Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Japan Piracy Businesses The Almighty Buck Your Rights Online

Piracy Boosts Anime Sales, Says Japanese Government Study 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the eyes-bigger-than-stomach dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new study seems to confirm what a lot of the Slashdot crowd thinks, and the opposite of what the **AAs say: 'A prestigious economics think-tank of the Japanese government has published a study which concludes that online piracy of anime shows actually increases sales of DVDs. The conclusion stands in sharp contrast with the entertainment industry's claims that "illicit" downloading is leading to billions of dollars in losses worldwide. It also puts the increased anti-piracy efforts of the anime industry in doubt.' More specifically, '(1) YouTube viewing does not negatively affect DVD rentals, and it appears to help raise DVD sales; and (2) although Winny [a popular P2P program in Japan] file sharing negatively affects DVD rentals, it does not affect DVD sales.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Piracy Boosts Anime Sales, Says Japanese Government Study

Comments Filter:
  • by alexander_686 (957440) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:30PM (#35108052)

    I wonder if this is generally true or a special case.

    Otaku are odd people. My kind of people – but still – not what I would call a representative example.

    And from a western perspective – I hear the arguments about fan subs. Do they steal revenue? Do they help indentify shows that should be professionally dubbed and released. Or is it a non issue because the shows would never have been released? Probably a mixture of all 3.

    Has anyone ever seen a decent study on this? Have not had the time to read the article.

  • by v1 (525388) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:34PM (#35108090) Homepage Journal

    due to the very large crowd of fansubbers and their fans. Almost universally, fansubbing groups place recommendations at the start/intercession/end of their subs urging their audience to buy the anime when it becomes licensed in their area. Many also suggest that everyone cease distribution of the series at that point as well.

    Hard to say how many listen to that, but I know I've ordered box sets when they became available in my area, entirely because I was able to watch the fansubs and enjoyed the series and wanted higher quality and the extras they tend to ship with, and I know many others like me that way.

    I'll hit up the anime fansubbing sites every week or two, and download a few eps of what's popular, and I go from there to decide what series I follow. It's too bad more things can't work that way normally.

    • by Microlith (54737) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:41PM (#35108132)

      Almost universally, fansubbing groups place recommendations at the start/intercession/end of their subs urging their audience to buy the anime when it becomes licensed in their area. Many also suggest that everyone cease distribution of the series at that point as well.

      Which largely amounts to nothing. The number of fansub viewers so wildly outweighs the number of buyers it's ridiculous and shows keep getting distributed no matter what.

      The worst part are people who whine about what is being made, have shows they enjoy, but never buy them. Then they have the audacity to wonder why more shows they like aren't being made.

      • by Necreia (954727) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:55PM (#35108236)

        Which largely amounts to nothing. The number of fansub viewers so wildly outweighs the number of buyers it's ridiculous and shows keep getting distributed no matter what.

        Really? Source? That's almost shocking to hear, as my experiences have been so drastically different. I'd be interested to see that survey or study. Additionally, it would go pretty counter to the article above as well.

        • by Microlith (54737) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:59PM (#35108268)

          Well I can't read the article in question, as the site is blocked here at work. However others I know who are reading it state that the article contradicts the headline.

          And my statement is primarily derived from my experience in the community, which seems to largely consist of whiny fans who hate to spend money on their hobby because "they show it on TV for free!"

          • by Necreia (954727) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:04PM (#35108304)

            Perhaps it's an age or regional thing then. The last fansub circle I was in was in the mid-20's to mid-30's demographic which had a pretty stout "Buy it when it comes out in the states" stance.

            • by VirginMary (123020) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:42PM (#35108558)

              I will download anything I like and then immediately buy it when it becomes available in my region. I have been known to even buy multiple editions and will always buy special editions should they be available. I use online and/or pirated material primarily as a screening resource. Since there is so much material out there there is no reason to watch anything that I don't greatly enjoy and if I greatly enjoy it, I want to support the creators and very likely watch it again and/or loan it out to some friends! I already own 400+ animé DVDs and blu-ray discs. Of course I am not likely to be a part of the typical target demographic as I am almost 52 years old.

            • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @01:04AM (#35109532)

              I've bought several anime series because they became available on fansubs.
              I've also started watching some on TV because of fan subs.

              However- I won't buy Anime which
              a) is overpriced (please-- $24 for 4 of 80 episodes? TV shows cost $20 for 18 to 24 episodes. That's a reasonable price for anime. Plus- do the math... $24*20 = $480 for one anime show. A bit unreasonable).
              b) I'm never going to watch again. I used to do this. I used to buy regular hollywood material too. But I realized I wasn't watching the DVD's for 90%. So I now only buy things I'm sure i'll watch a second time. I have a drawer full of stuff I won't watch again. I don't know... maybe I'll watch the Slayers again someday. It was fun. But so far, years and nope.

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:47PM (#35108582)

        How much does the condition the professional releases are in impact this?

        Often the shows are edited into childrens' cartoons or at the very least drastically changed.

        • by v1 (525388) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:01PM (#35108658) Homepage Journal

          How much does the condition the professional releases are in impact this?

          Often the shows are edited into childrens' cartoons or at the very least drastically changed.

          I tend to see the opposite. I have a number of series here that were censored when originally broadcast, having either small parts of a scene removed, or sometimes entire scenes. Those are present on the DVDs however. (Onegai Teacher is one example)

          One thing that annoys me there is that the fansubs are often more accurate or make more sense than the retail subs. But I tend to watch then in Japanese with english subs, and a lot of anime fans can't stand subtitles and go with dubbed, which is a shame. Very few titles are dubbed well.

          • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:19PM (#35108760)

            Really these people like dubbing?
            I do not watch anime really, but in foreign films I much prefer subtitles. Dubbing always looks distractingly wrong.

          • Very few titles are dubbed well.

            This isn't entirely true, certainly not anymore. And I say this as a subtitle fan. I've seen enough clips, and entire episodes (granted, of stuff I saw subbed first...) and the dubbing these days is actually pretty damned good. The quality is improving over time. And that can only be a good thing. Should I ever want to intruduce a non-subtitle watcher to a new show, I can do it without my ears bleeding. ;-)

            I think it mainly comes down to personal preference.
            My interest in anime (and other Japanese shows) has contributed to (and is increased by) my interest in Japanese language and culture. So my preference remains to the original langue version. Obivously manga and novels I have to read in English, owing to my lack of real Japanese skill. But subtitles means I can enjoy the original performance, in its original langue, with original inflections, yet still understand what is going on.
            And that is the same regardless of the quality of the dubbing. A good dub does, however, mean I can rewatch something (or go sub-free when my eyes are tired) and actually enjoy the overall show.

            Maybe if dubs had been this good back in the 1990s my preferences would be different. It's certainly possible, and would explain why more people seem to like the dubs these days. And I don't have a problem with that, as long as the discs continue to have the subs on.

          • by sjwt (161428) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @07:49AM (#35110534)

            I really like watching the English sub titles with English dubs, its amazing where they differ.

            • by v1 (525388) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @02:06PM (#35112262) Homepage Journal

              I really like watching the English sub titles with English dubs, its amazing where they differ.

              Agreed. It's interesting to see what gets changed. I'm learning more japanese every day, and I occasionally spot translation mistakes which can be fun.

              On rare occasion I watch anime english dubbed because the japanese voice actors were poorly chosen. Hellsing is an excellent example. Among other things, Alfred, the 160 lb beanpole of a butler, sounds like a sumo wrestler.

      • by Imrik (148191) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @01:36AM (#35109608) Homepage

        While fansub viewers may greatly outnumber buyers, buyers who watch fansubs greatly outnumber those that don't. Without fansubs there would be almost no market for anime outside of Japan. Even the shows that actually make it to regular television generally have fansubs to thank for their popularity.

        • by wisty (1335733) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @02:11AM (#35109678)

          Good point - downloaders are often teenagers who can't and won't pay for anything. As long as a few are still buying, then it's free advertising, right? And they'll buy the merchandise as well - ask George Lucas how that can work out.

          But the US "entertainment" industry isn't interested in free advertising. The US entertainment industry doens't care if the artists make money. They want to control the whole channel - advertising, promotions, dodgey deals with reviewers, blocking distibuters who sell independent lables.

          In a world where the artists can connect with fans more efficiently, the middlemen get cut out.

          Guess who's raising the biggest fuss?

    • by PPalmgren (1009823) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:04PM (#35108296)

      The article specifically mentions Japanese releases and sales within Japan. I don't think fansubbing has any relevance in this specific case.

      • by PrimaryConsult (1546585) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @12:00AM (#35109356)

        Not entirely irrelevant. I've imported some anime / games that will likely never get an R1 release because of fansubs. I have also purchased books and manga at Kinokuniya that I would not have never bothered with otherwise as a result.

        In that regard, fansubs directly results in the purchase of the Japan versions of BDs/DVDs/games/books.

        I admit this is a very, very small percentage and not what most people are talking about here when they talk about fansubs, but in some small way, it does help profits.

    • by msobkow (48369) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:09PM (#35108346) Homepage Journal

      Personally I like to sample an episode or two before I buy a box set, but the quality of anime viewing on YouTube just sucks. Video is far too low bandwidth to be clean. But it's good enough for a preview to decide if you like the writing and voice acting.

    • by loufoque (1400831) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:51PM (#35108606)

      I've ordered box sets when they became available in my area, entirely because I was able to watch the fansubs and enjoyed the series and wanted higher quality

      If you want the highest quality, you'd better stick with the fansubs... They're generally much better than the commercial subtitles, both in the translation an in the typesetting/editing.

    • by GiveBenADollar (1722738) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:33PM (#35108834)
      I dunno, without pirated copies of Eva and Trigun I would never have gotten into anime. I've purchased a few box sets that I would otherwise have not known about. Same is true with music. Without MP3s I would never have gotten interested in music. I dunno if I'm the norm or the exception, but in my own life pirating things has directly led to purchases that otherwise would not take place.
  • by Mage66 (732291) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:40PM (#35108124)
    But, for a permanent place in a collection, the better produced DVDs with extra content are much preferable. I buy the DVDs of the shows I like as soon as they are released. Pirated stuff isn't good enough to be a "keeper".
    • by guardiangod (880192) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:06PM (#35108316)

      Exactly. A good analogy would be geeks who buy the Blu-ray edition of Star Trek TV series- the shows are exactly the same as they were 50 years ago. The fans aren't buying the 'new edition' so that they can watch it for the 10th time. They are buying it for collection sake.
       
      Anime are aired on TV weekly, and if you missed that, there are always online illegal streaming sites that you can catch. Downloading the episode is just another way to watch.

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @12:58PM (#35111868) Homepage

        Trek was shot on film. So there is some potential there for gaining something from a Blu Ray release.

        It's much like any other movie of it's era.

        Whether or not there's any point to seeing Trek in all of it's 35mm glory is another matter. A couple of the Trek movies have gotten terrible reviews for video quality when they were released on BluRay. This is a potential issue with ANY BluRay title regardless of whether or not you have another copy already.

    • by loufoque (1400831) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:53PM (#35108620)

      Optimal media still exist? They're a thing of the past. They're not practical and they take place.
      You can put thousands of them on a hard disk drive with easier access.

      Also DVDs have crappy subtitles compared to what software softsubs can do.

    • by mauthbaux (652274) on Friday February 04, 2011 @11:09PM (#35109210) Homepage
      In a lot of cases, I'd agree with you. Unfortunately, the release schedule stateside is fairly ridiculous. Take Soul Eater for example. Originally broadcast in high def in Japan, episodes were subbed and sent to the streaming sites within a couple of days. Funimation took nearly a year after the original broadcast to start releasing the DVDs (in SD) here in the states. High-def legitimate versions of the series are still unavailable (nearly 3 years after the original broadcast).

      Example 2: FLCL.. 6 episode series, 24 minutes each. Originally released here for $30 a disc, and each disc contained only 2 episodes. Do the math, and you end up paying around $0.63 per minute... At the same rate, the first season of the series "Fringe" would cost $630.00 instead of the $30 (approx) it's currently retailing for. Corporate greed and obscene levels of markup drive a lot of us to find other means of acquiring entertainment. It's gotten better recently, but still not on par with domestic releases.

      Honestly, I've got a couple hundred legally purchased anime discs on my shelves. There's a lot more that I would purchase if it were available, but there simply no reasonable commercial means of acquiring it.
  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:41PM (#35108140)
    so what? Whether it's good or bad, it's still copyright infringement. The most this study could argue for is to encourage copyright holders to ignore piracy. It does not provide an excuse, or even a rationalization, for piracy. If you're looking for an ethical out, this isn't it.

    It says nothing about the real problem with copyright, the continual extension of terms. Disney got rich copying from Mark Twain, Bros. Grimm, Aesop, etc., yet wants to prevent others from doing the exact same to them. THAT is the problem. As Lawrence Lessig [lessig.org] has (unsuccessfully) argued, copyright exists to encourage the creation of works ("promote the progress of Science and the Useful Arts," in the US), and extending copyright on existing works does nothing to achieve that.

    I have no problem with laws protecting IP for limited periods (relative to the useful lifetime - longer for philosophical works, shorter for technological ones), but I do have a problem with keeping those works from the public domain indefinitely.
    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:45PM (#35108164) Homepage Journal

      because they copyright holders use the fake number to create stricter laws, and harsher punishment They sue them in order to get the FBI to storm peoples homes.

      That's why it matters. So people can be informed and shoot down those BS arguments.

      Most people pay for what they get. Every song on iTunes can eb found, quite easily, on a torrent somewhere. all of them. Yet Apple sells Billions of songs.

      I Agree with you the copyright is far too long. I'm not argue that at all.

      • by Sparx139 (1460489) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:23PM (#35108448)
        I'm not sure what can really be done to change copyright duration. At this stage, nobody is talking to anyone else and the situation is only getting worse as the views of the most vocal out of both crowds become increasingly polarised. The *AA's stance on copyright is well known, and opposing it we have "Operation Payback is a Bitch". I have to wonder what would happen if instead of this escalating 'war' - some new, draconian way to prevent infringement, which is cracked within a week - record companies had accepted piracy was going to happen and attempted a rational response.

        The current state of copyright protection and laws isn't helping anybody, and the only people who are getting hurt are the honest customers - Various company's (most recently Ubisoft)'s game-breaking DRM, the Sony rootkit, the heavy handedness of the *AA's response when they find someone they can accuse of copyright infringement*, they're driving their own customers away, in what appears to be the death throes of a failing business model. On the other side we've got Anonymous. Enough said.

        The only hope I can see is for the various Pirate Parties to gain some sort of influence. I mean, we occasionally hear about it, but I've never once seen them mentioned in the mainstream media (In countries such as Sweden it might be different, I don't know). That, and the *AA need to stop this crusade and start considering the idea of rational discussion. Of course, the day that happens is the day unicorns will frolic in the grass whilst it rains beer.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:15PM (#35108382) Journal

      Whether it's good or bad, it's still copyright infringement. The most this study could argue for is to encourage copyright holders to ignore piracy. It does not provide an excuse, or even a rationalization, for piracy. If you're looking for an ethical out, this isn't it.

      The only justification for the existence of copyright is to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts". If copyright fails to do that, then any claim to moral legitimacy of copyright law is null. It may not provide a legal excuse, but justice is never an excuse under unjust laws.

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:45PM (#35108574) Journal

        >>>If you're looking for an ethical out, this isn't it.

        I have an ethical out: Hollywood won't let return these that are crap. Even candybar makers advertise, "Satisfaction guaranteed or return for a refund." Why can't CD and DVD sellers make the same promise? So I download to avoid throwing-away my money on shit movies (like transformers 2). I would buy this stuff legally if T2 was returning, but since it isn't, and I don't want to throw-away $20, I watch it first before buying.

        And don't try to argue that I should read reviews. Those things are bought-and-paid-for by the companies, and therefore worthless.

    • by vadim_t (324782) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:40PM (#35108552) Homepage

      You're looking at it the wrong way, I think.

      A business, which manga and anime production are very much, is into it for the money, not for some philosophical goal of obtaining a 1 viewer to 1 buyer ratio at any cost.

      So if ignoring piracy makes more money then a good business would ignore the piracy and make more money.

      so what? Whether it's good or bad, it's still copyright infringement. The most this study could argue for is to encourage copyright holders to ignore piracy. It does not provide an excuse, or even a rationalization, for piracy. If you're looking for an ethical out, this isn't it.

      Well, and why is it a bad thing? In my view, the main reason why piracy could be said to be morally wrong is that it economically harms the people who make the anime. If however it turns out it benefits them, then there's no harm and for me without harm there's no moral wrong. There's your ethical rationalization.

    • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:50PM (#35108598)

      And what exactly is wrong with copyright infringement?

      • by msauve (701917) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:49PM (#35108912)
        Tell me why a person has no right to profit from their labor, and I'll answer your question.
        • by robot256 (1635039) on Friday February 04, 2011 @10:39PM (#35109102)
          The study asserts that, at least in this isolated case, the act of copyright infringement results in more profit for the creators, not less. Tell me why this wrong, and I'll answer yours.
        • by Lloyd_Bryant (73136) on Friday February 04, 2011 @10:44PM (#35109128)

          Tell me why a person has no right to profit from their labor, and I'll answer your question.

          It's not an issue of "has no right to profit from their labor". It's an issue of "has no right to always profit any time any person anywhere views/listens to the work they produced".

          The media companies aren't in danger of going bankrupt, despite their constant whining and moaning about how piracy is killing their business. They are still quite profitable. They just aren't making the profits they *think* they should be making, based on the assumption that anytime anyone, anywhere, views/listens to a work they created, they should get paid for it.

          I would strongly agree that if someone is making a profit from selling a work, then the creator of the work deserves a share of that profit. But I also strongly disagree that the creator deserves to make a profit every time someone sees/hears the work.

        • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday February 04, 2011 @10:54PM (#35109162)

          Because they only have the right to try to profit from their labor. I sometimes use my labor to play video games and no one pays me. Same with most of my software development and any art I create. You have no entitlement to profit.

          Tell me why a government granted monopoly is the only way they can do that?

        • by kronosopher (1531873) <celeron@@@netolith...com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @11:03PM (#35109194) Homepage
          wouldn't it be fair to say that the labor for profit game is antiquated by the propensity of labor to be automated? and by extension, the idea of copyright is rendered obsolete.
        • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex&project-retrograde,com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @11:15PM (#35109240) Homepage

          Tell me why a person has no right to profit from their labor, and I'll answer your question.

          The product of your labour is only valuable due to the fact it includes huge portions of the public culture's resources.
          Language - Did you invent the language your work is produced in? Did you invent the concepts and notions of word play, drama, suspense or modern cinematic treatments thereof?

          No. You are standing on the shoulders of giants -- In proportion to your own work, the inclusion of the public culture's resources far outweighs your contribution to any thought-product protected by copyright.

          Many Inventions are far more creative and/or useful than the works of film-makers or authors, yet the former only receive a ~20 year monopoly with which they may profit from their creations. Copyright holders enjoy a monopoly over their creations for Lifetime + 70 years -- THAT'S TWO GENERATIONS OF HUMANS AND THEIR CULTURE!

          The original intent of copyright law was not to prevent the general public from making reproductions, or remixes of a copyrighted work. Originally, copyrights were enacted to prevent Publishers form abusing the public and creators of works -- Publishing contracts currently provide them an end-run around this. Copyright laws have been turned against the general public and the content authors. Copyright violations are so prevalent largely due to the fact that copying is so cheap that reproductions are essentially in infinite supply -- Economics 101: Regardless of production cost; Price tends toward zero as supply increases to infinity.

          I do not have a license to make reproductions of a DVD, yet it must surely be duplicated at least FOUR TIMES PER VIEW (once within the DVD SATA cache, once in main RAM, another in my VIDEO CARD, and a fourth on my monitor's display). I must break copyright laws under which you operate completely no less than 4 times to consume your works; That's what I call irrelevant laws. (Note, only recently have I been allowed to legally view most DVDs on Linux -- I compiled the player myself == unlicensed player).

          The very state of the culture itself is what makes your product have worth.

          Please explain how much worth any thought-media is in proportion to the entire human culture's collective contribution to said work. Please explain how relevant pay-per copy models are now that copies are in infinite supply. Please explain to me why basic economic principals do not apply to industries that profit from copyright.

          When you can fully explain to me why continued abuse of the general public is allowed instead of reformation of the ancient copyright laws considering that 200 years of technological advancement have made the laws irrelevant, then I'll extrapolate the amount you may earn by producing those works -- It may be a negative amount due to the harm that abused copyright laws have caused the public.

          If not for "piracy" there would be no incentive to change the model -- The Piracy epidemic exists because modern technology has rendered the pay-per-copy model irrelevant.

          I agree that creators should be compensated for their works, but I do not agree to TWO GENERATIONS OF MONOPOLY for works that are only a small fraction original. I can see why some would, in protest, ignore copyright laws in order to offset the absurdity of the state of copyright laws -- CAN YOU NOT?

        • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @01:02PM (#35111888) Homepage

          > Tell me why a person has no right to profit from their labor, and I'll answer your question.

          There is no such right. You just made that up.

          On the other hand, I do have a right to speak freely and control my own property. You should not be able to interfere with either.

          Also, the "product of your own labor" is infact a product of the commons. That commons needs to be available for the next generation.

          Creative works are not property. Any monopoly that is associated with them exists purely to increase the commons for the next generation.

    • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2011 @10:08PM (#35108994)

      > I have no problem with laws protecting IP for limited periods

      Please refrain from using such an expression ("IP") for the following reasons:
      1) It encompasses too different things (e.g., copyright and patents) and thus causes a lot of confusion because one can be misled to apply the same reasoning (and decisions!) to apples and oranges;
      2) It opens an even larger breach to allow inclusion of even future, unconceivable legal constructs, thus leading society to a situation which can be frontally contrarian to our very human nature;
      3) The words themselves are an oxymoron of sorts... "intellectual" being something related to both ingenuity and art (two very different areas) and "property" (something which one gets to keep to oneself and deny others)... as the old adage goes, what is said cannot be taken back, because it pertains to everyone. No idea, once put on paper or discussed, can be "property". If one wants to keep something to her/himself, one must not say it. Ever.

      There's a harsh fight between a working capitalist system, which has served well the public till now, and some deviant corporations with monopolistic/antisocial behaviour which would stop at nothing to achieve whatever objectives they have. It's not about profit anymore, it's about "total control". Controlling ideas is a necessary step in such strategy. "IP" is the materialization of a non-existent concept which, if allowed, could become a powerful weapon to restrict Freedom.

    • by Draek (916851) on Friday February 04, 2011 @11:25PM (#35109268)

      so what? Whether it's good or bad, it's still copyright infringement. The most this study could argue for is to encourage copyright holders to ignore piracy. It does not provide an excuse, or even a rationalization, for piracy. If you're looking for an ethical out, this isn't it.

      Ethics is irrelevant of the law, so the fact that it's still copyright infringement doesn't affect whether it's good or bad.

      I have no problem with laws protecting IP for limited periods (relative to the useful lifetime - longer for philosophical works, shorter for technological ones)

      And inflict upon ourselves the hell of every copyright creator and their dog trying to claim their work, regardless of media or content, mysteriously falls under the category with the longest terms? or worse yet, *change* the work so it fits?

      It'll be great seeing the protagonist of a comedy suddenly jump into a philosophical diatribe just so the studio can get a couple extra years out of it. Oh, wait, it won't. Fixed terms, to be determined by scientific studies looking to maximize the number of works on the Public Domain, it's the only way to do it properly and painlessly.

    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @06:28AM (#35110314)

      Disney got rich copying from Mark Twain, Bros. Grimm, Aesop, etc., yet wants to prevent others from doing the exact same to them.

      Thanks, this never clicked for me until now. Sure, I've heard people say how they "stole" these things, but that always came across as hyperbole because they never prevented anyone from reading the originals. But what you said puts the inconsistency in plain view: Mark Twain's work wasn't hundreds of years old when Disney made things based on it, yet the copyright extensions pushed by Disney etc. will make it at least that long until anyone derive from Disney's work.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:42PM (#35108146)

    Was it done by the Department in Charge of Gundam?

  • by Bonker (243350) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:43PM (#35108160)

    You think U.S. fans would know what to expect from a title like Bakemonogatari [wikimedia.org] is without having seen a fansub first?

    Turns out that the aforementioned title is a popular romantic fantasy story about a young ex-vampire and the various supernatural girls he meets. Its title is probably best translated as 'Ghost Story'.

    Despite the relative obscurity of both the story and the source material, It has a fairly strong U.S. fanbase that will likely make publishing a run of Region 1 DVDs profitable for both the Japanese and North American companies involved.

    Without fansubs, that market simply wouldn't exist and everyone would miss out.

    • by Microlith (54737) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:48PM (#35108192)

      It has a fairly strong U.S. fanbase that will likely make publishing a run of Region 1 DVDs profitable for both the Japanese and North American companies involved.

      You can say that but I suspect the fanbase is, like most show-specific fanbases in Anime, small, vocal, and won't hesitate to find any excuse to not buy.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:54PM (#35108232)

      Turns out that the aforementioned title is a popular romantic fantasy story about a young ex-vampire and the various supernatural girls he meets... Without fansubs, that market simply wouldn't exist and everyone would miss out.

      I don't think Americans being unexposed to what sounds like a Japanese version of "Twilight" qualifies as "everyone missing out."

    • by wrook (134116) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:45PM (#35108898) Homepage

      This is a really good point. However, as someone else pointed out, the study seems to be talking about piracy in Japan affecting Japanese sales.

      For me this is an even easier "duh". Japanese anime DVDs are ridiculously expensive. A single DVD (which might only hold 2 22 minute episodes) can be as much as $70 US. Nobody is buying these to watch them. They are buying them to have them. Downloading and burning a disk is *not* the same thing.

      I once saw a an interview with Karl Lagerfeld . He was asked if knockoffs of his fashion designs affect his sales. He said his customers would never buy an imitation and that those who buy an imitation could never afford the real thing. He was completely unconcerned with knockoffs.

      Recently a new Anime was just released called "Houkago Pureadisu" (After school Pleiades). It was released online. It is sponsored by Subaru and the main character's name is Subaru. While not a very good anime, I wonder if this kind of thing will become more common. I think it makes sense to use product placement to generate ad revenue and then distribute for free (without commercials). Well, nothing is stopping you from putting some ads on a download page as well. Again, it won't even make a dent in sales to people who simply have to have the authentic disc (which are the only people buying anime in Japan today).

    • by rdnetto (955205) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @02:47AM (#35109740)

      You think U.S. fans would know what to expect from a title like Bakemonogatari [wikimedia.org] is without having seen a fansub first?

      Turns out that the aforementioned title is a popular romantic fantasy story about a young ex-vampire and the various supernatural girls he meets. Its title is probably best translated as 'Ghost Story'.

      Despite the relative obscurity of both the story and the source material, It has a fairly strong U.S. fanbase that will likely make publishing a run of Region 1 DVDs profitable for both the Japanese and North American companies involved.

      Without fansubs, that market simply wouldn't exist and everyone would miss out.

      You're doing it a disservice if you don't mention the comedy. I would describe its genre as supernatural - there's not that much romance in it (just a few episodes). The comedy is interwoven throughout, and thrives mostly due to the dialogue (which can still be appreciated even when translated). That said, the article specifically considered sales within Japan.

    • by houghi (78078) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @10:21AM (#35111056)

      make publishing a run of Region 1 DVDs profitable

      Remove the Region part and the rest of the world could also see it without the need of piracy or other 'illegal' methods.
      Or is there any reason to exclude e.g. Australia?

      Many copyright infringements are due to these region codes.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:51PM (#35108210) Homepage

    The **AA doesn't want to sell CDs and DVDs any longer. They are too expensive. They are already making like 1000% profit, but those costs of publishing are eating into their ability to get even more money. They want to "sell" content that expires in a short time so that people have to buy it over and over and over again while at the same time, the publishers don't have to manufacture anything at all!

    They want their money for nothing and having to spend money to make it is a highly limiting factor... the difference between limited and limitless.

    This is what they want. Make no mistake about it. And as long as digital copies without limits and expirations, there will be perceived losses.

  • by reilwin (1303589) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:05PM (#35108312)

    The results of the study come at an interesting time. For years anime distributors where considered quite lenient towards piracy, but last week the American anime distributor Funimation announced lawsuits against 1337 alleged BitTorrent downloaders.

    Wait, really?

  • by Stregano (1285764) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:17PM (#35108396)
    You ever watched MTV Cribs? Do you realize how much some of the cast of Jersey Shore gets paid per episode? 50,000. That's right. I have a degree in comp sci, 4 years of experience, worked with multiple languages in my job (yes, I know I am still new in the industry, don't ruin my story) and I make less than them a year and all they do is act retarded. The big companies can complain all they want, but if they are hurting so much for money, then stop paying Will Smith 20mill per movie. Pay him 100,000 since he has years of experience and call it a day.

    What does this have to do with pirating Anime? I don't know. I like to rip into the *AA's at any chance I can get my mits on.

    Because of Pirating I found out about Samurai Champloo, Lupin, Bubblegum Crisis (I think it is called that, I have seen 2 or 3 eps), Tri-Gun, Cowboy Bebop, and I now own the DVD's for most of them. I found out about some Anime movies through pirating as well (everybody knows about Akira regardless), but Voltage Fighters, X, Ninja Scroll. If it was not for piratting, I would have never bought these DVD's. I am not into the weird Japanese Anime version of Twilight stuff. Not my style kid, but yeah, yay for piratting since it openned my eyes to a bunch of mainstream anime I would not have known about previously
    • by boxwood (1742976) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @08:21AM (#35110596)

      They pay Will Smith $20M per movie because having his name above the title will likely get about $20M from people that want to watch a Will Smith movie. Yeah maybe you don't like Will Smith (myself I'm Will Smith neutral) but there must be actors that you like and their involvement in a movie will make you more likely to go see the movie.

      Yeah its ridiculous that the idiots on Jersey Shore get so much money. But people watch them for some reason and without those idiots they don't have a show and they don't have viewers. But 50,000 per episode is cheap. The cast of Friends were getting $1M per episode each. This is of course the reason why there has been a shift to reality television.

      Anyway don't worry about it. If you don't like the entertainment business, you don't have to buy or even view the stuff they put out.

      • by SwedishPenguin (1035756) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @11:10AM (#35111240)

        There are thousands of actors that can act at least as well as Will Smith can, probably hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, I don't see why Will Smith (or any other actor) should make you more likely to watch a movie. The writing and direction is much more important to the success of a movie.

        Anyways, our society is full of examples of people contributing little to society (stock traders come to mind) are paid millions, yet those who contribute a lot (nurses and teachers for instance) are often paid below the average salary.

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @01:07PM (#35111924) Homepage

        You can just make a better movie and only spend $20 million on it total and still come out ahead.

        The problem with this is that such an approach is not considered a "sure thing" to a corporate mindset and bean counters with zero imagination are running the studios these days.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:53PM (#35108616)
    Piracy may boost the sales of niche markets, but that's not what the media industry cares about. Piracy definitely doesn't help the sales of movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. When everyone already knows about the movie, then the advertising potential that piracy offers doesn't help at all. In fact, if the media industry wants anything, it's control over their market. A zillion niche markets appealing to every audience imaginable is a threat to their 1 movie everyone has to buy business model. But then again, their one movie everyone has to buy business model is what makes 10k+ seeded torrents that download in 10min possible.
  • by Derekloffin (741455) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:55PM (#35108632)
    ...is not Causation. Although I have no doubts, particularly when it comes to anime, that piracy may well be positive rather than negative at times, it is a VERY difficult thing to actually prove (or disprove).
  • by Nyder (754090) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:25PM (#35108794) Journal

    I love fansubs. Sheesh, I wouldn't of ever gotten into most the anime I have without it.

    But besides getting new Anime fast with fansubs, there's another reason I like it better then dub versions.

    American dub versions usually suck dog shit. They will dumb the plot down, change stuff to fit "american kids". Not cool with that.

    Of course, i rely on the fansubbers to give me an accurate translation of what is said, which doesn't seem to always happen. But it's free, and I forgive them.

    I have a buddy who likes dubs, but i think it's because he has crappy eyesight and can't read what the fansubs say. or public school education, so he can't read too good. never can tell. But he stuck back some years behind what i'm watching. He's talking like Naruto Shippuden (sorry for bad spelling) episode 63, and I'm talking like episode 200.

    Okay, i'm going to bust some truth about me here. I'm not really a consumer. I've always been happy with copies of stuff. Music? I used to make cassette tape copies of my friends stuff. Mp3 just made it easier and more convient (and better copies, oddly enough) for me. Would I buy all that music? Hell No. I'm cheap.
    Same for movies/video games/everything. If i can get it cheap, or free, count me in.

    But that being said, i have a bunch of friend who have to own the item. They must own the DVD, or the CD, collectors edition? hell ya, they fork over the extra money for it. I don't know what's difference between them and me (besides probably $40k a year) because even when we were broke kids, they still had to own the shit.

    And those peeps? I've introduced more Anime, music/movies to them over the years that they would of probably never found without me (until they have kids, lol) and my internet downloading ways.

    In closing, I will say, thanks Fansubbers, you rock.

    Oh, and this. What the fuck is up with all the god damn fluff episodes? Take bleach. You have a story. You then pause the current story, do some fillers, then do some back stories, start another mini story series, finally get back to the main story, start up some more back stories, throw in some fluff for good measure, then finally get back on the main story. wtf? And you tend to do that for other series, Bleach just seems to have it the worse. As an american who does NOT buy your stuff, please keep it on the stories please. thanks! =)

  • by night_flyer (453866) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:31PM (#35108822) Homepage

    been saying it for years

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @12:01AM (#35109358)

    I was in LOVE with this series back then. I was like a trekkie geek for it. I watched it whenever I could get access to it on TV, played the RPG, bought the cheap Japanese knockoff toys, etc. But, because of downright extortion by Palladium games charging $10 dollars per EPISODE I never got to see the whole series when I was a big fan. I knew of networks of people trading anime back and forth, but I never went through with getting VHS tapes mailed to a fellow fan.

    Finally, about 5 years ago I found the series for the dirt cheap price of $15 plus shipping for all the DVDs and got to see all the episodes for the first time. I don't know my point since I'm against downloading content and not paying the artists, but back then there wasn't much of a choice. I imagine there still isn't much access for fans today.

  • by mug funky (910186) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @01:20AM (#35109574)

    i might just play devil's advocate for a second and point out that anime really is not representative of the entire market,

    anime fans actively collect anime. they'll download to see if the show is good, then buy up the whole series, plus merch, plus dress up and go to cons, plus buy the re-issues, the re-re-issues, and the blu-ray (that's an up-res of the re-re-issue DVD master), and then the reconstruction when it comes out.

    these results and this market do not translate to the stuff that the **AAs pump out, where a fan will download to see if it's worth keeping... and then nothing more will happen.

    * disclaimer: i work in distribution.

  • by genner (694963) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @12:23PM (#35111648)
    Funimation announced lawsuits against 1337 alleged BitTorrent downloaders.

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

Working...