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Old 2012-02-06, 11:55   Link #1
Ansible
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Tip jar links for Animes

I'd like to make monetary contributions to the anime industry. It would be great if next to each torrent link there was a paypal link or similar where I could contribute a buck or two when I think an episode or series is really cool. Ideally the money would go to the correct company and it would be noted which episode or series prompted the contribution.

I know its possible to buy DVDs but I don't watch DVDs and I don't want them taking up space in my apt. Why not channel all my money to the anime company rather than waste part of it on physical media manufacture and distribution?
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Old 2012-02-06, 11:57   Link #2
Klashikari
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That would simply be watching anime through websites such like funimation and crunchy roll.
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Old 2012-02-06, 12:17   Link #3
Ansible
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Point taken. But its not EXACTLY the same. With those sites you are locked into their pricing, and you don't get a movie file its streaming. I'd rather be in control of how much is contributed and to what, and continue to watch animes that are downloaded, fansubbed files rather than streamed. For stuff I really like I could contribute a little more, or go back and 'vote' for old series with money.

I like the idea of the media itself being out of the control of the company that produces it - cast to the wind on the internet on grassroots distribution channels like animesuki and irc. Then money comes back spontaneously in a gift economy fashion. Instead of the company dictating the price and availability, the community provides the distribution and individuals determine the price themselves. 1000 fansub groups instead of single monolithic streaming websites, and the freedom of watching files on my tablet, phone, computer, whatever, regardless of whether I'm online or DRM-connected or whatever.
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Old 2012-02-06, 12:20   Link #4
hyl
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Or you could buy their dvd's or blu rays (or their merchandise) if you really wanted to contribute to them. Adding a tip jar for torrents does not help the companies that make the animes, because these companies don't distribute their anime with torrents. So the tips most likely go to the fansubbing groups or raw providers.
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Old 2012-02-06, 12:37   Link #5
Ansible
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Yeah but I don't want DVDs, blu rays, or merch. And though fansubbers do deserve props and contributions, I'm more talking about directly contributing to the companies that make the art.

I'd like to send the message that the 'pirate' community can actually provide a living for companies. With current economic models I think many companies feel the only way to make it is to have 'locked down' distribution channels like netflix, and to kill off the grassroots channels with litigation. That sets companies and fans at odds, and pits companies against the internet - you get stuff like SOPA and etc. Wouldn't it be great if companies could make it on the goodwill of the community instead? There's been some success with this - radiohead and louis ck come to mind.

https://buy.louisck.net/
http://www.thekingoflimbs.com/Store/DisplayItems.html

Plus, when the distribution is no longer something that requires a big company to manage - ie making physical DVDs and etc - that lowers the barriers to entry and opens the door for more indie art.
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Old 2012-02-06, 12:40   Link #6
hyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
Yeah but I don't want DVDs, blu rays, or merch. And though fansubbers do deserve props and contributions, I'm more talking about directly contributing to the companies that make the art.

I'd like to send the message that the 'pirate' community can actually provide a living for companies. With current economic models I think many companies feel the only way to make it is to have 'locked down' distribution channels like netflix, and to kill off the grassroots channels with litigation. That sets companies and fans at odds, and pits companies against the internet - you get stuff like SOPA and etc. Wouldn't it be great if companies could make it on the goodwill of the community instead? There's been some success with this - radiohead and louis ck come to mind.

https://buy.louisck.net/
http://www.thekingoflimbs.com/Store/DisplayItems.html

Plus, when the distribution is no longer something that requires a big company to manage - ie making physical DVDs and etc - that lowers the barriers to entry and opens the door for more indie art.
You are aware that those companies need to sell atleast several thousands of those dvd's or BD's to be even break-even? So deliberatly not buying their products, while you still want to help them seems a little contradictory.
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:02   Link #7
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If you want, you can send me the money, and then I can spend it on anime Blu-Rays/DVDs and manga. . I'll even take a picture of my purchase and then send you the image so you'll know that your contribution helped the anime industry...

Realistically, large companies/corporations will not have a "Donate Now" button on their site, nor would they be really interested in the pittance from a few fans (you can't really devise a business strategy around a few fans giving away a few dollars a year). Still, if you are interested, there might be a few companies that have advertisements on their site, and clicking the ads would give the companies some amount of money.
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:06   Link #8
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They wouldn't need to sell any DVDs if they had another revenue stream that was big enough. Would voluntary contributions from the fansub community be enough? Who knows. It would be really cool if it was. I think there are a lot of people out there that have no plans to pony up 30$ for a DVD set, but they still want to see new anime produced and their favorite publishers stay afloat. As things are, that potential revenue is never making it to the publishers.
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:13   Link #9
hyl
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Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
They wouldn't need to sell any DVDs if they had another revenue stream that was big enough. Would voluntary contributions from the fansub community be enough? Who knows. It would be really cool if it was. I think there are a lot of people out there that have no plans to pony up 30$ for a DVD set, but they still want to see new anime produced and their favorite publishers stay afloat. As things are, that potential revenue is never making it to the publishers.
There are some articles on the internet like these that roughtly estimates the costs of an anime episode.

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-new...e-cost-to-make

I seriously doubt that those companies are making a profit in any other way than selling their products and their merchandise. The money from the very few fans will never cover these costs.
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:28   Link #10
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Oh ye of little faith! You know, Louis CK's video did pretty well:

http://boingboing.net/2011/12/15/lou...direct-sa.html

In the first week he turned a profit of 200,000$. Total revenue of about 400,000$, and I believe its well over 1 million now.

Now it may be that anime fans are fewer in number than Louis CK fans. But what's the harm in allowing voluntary contributions? It would be awesome if it turned out to be a big revenue stream. But even if it didn't, I don't see what's wrong with making it available as a an option for people. Every little bit counts, right?

Its interesting that the comments so far are so negative. What's wrong with an economic model that supports both the fansub community and the anime industry?
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:33   Link #11
hyl
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Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
Oh ye of little faith! You know, Louis CK's video did pretty well:

http://boingboing.net/2011/12/15/lou...direct-sa.html

In the first week he turned a profit of 200,000$. Total revenue of about 400,000$, and I believe its well over 1 million now.

Now it may be that anime fans are fewer in number than Louis CK fans. But what's the harm in allowing voluntary contributions? It would be awesome if it turned out to be a big revenue stream. But even if it didn't, I don't see what's wrong with making it available as a an option for people. Every little bit counts, right?

Its interesting that the comments so far are so negative. What's wrong with an economic model that supports both the fansub community and the anime industry?
Your example of Louis CK does not apply to torrents, in which the anime companies don't support it.
Also you can't compare the costs of a comedy act and a 1 cour project costing over 1,5 million dollars. The risks are too high if you try to get most of your money back by this method.

Let me ask you this, why doesn't the whole music industry already support this idea if that idea was so brilliant? Because it might work for a few of them, but the majority of them will make heavy losses if they distribute this way instead of distributing it by an optical medium.
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:59   Link #12
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As far as the music industry goes, I don't think this approach has ever been seriously tried. Maybe it would work, but I don't know if it would be sufficient to support the bloated corporate giants that want to sue everyone and kill the internet. As far as I'm concerned they can all go die anyway. I'd welcome a way to directly pay the artists and have no need for a litigious corporation playing middleman.

Network television subsisted for many years on advertising revenue alone. I wonder how much that revenue was per viewer? I'm betting advertisers didn't pay 5$ per hour per viewer, and yet that was a viable model. Granted, they had a lot of viewers, but still.

Anyway there isn't certainty about a 'tip jar' model in terms of revenue. Maybe it would provide almost nothing for the artists, maybe it would help them out significantly. I think the best way to find out is to try it.
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Old 2012-02-06, 14:47   Link #13
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So basically what you're suggesting is that AnimeSuki accept funds and then find a way to pass them along to the company who deserves credit? It's a nice idea, but I don't think it's realistic. First, that would be a lot of work on AnimeSuki's part. Second, whenever money gets involved, it opens the site to more scrutiny. Lastly - and this is the big one - the industry currently isn't set up to receive donations in that manner. Even if AnimeSuki were willing to manage the money, how would they get it to the companies?
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Old 2012-02-06, 15:00   Link #14
Ansible
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So basically what you're suggesting is that AnimeSuki accept funds and then find a way to pass them along to the company who deserves credit? It's a nice idea, but I don't think it's realistic. First, that would be a lot of work on AnimeSuki's part. Second, whenever money gets involved, it opens the site to more scrutiny. Lastly - and this is the big one - the industry currently isn't set up to receive donations in that manner. Even if AnimeSuki were willing to manage the money, how would they get it to the companies?
I hear you - I don't want animesuki to get piled on by lawyers.

Maybe it could be as simple as providing a link to a (known-to-be-legit) paypal account for each publisher; in that case the transaction itself would be between the fan and the publisher, leaving AS out of the equation. That does assume that such an account exists, which I guess isn't the case today. Given sufficient community interest, maybe publishers would create paypal accounts for fan donations.
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Old 2012-02-06, 15:20   Link #15
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That does assume that such an account exists, which I guess isn't the case today.
Right. That's the big problem that gets in the way of implementing the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
Given sufficient community interest, maybe publishers would create paypal accounts for fan donations.
Hmm, I'm not sure how well that one would go over... the companies are currently set up to sell things, and if it's a region outside of Japan, they license their stuff and have other companies sell it. Donating to them directly would seemingly give them a higher percentage of the money being sent their way, but it's basically an admission that people are pirating their stuff and not buying it instead. While there's a possibility that they could make a lot of money that way, it really takes things out of their control, as they lose their ability to put a price on things, offer deals and specials, and gauge fan interest in other salable items.

If you want to spend the money but don't want physical items or a subscription service, how about buying episodes on services like the iTunes Music Store? While you can't set your own price, you have a bit more freedom in how much you spend ($2-3 per episode; you're not forced to buy the entire series if you don't want to). Your purchase also adds on to sales figures and a bunch of other junk that can ultimately prove beneficial to the creators in more ways than a bit of loose change would.
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Old 2012-02-06, 15:48   Link #16
Ansible
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Donating to them directly would seemingly give them a higher percentage of the money being sent their way, but it's basically an admission that people are pirating their stuff and not buying it instead.
Yep, good point. Some companies would probably balk at this. Others might be ok with it, especially if they are on the ropes financially anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
While there's a possibility that they could make a lot of money that way, it really takes things out of their control, as they lose their ability to put a price on things, offer deals and specials, and gauge fan interest in other salable items.

If you want to spend the money but don't want physical items or a subscription service, how about buying episodes on services like the iTunes Music Store? While you can't set your own price, you have a bit more freedom in how much you spend ($2-3 per episode; you're not forced to buy the entire series if you don't want to). Your purchase also adds on to sales figures and a bunch of other junk that can ultimately prove beneficial to the creators in more ways than a bit of loose change would.
yep, lack of control on the part of the company making the product. That's part of what I like about it - the alternative is this perception that the company will die if they don't have strict control over the internet, with the ability to issue takedowns to websites and etc. Ideally I'd like to see coexistence of freedom of communication and media production. This may be unrealistic I know.

The itunes thing is good info - I didnt know about being able to buy episodes individually for relatively cheap. That suits me more than physical media, but it still lacks the message of being directly from the fansub community.
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Old 2012-02-06, 16:12   Link #17
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Yeah, I don't think this is going to work. Because the torrents are not authorized in the first place, I don't think the publishers/distributors would be interested in anything that could be seen as a way of legitimizing that unauthorized distribution, or a way for people to rationalize their piracy ("I know I downloaded this content illegally, but I sent a tip so it's okay!"). And, even though it may be called a tip, some people may think they have now paid for "the product" and are now "a customer", even though they're not. Although I know this is an invalid comparison, I think a "tip jar" would kind of be seen as eating the whole meal, refusing to pay for it, but still tipping the waiter. If the publishers/distributors themselves authorized the free distribution, they would provide the means to monetize that distribution. I don't think we can or should try to serve as some sort of broker or intermediary, even if we're just passing people along.

Also, keep in mind that the anime production system involves a whole lot of companies with a whole lot of stakes in the business. Most anime are produced by a production committee that consists of a number of a different stakeholders who all have their own part in monetizing the initiative (media companies, broadcasters, music labels, game publishers, etc. etc.). The process also supports intermediaries like distributors, licensors, and retailers, who do no less to contribute to the industry through advertising and other marketing initiatives. If one company in the chain just up and decided "I'm going to start accepting money directly from fans", where's the agreement that gives them the right to monetize that mechanism, and what's the procedure to ensure this money flows properly to all the other stakeholders, some of whom may now consider themselves less likely to receive money through their normal means. Beyond that, the production committee for each show is different, so even if you could figure it out once, figuring it out for every show (particularly for older shows) could be difficult or impossible. By the time you consider the credit card fees and other intermediary fees necessary to collect these payments, and the relatively-small scale that we're talking about here, I think they'd probably figure it would take more work to figure out how make the internal business arrangements work than they could ever hope to make back in "tip". Did you also know that PayPal has policies that make it difficult for non-charitable organizations to accept donations? In any case, for anime production committees, it's definitively not as simple as 1. Make PayPal account, 2. Put donation link next to torrents, 3. ???, 4. Profit!

I think the proposed model can work well in the case where you have a single artist or musician (or band, etc.) who is in control of their product and now has the necessary tools to bring their market directly to market. They have a much greater ability to take control of their own destiny and try new, experimental business models. But the anime production process is so convoluted and so based on entrenched and "outdated" business models that it would pretty much take a re-imagining of things from the inside out to bring about the sort of changes that would get us to this point. And because of all those complex business models and relationships, even if we said "I want to send you money; where should I send it?", I doubt we'd get a usable answer other than "buy our products". Those business models exist, and they know how to make them work.
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Old 2012-02-06, 16:44   Link #18
Ansible
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Did you also know that PayPal has policies that make it difficult for non-charitable organizations to accept donations?
True. Maybe Dwolla then, or something else. But who has a dwolla account? That is a problem. Bitcoin is technically possible as an intermediate payment method, but it is obscure to say the least. Edit: flattr is another possibility. http://flattr.com/

As to the rest of the issues, I guess it can't hurt to ask. If I come up with any payment links I'll be sure to post them.

Personally I wish there was a 'pirate payment directory' site that was generalized to all media and not just anime. But I wouldn't want to be the one to get sued into oblivion for running such a site. I think there's a need though - there are a lot of people out there with mild guilt who would like to contribute somehow - besides actually buying 18$ CDs and etc.

Last edited by Ansible; 2012-02-06 at 16:56.
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Old 2012-02-06, 16:50   Link #19
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^No there aren't. Or if there were, how would you know about it?

I don't feel guilt about watching fansubbed anime . Why should I? Japanese people get to watch it free on their TV; but I don't live in Japan, so all I have are torrents. Also if it wasn't for torrents, I wouldn't be spending hundreds, if not thousands into anime merchandise. I think that's a good way to contribute already. Merchandise is a HUGE part of the anime industry after all.
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Old 2012-02-06, 17:02   Link #20
hyl
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I am already spending lot's of money on blu-rays, cd's and other random merchandise like figures or artbooks , regardless if i watched animes on streaming sites or torrents.
In fact i am buying them, because i liked those series because i could watch them.
o_o
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