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Dan42
Chief Encyclopedist


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3331
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:28 pm Reply with quote
I want to come up with a definitive answer for what is the difference between "Distributor" and "Licensed by". My original (somewhat arbitrary) interpretation was that the licensee (licensed by) held the rights and the distributor (released by) was the name on the packaging. But we need a firm policy on the matter, something more concrete than my personal gut feelings.

And I want to base that policy on actual usage of the Encyclopedia rather than a technically "correct" interpretation of the terms that would require a ton of info to be fixed. If the most common usage differs from my original interpretation... whatever requires the least fixing is the correct definition. So based, on your daily usage of the Encyclopedia, what do you think is the general de facto usage for
* Distributor
* Released by
* (others?)

Additionally I will be modifying the Encyclopedia to let anyone submit the "Licensed by" task. Then editors must validate the info (set it to "True") in order to have titles bolded.

Some previous discussion on that topic:
animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1408832
animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=41458
(yes, this problem has been around a while)
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octopodpie
ANN Associate Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 952
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:47 pm Reply with quote
This is something semi-related and hasn't been resolved, so piggyback.

There are cases where the "licensed by" credit was used with the disambiguation of "soundtrack." However, this disambiguation does not show up if you're on the company page. I think in cases like this, either "soundtrack" itself needs to be its own entry (as it is in some cases) or the disambiguation needs to be visible on the company page:

animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4314975&highlight=licensed+soundtrack#4314975
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DerekTheRed
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Joined: 19 Dec 2007
Posts: 3426
Location: ::Points to hand::

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:00 pm Reply with quote
I think Licensed by is currently being used as what you described, Dan. But in modern anime, shows can end up streaming and never get a physical release. Technically, I think these streaming companies did "License" the shows for streaming, but in cases where a physical disk never materializes, I don't think a Licensed by credit ever shows up. And I think this is good. We have an Internet Streaming task that we can use in situations like this.

I think Distributed/Released/Published are all synonymous. In cases where one company does both, I suspect most people never bother with entering a Distrubitor/Publisher/Releaser credit. For example, the nearest DVD box to me is Katanagatari. It says "Licensed to and published by NIS America Inc." The same would be true of Funimation stuff because they use the same company to handle everything. However, neo-ADV split into a bunch of companies. So when people get their Sentai disk and they see that it says it was distributed by Section 23, they do go ahead and enter that credit because it looks different, like new information.
[/twocents]
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dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9629
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:21 pm Reply with quote
I'm not quite sure how things work in North America, but in Japan and Taiwan the task "Distributor" for movies (animated or not) can be very different from a "Licensee." For example, Toho and Shochiku are the two Japanese movie distributors most often associated with theatrical releases of anime movies. On the other hand, some movie distributors in Taiwan have very little connections with anime industry and don't even have an official English title, making it impossible for me to enter their information.
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Dessa



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 2931

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:23 pm Reply with quote
I would say that we need 3 distinct jobs, although they often would overlap.

Licensed by: This is the person who holds the license/rights for translating/dubbing/subtitling/whatever.

Distributor: AKA "released by", but I think "Distributor" is the more professional-sounding name. This is whomever is releasing the physical media. Often it'll be the same as Licensed by, but not always.

Internet Streaming: This would be whomever is streaming the series. For some cases, this would be the same person, but not always.


For shows like Psycho-Pass, FUNimation would be credited for all three. Distributor could also be left blank if Licensed by and Distributor are the same.

For shows like Gundam, RightStuf wouldn't be listed as Licensed by, but would as Distributor. I'm not sure where we'd stand on Sunrise being the Licensed by in that case, however, since they're just directly releasing it in the US.

Another case of Licensed by/Distributor being different would be Tokyopop (Licensed by) and RightStuf (Distributor) for the Hetalia manga.

For Internet Streaming, it seems that a lot of shows are licensed for streaming-only. Yes, it's still a license, but, as Dan said, we're going less for the "official" meaning, and more for the meaning needed for the Encyclopedia. And since there's often multiple companies/sites that stream the same series, even from the same Licensed by (such as Aniplex of America stuff being all over the place), it definitely makes more sense to leave the Licensed by/Distributor credits for physical releases, and Internet Streaming as its own thing.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 6207
Location: Wales

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:22 am Reply with quote
Will there be a report that shows unconfirmed "licensed by"s?

As a clearcut example, every anime licensed in English by Kaze (aka Viz Media Europe based in France) (Kaze UK or more accurately Kaze with the precision (UK)) is distributed in the UK by Manga Entertainment.

Most if not all other Manga UK titles are licensed direct from Japan or sub-licensed from America. I would consider all these titles "licensed" by Manga rather than distributed.

As a vaguer example, the 101 Anime label distributes titles owned by ADV. 101 Films is basically part of Lace Digital who distributed for ADV UK and, for a short time, directly for ADV US. Whether they'd be considered a licensor or distributor for the UK is unclear. For that matter, a lot of ADV UK licenses were included with the US license so were actually held in the US (I imagine the only exceptions would be shows that weren't released by ADV in the US like Last Exile).
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Dan42
Chief Encyclopedist


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3331
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:08 am Reply with quote
Shiroi Hane wrote:
Will there be a report that shows unconfirmed "licensed by"s?

Yes

Shiroi Hane wrote:
As a clearcut example, every anime licensed in English by Kaze (aka Viz Media Europe based in France) (Kaze UK or more accurately Kaze with the precision (UK)) is distributed in the UK by Manga Entertainment.

You mean that the name on the packaging is Manga Entertainment? Or Kaze is just using Manga Entertainment's distribution chain?
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Dan42
Chief Encyclopedist


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3331
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:21 am Reply with quote
dormcat wrote:
I'm not quite sure how things work in North America, but in Japan and Taiwan the task "Distributor" for movies (animated or not) can be very different from a "Licensee." For example, Toho and Shochiku are the two Japanese movie distributors most often associated with theatrical releases of anime movies.

Yes, that's the other definition of "distributor", some might even say the correct one. In that definition, the distributor is the one in charge of getting the product from factory to consumers, taking care of distribution channels. It's purely a logistic job and as such their name is not strongly associated to the product.
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Dan42
Chief Encyclopedist


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3331
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Internet Streaming
Whomever has a license to stream the series online. It's useful to keep this separate from the other definitions which are usually understood to be for physical media.

Licensee / Licensed by
This is the company who holds the license/rights to publish the anime on physical media in a different country than Japan.

Publisher / Released by
The brand/name on the packaging, often the same as the licensee but sometimes different. "Publisher" is more commonly associated with books.

Distributor
* sometimes a synonym for Publisher, like Anime Works (distro for Media Blasters)
* sometimes the company that handles logistics, like Section 23 (distro for Sentai Filmworks)


These two conflicting definitions of Distributor should probably be resolved. Or we can just leave it vague and people can use "Distributor" to mean whatever they want?
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 6207
Location: Wales

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:32 pm Reply with quote
Dan42 wrote:
Shiroi Hane wrote:
As a clearcut example, every anime licensed in English by Kaze (aka Viz Media Europe based in France) (Kaze UK or more accurately Kaze with the precision (UK)) is distributed in the UK by Manga Entertainment.

You mean that the name on the packaging is Manga Entertainment? Or Kaze is just using Manga Entertainment's distribution chain?

Ah, well. Both.
Before VME bought Kaze, titles like Bleach were distributed (and possible also manufactured?) by Manga with Manga EANs and SKUs.
After Kaze decided to enter the UK themselves their titles were distributed by Manga with Kaze EANs and SKUs and with both companies logos on the packaging.
Recently, while Manga is still distributed what little still trickles out from them (always late), Manga's logos are no longer on the packaging. The uncharitable might say it is because they always manage to mess something up and Manga don't want their name associated with them....
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Dan42
Chief Encyclopedist


Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3331
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:34 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
This is something semi-related and hasn't been resolved, so piggyback.

There are cases where the "licensed by" credit was used with the disambiguation of "soundtrack." However, this disambiguation does not show up if you're on the company page.

Now it does Smile
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