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Japanese Voice Actors Sue Studio

posted on 2003-11-07 13:21 EST
360 Voice Actors Receive 87 Million Yen Compensation

Roughly 360 voice actors who sued Nippon Animation Ltd. and Onkyo Eizo System have been awarded 87 million yen (US$796 000) in compensation for unpaid royalties. The lawsuit stems from royalties that the studios are supposed to pay to voice actors when shows that they have worked on are released on video format.

The Japanese Actors Union has an agreement with recording studios that outlines voice actors compensation at the time of recording as well as extra compensation (or usage fees) to be paid under various circumstances including video release.

Nippon Animation released thirty one anime TV series on DVD, but the voice actors did not receive their due compensation. The series in question were produced by Nippon Animation Ltd. but recorded at its subsidiary, Onkyo Eizo System. The presiding judge dismissed the lawsuit against Nippon Animation stating that the voice actors compensation was the sole responsibility of the recording studio. However the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in their lawsuit against Onkyo Eizo System and ordered the company to pay them compensation.

The lawsuit took four years to resolve. Masako Nozawa, best known in North America for her role as Son Goku in Dragon Ball Z was among the 360 actors.

This article has a follow-up: Voice Actors win Second Round of Lawsuits (2004-08-30 11:10)
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