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Old 2008-08-15, 07:45   Link #1
xris
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FUNimation sends C&D notice

Some of you may have noticed that a number of series have been removed from AnimeSuki, the reason is because FUNimation Entertainment have requested the torrents from the following 6 series to be removed from the main site.

On behalf of d-rights
Bamboo Blade
El Cazador de la Bruja
Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn
Monochrome Factor
Nabari no Ou
On behalf of Enoki Films
Slayers Revolution
Please note that FUNimation are acting on the behalf of the Japanese IP owners d-rights and Enoki Films.

At this point in time there is no indication that any of the series have been licensed. The existing discussion threads will remain in the Fansubbed forum as before, the only real change is that we will no longer list torrents. The request we received targets these specific shows, not all the d-rights and Enoki Films anime series. I understand that at least one fansub group has also received a similar C&D request and therefore have halted fansubbing of the appropriate series.

As usual, can we please avoid any "I don't care because xxx sucked anyway" or for that matter "I hope xxx is licensed so I can purchase the DVDs". This thread isn't meant to be a wishlist of what gets licensed or not.
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Old 2008-08-17, 03:11   Link #2
Vexx
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Observing the overall range of activities that Funimation is engaging in this year .... it does make this development rather interesting (?alarming?).

It always seems rather strange to me when a company wants to shut down what is essentially "buzz" about their product in regions that they have seem to have no intention of ever selling their product. So it goes....
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Old 2008-08-17, 03:29   Link #3
xris
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I don't see why Funimation get the "blame" over this. They have been employed by the Japanese rights holder to send the C&Ds, it's not as if they could turn around to d-rights or Enoki and say "we don't agree with this".
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Old 2008-08-17, 08:34   Link #4
justsomeguy
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While companies certainly have the right to enforce their copyrights, I don't see how this is a good move. Given that this is the first Slayers series in 10 years, and is an original story being animated by a different company*, new viewers have no idea what the show is about, and experienced fans do not know how good the quality is compared to the older series. Sending out C&D before the story even takes off kills the free advertising, and will likely prevent Revolution from being some kind of revival of the Slayers franchise, outside of Japan at least.

* different company as in, while JC Staff produced the OVAs and movies, they were not in charge of primary production on the earlier series, though they did do work.
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Old 2008-08-17, 10:16   Link #5
monir
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I also 2nd Ojisan's thought. Please leave out the nonsense about how much Funi sucks and all that other nonsense that follows with it if you choose to post your thought in the thread. We will end up cleaning up the garbage anyway, but you will save us some work by being reasonable.
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Old 2008-08-17, 14:09   Link #6
rpgman1
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I wonder why would Japanese co. have to go through Funimation, but not Bandai Entertainment, ADV Films, and the Right Stuf if they don't want their series fansubbed? Too bad we'll have to wait two years for Revolution to be licensed.
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Old 2008-08-17, 14:35   Link #7
Darkje
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I'm surprised this isn't getting more discussion.

As far as I see, if the C&D notices start coming for more and more series, and the DMCA complaints for certain torrents will keep on going, we're going to be heading for a total turnaround.

My guess would be :

*Groups will be subbing without websites/direct contacts. Can't C&D anyone if you don't know who they are.

*Content will move away from P2P and back to IRC and/or usenet, can't send a DMCA complaint if you don't upload/share the content.

Either way, alienating the existing userbase into just dropping and not buying the series they can't preview/see, or even angering a userbase that will purposely revolt.

If you draw a line to animesuki, it will end the website in it's current form, as I am sure the hosting provider won't be happy dealing with multiple DMCA/C&D requests for hundreds of shows listed, or is this a thought that is too farfetched?

Then again we have the question, why do the Japanese care outside of their "target" userbase, IE Japan, as these C&D complaints stem from the makers...

I see interesting times ahead...
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Old 2008-08-17, 14:41   Link #8
rg4619
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Why the C&D order? How is this a good move on their part? Are they hoping to gouge Western fans with DVD sales? I can tell you one thing, and that's they won't be creating new fans by doing this.
It's because they already intend to release the series in the west (or are at least quite interested). Enoki is a middleman that specializes in sub-licensing properties to American distributors.

As for creating new fans, the copyright holders are only interested in people who pay for DVDs, not those who just watch for free. A non-paying fan means nothing to the business. That they're gouging fans with DVD sales is a silly claim since overseas distribution revolves around selling that product.

Quote:
I wonder why would Japanese co. have to go through Funimation, but not Bandai Entertainment, ADV Films, and the Right Stuf if they don't want their series fansubbed?
Who knows. It's possible that Funimation is a preferred partner of those particular rights holders, due to their strong financial condition, as well as their continuous licensing activity.
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Old 2008-08-17, 15:04   Link #9
False Dawn
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Ever since Umai received the first C&D of this type for Romeo x Juliet (which Funi went on to finally license at least six months later if not longer), I've always wondered about the legal aspects of this union between Funi and the Japanese companies. I mean, not that I'm saying that they don't have the right to, but it's surely a big red tape area for one company to take on the responsibilities of the legal interests of another company - and how would legal proceedings even work on that? I'd actually be vaguely interested to know if anyone knows the answer to the specific relationship Funi has with these companies.
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Old 2008-08-17, 16:03   Link #10
NightWish
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Originally Posted by False Dawn View Post
... surely a big red tape area for one company to take on the responsibilities of the legal interests of another company - and how would legal proceedings even work on that? I'd actually be vaguely interested to know if anyone knows the answer to the specific relationship Funi has with these companies.
I don't think it is too complicated. Sure there will be some legal formalities, but they are going to be used to forming contracts with Japanese companies; it is part of their business after all.

In this case, the Japanese companies just asked FUNimation to "monitor and take action against unauthorized distribution of [the] titles". They agreed because they "believe [it] will benefit the industry". In other words, both parties see an advantage in having FUNimation do the monitoring and chasing, even if it costs FUNimation time and money. They wouldn't do it if they didn't see a business advantage in it... Also, just to make the situation clear: the "C&D" (a term used colloquially here) was basically them notifying us of the situation informally, based on the aforementioned agreement. It was not a DMCA notice or other formal legal request. We removed the listing because we're not stupid, we realise it was a "hint" that we should take the links down.
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Old 2008-08-17, 16:28   Link #11
Mushi
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I just watched the video of the Anime Expo 2008 panel, with industry reps, that was pointed to in a topic in the Fansub Groups area. It's almost an hour long, but I thought it was worth watching.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/conv...death-of-anime

Funimation's Lance Heiskell spends quite a bit of time explaining their position on the matter. He mentions a "Three pronged approach" which is:

-Education about piracy
-Providing a legal alternative
-Enforcement

It sounds like they're getting serious about the enforcement end of things.

I'm not sure what to think. There's no way I can ever buy "legal alternatives" of all the fansubs I've watched, but at the same time, I've spent more money on anime than I ever would have without watching fansubs first.

The way things are looking, I think I'll start stocking up on all those series I haven't got around too yet... before things get worse.
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Old 2008-08-17, 16:59   Link #12
orion
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Originally Posted by NightWish View Post
I don't think it is too complicated. Sure there will be some legal formalities, but they are going to be used to forming contracts with Japanese companies; it is part of their business after all.

In this case, the Japanese companies just asked FUNimation to "monitor and take action against unauthorized distribution of [the] titles". They agreed because they "believe [it] will benefit the industry". In other words, both parties see an advantage in having FUNimation do the monitoring and chasing, even if it costs FUNimation time and money. They wouldn't do it if they didn't see a business advantage in it... Also, just to make the situation clear: the "C&D" (a term used colloquially here) was basically them notifying us of the situation informally, based on the aforementioned agreement. It was not a DMCA notice or other formal legal request. We removed the listing because we're not stupid, we realise it was a "hint" that we should take the links down.

Plus FUNimation probably will eventually get those titles. Isn't that the usual outcome of the FUNi C&D? The ink prob isn't dried yet on those contracts.
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Old 2008-08-17, 20:40   Link #13
Potatochobit
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I dont think they are going 'offensive' on enforcement at all

its just that they recognize the large base of users downloading fansubs from certain various websites, thats about it
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Old 2008-08-17, 21:15   Link #14
jpwong
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It makes sense, even though animesuki doesn't actually have the trackers, it has a large userbase and can get the message out to people quickly that the companies they represent want a stop on subbing/distrobution for series x. In some cases, it's probably easier to distrobute the information this way than it is to actually track down all the fansub groups.

If this starts to become somewhat more regular, maybe we should look at making a thread like the Licenses announcement thread that we can subscribe to to keep up to date on new C&Ds.
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Old 2008-08-17, 22:00   Link #15
Prestwick
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I don't think Funimation is to blame. Nothing in their actions suggest anything aggressive or tyrannical and because they have good relationships with the likes of AS (or at least I presume they do) that they know that going softly softly is in the best interests of everyone.
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Old 2008-08-17, 23:58   Link #16
Vexx
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Just to clarify, I wasn't blaming Funimation as such - more like I'm wondering what the rights owners have in mind for their titles.

The main risk with companies putting out C&Ds? People like me who buy DVD sets. Before I discovered fansubs - my purchase average per year was about ZERO dollars, maybe some item once or twice a year.
With fansubs, I buy between $1500-$3500 per year in DVDs, figures, CDs.
Guess where my average moves if I'm unable to preview the product?
They need to provide an equivalent process if they want my money. And no, realtime streaming crud isn't "equivalent".

Then there's the issue of product that will never see Region 1 because its too niche.

I just hope Funimation and their japanese partners consider this ripple in their calculations.

Last edited by Vexx; 2008-08-18 at 00:21.
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Old 2008-08-18, 04:18   Link #17
Mentar
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I can literally SEE how things like this come to pass. CEO notes that DVD sales are dropping and demands action. The famous three points "education, legal alternative and enforcement" look so good on Powerpoint, and "three-pronged approach" is a real beauty. Also, routing rights to only ONE qualified person sending out C&Ds looks so smart and efficient.

What's not to love, hm?

If this example turns out to be "successful" and is adapted for more animation studios, this is what is _really_ going to happen:

1) It will force fansub groups into anonymity. Some "name" groups will fade and not release anything anymore (which the industry may even hail as "success"), but strangely the number of "new" groups without websites or IRC channels will increase. Oh, and expect their quality to rise significantly, since many of the formerly "name" fansubbers will be behind them.

2) Finally anonymous and furious about their forced exitus from the "official" days, many subbers will feel no qualms anymore to break several "inofficial" mostly honored rules: Like, not making quality rereleases from DVD or soon BluRay sources. This will make it even harder for the anime studios to come up with products of a quality which warrants the price gap compared to subs/rips. Especially looking at the outlandish pricing of the first BluRay releases. Right now, most "name" groups stay away from them in order not to incense the industry too much. This would change.

3) The anime community and hence the market will shrink with the exitus of the "name" groups. Less channels, websites and forums means less crystallization points, and less socializing. Downloading anonymous black-label subs via torrent is less engaging and energizing, and the number of casual anime viewers we have now will leave the anime market and take their money elsewhere.

4) The number of "niche" animes warranting a licence outside of Japan will continue to shrink. Without fansubs to spread the word and to establish a fanbase and viewership, many less-known shows will simply have no chance anymore. And without download numbers, for example R1 labels will have fewer empirical data to assess the commercial chances of a potential release anymore.

Basically, what it boils down to is that the anime studios have the option either to try to include the fansub world in an effort to cooperate, or they can try to shut them down and out. The C&D way is the latter approach. And it's not really rocket science to predict 1-4. Not everything looking good on Powerpoint will actually have the intended effect in the real world.

Example: Remember when the anime industry was going after raw cappers on Share/Winny in an attempt to dry out the well? What really happened was the opposite: Since good encoding raws got scarce on Japanese P2P, many name groups cooperated and now use Transport Stream based video, captured and distributed (now exclusively on private channels) by cooperating cappers. Result: The quality of the encodes improved significantly since, further eroding the need to purchase DVDs (since quality TS encodes are usually superior to DVDs).

I'll try to outline a (in my opinion) more reasonable approach embracing the fansub world rather than criminalizing them in a later thread. But for now, I can only say that in my opinion, not much thought went into this C&D-via-Rights-of-Attourney trick. IMHO it's a dangerous step in the wrong direction.
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Old 2008-08-18, 06:25   Link #18
cyth
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Except that if they do follow their three-pronged approach on all three counts and offer us a legal alternative to fansubs, your whole argument falls apart.

Btw, is your group dropping Slayers Revolution?
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Old 2008-08-18, 06:37   Link #19
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Originally Posted by Toua View Post
Except that if they do follow their three-pronged approach on all three counts and offer us a legal alternative to fansubs, your whole argument falls apart.
Not really. It would have to be at least roughly equivalent to the current situation to have any real impact on what I said. I don't see how an equivalent "legal alternative" should look like without a real paradigm change, the release of R1 DVDs is not sufficient. I'm not making an "argument" here, I'm simply predicting what is going to happen.

Quote:
Btw, is your group dropping Slayers Revolution?
We already have.
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Old 2008-08-18, 06:53   Link #20
cyth
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Right, I'm not saying I expect them to actually provide us with a legal Day 0 or even Day 14 release (as FUNimation's rep said on that fansub and industry panel), but if such a thing were to happen, all they need is an established online distribution platform, like a streaming site such as Crunchyroll. Considering BitTorrent and high-quality files aren't as widely used anymore as their streaming equivalents, I don't see how much of a paradigm shift would there need to be. Most folks (the streaming crowd) would just need to go to a different streaming site. And at least a portion of hardcore fans who download via BT/IRC wouldn't wait for rips to appear.
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