Warns fansubbers that they are "prepared to take legal action"
Bandai Entertainment USA sent out a press release today warning fansubbers that they may be prosecuted for fansubbing Bandai titles, specifically Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society.
Several fansub sites have publicly announced plans to create and distribute illegal fansubs of Solid State Society following its release in Japan. However, Bandai Entertainment Inc. and Manga Entertainment have secured the exclusive right to distribute this title in the US. The creation of translated versions of Solid State Society is considered an unauthorized derivative and constitutes infringement of the intellectual property rights in the work as well as unfair competition. Furthermore, uploading and downloading of the programs without an official license or explicit consent by the content owner(s) constitutes infringement of copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights, and is an illegal act. Bandai must take steps to protect its investment in the property and will take all measures available to stop the illegal distribution of its titles, including instituting court proceedings. If it is forced to do so, Bandai is prepared to seek statutory damages and/or damages to cover its loss of sales.
“Fansubs, even those not sold for profit, are harmful to our properties and industry overall and we will be watching closely to make sure our rights regarding SSS are not infringed,” said Ken Iyadomi, President of Bandai Entertainment Inc. “We are prepared to take legal action against fansubbers and illegal download and other distribution sites if this notice is ignored,” he added.