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NEWS: Video Site with Unauthorized Anime Gets US$4M Capital


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zetsuie



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 193
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:44 pm Reply with quote
HolyS*** ,

I don't know if this is good or bad(well probably bad for R1 companies).
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TsukasaElkKite



Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 3541
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:46 pm Reply with quote
Oh *bleep*. This can't be good.
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Pepperidge



Joined: 13 Sep 2003
Posts: 1096
Location: British Columbia, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Quickly repost my thoughts from AoD before the shitstorm ensues.

Rather than sending C&Ds, it would be smarter for the companies to actually provide subbed and dubbed content for the site and get themselves a piece of that pie. I hate seeing pirates generate profit off of copyrighted material like this. But if they wind up doing a better job at making money than actual distributors, maybe it would serve as a wake-up call to companies in Japan about how the masses want their content to be delivered.

On the other hand, who am I kidding... they wouldn't even let ADV stream all of Gurren Lagann with advertising on their own site.
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Hamsterpuff



Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:54 pm Reply with quote
What the-?

Is this even legal? No, scratch that. How CAN it possibly to legal to invest in an illegal file sharing service? And how can such a service be allowed to make ad deals and have a board of directors?
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marcyu



Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Posts: 28
Location: Destin, Florida
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:02 pm Reply with quote
Maybe this will be the first step to gaining legitimacy. Many industry folks started out as fansubbers. And all those wall scrolls you now see are made by Great Eastern Entertainment - the same company who made all the illegal wall scrolls years ago.
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Ktimene's Lover



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 2242
Location: Glendale, AZ (Proudly living in the desert)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Unbelievable! One of the I sites I frequent (other than YouTube and Veoh) for watching anime online illegitimately has its first legit title.
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Oronae



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 165
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:04 pm Reply with quote
As long as they comply with DMCA takedown requests they're probably in the clear. Besides, isn't this exactly what a number of people have been advocating for? A streaming service that provides higher quality streams for a subscription fee and is ad-supported otherwise? If they're moving towards authorized content then I can hardly see this as a bad thing.
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britannicamoore



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 2618
Location: Out.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:04 pm Reply with quote
I think someone finnaly caught a clue. But we'll see, there may be more to this than it seems.
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Dargonxtc



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 4463
Location: Nc5xd7+ スターダストの海洋
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:06 pm Reply with quote
Chalk that up to venture investors. Invest in company, buy company stock, wait till stock doubles or triples. Sell stock before company begins downward spiral, legal troubles etc. Wipe hands clean in the end, usually couple years down the road.

This process happens hundreds of times a year, with only a few companies actually surviving. But the original investors usually always get their money.

Sleasy? Yes. Proven method? Yes.

But remember what we are talking about here. Scourge attracts more scourge.
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Pepperidge



Joined: 13 Sep 2003
Posts: 1096
Location: British Columbia, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:11 pm Reply with quote
Oronae wrote:
If they're moving towards authorized content then I can hardly see this as a bad thing.


It's not clear if they are, though. What I'm saying is that rather than DMCAing the site to hell and back, distributors need to find a way to get their own content on there. If it indeed becomes the case for Crunchyroll to be able to generate more profit than the legitimate distributors can, then it should be a signal that some massive change and consolidation needs to happen.
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SeinenAi



Joined: 30 Nov 2007
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:47 pm Reply with quote
My problem with this is that the fansubbers who do the work fansubbing it don't get any revenue, so it seems to me that Crunchyroll is messing up both the people who own the rights and the people who take time to fansub which always has a disclaimer that you shouldn't be paying to view it!
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Goodpenguin



Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 457
Location: Hunt Valley, MD
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:11 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
My problem with this is that the fansubbers who do the work fansubbing it don't get any revenue, so it seems to me that Crunchyroll is messing up both the people who own the rights and the people who take time to fansub which always has a disclaimer that you shouldn't be paying to view it!


Actually, I think that has the making of an extraordinarily hilarious ruckus, re: fansubbers arguing their work has been taken for use without their consent.

4 million is what a company like Venrock finds under the sofa cushions, but that still seems a big sum to drop on an entity 'estimating' around 75K a month. Getting a big venture capital firm involved gives the Industry a worthwhile target to come after legally, so I do wonder what the angle is here. I don't think a Japanese company can grant rights for the digital distribution to one outlet and down the line expect the title to hold value for DVD producers like ADV/Funimaiton etc., so it's a bit odd in parsing whats expected here.
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Iron Chef



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 487
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:18 pm Reply with quote
First fansubbers complain about having their work broadcast without consent, then a streaming service offering unlicensed works gets some angel money. I think the irony scale is just about to break.

That said, I hope this works out. I don't think that US$4M is really gonna get them anywhere outside of the States, though I wonder if ADV, Funi/Navarre, etc. would be interested in trying streaming video instead of cable-based VOD.

I figure it'll either wind up like that, or the venture cap group is gonna wind up spending three times what they invested in lawsuits from Japanese anime companies (rightfully) suing the bejeezus out of Crunchyroll.
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Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 17184
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Rarely have I been truly stunned by anime news postings, but this one made my jaw drop.

Looked at in one sense, this is exactly what some fans have been talking about for quite a while now. However, I cannot imagine a worse possible way to go about it. Nothing about this can possibly be legal, and it abuses everybody in the production end, even the fansubbers. That Crunchyroll has no contact info available is a sure indicator that they realize they are, at best, treading on very thin legal ice here. Does the venture capital company not realize how edgy this is legally, or do they not care?

One way or another, this is going to force the issue on online distribution of anime. There's no way either the R1 companies or original Japanese companies can possibly overlook this.

And for those saying that the Japanese companies should step up to support this: consider that Crunchyroll is going to make money off of this primarily because they have minimal overhead costs. They aren't paying for the subbing, production, or licensing rights, so naturally it's going to be lucrative until lawsuits shut it down. Companies that actually have to worry about such things would be much harder-pressed to make this model work.
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cenorig



Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 46
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:00 pm Reply with quote
So they could either get rid of illegal content and work with Japanese and American companies to show legalized anime, which would be good... or, more likely, they keep going like they do.
If fansubs weren't bad enough by themself, now they're going to make money off it.
Bastards, hope they get sued for everything they got.
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