Funimation, Bandai Entertainment Respond on Crunchyroll (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
On Wednesday, the North American distributor Funimation Entertainment has issued the following statement in response to news that the Crunchyroll video-streaming website has recevied US$4.05 million in venture capital funding:
Funimation has been carefully monitoring the activities of crunchyroll.com for some time. Since 2006 Funimation has provided several letters notifying the site's operators of copyright infringement issues in connection with content that has been made available through this site. To date, crunchyroll.com has complied with FUNimation's demands to remove the applicable content.
The battle against unauthorized distribution of anime is a battle that Funimation cannot fight on its own. Without proactive and effective copyright policing and enforcement by those that control anime content, sites like this will continue to gain a reputation as outlets for free anime. If this happens, the entire anime industry will suffer, making the expensive and time consuming work of producing anime content for the U.S. market impossible. As we've stated before, we will continue to act in the best interests of our Japanese licensors — and that includes ensuring that our industry as a whole has a commercial future in the U.S.
Update: Another North American anime distributor, Bandai Entertainment, issued a press release just four hours later that said the company agrees with Funimation's stance:
Bandai Entertainment Inc. announced today that it echoes Funimation's concerns over copyright infringement by sites that illegally stream anime.
Bandai Entertainment Inc. also informed the website crunchyroll.com to remove content that infringed on its copyrights and furthermore has been working with licensors in Japan, educating them about the pervasive illegal downloading and streaming of anime that has negatively impacted the market. Bandai Entertainment absolutely agrees with Funimation's assertion that this is an epidemic that will undermine the future of the anime business in Japan and the United States.
Bandai Entertainment Inc. will continue to work with other U.S. companies and Japanese licensors to fight against downloading and its negative impact on the US anime industry.