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Anime Expo 2008 - Industry roundtable: Fansubs - The Death of Anime?


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SharinganEye



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
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Location: Les Etats-Unis d'Amérique
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:22 pm Reply with quote
Is there a video of this, even a condensed version?
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1963
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:42 pm Reply with quote
SharinganEye wrote:
Is there a video of this, even a condensed version?


Greg Aryes' panel on the harmful effects of fansubs at Anime Detour 2008 is available on Youtube, so I would hope that this one would be as well, but I'm not sure if video cameras were permitted at the event. Still, the article does provide a good summary of what was discussed.

"Ishimoto closed the hour by stating unequivocally that from a legal perspective, fansub distribution is stealing; it can be explained, but not justified"

QFT. Smile

I do think more advertising could help, though that costs money as well, so it is a double-edged sword. Maybe if Adult Swim started showing as much anime as they used to, that could help (since anime shown there usually get at least a decent-sized fanbase as a result), but I don't see that happening anytime soon (apparently, most of America wants to watch the same Family Guy episode for the 3,861st time as opposed to new anime. Stinks, but that's the reality of it.)

Also, if I may make a suggestion, only put "extra goodies" on the second volume and beyond. With the first volume, you're hoping to get the established audience to buy as well as gain new fans. BUT, if the only version of the first volume the store has left is the more expensive one with all the extra stuff, newcomers will probably be scared off (they're already paying to watch something they've never seen, the added cost of a CD/shirt/etc. will more likely scare them off then make them give it a shot). So I say keep extras limited to the second volume and beyond (I know "extras" fans will hate me for saying that, but I think it's the best option).

Good covers wouldn't hurt either. Let's face it, a lot of non-fans are still under the notion that anime is either "kids' stuff" or "hentai". Granted, some animes can't really be portrayed on a cover that doesn't make it look to a newbie like "kids' stuff", but if I was trying to get someone into anime, the last thing I would show them would be the Elfen Life boxset cover. It's appropriate for the sort of show it is (the opening scene kinda tells you that), but from a marketing standpoint, they could have found something better.

Glad to hear they're going to lower the stuff being released on DVD. Let's be honest, if you don't own the latest "generic mecha/shonen/shojo/whatever" anime that'll be forgotten about by 99.99% of the anime fandom in a matter of months, it won't be the end of the world. The manga industry could really learn this as well. If it's available for legal distribution online, then that should be good enough for most people.
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Mindless Watcher



Joined: 17 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:54 pm Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
from a legal perspective, fansub distribution is stealing


Ask any lawyer; he will be able to correct you on that. And if he's nice he won't even charge you more than 100 dollars for it.
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:11 pm Reply with quote
I hope Justin Sevakis's prediction is really wrong; if non-A-list titles ever go "download only", I'll just end up buying a lot less anime, as I'm an old-fashioned guy who is only interested in owning physical media, and, aside from the occasional Ghibli movie, every anime I buy is considered "niche", even within anime fandom.
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Mindless Watcher wrote:
doctordoom85 wrote:
from a legal perspective, fansub distribution is stealing


Ask any lawyer; he will be able to correct you on that. And if he's nice he won't even charge you more than 100 dollars for it.


Wow, you put a lot of thought into that rebuttal. Oh, a lawyer says it, eh? Well, I guess I should take your word for it. No wait, I won't, and I'll approach a lawyer and ask:

Me - "Is it legal to distribute a television episode online without the owners' legal permission and without any direct profit to them?"

Lawyer - "What are you, 2? Of course it's not legal. Now get out of my face with such noobish questions."

Me - "But it is anime. After all, some people have said anime is a right, so shouldn't we get it for free?"

Lawyer - "It's not a right! It's a product intended to be sold! And it's not even essential! If people were stealing grocery stores and giving it out to the masses, at least they would have a moral ground to stand on, but we're talking about a show! Stealing entertainment that cost those who worked on it cannot be justified legally or morally! End of discussion!"

Me - "LOLZ, random guy on the internet got pwned." Mr. Green

Heck, if they can arrest the guy who made tvlinks (and he actually had a decent argument, all he did was provide links to other sites), the fansubbers are definitely in the "that's a no-no" area. Besides, these are professional people who actually have some genuine knowledge of how these things go down. You're a guy on the Internet. Anyone with common sense will take their word over yours.
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Takoon



Joined: 06 Aug 2007
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:25 pm Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
Maybe if Adult Swim started showing as much anime as they used to, that could help (since anime shown there usually get at least a decent-sized fanbase as a result), but I don't see that happening anytime soon (apparently, most of America wants to watch the same Family Guy episode for the 3,861st time as opposed to new anime. Stinks, but that's the reality of it.)

That would definitely help a lot of the advertising woes, but you're right: Adult Swim just won't be showing any new anime any time soon. And anime isn't getting onto American television any other way, unless someone wants to pay for the Anime Network (or what's left of it). Any shows on television are either faux-nime, or younger children-centered anime.

Just the lack of exposure to different kinds of anime is enough to drive people away from it. I mean, even though anime fans know that "not liking anime" is like "not liking movies" or "not liking TV," it's not enough to sway the masses without PROOF.

Quote:
Also, if I may make a suggestion, only put "extra goodies" on the second volume and beyond. With the first volume, you're hoping to get the established audience to buy as well as gain new fans. BUT, if the only version of the first volume the store has left is the more expensive one with all the extra stuff, newcomers will probably be scared off (they're already paying to watch something they've never seen, the added cost of a CD/shirt/etc. will more likely scare them off then make them give it a shot).

That is SO true! I remember being really excited to buy Lucky Star when it came out, but when I went to the store to get it, it was $64 and some cents because of all the extras! I simply didn't have enough money to buy all the extras with it. DVDs are so expensive anyway, that it's easier to get a cheaper, crappier DVD than a quality one with too many extras.

Quote:
Good covers wouldn't hurt either. Let's face it, a lot of non-fans are still under the notion that anime is either "kids' stuff" or "hentai".

Also a very valid point. Another good example is the R.O.D. the TV DVDs. With all the awkward butt shots on the cover, someone new to anime wouldn't go for it, but it's not that kind of show at all. It's kind of a problem with the over-production, and over-thinking of marketing. At least, that's what it leads me to believe.

There are so few places that anime can be marketed now, because everyone is under the pretense that anime is only for a set group of people, and that the fact can't be changed. Any time anime is mentioned, it's either on specified forums, magazines geared for gamers and techies, G4, or on a kid's program. Even though that is fine and dandy, it makes it impossible for a non-gamer, non-techy, adult to find something to like about it.

Even though it's a curse for anime fans to walk into a movie store and find that there is no "Anime" section, but that the anime is spread throughout the store, it would be a nice experiment to see what people would do when there is a large portion of anime spread in a movie store, so much that each section had a representative of anime in it. A person new to anime could be browsing their section and be surprised to see some anime that looks half-way decent to them.
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:41 pm Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
Mindless Watcher wrote:
doctordoom85 wrote:
from a legal perspective, fansub distribution is stealing


Ask any lawyer; he will be able to correct you on that. And if he's nice he won't even charge you more than 100 dollars for it.


Wow, you put a lot of thought into that rebuttal.


Copy infringement is illegal, but it's not stealing, in strictly legal terms. That's why copyright holders typically use cease and decease letters first instead of going to the cops. And if C&D doesn't work, lawsuits. Then again there are criminal penalties for violating copyright.

Oh, and IANAL.
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Mindless Watcher



Joined: 17 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:54 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
from a legal perspective, fansub distribution is stealing

fuuma_monou wrote:
Copy infringement is illegal, but it's not stealing.


doctordoom85 wrote:

Me - "LOLZ, random guy on the internet got pwned." Mr. Green

Laywer - "And he goes by the name doctordoom85."

doctordoom85 wrote:
Wow, you put a lot of thought into that rebuttal.

A lot of thought and only a few words. Better than the other way around.
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rg4619



Joined: 30 Jun 2007
Posts: 163
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:00 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I hope Justin Sevakis's prediction is really wrong; if non-A-list titles ever go "download only", I'll just end up buying a lot less anime, as I'm an old-fashioned guy who is only interested in owning physical media, and, aside from the occasional Ghibli movie, every anime I buy is considered "niche", even within anime fandom.


I agree. However, I've feared the same thing for a couple years now - that in the future, only guaranteed sellers may be viable for physical media (with live-action TV, the DVD market in Korea went through a similar phase. When the market was hot, everything got shoved onto DVD for both domestic and overseas release. However, once consumers stopped buying, distributors zeroed in on the big hits)

If the market can't support niche shows, then content providers have little choice but to pass on DVDs and digitally distribute.
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:11 pm Reply with quote
fuuma_monou wrote:
. Then again there are criminal penalties for violating copyright.


So remind me, how is fansubbing legal again?
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:11 pm Reply with quote
I don't have any problem with the legitimate digital download alternative being made available for people who prefer to have all of their anime on a hard drive somewhere, but, if the market for niche shows will be such that $29.95 MSRP for a DVD will no longer be profitable taking into account replication costs and physical distribution, I'd rather buy a $39.95 MSRP (or more) DVD (or, soon, BluRay) disk than whatever it is they'd charge for the download.

I don't even need any goodies to justify the extra cost; having a hard copy alone would make it worth it.
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JINROH



Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:24 pm Reply with quote
[quote="doctordoom85"]
SharinganEye wrote:


"Ishimoto closed the hour by stating unequivocally that from a legal perspective, fansub distribution is stealing; it can be explained, but not justified"

QFT. Smile





I completely agree ! Too many 'fans' (thieves) want a free lunch.
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Pepperidge



Joined: 13 Sep 2003
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:54 pm Reply with quote
Tenchi wrote:
I don't have any problem with the legitimate digital download alternative being made available for people who prefer to have all of their anime on a hard drive somewhere, but, if the market for niche shows will be such that $29.95 MSRP for a DVD will no longer be profitable taking into account replication costs and physical distribution, I'd rather buy a $39.95 MSRP (or more) DVD (or, soon, BluRay) disk than whatever it is they'd charge for the download.

I don't even need any goodies to justify the extra cost; having a hard copy alone would make it worth it.


That's why I really think that this whole "pay-to-download" concept is the wrong direction entirely for distribution. Not only does it open up the horrific, unavoidable problems of DRM and other lock-offs which fix downloadable files to one device (thereby making them completely useless by all conventional standards), but it also assumes that a download is somehow equivalent to owning a physical copy of something.

The idea should not be to find a "replacement" for DVDs that aren't selling, but to give international viewers a chance to preview content in its entirety before they buy it by closing the gap that follows the original Japanese broadcast. Ad-supported online streaming still offers the best compromise allowing fans to view content conveniently and without having to pay, and for companies to still generate profit from those views. If everyone could stay focused on that idea, we'd probably be closer to finding that big "solution" everyone is talking about.
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Dargonxtc



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
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Location: Nc5xd7+ スターダストの海洋
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:34 pm Reply with quote
How come the only way to get to this page, is to get it through the GL dub cast article and not the main page? Weird. Confused


As for the panel I thought is was mostly interesting. Although much of it was stuff I have already heard and gone through before. The only thing I would add, is that in my opinion, the majority of all this education that will be supposedly dealt, will fall on deaf ears. And I say that with a sad heart.

Oh and a note Justin, I don't want just 5% of Shawne's catalog. I want all of it! Razz
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1544
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:14 pm Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
fuuma_monou wrote:
. Then again there are criminal penalties for violating copyright.


So remind me, how is fansubbing legal again?


How is it that you apparently can't read?

I already said copyright infringement is illegal. Fansubbing sure as hell is infringement. I suppose by the time Doom is cloned to the 85th generation, the genius is gone.
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