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Digital Anime Distribution threatened by letter from Sony

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Visitors to the Digital Anime Distribution web page yesterday discovered that all Ruroni Kenshin titles had been removed, per order of a letter from a representative of Sony Japan.

NOTE: This letter is untouched, grammar mistakes and all.

From: Ryūta Shiiki
To: Sent: Monday, January 18, 1999 5:06 PM
Subject: Attention.

First of all, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Ryūta Shiiki, Senior
Director of SPE Visual Works Inc.(SPE VW) in Japan. SPE VW is a strategic
joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
And currently, we are producing an animation called RUROUNI KENSHIN.
We got some information from our client which is considering buying distributing
rights of RUROUNI KENSHIN in the states that there is pirates web-site which is
disturbing their activities there.The address of web-site is http://anime.mminternet.com/
and we found major illegal activities in the site.We have never given the rights to
the web-site. I tried to find the contact number in there but all I could find is LINK
to your company which is supporting the web-site. This mail is still my personal
warning as a rights holder of this program.But if you can not stop it soon, Sony
Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Tristar will make major action to it and your
company will have big problem from it. Thank you for your attention and prompt
action to it.

Ryūta Shiiki

SPE, or Sony Pictures Entertainment, is part of a subsidiary of Sony, owner of Sony Pictures and Sony Records (Columbia), which has major offices in both Japan (where it releases quite a number of anime video releases) and America. The American division is rumored to have badly dubbed and adapted Rurouni Kenshin for American audiences and renamed it Samurai X, but failed to attract syndication buyers. The adapted Samurai X is being shown overseas in other English-speaking countries.

Digital Anime Distribution is treating the letter as a notice that the show is licensed and has simply pulled the show from its list.

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