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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.'"
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Piracy Boosts Anime Sales, Says Japanese Government Study

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  • 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 [] 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 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 [] 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.

  • Re:Remember (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcello_dl (667940) on Friday February 04, 2011 @08:18PM (#35108406) Homepage Journal

    Ask ten people if having an mp3 is to be considered a penal offence, and then work out the probabilities that such laws passed around the world represent the opinion of the people.

    I must have said it here already. RIAA and all the others do studies too. They know that their public position on piracy = theft is utter BS. They don't fear pirated stuff, they fear the cropping up of alternative channels for the fruition of media. Because then the market fragments and the consumer becomes the Chooser.

    From a numeric point of view, that should not matter to them if they spend 10 million to produce and promote a band or spend them producing and promoting 10 bands, as long that they make up more than 10 millions in record sales. On the other hand, Art has often been about entertainment on the receiving end, about influence on the producing end, and I see no reason why this should have never happened after WWII propaganda efforts.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

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

    And what exactly is wrong with copyright infringement?

  • 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.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ...> on Friday February 04, 2011 @11:15PM (#35109240)

    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?

  • Re:Remember (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dryeo (100693) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @01:40AM (#35109620)

    In 1930 if you asked 10 people if having some hemp should be a penal offence, you would have been laughed at. A couple of years later they renamed it and prohibited it. With a good propaganda campaign it didn't take long for most people to agree that possessing some marijuana should be a penal offence if not a capital crime.
    It's amazing what you can get accomplished with control of the media and a good propaganda campaign.

  • 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.

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds