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Company Apologizes After Kemono Friends' New Unit Auditions Plagiarize Scripts

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

The official website for the auditions for the Kemono Friends new unit auditions posted an apology on Monday after removing the original audition manuscript. Age Global Networks confirmed in the announcement that the original script had included content that was reproduced without sufficient approval from the copyright holder.

The website launched on Sunday to outline the procedures and rules for the auditions for the anime's new unit. The auditions are open to "mentally and physically healthy" female applicants between the ages of 16 and 20. Regardless of previous entertainment experience, applicants are eligible if they are not affiliated with a production group or agency. The deadline to apply is September 10.

Soon after the audition website opened, people began to notice that the content of the scripts on the website appeared to originate from a blog by a creator known as Akari-sensei. Akari-sensei runs the "Mezasō! Seiyū" blog for aspiring voice actors, and she tweeted on Sunday that she was "sad" that the staff in charge of the auditions had reproduced her work without her consent and without attributing her.

An October 2017 post on Akari-sensei's blog states that she retains the copyrights for the work posted on the website. It notes that personal use of the content is allowed, but reproducing the content on another website without attributing her is plagiarism. Akari-sensei reiterated her copyright notice on Twitter on Sunday and asked people not to plagiarize her work but to properly cite the source.

Akari-sensei's posts received a big response on Twitter. She added that she did not intend to seek money or an apology. She also encouraged people who want to participate in the auditions to try their best.

Age Global Networks announced later on Sunday that it was conducting an investigation into the reports of plagiarism. The scripts were removed from the site during the investigation. After the company confirmed the truth of the claims, it posted a new statement along with new scripts for downloading. With its apology, the company said it is reflecting on the situation and will work to make sure the problem is not repeated.

After the audition website removed her work, Akari-sensei thanked her Twitter followers for their support.

The live concert event "Kemono Friends Live ~PPP Live~" confirmed on Sunday that production on the Kemono Friends 2 television anime has been green-lit. The new anime's first promotional video debuted at the event.

Sources: Kemono Friends Shin Unit Audition website, Akari-sensei's Twitter account and blog, Huffington Post (Shino Tanaka), Nikkan Sports, KAI-YOU via Yaraon! (link 2)

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