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INTEREST: German Fans, Anime Firms Launch Anti-Piracy Group


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sam28xk



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:23 pm Reply with quote
cool i wish them the best we really need to support the things we all love so much
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ZeroDemio



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 74
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:33 pm Reply with quote
1. Dude, awsome! I want to be apart of something like that.

2. Wait, what? Viz Media owns KAZE?(The French Kaze as well?)
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giapet
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Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 205
Location: Washington DC
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:41 pm Reply with quote
ZeroDemio wrote:
1. Dude, awsome! I want to be apart of something like that.

2. Wait, what? Viz Media owns KAZE?(The French Kaze as well?)


As per the link in the article, Shogakukan and Shueisha bought the French company Kaze and the German company Anime-Virtual and integrated them under VIZ Media Europe. They're listed on the ACA site as "Anime-Virtual/Kaze" and the Anime-Virtual.de website features the Kaze logo predominantly.
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samuelp
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:04 am Reply with quote
Interesting to note that no actual domestic German anime licensers seem to be a part of this.

Why is that, you ask? Wouldn't the local industry be the number 1 pusher for this sort of initiative?

Edit: After going to their website it seems that a number of domestic licensors are involved, so I retract my question. The article didn't think to mention them, though.

Edit 2: After looking through more carefully, there seem to only be two licensors, Anime-house which seems to be the Nozomi of Germany, releasing really old shows and hardly anything else lately, and Universum which seems to be the only real licensor left...
I guess my original point pretty much stands: I'm not sure who this alliance is trying to save, the local German anime industry is already pretty much dead.
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matrixdude



Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 71
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:38 am Reply with quote
So essentially it's the anime industry with a couple of proxies that aren't supposed to be affiliated with them so that it doesn't look like the industry is trying to do a crackdown? The DDoS attack seems unnecessary. I wish them the best of luck in Europe, but it's like the same problem with the music industry, the companies just don't get it. Find a better way to sell, if that has to be cheaper prices than so be it. You charge prices people don't want to pay, the economy goes bad and you keep the prices high, and nobody will buy it. Honestly, who can afford like $40 a dvd that only has 4 episodes? You can buy a boxset of a TV show of the entire season for $40 anywhere. In the end it comes to hundreds of dollars and nobody wants to pay that. Just look at Kara no Kyoukai's price: $650 for blu-ray boxset. I could buy 10 different shows completely for that price. Was someone high when they picked that price?
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hissatsu01



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 961
Location: NYC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:59 am Reply with quote
matrixdude wrote:
In the end it comes to hundreds of dollars and nobody wants to pay that. Just look at Kara no Kyoukai's price: $650 for blu-ray boxset. I could buy 10 different shows completely for that price. Was someone high when they picked that price?

Oh yeah, no one's going to pay that. I'm sure they're very worried about the KnK box selling at such a high price. I mean it's not as if it's been near the top of Amazon's sales ranking since the moment it became available for preorder.
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Guren Alchemist4



Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Posts: 347
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:33 am Reply with quote
Good to see them trying something. Hopefully, they can have some impact.
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thr



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:00 am Reply with quote
With the greatest respect ... but who gives a damn? No business model, no clue, so let's gather around the fire, sing cheery songs and shout: "Es geht nur gemeinsam!" Whoever thinks that a business today, especially in a niche-niche market like Germany, can be purely based on selling Anime, is clearly off his rocker.
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Fellistowe





PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:45 am Reply with quote
So, is anybody else particularly disgusted by supposed "anime fans" DoS'ing their efforts? Way to show your not just a bunch of self serving leeching pirates, guys Rolling Eyes

thr wrote:
Whoever thinks that a business today, especially in a niche-niche market like Germany, can be purely based on selling Anime, is clearly off his rocker.


But then how do you expect any new forward thinking business developer to come up with that "perfect" business model when they have to compete with a zero cost piracy model?

I happily applaud their efforts; if done right then it can be a very positive thing.
And by done right, I might suggest work with the existing 'positive' fansub community to promote self regulation i.e. sub the stuff if it can't be legally obtained (and industry give them a covert nod), but remove every trace of it once it becomes legal, and positively promote the legal copy (the day a fansub pops up with distro approved adverts on it I'll probably die laughing from irony). Also, shun and crack down on those groups who rip legit media, etc, and let them know we just don't want them in our fanbase anymore.

The more we carry on this "fansub vs industry" mentality then the more confrontational and worse it's all going to get. If we can create a 'give and take' fanbase that supports industry (and yes, guides them to ways we would like to see our anime distributed), yet still has the leeway to fill the holes industry just can't provide (on the understanding we stop when industry can fill those holes), is this not a good thing?

It may be pipe dreaming to some, but all it can take is a group of people in the right place at the right time to get the ball rolling.

Here's hoping for a group formed from ANN, the US distros, and several other 'positive' thinking fan and aggregator sites, all working together to promote both each other and, in the end, the artists.
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J-Head



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:55 am Reply with quote
So, wait a minute. Just making sure, but in addition to companies pursuing copyright enforcement, fans, who are also members of fansub groups, are jumping in to help this cause?

Interesting, but I am not sure about how comfortable I am about the idea of fans deciding what is and isn't ok for other fans to do, though it is better than being bullied by a company. The article states pretty clearly that the group aims to do what they can about licensed series being hosted, but given that there are some people and firms which hold the idea that anime, even if unlicensed, should only be available if a company brings it over, I cannot help but wonder how successful or focused the group's efforts may continue to be.

Of course, we will probably have forgotten all about them in a month. Also, Germany's anime industry isn't as, I guess "robust" would be the word, as that of the U.S., and given the number of out-of-print or expensive titles, some piracy may be, at least in my opinion, justified.
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 2047
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:51 am Reply with quote
If they manage to wipe out those stupid AMV's, then i'm all for it.

Then again, i'm still pondering if I should even bother with getting an E-Reader despite the fact that their is virtually NO Licensed Manga to download that I want. Heck, even the Fansubs don't do .pdf formats.

Support the industry.......Feel the industry has forsaken me. Choices, choices.
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thr



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:34 am Reply with quote
Quote:
But then how do you expect any new forward thinking business developer to come up with that "perfect" business model when they have to compete with a zero cost piracy model?

That's quite simple. I don't. Illegal Acquisition of Anime won't go away, even if the whole lot of Japanese Anime would be streamed online and worldwide at no cost by its creators/distributors day and date with the Japanese TV airing. And herein lies the problem. Licencors in foreign countries can only sell Anime and nothing else. But many Japanese shows are effectively just big campaigns for merchandise that can't be copied easily.
Quote:
And by done right, I might suggest work with the existing 'positive' fansub community to promote self regulation i.e. sub the stuff if it can't be legally obtained (and industry give them a covert nod), but remove every trace of it once it becomes legal, and positively promote the legal copy (the day a fansub pops up with distro approved adverts on it I'll probably die laughing from irony).

There is no positive fansubbing. Once it's out there, it's out there. That's the difference between Internet-enhanced fansubbing and fansubbing from the VHS era. IRC, Usenet, Torrents, Rapidshare and Co., it'll be always somewhere. Fansubbing means ignoring the Japanese creators' rights. It's as simple as that.
Quote:
Also, shun and crack down on those groups who rip legit media, etc, and let them know we just don't want them in our fanbase anymore.

And that's gonna help how?
Quote:
If we can create a 'give and take' fanbase that supports industry ..

Well, how's that supposed to work? You can get a RAW as soon as half an hour after a show has aired. Often it comes with Japanese subs. If the show's popular enough a decent sub will be out very soon. There simply isn't a need to give in this day and age.

Quite frankly, IMO the business of licensing Anime is dead. As I implied earlier, Japanese companies should concentrate on selling/licensing to foreign distributors the stuff that just can't be easily copied.

EDIT: And look no further than to a very high profile title to see how the Anime industry fails. Supposedly Bandai has bought the rights to K-ON! This show is now over one year old, K-ON!! is very soon finishing its run in Japan, yet there isn't anything to be heard about an impending release. I'm sure Licensing is a hard business, but either you can do it or you can't. If a popular show like this is delayed for more than a year, you simply can't believe that people have not watched it by other means. And if Anime is indeed more of a consumable than a collectible today, then you shouldn't expect that your sales will explode.
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Fellistowe





PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:34 am Reply with quote
thr wrote:
There is no positive fansubbing. Once it's out there, it's out there. That's the difference between Internet-enhanced fansubbing and fansubbing from the VHS era. IRC, Usenet, Torrents, Rapidshare and Co., it'll be always somewhere. Fansubbing means ignoring the Japanese creators' rights. It's as simple as that.


Then how come one of those arguments that keeps on being put forward for fansubs is that they help getting the title known, etc?
It seems to be the holy grail for fansub watchers that "they wouldn't have bought XXXX title if they hadn't watched the fansub first."
From personal experience, I would also agree with that statement; much of the $15k worth of anime I have wouldn't have been bought if I hadn't seen the series by some means first. No point having it on my hard drive when I own the DVD though.
But this has to be balanced by the next bit....

Quote:
And that's gonna help how?.... Well, how's that supposed to work? You can get a RAW as soon as half an hour after a show has aired. Often it comes with Japanese subs. If the show's popular enough a decent sub will be out very soon. There simply isn't a need to give in this day and age.


Well, if you want to be a completely emotionless consumer about things, then yes there is no need. What I'm on about though is the attitude of the 'fan' being supportive.

Most of us who watch anime call ourselves 'fans'. We refer to 'the fanbase'. Fans are supportive of the medium which they love. Why do you think so many of us go mad for big artbooks and fancy DVD boxes and extras? Becaused it's something we love and want to have.
Most of us as well recognise you have to give back if you want the industry to survive (both here in the west, and most especially in Japan). Money has to flow if you want to watch anime; lots more money has to flow if you want to watch better quality stuff!

However, we've gotten ourself (through whatever justifications we wish to use) to a state where piracy is destroying the industry because we are doing a heck of a lot of taking and very little giving back.
So why shouldn't it fall to the fans to help get things back on track?
Why shouldn't we act responsibly to the medium we supposedly love? And I'm not talking about being 100% positive to the letter of the law (very few humans are built like that), but it's at least knowing when you're taking too much and have to give something back. The industry may be far from perfect, but I'd prefer to have it around and give it the chance to evolve rather than have nothing at all.

If all of this is a concept too hard for most people to understand, well, makes me feel just a bit more cynical about being a human being.
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thr



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:45 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Then how come one of those arguments that keeps on being put forward for fansubs is that they help getting the title known, etc?

I don't know. It's not my argument and I've never used it.
Quote:
Well, if you want to be a completely emotionless consumer about things, then yes there is no need. What I'm on about though is the attitude of the 'fan' being supportive.

I think you're misunderstanding me.
Quote:
Most of us who watch anime call ourselves 'fans'. We refer to 'the fanbase'. Fans are supportive of the medium which they love. Why do you think so many of us go mad for big artbooks and fancy DVD boxes and extras? Becaused it's something we love and want to have.

But that's exactly the point. The Anime industry in the western countries is chiefly built upon selling Anime. They're trying to monetize the one thing which, in this digital age, has only a greatly diminished monetary value! In Japan the Anime itself is complemented by a vast ecosystem of merchandise. It's child's play to download a high quality version of K-ON! But you have to pay up if you want K-ON! Nendoroid Figurines from Good Smile Company.

I think there's quite enough room for emotional attachment, even for emotionless downloaders. If such a person buys merchandise, it's a win for the creator. I'm not arguing that one shouldn't appreciate Anime anymore. It's just that the business model of licensing and distributing Anime in a foreign country isn't particularly well suited for times like these.


Last edited by thr on Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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J-Head



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:45 am Reply with quote
I remember when fansubbing was the best thing to happen to the American anime market. If you check the old archives of ANN, you fan find "Fansub Updates" or something like that. But, the times have changed, and reasonably so.

Fellistowe wrote:
If all of this is a concept too hard for most people to understand, well, makes me feel just a bit more cynical about being a human being.

Not trying to be a jerk, but that kind of statement amounts to "if you don't agree with me, well you are just dumb/a bad human/whatever." I'm sure that isn't what you mean, but that sort of statement makes it less likely for someone to want to see your point.

As an anime fan who does care about the industry but also thinks anime companies will ultimately be forced to update their practices, I can easily see both sides and ultimately reside within a nice composite, personal solution. I say "personal" because, ultimately, we can post on message boards all we want about this, but the only actions we can really control are our own. We may influence others, but we cannot hold that as expected.

Unlike many of the people found online and the CEO of Bang Zoom, I do not believe that the anime industry is in dire straits, at least not more than any other entertainment industry. Anime itself, is not going anywhere. It is an expected and appreciated aspect of Japanese pop culture, and as long as it is around, Americans and non-Japanese will manage to see it (it worked in the 80s and 90s!). However, the overseas industry is important and provides a method to give back, in addition to granting our ability as both consumers and fans to "vote" with our dollar.

I am currently in Japan, and I have learned two very important things in regard to the anime industry: 1) DVDs and any physical medium upon which anime can be bought are incredibly expensive. $60 for three episodes of SZS? Hell no. But, that leads me to 2) A surprising number of Japanese fans just buy and import the American releases (assuming Japanese audio is intact, as it mostly is nowdays) due to the significantly lessened cost for more. As long as releases here remain expensive, you can bet that many Japanese fans will either download it all or keep supporting the American industry.

"We" have gotten greedy at times, but "we" aren't the only ones who have gotten us "here." The market was flooded with bad titles in North America by companies who licensed anything and everything, because they had the resources to do so, and it came back to bit them when demand was not as expected (and the recession began to affect everyone). Some companies folded, others began bitching and blaming fans, and others got over it and started working on alternatives. They have to understand how to play this relatively young, niche market intelligently, and some fans need to support the industry more than they perhaps have.

But this "WE MUST GIVE BACK" thing has easily become one of the most annoying attitudes in fandom. The people who are reading the calls for consumerism, despite their answer, probably contribute in some way, even if DVD/BD sales are not included. The people who read obviously licensed manga and watch obviously licensed anime without giving back at all could probably care less what some German Fansub group or a choir of ANN Message Board posters have to say.

Furthermore, few fans simply do not "give back." I knew kids at a local library who read the Naruto manga every day on one of those annoying manga sites. Who knows if they bought it later? But I do know that they bought plushies, headbands, and keychains come convention time! I am not certain how much money companies make off of disc sales, but if they are anything like the music industry, it isn't much; most of the revenue comes from merch and licensing rights.

Long post, I know, but I guess I am tired of the needless panic. It will be ok. Even though I want the American anime industry to be fine and I will do what I can, as long as anime exists, it will be available somehow. The late 80s and 90s proved that, and the internet wasn't a medium for anime sharing at the time.

One little note relevant to the German thing, though: I have a friend who (I think) owns Cowboy Bebop on DVD as I do, but downloads the German dubbed version in an attempt to better her German. Now that's an odd situation to apply to any set of consumer morals.
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