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Streaming Anime is a Doomed Venture

24

Posts

  • TehSpectreTehSpectre Ragamuffin Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Anime, from what I have seen, has been declining in 'content quality' for ages. For every 1 good series, there's a 100 horrible series. I mean, seriously, you can only collect shit to kill shit for so long. You can only travel around the world so many times, power up so many times, collect swords so many times, gain and lose demon powers so many times.

    Sometimes I just want a decent fucking story about some normal fucking people dealing with every fucking day shit.

    ... You realize there's a genre devoted to that, right?

    But does it have a card game?

    That said, I suspect people in the US don't so much want more Prince of Tennis as they want non-shonen action titles. Imagine, an anime war drama without cute mascots, chibis, or sweat drops!

    1652.jpg

    It's only a movie, but still.

    Goddamnit, this just upsets me that I can't really find quality titles like this anymore.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    Guys, keep discussion of piracy in the abstract, please. Naming torrent sites? Not abstract.

    Also, we're going to be keeping a very close eye on this thread to ensure it stays on topic.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yeah, things like Wolf Brigade being more common could do a lot to help Anime in the West.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus IT'S DARE! Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Look, fact is that just like everything else, the vast majority of anime is crap. But unlike domestic television, you don't have access or awareness of as much of it, so you get the idea that there is "nothing good new about anime" when in fact you just don't know about it.

    The sad fact is that shitty anime sells better (here and in Japan) than a lot of actual, quality titles... again, just like live-action films and television.

    If someone were to license and distribute Denno Coil, for example, I would definitely purchase it, and I bet it would be praised as a fantastic series... but it's too much of a risk for American companies to pick up at the moment. :?

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    If you actually go through the trouble of looking for deals on anime you'll find them.

    The bigger problem is that the market has been crashing in Japan. Broadcast anime is a loss-leader as mentioned and the only ones who will buy the overpriced DVDs to make up the loss are extreme otakus. This selfsame radical fringe are the ones who prefer the cutsey MOEblob and worse that has pervaded the scene for the past five years now.

    So the people still bothering to localize the stuff have a three headed beast to contend with.

    A group of people who feel entitled to the content day and date and won't pay for it no mattter how slick the package.

    A crop of anime that frankly will not sell over here and if it wasn't for the fact that the market is dead would be causing a huge media shitstorm. (Queen's Blade was in the Netflix Instaqueue in the children's section for about three days, and is basically pornographic.)

    Last is getting the product out there. Some of this streaming is working (apparently One Piece is doing pretty well as DVD and Manga sales for it are up significantly since last year) but a lot of the less focused shotgun approaches are just failing. There is no real TV market out there anymore. Adult Swim shows a few hours of their best content a week, the Funimation Network has a pathetically small subscriber base (Fios and maybe one other US provider) and the rest of current broadcast anime was stuff from the boom (DB Kai on Nicktoons, Pokemon on Cartoon Network proper, whatever the hell Yu-gi-Oh they are on now on whatever the hell WB is now.)

    In summation: You can find a deal on anime if you look, but a lot of the new stuff is terrible. Trying to make money on it is a fool's venture.

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  • MyDcmbrMyDcmbr Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Queen's Blade was in the Netflix Instaqueue in the children's section for about three days, and is basically pornographic.


    :shock:

    Holy crap! That is about as far from child's programming as you can get without showing..... you know.... stuff.

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    MyDcmbr wrote: »
    Queen's Blade was in the Netflix Instaqueue in the children's section for about three days, and is basically pornographic.


    :shock:

    Holy crap! That is about as far from child's programming as you can get without showing..... you know.... stuff.

    This doesn't surprise me at all because most people just assume anime = for children.

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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    MyDcmbr wrote: »
    Queen's Blade was in the Netflix Instaqueue in the children's section for about three days, and is basically pornographic.


    :shock:

    Holy crap! That is about as far from child's programming as you can get without showing..... you know.... stuff.

    This doesn't surprise me at all because most people just assume anime = for children.

    No offense, but shit like Queen's Blade are for kids.

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    No, queen's blade is clearly for sick fetishists.

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  • EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I'm honestly surprised how long the "anime craze" lasted in America. I was a teenager when it first popped up in the mainstream media with the sailor moon and DBZ and shit, and enjoyed watching it from time to time. And now I'm a grumpy old man, and it's just now starting to go away. I'm not going to say good riddance or anything like that, cause I don't really care if other people like watching it, I'm just honestly surprised how long it lasted.

    My main surprise comes from, after just a couple months of being interested in it, and watching what was available on TV, I lost interest in those shows, then when looking for stuff to buy, as others have said, seeing how ridiculously expensive it is to buy, I decided I could do without anime. With the prices what the are, I'm surprised it lasted at all really.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    So from what I'm hearing the entire anime industry operates on an incredibly inefficient business model that I personally can't believe has managed to last this long.

    The main problem with anime in Western markets is that customers are expected to buy products sight unseen. The best one can do is try to find a review for a series that looks halfway interesting before one buys it (and it's hard to find good anime reviews, as in my experience the majority of anime fans are morons), and if you don't like it then you're out 20 bucks for a 3 episode DVD.

    The last anime DVDs I bought were the three subtitle-only Gurren Lagann DVDs. 20 bucks for eight episodes is a much, much better deal than 20 bucks for less than half the content. Unfortunately, anime DVDs that don't have dubbing apparently sell even worse for some bizarre reason.

    There have been several recent titles that I would like to own on DVD if they weren't so ridiculously expensive. Many of them are 12 episode series (what's the plural of "series"?), and I'd gladly pay for them if I could get an entire series in two 20 to 25 dollar DVDs of six episodes a piece (for a final price of 40 or 50 bucks). Unfortunately, it would more likely be 20 to 25 dollars for four DVDs with three episodes a piece (for a final price of 80 or 100 dollars).

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus IT'S DARE! Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The thing that makes the shows more expensive are the licensing fees, and the cost of dubbing the shows. Sub-only releases are cheaper but at the same time you alienate the market that watches dubs. And then of course there are the "fans" of a show who downloaded fansubs and won't buy the actual product when it's available in their region, which is why, for example, after Funimation made a big deal about getting the license for Kodomo no Omocha and fans everywhere praising the news, the DVDs sold too poorly for them to bring over the second half of the series, which leaves legitimate fans like myself who didn't download all 102 episodes off of Napster back in the day with an unfinished viewing experience. So basically fuck people who say they like a show if they haven't dropped the money on the DVDs.

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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    I'm not entirely sure that the lack of enough new 'good' shows (leaving aside what is good) is entirely the issue. BBC-America provides a decent parallel. They're niche and have only 2-3 'good' shows per year (and even those are often weeks or months behind UK broadcast), but they've carved out a place for themselves. Overhead's much cheaper without the need to do anything but edit for CMs, but there's got to be more to it than just that with how much of a disaster US broadcasting has been.

    This is where I believe licensing is chewing them to pieces. The merchandisable stuff gets snatched up, fiercely defended, and then instead of reairing popular episodes/shows (ala BBC's nigh continuous cycling of New Who seasons four or five times a year), stuff often simply vanishes once airing is complete and is only seen again on Adult Swim at 3am once a year. And with this new streaming philosophy mucking up licenses, that's disappearing too, further insulating the industry from exposure to the public and fucking up any hope for future revenue. That's not a sustainable model at all.

    Funimation does have a broadcast channel, but they have so few shows playing on it and they play each one for literally hours at a time. It's practically made for simply DVRing entire shows at once, but with only maybe 15 shows... that's also not sustainable.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Funimation does have a broadcast channel, but they have so few shows playing on it and they play each one for literally hours at a time. It's practically made for simply DVRing entire shows at once, but with only maybe 15 shows... that's also not sustainable.

    This is pathetic when you consider that Food Network just launched a second channel because they have a ton of content.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus IT'S DARE! Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Henroid wrote: »
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Funimation does have a broadcast channel, but they have so few shows playing on it and they play each one for literally hours at a time. It's practically made for simply DVRing entire shows at once, but with only maybe 15 shows... that's also not sustainable.

    This is pathetic when you consider that Food Network just launched a second channel because they have a ton of content.

    Sure, because licensing and/or producing your own anime series costs about the same as filming someone for two days on a single set cook 20 different recipes.

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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Funimation does have a broadcast channel, but they have so few shows playing on it and they play each one for literally hours at a time. It's practically made for simply DVRing entire shows at once, but with only maybe 15 shows... that's also not sustainable.

    This is pathetic when you consider that Food Network just launched a second channel because they have a ton of content.

    Sure, because licensing and/or producing your own anime series costs about the same as filming someone for two days on a single set cook 20 different recipes.

    http://funimationchannel.com/schedule.php

    They list 44 shows (not all that are airing are in the sidebar), although at least one is a movie.

    In the last week, 336 time slots, they aired 20 different shows. That comes out to an average of around each show being aired 17 times while over 50% of their potential content sits unused. Almost certainly more since like I said, the sidebar isn't a complete list.

    And this is one of the heaviest hitters in US distribution.

    There is an issue here beyond production costs.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The point I was presenting is that instead of one company trying to launch a network, all companies involved in anime distribution should launch a channel together. It's the only way it'll get done and provide a bunch of variety.

    Edit - Also for the record, Food Network for many years has been leaning further and further away from just "recipe show #262981" format. That's part of what the new channel is carrying over for content.

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  • MyDcmbrMyDcmbr Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The Anime Network is out there and on several different services.

    http://www.theanimenetwork.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime_Network

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  • GaardeanGaardean Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Isn't the biggest problem just an incompatibility between the market strategies between Japan and western countries? The Japanese content producers basically use their purchased TV timeslots as an advertising format, then rely on heavy-priced DVDs and merchandise to recoup their losses/make a profit. While they try to justify the exorbitant DVD prices with extra episodes and other goodies, the crux of the matter is that a show usually only gets one airing, and if you've missed an episode your only recourse is to shell out the cash for the DVD to see it.

    It's a stark contrast to the American model, where the advertising hopefully covers the cost of the show from the start, and the big dream is syndication, collecting cash the more often you re-run the same episodes. DVD sales are usually just gravy, and comparatively cheap.

    Now, the Japanese producers can't allow American distributors to sell at a standard western price point, or a backflux of re-imported anime would collapse the inflated Japanese price point. Likewise, they keep a stranglehold on the broadcast of shows under a fear of "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free," and the threat of the American streaming market attracting the Japanese consumer is even more terrifying to them. Really, until one market or the other undergoes a drastic restructuring (unlikely, but with the Japanese market collapsing domestically, it's not out of the question), the sales collapse here is rather inevitable.

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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    MyDcmbr wrote: »
    The Anime Network is out there and on several different services.

    http://www.theanimenetwork.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime_Network

    Insufficient for a few reasons.
    A.) Streaming, like I said... obviously not working.
    B.) They provide nothing but on-demand services. The only people who will find any of it are people actively searching for it, and even then, they'd then have to shell out for a limited set of shows at a time.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I think Gaardean has probably hit the nail on the head.

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    They actually just updated the Funimation Network with a ton of good shows.

    I loved waking up at 4am one day and hearing the Baccano! theme. Their schedule is now fairly decent. Still, no one has it and no one watches it.

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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    They actually just updated the Funimation Network with a ton of good shows.

    I loved waking up at 4am one day and hearing the Baccano! theme. Their schedule is now fairly decent. Still, no one has it and no one watches it.

    I have it.

    Care to know why I'm not watching it? Because the next two hours is a Nabari no Ou, followed by two and a half hours of D.Gray.Man, one and a half hours of Claymore, two and a half hours of Aquarion, etc.

    Even assuming these were all A-list shows, that's not even sensical scheduling.

  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus I didn't want to wake you up but I really want to show you somethingRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Funimation puts their shows up on Hulu, too, which is how I watch One Piece and FMA: Brotherhood. I think it's a really smart business move, personally. The more things on Hulu, the more people will go to Hulu and find other things to watch, too.

  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Funimation Network only marathons on weekends. Why I couldn't tell you.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Putting shows on Hulu is a good idea, although I'm sure there's some strange reason why most anime companies can't do that I'm not aware of.

    I would have never started watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia without first getting to watch several episodes for free on Hulu. Now I own three of the DVDs. Now, had the the DVDs been three episodes a piece and sold for 20 dollars a pop, that would be a different story. I probably would have still bought some of them, since there isn't really an overarching storyline.

    If I were talking about the Venture Bros, though, than I doubt I would buy the DVDs. I own all the available Venture Bros DVDs, which gives me 39 episodes for about 75 dollars total. If I could only get three episodes a DVD for the same price as the season sets cost, though, 39 episodes would cost me three hundred and twenty-five dollars. I couldn't just buy a few of the DVDs, either, since there's an overarching storyline and wouldn't get what was going-on if I hadn't seen some of the previous episodes.

    Now I know why otaku have such a bad reputation in Japan, though: a person would have to be obsessed to be willing to pay such exorbitant prices for anime. It's aggravating to think that the anime industry is snubbing casual fans so they can milk basement-dwellers for all they're worth.

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  • tallgeezetallgeeze Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Does anyone know how much revenue a company gets from a streaming service? Funimation has come a long way in their subs, so I always check out what their up and find some decent series.

    The thing is that they have the whole series up there to watch any time I want. I don't have much incentive to go out and buy the dvd if funimation is going to save me shelf space by having it on their website. I can see if they went the hulu(free version) route and only have X amount of episodes at a time, but most of the 13-26 episode series I can watch anytime I want.

    Hell, I could probably pop on their site now and watch the giant series like Naruto and One Piece from episode one for free. Add that to the fact many people in America that have an Xbox can set up their PC sharing feature and watch their shows from the couch on their big screen.

    I can't see those numerous repeating 30 sec kin or techron commercials generating much revenue for a company.

    Aroduc, that video in the OP disturbs me.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I wanted to buy Furry Curry/ Furi Kiri/ FLCL on DVD but I wasn't about to spec $30 on a six-episode long show. Vol1 and Vol2? Pffft. I'd rather buy a season (24 episodes) of the Simpsons for $15, instead.

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  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I think the last time I bought DVDs was back in 2008. Money issues aside with legal and free streaming services like hulu and such I just haven't ever had a need to buy DVDs to watch...well....anything anymore. If I'm ever bored there's always some new shows I can just sit down and veg out in front of somewhere.

    I used to buy anime DVDs for two reasons, the biggest being that TV broadcasts of anime were always censored, and even the slightest bit of censorship ruins the entire series for me, not the case with streaming anime over the web. The second being the ability to be able to sit down and watch an entire series, or at least large blocks of it, in a single go. I never catch TV as it airs, I always wait until I can see the whole thing in one go, otherwise the wait between episodes for anything with a linear story is just maddening for me.

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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    I wanted to buy Furry Curry/ Furi Kiri/ FLCL on DVD but I wasn't about to spec $30 on a six-episode long show. Vol1 and Vol2? Pffft. I'd rather buy a season (24 episodes) of the Simpsons for $15, instead.

    wait, 30$ for 6 episodes? That might be a mega ultra pack together that recently came out. Those things were 30-60$ PER EPISODE when they were released.

    Frankly I felt that the Japanese market for anime was shifting in tone and demographic from before when it was popular, essentially they kept pushing the boundaries and it didn't catch on in America. Not to talk about random anime of this season, but me and a friend go through and watch every first episode of whatever comes out to find something good, and this season felt like a smattering of wanton nudity and incest shows. There were a few we liked, but the "fan service" was so extreme that we had to drop the shows.


    Edit: I admit that the above is anecdotal, and may be a case of crotchety old grandpa syndrome.

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  • SpectrumSpectrum Super High-School Level ??? Hope's Peak AcademyRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Hum.

    I wonder how much of the industry decline can be blamed on general economic woes rather than on the industry's specific ails, of which they have plenty.

  • LockedOnTargetLockedOnTarget Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    As someone who actually does buy anime, I have to say the prices are ridiculous. Even the best deals aren't better than what you can find American shows for. I love One Piece, but it's pretty much impossible for me to get a 13-episode DVD set of it for less than $40 Canadian. For the same amount of money, I can get box sets of NA shows that have three to four times the content.

    These high licensing fees are stupid, and Japan needs to wake up and realize that anime is not big enough here for both companies and customers to deal with the high costs they demand. A company shouldn't be risking going under because they want to bring over and dub a few shows on DVD.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    wait, 30$ for 6 episodes? That might be a mega ultra pack together that recently came out. Those things were 30-60$ PER EPISODE when they were released.

    What.

    I hope that the anime industry finds a way to stop all illegal fansub and piracy. Why? So they won't have an excuse when people continue to refuse paying ridiculous prices.

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  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I want Furry Curry for $19.99

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    I want Furry Curry for $19.99

    You might could get one-fifth of a single episode for that much.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    These high licensing fees are stupid, and Japan needs to wake up and realize that anime is not big enough here for both companies and customers to deal with the high costs they demand. A company shouldn't be risking going under because they want to bring over and dub a few shows on DVD.

    The only thing I can really think of when it comes to this is that the Japanese companies must not care about doing business in America and wouldn't care if American distributors went under. This is my relatively uninformed opinion based on the perception that most of the anguish in the anime industry is transpiring on the Western front.

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  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    emnmnme wrote: »
    I want Furry Curry for $19.99

    You might could get one-fifth of a single episode for that much.

    Actually they're rereleasing it eventually via Funimation and it's almost certainly not going to be priced anywhere close to the insanity of the original release.

    Pricing really has improved within the past 5 years. Certainly not close to western TV shows but it's still not too bad at all now really.

  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    These high licensing fees are stupid, and Japan needs to wake up and realize that anime is not big enough here for both companies and customers to deal with the high costs they demand. A company shouldn't be risking going under because they want to bring over and dub a few shows on DVD.

    The only thing I can really think of when it comes to this is that the Japanese companies must not care about doing business in America and wouldn't care if American distributors went under. This is my relatively uninformed opinion based on the perception that most of the anguish in the anime industry is transpiring on the Western front.

    That would be pretty accurate. Japan's market was still growing like crazy for about four years after the western bubble burst. I think that may have exacerbated things too. Western distributors saw the growth, thought things were turning around and poured more money into things with obviously no thought whatsoever (The Kojikan debacle comes to mind). The only major Japanese studio that has really been noticably affected above and beyond the general recession is Gonzo, and they were pumping cash into the west constantly through the collapse. Of course, they were also producing ~15 shows a year, almost all of which were financial wrecks on both sides of the puddle, so they were doomed to begin with.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    These high licensing fees are stupid, and Japan needs to wake up and realize that anime is not big enough here for both companies and customers to deal with the high costs they demand. A company shouldn't be risking going under because they want to bring over and dub a few shows on DVD.

    The only thing I can really think of when it comes to this is that the Japanese companies must not care about doing business in America and wouldn't care if American distributors went under. This is my relatively uninformed opinion based on the perception that most of the anguish in the anime industry is transpiring on the Western front.

    That would be pretty accurate.

    So do the Japanese companies actually give a shit about piracy seeing as they apparently don't want our money to begin with?

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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited October 2010
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    These high licensing fees are stupid, and Japan needs to wake up and realize that anime is not big enough here for both companies and customers to deal with the high costs they demand. A company shouldn't be risking going under because they want to bring over and dub a few shows on DVD.

    The only thing I can really think of when it comes to this is that the Japanese companies must not care about doing business in America and wouldn't care if American distributors went under. This is my relatively uninformed opinion based on the perception that most of the anguish in the anime industry is transpiring on the Western front.

    That would be pretty accurate.

    So do the Japanese companies actually give a shit about piracy seeing as they apparently don't want our money to begin with?

    It's hard to tell since almost all of the C&Ds come from US companies, but apparently not really. There have been a few Japanese folks arrested in the past for file sharing/distribution, but nothing in the last couple years that I can recall or dig up in a quick search.

    I suspect it's for a few reasons. First, international copyright litigation is messy. Second, anime companies in general have a very lassez faire attitude towards protecting their copyrights. They very obviously turn a blind eye to stuff like Comiket, which is basically a massive den of copyright violation that is in their interest to ignore. Finding the line between protecting themselves and alienating the insane fans is probably too much of a risk to take. And the obvious, it's free publicity for them. Of course, that feeds back into the issue that they're making barely any DVDs for the west anymore.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that began to change now that Japan has finally shifted to HD though and there's less of a difference between broadcast and release than in the past.

    Also, China's next door to them, and their piracy compared to the US is...

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