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INTEREST: Southeast Asia, India Fans Disproportionately Affected by Pirate Site KissAnime Closure


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AtoMan



Joined: 17 Sep 2012
Posts: 155
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:47 am Reply with quote
As someone with minor experience in the area, I'd add that people have largely moved from physical media, making licensing just one title for a DVD not a financially viable option (and most middleman wholesale services would not consider adding just one title, so you need to have 4 or 5 at least, so you rely on a direct sales in the 'net first). For streaming, you actually need a streaming service, which also means just one title is not enough.
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 252
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:33 am Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
So basically, not only does much of the world expect / rely on US businesses to serve them legally, they rely on the English-language piracy scene to fill their needs as well.


English has the most easy to access catalogs among other language, It's easy to learn the language since it is usually taught in school, plenty of cheap courses, not needing to learn another writing system, and most importantly widely used outside of their native countries. In the case of India and Philipine(and to some extent Malay and Singapore), English is their second (or third) language,

Had English isn't so accessible and easy to learn then people will learn the next most popular language instead. Unlike the US, being multilingual in these countries is actually pretty common. Laughing

xxmsxx wrote:
A country like India or the Philippines has a high percentage of their population as English speakers. I have seen anime subbed or dubbed in Hindi and Tagalog, but suffice to say, these countries are so diverse linguistically, what does "local" even mean when there are 500 languages around? If an Indian or Filipino company wants to stream legal anime, a risk-averse decision would be made to include English translation on top of local languages. This would put it immediately in competition with pre-existing English streams and jeopardize its viability.


They only needs to use their national language. Indonesia has like 700 regional languages but all the imported stuff are only translated in Indonesian as it is the official language and most anime either air in cable or national channel. There are some fandub to some regional language, but mostly done for fun.

Anime movies released in SEA actually have both English and targeted country's language. The quality for the local language translation is usually garbage though and I'm putting it really nicely here (at least the Indonesian one does). Muse Asia recently launched several sister channel for Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thai sub, They'll probably add more later. I can't comment on the sub quality as the videos are region locked and I don't speak the language. The content is the same as their main channel.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:07 pm Reply with quote
In all this discussion of the ethics of personal consumption of pirated media we have lost track of the main issue. Kiss Anime and Kiss Manga were basically criminal organizations. They were taking the creations and work of many others without payment and using it to make money from it. Whether you think it is OK to consume pirated media or not, what they were doing was blatantly immoral and illegal. On that basis they needed to be suppressed. The fact that they may have been unintentionally helping under served areas outside their core audience does not excuse them. It is a shame that many areas are unable to get all the manga and anime they would like, but relying on outright crooks is not the way to go.

I really doubt that they were taken down by the rights holders, at least not directly. If any Japanese or US company had initiated the type of legal effort that such an action would have required it is unlikely it would not have been news. It is much more likely that they fell victim to internal problems. Possibly they were not making that much, or alternately they did make money and decided to cash in before legal or criminal expenses ate it all. Quite possibly one of the principals took all of the money and ran. We are talking about people with an undeveloped or absent ethical sense. The comment on the message boards is most likely a parting shot at an old enemy.

What this whole mess tells me is that the rights holders, both Japanese and US could seriously hurt piracy by simply hitting down all the nails that stick up. If they take out the “for profit” sites on a regular basis and try to keep them off the major search engines they would fix most of the problem. Basically, take away the profit and make piracy inconvenient. Undoubtably there will always be some piracy but if they can keep it retail and not wholesale it would go a long way. Currently piracy of IP is much too easy.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:21 am Reply with quote
xxmsxx wrote:
I am not American, so perhaps I am misunderstanding your viewpoint, but I will give it a go. It appears to me that you think all the anime fans around the world are leeching off US businesses. Has it occurred to you that maybe these US businesses are very successful at capturing a market outside of the US, simply because they are in English?

It's not so much "leeching off US businesses" as it is "placing unrealistic expectations on US businesses." For instance, AnimeLab only streams to the English-speaking, but relatively low-population, territories of Australia and New Zealand, and everyone seems okay with that. I don't see anime viewers from other regions being mad that "AnimeLab blocked this show in my country" or waving the pirate flag at them on every license announcement, the way we see whenever companies like Funimation announce something.

Quote:
A fan's ability to speak English is a pre-existing advantage for an English anime streaming service (doesn't have to US-based). A company licenses a show, translates / dubs it into English and release it to US and Canada. Boom! Right there, targets two audiences with one go. A company has EVERY incentive to release it to as many audiences as possible to bring in the viewership count. Having a great deal of English-speakers in so many countries means an English streaming service can scoop up a decent market share regardless the region. In fact, it can even steal market share from a local language streaming service by providing a wider catalogue and better service (interactive space).


I don't claim to have all the answers. But I have to presume that licenses for underserved countries and less-used languages are going to be less expensive than licenses for English-speaking territories, let alone global licenses. US companies cannot and should not be expected to serve the entire world, no matter how global or universal the English language may be. It's just not their responsibility. If a country like India, with three times the population of the US, can't or won't support local-area services (whether in Hindi, English, or other languages), why should US companies expect to see any more success there? Especially if they encounter cultures and attitudes similar to what roxybudgy describes, as in "No one really bats an eye at piracy (or corruption for that matter) and it's just something that everyone does. Pirate VCDs were on display in plain sight at nigh bazaars, and even my financially-well-off relatives opted to purchase these illegal discs over the much more expensive legit releases." As I understand it, these kinds of attitudes are prevalent in ex-Soviet areas as well. Local companies would be much better equipped to understand and counter (to the extent that it's even possible) these on-the-ground realities than distant US businesses would be.

Quote:
I originally believed that the French-speaking and German-speaking anime community would be profitable enough to support ongoing expansion of their legal anime streaming sites. Alas, I got the "there aren't many titles" again for German streams. This is a sign that they don't have the money to acquire licenses. Turning a profit and staying afloat is possible, fans do go out of their way to support them, but sustained competition with English streams is not something just can be achieved even for more major language streaming services. French streaming services are doing better, but faces similar concerns.


Again, CR didn't have that great of a selection in the US when they first went legal, but they were able to expand because people bought into them. Languages like French and Spanish should have better reach beyond France and Spain, due to their colonial histories in South America, Africa, and elsewhere. Plus, US companies can't simultaneously be neglecting underserved countries so much that viewers feel compelled to pirate and be so dominant and ever-present that they're crowding local companies out of the market.

Maybe non-US viewers might need to subscribe one or more US and/or local services to get something approaching everything they want, but that's the reality for US consumers as well -- we don't get everything for the price of one service, either. But US companies cannot be expected to just flip a switch and treat every locale just like they treat the US in terms of licensing -- there's too many differences in language, income levels, culture, and viewer preferences. A work that might not cause any issues in the US might be considered morally offensive elsewhere; trying to be a global platform and acting as though every country is the same is a good way to get your service banned in some places.

Quote:
Instead of a complex marketplace, not consuming anime at all will be a lot more easy. But that is not the response you are looking for, right?

To be sure, I'm not demanding that residents of underserved areas refrain from consuming anime that isn't legally available to them, or shaming them for pirating. But as you say, it is a complex marketplace, one that won't be untangled by Benevolent Uncle Sam swooping in and solving everything. The US anime anime market went through a series of evolutions before content became as cheaply and conveniently available as it is today, and those evolutions involved anime fans making sacrifices and paying prices that would be considered insanely obscene today. Viewers in other regions might not have to undergo the exact same process, like paying $40 for one episode on VHS, but they shouldn't expect to skip them all, either. That means some combination of supporting local services, even if they are (for now) imperfect, pressuring regional services like Wakanim to add English or other languages (as opposed to only offering Russian in many areas), or supporting US services to show that there is actual economic demand for them. Because if US companies decide to flip that switch, spend a bunch of money treating other fringe markets exactly like the US, and wind up losing money in those areas due to piracy, they have to make up those losses with revenues from the core markets.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1607
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:40 am Reply with quote
Throwing a question in a different direction, should it be possible for a person with appropriate credit or debit cards or paypal to purchase a Japanese-language-only anime stream from an authorised streaming service, regardless of where they are located, given that the anime is streamed *somewhere* in the world, and not encounter region restrictions?

It gets trickier with languages, as there are variations in English/Spanish/Portuguese and other languages between different areas, and (for example) someone might want to view a stream with a different area's versions of their language rather than go without intelligible subs/dubs at all.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:57 am Reply with quote
@omiya

What you are requesting would have to come directly from Japan. I simply can't see any non Japanese company expending the resources to provide a Japanese only stream for anime or any other media. I'm not sure what programming would be required to allow select individuals to stream media in an otherwise blocked region but I assume it would be involved. Add to this that it would have to be done by each streaming service individually and it becomes more complex. I really doubt there is a large enough marked for this even if you could find a Japanese company willing.

xxmsxx Wrote:
Quote:
I am not American, so perhaps I am misunderstanding your viewpoint, but I will give it a go. It appears to me that you think all the anime fans around the world are leeching off US businesses. Has it occurred to you that maybe these US businesses are very successful at capturing a market outside of the US, simply because they are in English?


"Markets" are places where you sell your wares. If you are not collecting money for what you are selling, you have not "captured the market". Most us anime companies simply do not have the resources or the incentive to set up in every country to collect revenue. To the extent non North American markets have been "captured" it is by the pirates such as Kiss Anime. They are definitely leeching off US businesses.
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