

The Japanese could pursue the fansubbers that sub the anime for them in the USA, however there are 2 points to suggest that this action would not favor them. #1) Why sue somebody who is helping market your product? #2) Because copyright laws are different in the USA and Japan, it's not worthwhile to the Japanese to sue or pursue fansubbers. In the USA, if you do not ACTIVELY defend your copyrights, then you can lose your copyright. In Japan, you do NOT need to defend your copyright to keep it. Therefore, while in the USA you see people suing left and right for copyright, the Japanese normally only sue on copyright issues for big infringements, a category which fansubbers do not fit into.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Saber on Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:36 am

I want to see official describtions of these laws right now.

I don't buy the "fansubs aren't illegal if the subbed material isn't licensed in the US" stuff at all.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Mitsugi on Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:30 pm

Saber, relax. The only offense is to the Japanese copyright holder. I mentioned above the reasons why it isn't pursued.

The Berne Convention is what binds the US and Japanese copyright laws together, although it is not the only treaty to which both are signatories. It enables Japanese companies to persecute people who make unauthorized copies of their works in America and many other countries.

Legally, there is no difference between "fansubs" and "bootlegs". In the eyes of the law, both could be seen as damaging to the market. Regardless of whether or not a title has been technicaly licensed in North America, it is illegal. Lack of enforsement of copyright laws in terms of unlicensed fansubs maybe the result of several different factors. Some companies may believe that the early introduction of the title to North America is beneficial.

Most of these anime companies don't even have enough money to litigate overseas anymore.(I can site financials all day.) I don't think they'll bother going after fansubbers who are essentially making "marketing materials" for the original copyright holder. Building demand pull in America is the only reason that companies like Funimation even look at anime. There are little to no commercial damages in the first place since original Japanese anime isn't sold in nor is it intended for America, Germany, France or any other place. It is intended solely for Japan UNTIL it is licensed(Funimation) elsewhere. At which point, fansubbers stop, traditionally at least.

Here is a link that defines the purpose of fansubs. Fansub's Quest. I will not defend the people who continue to distribute after it is licensed in the US.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Saber on Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:19 pm

Mitsugi wrote:Saber, relax. The only offense is to the Japanese copyright holder. I mentioned above the reasons why it isn't pursued.

For the record, I am relaxed. Thing is that I want to see proof, nothing more. There's all kinds of people on the internet claiming stuff like that, but in most cases, no one bothers to back up what they are saying.

Anyway, what you posted clarified the matter somewhat.

Still, the stuff about fansubs being "marketing material" strikes me out of leftfield. I don't really buy that anymore. Yeah sure, there are people who buy Anime on DVD or Blu-ray after they saw the fansub. I fall into that category, at least when I like the anime in question. I'd have to the filthy rich to buy anything that's coming out and I believe none of us is. Anyway, the point is, most anime "fans" are not like that. Most of them do not spend their money on animes after they've seen them fansubbed. Afterall, they already got the experience for free and could technically watch it all over again with the click of a button, without having to go through the "trouble" of inserting the disc, navigating the menus and what not. It would appear that nowadays people don't really regard this kind of entertainment as having any financial value.

I was having a conversation with my dad about a similiar case just this evening while cleaning the dishes. We were discussing some movies and other the course of the conversation, he brought up the fact that he does not have The Dark Knight. I told him that I owned a copy, to which he replied that he could not copy it. When I asked him why he wouldn't buy it, he said it wasn't worth it. It really got me perplexed when he said that.

Getting back to anime, I don't really see how officials can still claim that fansubs could be used as advertisement for the series or movie in question. I mean sure, it can happen. I doubt The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi would have gotten an American or German release would it not have been for the fansubs. But I doubt that fansubs made it that more profitable. Sure, they will make some money, but aren't they overall losing a lot more money because there's people that like the series, but deem the fansubs to be enough with no intentions of buying the official, liscensed product?

There are little to no commercial damages in the first place since original Japanese anime isn't sold in nor is it intended for America, Germany, France or any other place. It is intended solely for Japan UNTIL it is licensed(Funimation) elsewhere. At which point, fansubbers stop, traditionally at least.

That may be true, but doesn't anime being shared via peer to peer still hurt the Japanese market? The raw anime used as the basis for the fansub encode comes straight from Japan, usually put onto the web by native Japanese people. Western fansub group members download the raw for their group and in turn, while downloading, they also share the file with other people which might very well be other Japanese. And these Japanese then download the raw anime file and keep it, deciding not to buy the official product that would become available later on.
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Mitsugi on Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:23 pm

Some of your points are valid Saber. People may not buy the DVDs after watching the fansubs. Let's just remember that that was not the fansubs intention. The fansubs intention was to regenerate interest in these shows. I blame the people then and not the fansubbers.

If fansubbers didn't tirelessly bring anime to the USA, then anime might not be as permeated into American media as it is. Who know?
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Re: Anime: Buying it?

Post  Rekka on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:00 pm

Well, for me, I don't make an allowance, and only get money during my brithday and christmas, which take place by each other, so if I didn't pirate games and watch free anime, I would only get to see like 10 anime a year, not only that but There would be a huge chunk of the year where I couldn't watch any at all. Of course, While im in flordia (I have no idea why) But last year while channel flipping me and my big brother, who also likes anime, discovered my grandma had the Funimation channel, and for some strange reason, and i'm not making this up, while we were down there every third day I would get sick and just rest on the couch and watch that channel allllll day. Really wierd though, but I have watched some Vic Mignogna panels and I do feel bad for not purchaseing the DVD and Merchindise. However, Its not like I could give them money even If I wanted to, so its not fair that I can't watch the anime. But since I do want to be a voice actor so I do understand how the company must feel, so if I ever do get some money I defentitly will buy some of there stuff, I might even buy some at the Metrocon if I am allowed any money (My grandma is very nice and will usally give my and my brothers money on many occasions while we are down there)

So that is my views on anime downloading =D
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