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Eclipze
2007-05-30, 08:55
NOTE: I am mis-spelling a couple of terms to play safe.

tp://animedesho.animeblogger.net/?p=2539

(add ht infront)

Look to the left side to see which country I'm refering to. This is to play safe, since theres a possibility that the officials would chance upon this if I mentioned the location, via google. Fansudz are officially banned from being dl'ed, and offenders face a fine of 10,000 dollars per "article" (the average working adult probably earns 2,000~4,000 monthly, so yea). See, this wouldn't be as much a problem if it was just for show, but it is a fact that local ISPs are co-operating with the authorities to find out who's been naughty. Yes, people HAVE received letters on the offence.

In a sense, this is probably the end for anime-dl'ers here (well, torrenters at least). Discuss.

niwasatou
2007-05-30, 08:57
Get an IP anonymizer and happily continue torrenting..? :p

Eclipze
2007-05-30, 09:32
Nah, don't think it'd work, and I don't think I wanna risk it.:heh:

An article uploaded by the same blogger, his apparent exchange with the president of the organization - thought that it would be an interesting read.

tp://haitaka.googlepages.com/home2
(Again, add ht)

cyth
2007-05-30, 11:27
One other alternative is Relakks. It's a fast darknet service sponsored by the Swedish Pirate party. You connect to the service through a VPN network (looks much like dial-up) and you get a different IP that masks you completely. The service costs €5 a month (+€1 if you're paying through PayPal). Many users of ISPs that block torrent transfers use it already (from Taiwan, for example). I'd look into it, if I were in your shoes.

Crontica
2007-05-30, 12:24
singapore sends you to jail for littering the floor and now this? seriously sorry to hear this man

wao
2007-05-30, 13:12
Isn't just fansubs (oh come on, what's the point of censoring the word on AS of all places), probably raws as well. I guess this is where a certain smiley-smiley site comes in handy for me, but with that going as well...

I guess it's a good thing I'm technically keeping myself to only 3-4 anime this season and not any more than that... probably Mononoke as well in summer, and that would be it. If I was 15 when this happened I would flip and go a little mad, but at least now I don't care about keeping a copy of the actual show on my HD. If I had to I could live off simply seeing one streaming video and then not seeing it any more (as it is with TV).

Buuut the point is that it could happen even for one-time things like that, since it is illegal after all and that's the way it is. And maybe this is just my scaredy-pants Singaporean-ness saying it but I'm quite concerned that they could get me (or anyone else) for past stuff. Because if you add up all the things I have ever downloaded in my life...

Uh by the way the original poster might want to clarify that this is being done by an independant organisation (AVPAS, which is very closely linked to or could even be ODEX, both have a lot of similar board members). Not explicitly the government. 'Course it's still all legal anyway (what AVPAS is doing). I believe in Singtel's ToU they state they have the right to give out personal information to whoever they like, anyway...

Eclipze
2007-05-30, 22:19
-snip-
Yea, it applies to both fansubs and RAWs alike, although its probably cause the number of RAW watchers are of minority compared to the sub-watchers that its only mentioning fansubs.

I've found 3 streaming-sites for anime (not youtube): The first one has good-quality videos, but quite alot are unsubbed, and the selection is very limited. The other site has quite a large range, but has lesser quality, and obviously not all new shows get uploaded on both sites. The 3rd site seems to have the best of both worlds, although I'm just judging from the site's list. Never knew about the ToS of Singtel though...And yes, if they were to track on the DLs done in the past, they'd be millionairs by now...just base on my record alone.:uhoh:

Indeed, this is being done by AVPAS, but I believe a law was passed on anime-downloading, which would indicate that the goverment was involved in this issue in one way or another. To quote:
AVPAS: The Anti-Video Piracy Association of Singapore. An association of local (Singaporean) and Japanese companies involved in the production and distribution of anime and Japanese dramas. Henceforth the Japanese companies will be referred to as "the licensors".

Odex: The largest [legitimate] anime distributor in Singapore. Carries out translation and publishing work. Odex licenses anime and drama series from Japanese companies, most (if not all) of whom are AVPAS members. Observations from other sources indicate that Odex may not have the wherewithal to translate all of its releases, and so some may be subcontracted to other translation firms.
The main thing I'd like to quote is this:
6. Further, I was informed that the licensors do not see Singapore as a significant potential market. Their interest in Singapore is not so much in making money, but in preventing it from becoming a distribution node for pirated media. ("Welcome to Singapore!" My conjecture is that if Odex disappears and the local anime scene goes down the toilet, it would not be a significant blow to them.) Dr. Toh was quick to add that if the sales volume showed that Singapore was a potential major market, the licensors might change their tune. Conversely, the licensors prefer to work with Odex because they have built up a strong business relationship over the years; this accounts for the relative lack of other companies producing licensed anime.
So let me get this straight...
1) They see no potential market here.
2) They don't want S'pore to become a node for piracy media (assuming that its mainly anime)
3) If sales goes up, they might reconsider their objective?

Which makes me go "Huh?".
According from what I've read:
1) Odex's releases are mainly in VCDs (Yes, not even DVDs), and most buyers have stated that the video quality is bad, the translation is poor, and it is pricy. In simple terms, fansub quality > DVD quality (Keep in mind that most fansubs are using TV-broadcasted episodes rather than those from DVDs)
2) 5. Quality issues - of content and translation - are issues that Odex have to answer themselves. Odex insists that their content quality is comparable to the Japanese releases. Lapses in translation quality apparently came about in a failed (and now aborted) experiment to allow fans to help in translation so as to speed up releases. [Ed note: Of course, VCDs with mono sound - albeit dual-language tracks - aren't quite the same as DVDs. But we have already established that DVDs don't seem to sell well, at least according to AVPAS.]
Which totally contradicts 1).
3) Their selection is very limited.
4) Series are released at a snail's pace.
5) A number of licensed titles aren't even getting released.

What exactly do they think they're gonna achieve with this? Fact is that fans can live without anime (not extremely hardcore ones anyways), but anime (local released) cannot survive without buyers. And implementing this law isn't gonna convince many fansub-watchers to pay for something in lower quality than what they can download. Then theres a fact that only a selection of popular anime is being released. There ARE quite a significant amount of fans who watch lesser-known shows (Or maybe its just me), and since the chances of said series getting licensed is basically zero, they're not gonna be motivated to buy anything.

At the same time, anime here is getting close to no promotion at all. There used to be a late night slot (Wednesday~Friday) that airs subbed anime from 2300~2400, but that is now gone, replaced by a 1500~1600 time slot (Saturday), which airs Prince of Tennis (with cringe-worthy english dub), and reruns of Gundam Seed Destiny. Pokemon and the like needs no mention, obviously. The only real way to watch anime is to subscribe to the cable channel, but everything there is chinese dubbed - I'm not interested.

Lastly, how exactly is a country, dubbed as "The tiny red dot" on the world map, with a population of 4million people (I'd estimate 100,000 anime fans at most, though its only a guess) capable of being a node for anime piracy that is significant enough to incur losses for the japanese companies? Illegal anime-distribution is mainly done online, and as far as I can tell, most fansub/raw hosters are not from here. And if they were serious about preventing this country from being a piracy node for media-based products, shouldn't music and hollywood movies/tv-series piracy be more of a concern than the currently-niche market of anime? Its like what 5parrowhawk said:
My conjecture is that if Odex disappears and the local anime scene goes down the toilet, it would not be a significant blow to them

Oh well, gg to anime in Singapore.
PS: Anyone knows how safe IRC is?

WanderingKnight
2007-05-30, 22:44
$10,000 per item? Are you freaking kidding me!? Does the gov'ment want a good size of people getting indebted to death? What's gotten into their minds?

I don't know very much about Singapore, but those figures certainly do rise my suspicion. I'd argue they don't even have the manpower to track all leechers out there. But heck, they must know that asking for 10k for every single item people downloaded means lots of people getting impoverished in no time. Unless of course it's all a FUD tactic to get people rushing and panicking, who knows? How official is that statement?

Eclipze
2007-05-30, 22:53
How official is that statement?
Well, I can't find any official articles online, but lets just say that all local anime-blogs have basically stopped blogging about anime altogether, probably in fear of being targetted (to blog about anime is like openly admitting that you download them).:eyespin:

Kaioshin Sama
2007-05-31, 00:54
What I find alarming about the Singapore case is that the ISP companies are apparently spying on people enough to know exactly what kind of files are compiling on a persons computer via bittorent transfers. How the heck can they know this much about the data packets without actually having full access to every single request you make (This is especially weird for a program like bittorent with it's files that are broken up into pieces. How do they know what the complete file looks like unless they can almost see your desktop to identify it as a Fansub). I'd be more worried about personal privacy if I live in Singapore as the amount of spying they'd have to do prove that you've downloaded a fansub is insane.

Sorrow-K
2007-05-31, 01:36
I don't envy people that live in Singapore, and not just because of this, but because, with every passing month, it seems to more and more resemble a police state.

Vexx
2007-05-31, 02:46
ouch..... anonymizers are your friend (or ssh tunneling) at least until they make that illegal.

((marks Singapore completely off my "places to visit" list))

crystar
2007-05-31, 03:28
I hope my country near Singapore doesn't follow their example. O.O And here I was before thinking that it was a nice country to live in (if you have the money).

How about if you download from cybercafes?

wao
2007-05-31, 03:40
What I find alarming about the Singapore case is that the ISP companies are apparently spying on people enough to know exactly what kind of files are compiling on a persons computer via bittorent transfers. How the heck can they know this much about the data packets without actually having full access to every single request you make (This is especially weird for a program like bittorent with it's files that are broken up into pieces. How do they know what the complete file looks like unless they can almost see your desktop to identify it as a Fansub). I'd be more worried about personal privacy if I live in Singapore as the amount of spying they'd have to do prove that you've downloaded a fansub is insane.

I know jackshit about computers and all that, but if you scrape a tracker you can get the IPs of everyone who's downloading that particular file right? Perhaps they monitored some popular torrents and then picked out some random Singapore IP. But what puzzles me is how his IP is actually dynamic (if it's Singnet, I guess it's an ADSL connection here) How did they pick through to the same guy for all the various torrents?

Unless the guy actually downloaded the torrent file onto his computer first... which is not necessarily proof that he has the fansub file, but hey, this sort of tactic is used by certain other "rights-protecting" companies in the US of A so I guess it's nothing new.

As for the $10k figure, it's the max amount they could possibly charge you for each file. Looking on the site (http://www.ipos.gov.sg/main/index.html) of IPOS (Intellectual Property Office of Singapore), there was this:
An award of statutory damages is a remedy that the Court may order against the infringing party without the need for the copyright owner to prove the loss he has suffered as a result of the infringement. This is subject to a per-work ceiling of $10 000 and to an aggregate ceiling of $200,000/- for the particular action.

Apparently the case of the guy who got this particular letter was settled with $3500, but I don't know whether this isn't a fake even...

Slice of Life
2007-05-31, 04:12
((marks Singapore completely off my "places to visit" list))

*shrug* If I would boycott each and every country whose government I dislike I could as well stay at home (well, actually not even that).

10000 SGD for a file, my feet. I think the times of copyright are over and the more and more hysterical reactions of the media industry are only proof for that. The biggest atrocities are always being committed when the war is already lost. Of course, it's not me who will be hanged on a lamp pole, figuratively speaking, so I'll better shut up.

One wishes anonymous networks like Tor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_%28anonymity_network%29) would become more popular amoung those people who run servers.

-KarumA-
2007-05-31, 04:57
im still a little confussed about the situation, since i have only heard several lose rumors about it

.. simply put, does this only count for people in Singapore or is it possible for someone from for example Europe to have the Singapore special police knocking on their door

and will they ban out ALL fansubs, with that meaning like the above question, if you fansub things but youre not from Singapore, does it affect you as well (as in a arrest bla)

either way it suxors, if Fansubs and raws were entirely banned i wouldnt know what to do, specially since anime is hard to get in my country, by that meaning recent anime.. i would hate to wait another 4 years before being able to watch the final CG episode

felix
2007-05-31, 05:52
-Edit Snip-

Karu-chan you really crack me up :D *lolzz*
On a serious note I don't think Singapore is viewed as anything other then extreme and evil police state by most political and social organisations so no worries.

Slice of Life
2007-05-31, 06:03
im still a little confussed about the situation, since i have only heard several lose rumors about it

As far as I understand the legal situation, a licence holder in Singapore would (A) have to sue you at your local court and would (B) have to prove that you're actually violating their rights (based on your own national copyright laws, not theirs). Both is very unlikely. If you get into trouble at all than because of (in order of likeliness)
1. your local licence holder (because you are obviously violating their rights and they don't face the hassle of a cross-boundary legal fight)
2. the Japanese producer (because you are obviously violating their rights)
3. the American licence holder (because the US can put a lot of pressure on your country if they don't comply to US rules. Except maybe if you're in Russia, China, or Iran which are however not known as the "land of cheese and wooden shoes" as far as I recall. :D. And you would have other things to worry about than ADV's wrath.Yes, the world is not fair.)
4. Singaporean special forces that break through your window in the middle of the night, drug you and smuggle you out of the country in a carpet roll.

Kinny Riddle
2007-05-31, 07:23
If you thought Singapore was bad, then Hong Kong is gonna be hell for Bit Torrent users. Just a few weeks ago, the courts sentenced a guy who uploaded the original torrent for pirated movies on the net, the first place in the world to convict someone of uploading stuff via BitTorrent. And now the government there wants to be the first to criminalise downloading anything via the internet.

While the guy was obviously disregarding the law by ripping the original DVDs, what really concerns people is the government is considering applying this ruling to ALL people who become seeds, regardless of whether they provided the original file.

If it were just illegal movies and mp3 rips that are already licensed in the territory, fair enough, but they want to apply it on ALL BitTorrent users regardless of what they're seeding/downloading, licensed or unlicensed, without even consulting the public properly. All the government cares about is pandering to the commercial interests of these "copyright holders", whether they're guarding the original creator's interests is another question.

SeijiSensei
2007-05-31, 11:53
So what if I live in Singapore and seed a Linux distribution, which I have the right to do given the licensing structure of the software in those distributions? What about works in the public domain, or does that concept not exist in Singaporean intellectual property law?

I know jackshit about computers and all that, but if you scrape a tracker you can get the IPs of everyone who's downloading that particular file right? Perhaps they monitored some popular torrents and then picked out some random Singapore IP. But what puzzles me is how his IP is actually dynamic (if it's Singnet, I guess it's an ADSL connection here) How did they pick through to the same guy for all the various torrents?

They request the logs of the ISP and match up the times. If they see IP address 1.2.3.4 on a tracker at 1800 on May 30th, they ask the ISP which customer had that IP address at the same date and time. As you say, this is the approach used by the RIAA in the US, and trying to poke holes in this method has been a major litigation strategy by the attorneys (http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/) who represent alleged infringers.

Eclipze
2007-05-31, 12:34
I know jackshit about computers and all that, but if you scrape a tracker you can get the IPs of everyone who's downloading that particular file right? Perhaps they monitored some popular torrents and then picked out some random Singapore IP.
Yep, from reading various comments on the blog, most people have established that it is required for the "hunters" to connect to a tracker (as in join in the act of downloading) in order to search the IPs that are downloading the file. In other words, there is a chance that as long as you only stick to downloading not-so-popular series/RAWs, you might be off their radar. Of course, don't take my word for it.:heh:

Apparently the case of the guy who got this particular letter was settled with $3500, but I don't know whether this isn't a fake even...
Well, the article listed this:
AVPAS has not sent out letters indiscriminately to all and sundry. They need to be wilful and significant downloaders. Or commercial pirates. In any case, almost all of those who have received our letters have approached us and seen things from our perspective, and settled amicably. If you have any feedback, call us. We are very reasonable people - not witch-hunters. But we are commercial people and not charities, and our teams produce entertainment for the fans for reasonable remuneration (we need to pay the mortgages and feed our families). If we do not get paid for our skills and efforts, we'll move to other jobs and businesses.
To simplify, as long as you become a "yes-man" (Agree that you are wrong, acknowledge that you will never download anime ever again, delete them from your harddrive, throw away the series that you've burned, etc), your fines will be reduced. I read that someone had to pay $6,000 for his fines though (which is nearly twice of the one you mentioned).

((marks Singapore completely off my "places to visit" list))
*shrug* If I would boycott each and every country whose government I dislike I could as well stay at home (well, actually not even that).
I don't think Vexx is making a mistake though...a few years ago, an Australian was sentenced to death (hung I believe) due to having 25(?) grams of heroine found in his possession. He wasn't given the rights to be flown back to Australia to be trialed, and I don't think there was considerations that he might have been sabotaged by a smuggler (Although I might be wrong). This was the reason why some sites (something like yousendit) banned Singapore IPs from using their services.

In other words, being caught in possession at least 15g of illegal/dangerous drugs in Singapore = death sentence, irregardless of nationality.

im still a little confussed about the situation, since i have only heard several lose rumors about it

.. simply put, does this only count for people in Singapore or is it possible for someone from for example Europe to have the Singapore special police knocking on their door
Yes, only for people living in Singapore.

So what if I live in Singapore and seed a Linux distribution, which I have the right to do given the licensing structure of the software in those distributions? What about works in the public domain, or does that concept not exist in Singaporean intellectual property law?
AVPAS is only concerned about anime-related downloads (well, mainly fansubs) as far as I can tell, and Linux is considered an opensource OS if I remember correctly, unless that changed recently.

But say, for example, you are seeding a torrent for Microsoft Office 2007 (cracked), while living in Singapore. Unless they specifically check the related tracker, they probably won't know that you are seeding/downloading it, so it probably wouldn't matter.

hobbes_fan
2007-05-31, 13:15
Wow I'd be pissed if I were you guys. VCD? WTF? Personally this reeks of a monopoly. They have an inferior product and are struggling to shift units because their product is inferior, now they've decided to go and unleash the hounds. While they are favored by the law it just reeks of poor business practices.

I wonder what an Australian ISP owned by Singtel will do.

SeijiSensei
2007-05-31, 13:50
AVPAS is only concerned about anime-related downloads (well, mainly fansubs) as far as I can tell, and Linux is considered an opensource OS if I remember correctly, unless that changed recently.

I was reacting to Kinny Riddle's comment that "If it were just illegal movies and mp3 rips that are already licensed in the territory, fair enough, but they want to apply it on ALL BitTorrent users regardless of what they're seeding/downloading, licensed or unlicensed, without even consulting the public properly."

I thought perhaps the law pertained to p2p filesharing per se, and not specifically to certain types of copyrighted works. Though I doubt that "consulting the public properly" would result in a large groundswell of support for downloaders since, to the degree "the public" thinks about these matters at all, most see downloaders as pirates.

Aird
2007-05-31, 15:34
*shrug* If I would boycott each and every country whose government I dislike I could as well stay at home (well, actually not even that).

10000 SGD for a file, my feet. I think the times of copyright are over and the more and more hysterical reactions of the media industry are only proof for that. The biggest atrocities are always being committed when the war is already lost. Of course, it's not me who will be hanged on a lamp pole, figuratively speaking, so I'll better shut up.

One wishes anonymous networks like Tor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_%28anonymity_network%29) would become more popular amoung those people who run servers.

I don't see anything wrong with the media industry trying to protect there products. Copyrights, patents, etc are the incentive for innovation in today's capitalistic society. Without them, there is no way for companies to get compensation for there efforts.

The punishment is excessive for a reason, it is a deterrent to keep people from committing the crime in the first place. Do you want to risk paying 10000 SGD to watch that episode of anime?

Xellos-_^
2007-05-31, 16:20
I don't see anything wrong with the media industry trying to protect there products. Copyrights, patents, etc are the incentive for innovation in today's capitalistic society. Without them, there is no way for companies to get compensation for there efforts.

The punishment is excessive for a reason, it is a deterrent to keep people from committing the crime in the first place. Do you want to risk paying 10000 SGD to watch that episode of anime?

Form what it sound like it sound less like a copy right holder protecting thier property and more like the Singapore Anime production compnay Odex trying to kill fansubs because the download fansubs are better quality then thier vcd.

[Eclipize] have you guys thought about opening a anime club and make huge orders form US companies like Rightstuf to help save on shipping?

Or making friends form other countries to get them to sent burn cds/dvds of anime? Almost a back tot he old days of VHS fansubs.

Slice of Life
2007-05-31, 16:35
I see the danger of getting OT. So just one final remark from my side.

The punishment is excessive for a reason, it is a deterrent to keep people from committing the crime in the first place. Do you want to risk paying 10000 SGD to watch that episode of anime?

Apart from the fact that I don't pay with Singaporean dollars: Yes. Because I'm sure that our constitutional court would find the law in question to violate the principle of proportionality and thus declare it void.

I don't see anything wrong with the media industry trying to protect there products. Copyrights, patents, etc are the incentive for innovation in today's capitalistic society. Without them, there is no way for companies to get compensation for there efforts.

In a democratic society it 's the people that define the rules in the end to greater the benefit of all. In a situation where the majority of the population are criminals (including you, me, and 99.9 percent of the forum users here - no "licensed"/"unlicensed" discussion please, you know the legal situation) because they have a different understanding of freedom than Warner or Sony/Bertelsmann things have obviously got out of hand. And will be corrected in the medium term, I'm sure. Not by changing the population, but the laws. To a state where they are respected again by both consumers and artists (who could hardly get for less their work than now anyway as far as the anime industry is concerned.)

Aird
2007-05-31, 18:25
Apart from the fact that I don't pay with Singaporean dollars: Yes. Because I'm sure that our constitutional court would find the law in question to violate the principle of proportionality and thus declare it void.


I agree that the punishment will be different depending on where you live. For you and I, the risk might be/is worth it. Singapore government seems to take criminal behaviour quite seriously as previously stated.


In other words, being caught in possession at least 15g of illegal/dangerous drugs in Singapore = death sentence, irregardless of nationality.


The same holds true for downloading fansubs.


In a democratic society it 's the people that define the rules in the end to greater the benefit of all. In a situation where the majority of the population are criminals (including you, me, and 99.9 percent of the forum users here - no "licensed"/"unlicensed" discussion please, you know the legal situation) because they have a different understanding of freedom than Warner or Sony/Bertelsmann things have obviously got out of hand. And will be corrected in the medium term, I'm sure. Not by changing the population, but the laws. To a state where they are respected again by both consumers and artists (who could hardly get for less their work than now anyway as far as the anime industry is concerned.)


I agree that the people decide the rules. It'll probably be awhile until anything is changed. In the mean time, the current rules are still in effect.

Form what it sound like it sound less like a copy right holder protecting thier property and more like the Singapore Anime production compnay Odex trying to kill fansubs because the download fansubs are better quality then thier vcd.

It seems so but if what that article said is true, AVPAS, also contains Japanese content creators. They don't seem to be opposed to taking action against fansub downloaders. It could very well be that since Odex can not make a profit selling there product, so they are now trying to do it through litigation.

wao
2007-05-31, 21:50
[Eclipize] have you guys thought about opening a anime club and make huge orders form US companies like Rightstuf to help save on shipping?

Or making friends form other countries to get them to sent burn cds/dvds of anime? Almost a back tot he old days of VHS fansubs.


Well, since I flat out refuse to buy local releases of anime I've been asking my brother who recently moved to the US to help me buy DVDs of stuff I like. There there's great deals like those Rightstuf sales and other things which you don't find so often here (for one thing they don't even advertise what SHOWS they release, afaik) So I can be getting Twelve Kingdom DVDs and (FINALLY) Princess Tutu and PlanetES etc. ....


Also, Eclipze, you mentioned you can only watch a wider range of anime on those Chinese cable channels, right? Isn't there Animax as well? I think we're quite lucky to have something like that here.... but of course my parents refuse to subscribe for it -_- I heard you could even choose between hearing English and Japanese audio if your TV was equipped for it or something.

jianfish
2007-06-01, 07:11
As to how official it is, its out in the National Newspaper, aka mouthpiece of the ruling party here. I do have a copy of the letter sent out, (not to me of course).

To me its more of a desperate last throw of the dice to try make their sales work. I would frankly boycott whatever of odex and related companies works even if they are the only source out there.

To me it does sound like they are trying to follow RIAA methods in the USA.

The fact that people here are even interested in Anime is coz well, we don't really pay a hell lot for that and we do sort of make up in buying the manga, figurines and related-merchandise. Makes me wonder if they are trying to shoot themselves in the foot.

Aoie_Emesai
2007-06-01, 07:30
singapore sends you to jail for littering the floor and now this? seriously sorry to hear this man

Now is this true? And about the OP, that's terrible. ><

Well, since I flat out refuse to buy local releases of anime I've been asking my brother who recently moved to the US to help me buy DVDs of stuff I like. There there's great deals like those Rightstuf sales and other things which you don't find so often here (for one thing they don't even advertise what SHOWS they release, afaik) So I can be getting Twelve Kingdom DVDs and (FINALLY) Princess Tutu and PlanetES etc. ....


Deputy services are expensive too :(

Question
2007-06-01, 10:40
Source (http://www.darkmirage.com/2007/05/30/apocalypse-now/)

Odex is a singapore company that sells licensed anime in the south-east asian region, primarily in VCD(cough shitty quality cough). Recently they started issueing letters to people downloading anime using bittorent programs and threatening legal action unless they reached some kind of settlement.

A paper here did an article about it. It points out that Odex's DVD prices are the lowest in the world, yet forgot to mention its DVD catalog is crap, so we cant buy the titles on DVD that we want anyway, and that Odex tried a $9.90 for 3 DVD deal that failed(probably because the series was so horrible that they HAD to resort to massive discounts).

Anyway two major points here :

-How the hell are they getting the personal information without going through the courts? This is insane.

-How the hell can they sue for anime series that they arent even selling?!

Also there are allegations that Odex downloads fansubs and sells them as their own translations, which could be highly illegal if true. Attempting to confirm this now.

Julius Firefocht
2007-06-01, 11:32
Source (http://www.darkmirage.com/2007/05/30/apocalypse-now/)

Odex is a singapore company that sells licensed anime in the south-east asian region, primarily in VCD(cough shitty quality cough). Recently they started issueing letters to people downloading anime using bittorent programs and threatening legal action unless they reached some kind of settlement.

A paper here did an article about it. It points out that Odex's DVD prices are the lowest in the world, yet forgot to mention its DVD catalog is crap, so we cant buy the titles on DVD that we want anyway, and that Odex tried a $9.90 for 3 DVD deal that failed(probably because the series was so horrible that they HAD to resort to massive discounts).

Anyway two major points here :

-How the hell are they getting the personal information without going through the courts? This is insane.

-How the hell can they sue for anime series that they arent even selling?!

Also there are allegations that Odex downloads fansubs and sells them as their own translations, which could be highly illegal if true. Attempting to confirm this now.

I would not call Shakugan no Shana a horrible series. As for the answers to your two questions:

1) Check your Singtel broadband contract carefully.

2) Why not? I can license a title and refuse to sell it, just for laughs and giggles. Besides, the animation studios and companies gave Odex permission to sue on ALL their shows. It's not a matter of individual licensing of titles.

Xellos-_^
2007-06-01, 12:19
Just boycott Odex until the company goes out of business then no one will be around to sue the downloaders.

Go out and play some soccer or read a book.

Eclipze
2007-06-01, 17:22
Also, Eclipze, you mentioned you can only watch a wider range of anime on those Chinese cable channels, right? Isn't there Animax as well? I think we're quite lucky to have something like that here.... but of course my parents refuse to subscribe for it -_- I heard you could even choose between hearing English and Japanese audio if your TV was equipped for it or something.
Well, I was under the impression that the chinese-dubbed anime cable channel IS Animax.:p But alas, I don't know much about the cable channels available, so I guess I'm probably wrong here.

And even if it does come with english/japanese dub options, I still won't be getting it because:
1) The only time that I would be able to have any decent amount of time to watch anime on TV would be the weekends and holidays - other days are tied to school (3 hours total of travelling time alone, daily), school projects, and playing some games. To subscribe to a cable channel and not be able to watch it half the time would be rather pointless. Its even worse if the anime that I want to follow happens to fall into an morning/afternoon-weekday time slot.:uhoh:

2) The TV in living-room is too OLD (hence doesn't have the choosing-audio track capabilities). And my dad is pretty stingy when it comes to changing TVs, since the current one is working perfectly fine, save for the remote control's volume buttons which I had "disabled" by washing it with soap...:heh:

@Xellos-_^: Well, holding an anime club would be kinda hard, especially when it isn't school-based. Theres also the fact that we'd have to find a free slot in people's school/work timetables, which is considerably hard in this country, and the money factor (people would probably end up fighting over raising funds for DVDs, and who gets to keep it). Alas, I guess its better to just wait for Odex to go out of business (which might not happen).

bayoab
2007-06-01, 18:41
Also there are allegations that Odex downloads fansubs and sells them as their own translations, which could be highly illegal if true. Attempting to confirm this now.
Er no. Odex outsourced everything. The translation, the editing, everything is done by out of house people on contracts. The translators they were outsourcing to were simply copying fansubs line for line as the translation. This did happen. One of the people who was an editor for them and was using the fansub as a reference to check if the translation was valid noticed certain episodes were the same line for line.

SeijiSensei
2007-06-01, 19:23
Er no. Odex outsourced everything. The translation, the editing, everything is done by out of house people on contracts. The translators they were outsourcing to were simply copying fansubs line for line as the translation. This did happen. One of the people who was an editor for them and was using the fansub as a reference to check if the translation was valid noticed certain episodes were the same line for line.

Unless they fired those translators and started afresh, it sounds to me like they've ceded whatever moral highground they might have had to accuse others of infringing.

Xellos-_^
2007-06-01, 19:25
@Xellos-_^: Well, holding an anime club would be kinda hard, especially when it isn't school-based. Theres also the fact that we'd have to find a free slot in people's school/work timetables, which is considerably hard in this country, and the money factor (people would probably end up fighting over raising funds for DVDs, and who gets to keep it). Alas, I guess its better to just wait for Odex to go out of business (which might not happen).

I meant you guys should order form Rightstuf together. Everyone would buy their own stuff but buy it together to save on the shipping.

Takeru
2007-06-01, 19:58
Oh man, that totally sucks. I guess all that I can say is YouTube or, if you can, Stage6 (http://stage6.divx.com/). Hope this straightens out for you sometime soon!

Eclipze
2007-06-02, 01:57
Well, theres another blog that covers this issue:
http://www.darkmirage.com/2007/05/30/apocalypse-now/

I found the newspaper article from one of the comments:
Here’s the article for any foreign anime fans interested in this issue.

-start

Getting anime illegally online? Beware

Japanese animated cartoons distributor sending letters to culprits warning of legal actions.

Prices of anime DVDs here are the world’s lowest, but fans of these japanese animated cartoons prefer to get them online - for free.

Now they may land in the soup because a crackdown has been launched, and they are the targets for downloading these english-subtitled cartoons through file-sharing networks.

Local anime distributor Odex, which brings in the DVDs from Japan, has sent out letters to culprits it has identified as having downloaded these fansubs using the Internet and peer-to-peer systems like Bittorrent.

Fansubs are the works subtitled by bilingual fans of anime as a service to the community of non-japanese speaking anime fans.

Odex spokesman Stephen Sing would not say how many legal letters has been issued.

A copy of one such letter was obtained by The Straits Times announced that Odex would take legal action against the alleged downloader unless he settled the issue. Odex did not say what constitutes a settlement.

The letter to this particular alleged downloader - a singnet subscriber - came attached with a three-page listing of alleged downloads.

Mr Sing said that Odex, together with the Anti Video Piracy Association of Singapore, had no choice but to take legal action, because “pirates” here download more anime files than any other country except the United States, which was “ridiculous, considering our population”.

Anime fansubs, around sicne the 1980s, used to come in video casettes, but the internet and bittorrent have made it cheap and easy to get hold of the cartoons.

An anime fan here, who declined to be named, said the community was downloading fansubs because original anime works were of poor quality and overpriced.

Mr Sing’s counter: “Perception problem.”

Focus groups, he said, have been unable to differentiate fansubs from its DVDs when played on a 42 inch TV set.

Mr Sing added that on a per-DVD basis, prices here were the world’s lowest, and that even Odex bundled three DVDs for a $9.90 trial offer, fans did not bite.

In the US, the price of a two-DVD set costs between US$15 and US$20, depending on the anime title.

The anime fan was dismissive of the crackdown and said it would not stop fansub piracy. The community is tech-savvy and will find ways to continue downloading without getting caught, he said.

Under Singapore Copyright Act, users found guilty of “wilful” and “significant” download face fines of up to $20 000 and up to six months behind bars.

The Act does not specify what constitutes a significant number of downloads.

chuahh@sph.com.sg

-end
Lovely. They had a "Focus group" which most likely consisted of their own staff members (Or just people who can't tell the difference between good and bad video quality), and concluded that people who deemed fansubs were of better quality had a "Perception Problem". They didn't even mention about their VCDs - which is MAJORITY of their products, with DVDs being about as rare of a find as getting a winning the lottery. From the blog linked on the first post, their supposed excuse for releasing VCDs instead of DVDs is that "DVDs don't sell as well as VCDs".

And if anyone is interested to see AVPAS's list of members:
http://avpas.com.sg/AVPAS_Member.html
"Authorized Titles":
http://avpas.com.sg/AVPAS_Authorized.html

I think not even half the anime on that list is being released.

PS: As a student studying [Internet and Multimedia Development], their website fails, hard. Zero interactivity, and the entire site mainly consists of image and text links. My god, my first website was BETTER than this, and I consider my website-design abilities to be rather shitty, too. They expect us to take them (not the letter) seriously when they don't even have a decent website? :twitch:

WanderingKnight
2007-06-02, 02:19
I found the newspaper article from one of the comments

That article seems full of biased shit. Someone, publish some kind of letter, anything, to get people's attention and show the other side of the river. If the rest of the population is taking that message as truth, you're as good as screwed.

XxrenxX
2007-06-02, 09:11
i m a singaporean here.
when i saw this, i was like wtf??? if odex releases ALL & i mean ALL of the anime stated, i will jolliwell buy from them.

like wad Eclipze said, ''I think not even half the anime on that list is being released.'' i totally agree with him, i will go to CD shops in singapore once in awhile, but cant seems to find. Anime like nanoha StrikerS (which i m a great fan of it), i cant find it. i cant be possible to be waiting for years yes i mean years to get to see it???? putting C shops aside, singaporeans should noe of 'comic connection' in Sg where it is like a place whr we can get our manga n anime needs. I cant find most anime there too!!! :mad:

n also, dling LISCENED anime is an offence (which i wont dl since i noe it is an offence) BUT dling UNLISCENED anime too????

i does not come from a rich family whereas my dad or mum earn big $ every month. So i nv subscribe to a cable channel.

n also, they r tracking ppl dling anime from torrent, wad about DDL???? :confused:

speaking of DVDs, i dun really see any DVDs that r release from odex around in store of Sg. n VCDs, i brough the whole set of inuyasha from odex, which cost me around $400-$500 with ................... quality.

seriously, it is really sad to saw this news. not to mention i m seriously MAD :mad: HERE!!!

Honey_and_Cleaver
2007-06-03, 02:44
Now who ever president of Singapore comes into election, the one who legalize the torrent sharing of animes will definately win.

WhiteWings
2007-06-03, 02:51
It's always a game of cat and mouse. Considering that it's not going to be anytime soon that an international infrastructure and regulations that are actually effective gonna happen anytime soon there will be plenty of loopholes and such to do the dirty deed.:D

shiro83
2007-06-03, 03:25
Singapore is a "fine" country, you know. *cough*

I think they are killing off the online anime community, which is bad.

TinyRedLeaf
2007-06-03, 17:21
For someone who likes the occasional anime, and wouldn't even mind buying "shitty" VCDs -- because heck, it is more convenient than downloading them -- I am far from being well-read enough about the various legal and business issues to give fair comments on both sides of the story.

That said, I'll happily take the jokes about us being a "fine" country, because they are true after all. :heh: Blame it on a compliant population that has become too content to let its own government run roughshod over them. Heck, this is a government that glibly raises its ministerial pay, while refusing to pass bills to offer more welfare benefits to the elderly, because it knows it can jolly well get away with it.

But it's still my country after all, and I can't say that the criticisms don't sting, especially when some significant contexts aren't taken into account.

Firstly, content piracy is a very serious issue in Singapore, more so than many Singaporeans realise. When you have legally opened shops selling VCDs and DVDs that people don't even realised are pirated, you get an idea of how serious the problem actually is.

There is a very significant mis-perception that the VCDs and DVDs are legal copies because they carry a censorship-approved sticker on their covers. As it turns out, all that stamp represents is material that has been screened for "objectionable" content (a totally different topic I'll not touch), but doesn't guarantee that it's legal copyrighted material.

In other words, pirate syndicates -- and these are highly organised gangs, mind you, not your average punks from the 'hoods -- are exploiting a loophole in the system. And very flagrantly so in fact. That's why there is legitimate concern over Singapore becoming a hub for piracy in anime and J-Drama content.


Wow I'd be pissed if I were you guys. VCD? WTF? Personally this reeks of a monopoly. They have an inferior product and are struggling to shift units because their product is inferior, now they've decided to go and unleash the hounds. While they are favored by the law it just reeks of poor business practices.


And that is actually where you've hit the nail on the head. ODEX has a monopoly on anime content in Singpore and the region, and they're not making good use of it. Worse, they're trying to squash the very customers they're trying to serve -- I don't know who works at ODEX, but frankly my opinion of their business sense is very, very dim.

But you know what? The laughable irony is that the anime and J-Drama market in Singapore is too small for even a monopoly to survive. Anime viewership, despite what its fans may think, remains very much a niche hobby in Singapore. It has a massive influence, no doubt, but in terms of actual dollars, it's probably vanishingly small.

That's probably the real reason why the legal system over here is still several steps behind what we already see in the US and Europe, in terms of privacy and copyright protection -- there is very little economic incentive for the government to amend the laws.

To Singaporeans here -- I'm no PAP supporter, but give your government a bit more faith, eh? Whatever our gripes with it, I see more examples of crappy leaders in Parliament sessions than I do of "Big Brother", I'm-out-to-lynch-you Stalinist types. Most of them are basically businessmen at heart -- give them sufficient pragmatic reason to take action, and they generally will in the end.

(In other words, VOTE Opposition goddammit, if you have a chance, and don't spoil that bloody ballot come election year.)

Eclipze
2007-06-03, 21:59
Firstly, content piracy is a very serious issue in Singapore, more so than many Singaporeans realise. When you have legally opened shops selling VCDs and DVDs that people don't even realised are pirated, you get an idea of how serious the problem actually is.
Actually, I was under the impression that this applies to all South-East Asian countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand etc). I mean, just head over to JB - I'm pretty sure there are areas there that sells pirated goods, and has been alive for god knows how many years already. What confuses me is...why target Singapore when its the smallest prey out of all the current offenders (fansub downloaders)? And they aren't making much sense with their statement of not "seeing a potential market" in Singapore. If so, how would the same country, without marketing viability, be a potential threat to their business?

This, at the same time, is probably an excuse that Odex can make in terms of why they are not producing more DVDs - no potential market = not worth producing DVDs for. Although I wonder why they even bother with the anime industry anyway - that 70% drop in sales should have been a fairly good sign that things either needs to be improved, or that the business just can't make it locally. Alas, they might be a rare breed of Singaporean businessmen who actually lack business-sense.:heh:

But you know what? The laughable irony is that the anime and J-Drama market in Singapore is too small for even a monopoly to survive.
And I don't think anyone in this thread is denying this fact.;) But its not like that couldn't be changed - Like I said, if Odex bothers to:
1) Produce more DVDs (more for hardcore quality-loving fans)
2) Improve the quality of the products in general (In particular, the box cover and translations)
3) Promote anime series regularly on TV (Either by airing the series, or just a simple advertisement showing some clips from the anime) with the 3 main channels (Channel 5, 8 and Central)

If they already did the above (paying attention to details), then maybe this recent act would be more justified (in terms of common sense). Because as it is, they have essentially killed off whatever "potential customers" they might have had, granted that these numbers are pretty small to begin with (I assume that there are more leechers). The blatantly biased newspaper article certainly didn't help motivate ex-downloaders to buy their products.:eyespin:

TinyRedLeaf
2007-06-03, 22:44
It should be pointed out that this isn't necessarily a lose-lose situation for genuine anime fans. I recall the days when pirated Hollywood movies and *ahem* "artistic" (ie, pornography) content were sold at virtually every neighbourhood corner. That was the situation no more than six years ago. After the swift and decisive clamp down by the authorities between 2001 to 2002, such flagrant acts of piracy have all but disappeared. But last time I checked, I can still find my original, copyrighted DVD movies pretty much whenever I want to.

(That said I continue to hear humorous stories of Singaporeans who order pirated content in bulk from "contacts" in Johor Bahru [Malaysia]. The "contact" will make the customer drop by at various pre-arranged pick-up points before finally appearing in person to deliver the "goods" -- yup, it's run literally like a drug-trafficking operation.

I know of at least one person who downloads 100+ gigabytes of anime a month, even though he only has enough time to watch a tiny fraction of what he downloads. Now, I don't know how well that describes the behaviour of most Singaporean downloaders, but seriously, if you're downloading licensed content on that scale, I highly doubt if you're doing it because you can't find the anime at your local video store. Sounds to me more like you're just trying to watch shows for "free", in which case, what can I say other than you had it coming.)

My basic point is simple -- which I'm sure everyone here understands -- content production costs a lot of money, and we shouldn't kid ourselves into thinking that we can continue to watch shows for free, forever. Either we get caught eventually by the authorities, or the content producer goes bust -- whichever comes first.

So, even if these on-going developments are bad news for anime fans in Singapore, from a larger perspective, it's a step in the right direction.

That being said, I have absolutely no sympathies for ODEX. I'm pretty sure it's run by a bunch of Chinese towkays out to make easy money, rather than professionals who think of viable long-term strategies to grow their customer base. Going by how they've been running their business so far, I'm not surprised they're encountering lacklustre sales.

A more interesting suggestion -- how much does it actually cost to run a retail business around anime and J- or K-drama? ODEX is a monopoly only because no one else has bothered to compete with them. I daresay that, despite the number of potential young entrepreneurs out there who love anime, I have yet to come across anyone who can provide me with an in-depth analysis of the market's potential. Not surprisingly then, the local market is dominated by a bunch of goons whose understanding of business is not much more sophisticated than "buying low, selling high".

I further speculate that once we've seen the actual numbers, you'd see a pretty dismal picture, not unlike that faced by content distributors all over the world. Singapore's case is really by no means unique. Communications technology has fundamentally "moved the cheese", and no one has yet come up with a successful business model to cope with these changes.

And to sum up:

Just boycott Odex until the company goes out of business then no one will be around to sue the downloaders.

Go out and play some soccer or read a book.


That's actually the best advice on this thread, lol. Come on guys, crawl out of your basements already. Get out there before you start developing a physical aversion to sunlight -- we get a lot of it here, so it won't do to evolve into some pasty nocturnal being that feeds exclusively on pixels of gothic lolita maids. :D

SeijiSensei
2007-06-03, 23:07
Based on what I've read in this thread, I don't understand how ODEX could possibly be profitable. ODEX buys the rights to produce its own versions of Japanese anime for the Singapore market? Does ODEX produce its own Chinese dub/sub versions yet sell them only in Singapore? Singapore has all of 4.5 million people (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/sn.html). Even if anime fans made up an implausible 5% of the population, that's still only 225,000 people. How can it possibly make economic sense to try and sell anime into such a tiny market? American anime companies complain that it's tough to make a profit selling English adaptations in a market 50 times the size of Singapore's.

Does the ODEX model hold true for other Chinese-speaking places like Taiwan? Do they each have monopoly or near-monopoly licensors for those countries? Why aren't there companies that buy the rights to produce Chinese versions and sell them across larger parts of Asia than just Singapore? I know that spoken Chinese has many dialects; does this pose a barrier to "pan-Chinese" productions?

Maybe this is how anime was traditionally marketed in Asia, but to an outsider like me it seems like an unprofitable business model. Marketing media like VCDs and DVDs is all about economies of scale. The costs are nearly all up front (translation, dubbing, marketing); the profits come from selling thousands of copies. In a market the size of Singapore, selling thousands of copies of an anime title seems like a difficult task.

GriS
2007-06-04, 00:32
And I don't think anyone in this thread is denying this fact.;) But its not like that couldn't be changed - Like I said, if Odex bothers to:
1) Produce more DVDs (more for hardcore quality-loving fans)
2) Improve the quality of the products in general (In particular, the box cover and translations)
3) Promote anime series regularly on TV (Either by airing the series, or just a simple advertisement showing some clips from the anime) with the 3 main channels (Channel 5, 8 and Central)

That's exactly what I'm been trying to highlight these few days. Even in Japan they broadcast their animation on largely public channels, though some on pay channels only, weekly to raise awareness of the series before selling it on DVD in volumes and later in a complete boxset. But in Singapore, Channel U and Central are the only channels, and yet they air quite older shows. Where is the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya or other recent popular series? Somewhere in other website, I heard Odex is undergoing reformation and is planning to sell Haruhi Suzumiya in high quality DVD, but you can't possibly expect the fans to purchase it without knowing such awesome series in the first place. That's where the fansubs come in as a means of reliable advertisement. So unless they decide to work with Japan studio and subtitle the anime in English to air world-wide at same time, or within reasonable delay, as Japan TV, I don't see the efficiency of clampdown on downloaders.

But judging from how the saga goes, I believe most Singaporeans will simply find their new hobby except for the hardcore otaku though. I know a friend who watch everything that is fansubbed.

TinyRedLeaf
2007-06-04, 01:53
An article uploaded by the same blogger, his apparent exchange with the president of the organization - thought that it would be an interesting read.

http://haitaka.googlepages.com/home2


That's actually a very worthwhile example of active citizenship in Singapore, and I highly recommend posters on this thread to read that blog if you haven't already done so. It's a very refreshing switch from the upset ranting you'd hear from Singaporeans who haven't actually sat down to consider the real-world economics behind the whole issue.

More importantly, it highlights my key concern to fellow Singaporeans -- STOP BEING SO CYNICAL ABOUT YOUR OWN FREAKING GOVERNMENT. Our country being so small as it is, our political representatives are actually a lot more approachable than you give them credit for. I can forgive foreigners for slamming Singapore, but it's really sad when we ourselves do so without first trying to engage the relevant authorities in moderate dialogue.


Based on what I've read in this thread, I don't understand how ODEX could possibly be profitable. ODEX buys the rights to produce its own versions of Japanese anime for the Singapore market? Does ODEX produce its own Chinese dub/sub versions yet sell them only in Singapore? Singapore has all of 4.5 million people. Even if anime fans made up an implausible 5% of the population, that's still only 225,000 people. How can it possibly make economic sense to try and sell anime into such a tiny market? American anime companies complain that it's tough to make a profit selling English adaptations in a market 50 times the size of Singapore's.


Posts like these remind me how I have totally no talent for being an entrepreneur. It didn't even occur to me to think of such easy numbers, lol. Thank you [SeijiSensei, you've quite succinctly highlighted the key economic issue here -- the market is Singapore is simply too small to sustain ODEX's current business model. Forget about trying to challenge the monopoly -- unless you can think of a better way to make money out of anime distribution, it's not a market that can even sustain a challenger.

At this point I'd like to direct everyone to another blog where very much more fruitful discussion has taken place: http://www.riuva.com/?p=631

In particular, scroll down all the way to find a very interesting comment posted by LaC, who is possibly an American, or at least someone who is very knowledgable about the dynamics of broadcast TV.


Posted by LaC on the abovementioned blog:

We’re mostly talking about anime TV series here (OVAs and movies make up a tiny percent of downloads, so let’s set them aside for now). Now, the television distribution model is in fact based on the idea that content is free. You might pay a flat fee for subscribing to a pay channel, or a tax for owning a television, but once you’ve done that, choosing to watch one given show - or one hundred! - out of the spectrum of offer that’s available to you costs exactly zero (under some systems there can be exceptions such as sporting events sold separately, but that does not concern TV series).

Coupled with the medium’s ubiquitous presence, this zero-cost system is crucial in determining the offer-and-consumption dynamics characteristic of television, which are what make TV series possible.


I'm not sure of the extent of ODEX's involvement in Animax, the only cable subscription channel in Singapore that is devoted to anime, but basically, the key point is that anime is scarcely available in Singapore's free-to-broadcast TV channels, in contrast to Japan. So, we're already talking about some market potential here that ODEX is failing to exploit fully.

LaC goes on to describe how this model differs significantly from the DVD distribution model that ODEX is currently using.


continued

To make the instalment model work, you need to compensate the risk factor and the fragmentation of value, which is chiefly done by lowering the price and increasing value and convenience (eg, it works for manga magazines because they’re cheap and you get a bunch of new episodes; it works for tankoubons because they’re inexpensive, and you get a significant chunk of story collected into a volume; etc.).

This is exactly what TV did for the audio-visual media: it made the price for instalment low enough (zero), and the experience convenient (the content gets delivered to your home, and you just have to tune in or set up the VCR at the right time).

Of course, they can also be collected on DVDs, which will be bought by fans of the series (a minority of the total audience). But what makes the discs worth buying to these people? The fact that they’ve seen the series (decreases risk, since the content is known) and became fans of it (increases subjective value). Both factors require a previous TV screening (or having seen the series through other means).


That really piques my interest. For one thing, it's easy to suggest a solution, but not necessarily easy to put it to practise. I wonder how much it actually costs for an anime retailer in Singapore to forge a partnership with the local TV stations to get that kind of marketing going. I think someone else has already noted that animes used to be broadcast on a free-to-air TV channel, but that has since been shifted into the ungodly post-midnight hours. Straight away, that tells me that the TV station has been unable to generate enough advertising revenue to justify moving the anime to prime time slots. So, we again have a chicken and egg problem where we don't have enough marketing to drive sales, and we don't have enough sales to justify expensive marketing.

Return again to haitaka's blog (http://haitaka.googlepages.com/home2). He actually suggests three possible alternatives to ODEX's business model, namely:

Possibility 1: pay-for-download service (S$2 to S$2.50 per episode; DVD quality; no dub track).

Possibility 2: sub-licensing fee allowing users to legally download fansubs (possibly $1.50 to $2 per episode, or $20 per 13-episode season, or $30-$40 per month?)

Possibility 3: social contract, socially enforced (American model, eg tracking sites like AnimeSuki.)

Read the pros and cons of these possibilities. They give a much clearer picture of just how tough it is to sell anime in Singapore, and it also shows how flagrant piracy and downloading (because we want our freebies) can badly hurt the local industry.

hobbes_fan
2007-06-04, 04:02
I look at madman entertainment(australian distributor with a similar monopoly)as a comparison and they seem to be doing well and bear in mind our DVD prices are some of the most expensive in the world. While anime is popular here I wouldn't call it mainstream and would expect similar number of otaku as in singapore. I don't think it's a matter of money (our average earnings are within a few thousand dollars). I think it's time for Odex to seriously think about what they're selling: An Audio/Visual experience. Putting out a crappy product almost guarantees a crappy experience. I really don't think you can blame the Singaporean government for anything that's happened. They are enforcing the law on behalf of Odex. But looking at the Odex wiki entry (surprise surprise the Odex website is down) they don't have a massive catalog. BUT HOLY CRAP! THEY USE DVD9! FOR DVD RELEASES. Ok it'll be better than VCD but still that's just profiteering if there's any truth to the entry. The more I read into this the more I am thoroughly shocked by their business practices. I don't think they have a clue as to what the fanbase demands.

It doesn't matter how they distribute it whether through a d/l system or a sub licensing system, people won't bother spending money on their product if its crap. Ok they can kill of d/l fansubs but anyone who wants a dvd will just take their business elsewhere. There's a saying "you can't polish a turd" but unfortunately from the sounds of it tha's exactly what they're trying to do

lftwgr
2007-06-04, 07:49
In the never ending battle between armor and projectile, projectile always wins. Likewise, attempts by MPAA/RIAA wannabes will always be unsuccessful at stopping determined p2p-ers who come up with alternatives to circumvent obstacles.

Take for example, i2p (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I2P). Although it's still in its infancy, it sounds very tempting.

SeijiSensei
2007-06-04, 07:52
I look at madman entertainment(australian distributor with a similar monopoly)as a comparison and they seem to be doing well and bear in mind our DVD prices are some of the most expensive in the world.

Do they produce their own dub/sub versions in English with Aussie voice actors and Aussie English and sell them only in Australia? Or are they reselling English versions made for other markets like the US? My comments about ODEX concerned the fact that they seem to be producing their own versions rather than reselling someone else's Chinese-language products.

Australia is over four times larger in population size than Singapore.

wao
2007-06-04, 08:37
I'm not sure of the extent of ODEX's involvement in Animax, the only cable subscription channel in Singapore that is devoted to anime, but basically, the key point is that anime is scarcely available in Singapore's free-to-broadcast TV channels, in contrast to Japan. So, we're already talking about some market potential here that ODEX is failing to exploit fully.


Yeah, it's something that bothers me as well. A lot of DVD sales in Japan are driven by the fact that people have seen it on TV before (even for paid channels, paying for a channel and getting to preview a variety of content should be considerably cheaper and less risky than getting a DVD of something you haven't quite seen before).

What the whole DVD-first sort of deal is pushing is a model that's more suitable for OVA series (that's how they're sold, anyway - at most a preview screening or something or trailers, but people have to buy/rent and then decide). But it works for OVA series IMO because they have particular features about them that will make people want to buy them, such as higher quality and more condensed storytelling, less episodes...

It's something that IMO is harder to implement with TV-length series and is much less likely to draw in viewers... unless, perhaps, there's a very strong bond between the retailers and the community and enough of a culture of buying stuff based on reviews, previews and word-of-mouth. That has problems working in America, let alone in Singapore (very, very few people have sympathies for ODEX...) so - IMHO if ODEX etc. want to make money, they really should think about letting their target audience have some way of legally previewing shows.

Animax alone isn't enough - sure, it shows some pretty great stuff there but not everyone gets to watch it (and I think a number of stuff on Animax isn't even available for sale locally...) Like you and others said, more anime airing on public broadcast would be nice.

But it's also worth noting how in many other countries they'd be lucky to have any anime on public TV... evidently it isn't enough here though. Also, I wish they'd take a hint and forget about dubs, when they were airing anime on TVMobile just about every one of my classmates cringed and wanted to throw stuff at the TV because of their godawfulness (plus, Fushigi Yuugi? orz)

As for haitaka/5parrowhawk's suggestions, I think 2 is probably not going to work - think of the Japanese companies, they're not going to like that at all. There are so many different companies, how would you distribute any money back to them properly?

I do think a good answer would lie pretty close though - something like an online TV station. Honestly, someone enligthen this ignorant brat as to why nobody has even tried to set up an international streaming anime channel sort of thing. It could be something like Gyao and Bandai Channel etc., perhaps at certain periods some shows would be free and at others you'd have to pay per episode (or you can pay a flat fee and watch the shows available*)
Except - available internationally. Or well, if not internationally (since there would be bandwidth problems and some licensing and pricing problems?), at least in Singapore it would be good... So many people get their stuff off the 'net anyway, why not exploit the fact then?

*The problem of there being various companies would be solved as it has in Japan, I suppose they pay the companies a certain amount for having certain shows on their channel, or the companies get automatically paid per viewing of one of their shows.


There must be something huge I'm missing out since my brain's half disappeared, but hm...

Fruitfly
2007-06-05, 19:07
Wow VCDs? I haven't seen a VCD in like 7 years.
I want to support you guys just because of that.
All the street shops around where I'm at that sell bootleg anime sell only DVDs.
Well I'm not going to promote bootlegs. but i won't be surprise if you guys see a lot more pirates over there.

Btw, how much are your DVDs/VCDs? I haven't really heard anything about the prices except that they're expensive. $500 for the entire series of inuyasha doesn't seem that bad.

wao
2007-06-05, 22:04
Legal stuff is still generally a lot cheaper than American ones (esp. if you add in shiping I suppose), it's been a long time since I've bought anything from Odex but I remember one 12-ep box of Twelve Kingdoms VCDs was about $27...? I can't remember if it was on sale or not.

But for the quality of translation and video quality I guess it's an expected price. For series I really like I'd rather get the R1s (sad how they're much cheaper than R2s despite having an additional dub track, no wonder there are Japanese otaku who reverse import and save a lot)

Skane
2007-06-06, 06:13
Back when I didn't know any better, I use to buy Odex merchandise quite frequently. Their VCD-packs are generally 6 VCDs per pack, with each VCD bearing 2 episodes. Back then, it cost $29.90 per pack. The price has dropped since then, and ranges from S$19.90-S$24.90, depending on whether there is a sale or not.

The... DVDs are somewhat better, and cost about S$39.90 on average, depending on the series and age of the product.

There is not much point in defending the VCDs because the quality in terms of video/audio is worse than fansubs. This is not hyperbole. The resolution of the video is like 320x240 (how they "manage" to do this with two episodes per VCD...), and the audio tracks are not separate, but on left/right speakers (meaning Japanese on one side of the speaker, and English or Mandarin on the other side).

To put it simply, you will need to be either ignorant (as I once was in the past) or just plain stupid to get the VCDs at such prices.

The DVDs on the other hand, can be defended somewhat. The video is definitely a notch higher than their VCD counterparts. The... audio options need some working, but for the most part, you won't feel too "cheated" when buying the DVDs.

Unless you are a dub-lover. If you are a dub-lover, may ~insert Deity~ have mercy on your soul. When the ANN reviewers, fanatical defenders of dubbed anime, consistently trash your company's dub effort, you know you're doing something wrong here.

I laughed at the newspaper article though... People can't tell the difference between a fansub and an original DVD? Wait, isn't there something very wrong with this picture? The DVD is supposed to look better than the fansub, you clueless ~insert expletive~!!!! :frustrated:

Also, 2nd highest in the world after the USA? Hmm... I dunno about you guys, but... China comes to mind. :p I am fairly confident that China beats the USA and Singapore combined. :p

These days, I am gradually weaning myself off the local purchases and importing directly from the USA (I get heartburns from the shipping cost, but at least I don't feel as though I just handed cash for mud). The only DVDs I get locally these days are impulse buys when certain items are on sale or look intriguing (it was how I discovered anime such as Witch Hunter Robin and Appleseed, to name a few).
~~~~ ~~~~

On an off-topic note, I don't like how people (my fellow Singaporeans that is) talk bad about Singapore on unrelated issues, or out of context ones. Jokes aside, Singapore IS a nice place to live in. A lot of the hoopla is unwarranted and highly exaggerated. Not to mention the erroneous information. :uhoh:

The way some people talk about Singapore, you would think you see scenes straight out of Judge Dredd appearing on the streets. :heh: Like heck. :p

If you want to talk about the laws in Singapore, it pays to know what you are talking about first, lest you appear to pulling s*** from your ass. ;)

Cheers.

wao
2007-06-06, 08:00
Regarding the fansub comparison, it seems other people are also doubting the accuracy of that statement, but it's vaguely possible for them to have somewhat similar quality if they got some DVD-rip fansub with good encoding (I dunno, I haven't watched any DVD-rip fansubs in a long time...)

How many eps are there on one DVD per average though? I've only watched a Vandread DVD of theirs long ago and that was at someone else's place where I didn't take note of how many eps there were per disc.

Eclipze
2007-06-06, 12:14
If you want to talk about the laws in Singapore, it pays to know what you are talking about first, lest you appear to pulling s*** from your ass. ;)

Cheers.
If you were referring me, I would say that I don't know the laws here very well, but the thing with the Australian was a fact (as in, it did occur). Unless those articles I've read online (on him not being able to get another trial back in Australia before getting hung) were made of lies, then I apologise.:heh:

And any place (maybe except the war-torn/high terrorist activity zones) can be fine to live in. There are lots of things that, to me, makes Singapore a bad place to live/grow up in (Education system, for one) , but further discussion would be way~ off-topic. Lets just leave it at that.

Regarding the fansub comparison, it seems other people are also doubting the accuracy of that statement, but it's vaguely possible for them to have somewhat similar quality if they got some DVD-rip fansub with good encoding (I dunno, I haven't watched any DVD-rip fansubs in a long time...)
Well, one of the bloggers commented that they were actually comparing DVDs from Japan with the local DVDs, and not the fansub, indicating a mistake on the ST article writer's part. Though how valid this statement is remains unknown (Apparently he was invited to the Focus Group but didn't have time to go).

Fruitfly
2007-06-06, 14:39
There is not much point in defending the VCDs because the quality in terms of video/audio is worse than fansubs. This is not hyperbole. The resolution of the video is like 320x240 (how they "manage" to do this with two episodes per VCD...), and the audio tracks are not separate, but on left/right speakers (meaning Japanese on one side of the speaker, and English or Mandarin on the other side).
They should at least sell SVCDs because it's a better resolution. And the how you say the audio is sounds like it sounds bad lol

I seen this topic on a couple of forums as well and one person mentioned that fansubs are better than dvds because fansubs have cool text effects and karaoke. But that's only possible if you alter the original video and hard sub it. On animeondvd.com's R1 forum, when theres a mention of hard subs, theres a wave of people who post and claim they canceled their order because of it. But if Singapore people like it, then they should listen to the fans!

WanderingKnight
2007-06-07, 07:09
*edited* (stupid post).

cyth
2007-06-07, 07:48
Sorry if this comes off a bit crude, but why are you still whining about this issue? It's not like the majority of Singaporeans would start buying legitimate releases even if prices dropped to $2/episode. Cheap==better than expensive, free==simply better. There are (cheap) ways on how to get around your problem. I mentioned one of them in one of the first posts in this topic, others suggested software anonymizers. If you think they're not viable options for you guys, I suggest you start searching for alternatives. That's just how addicts deal with problems. :D Whining rarely helps, especially online. :(

randomlurker123
2007-06-08, 07:04
They should at least sell SVCDs because it's a better resolution. And the how you say the audio is sounds like it sounds bad lol

I seen this topic on a couple of forums as well and one person mentioned that fansubs are better than dvds because fansubs have cool text effects and karaoke. But that's only possible if you alter the original video and hard sub it. On animeondvd.com's R1 forum, when theres a mention of hard subs, theres a wave of people who post and claim they canceled their order because of it. But if Singapore people like it, then they should listen to the fans!

ermm..... odex is selling vcds ( ie hard subs) and they suck at it.

Spark
2007-06-08, 15:38
Well, there's always youtube ^.^ ... why not just stream it?

WanderingKnight
2007-06-08, 18:01
Well, there's always youtube ^.^ ... why not just stream it?

Because quality, kinda, sucks? :D

kamij0
2007-08-03, 02:50
can any america company come here to invest also ? i see no point in 1 company monopolising the anime community in SG

Ja-Y-Ce
2007-08-03, 13:38
Has anyone read the current news in SG?

http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/news/story/0,4136,137645,00.html

now, they are hitting on our parents...

"Parental Guidance" huh... :X

HurricaneHige
2007-08-03, 14:03
i dunno....but it seems like they r only banning torrents, cant u guys like....direct download? how can they track that?

Question
2007-08-05, 09:21
Good luck finding DDLs. The primary method is torrents. And i dont think IP anonymizers can stop the ISP from getting your info anyway.

cyth
2007-08-05, 10:13
Good luck finding DDLs. The primary method is torrents. And i dont think IP anonymizers can stop the ISP from getting your info anyway.Google Relakks. It's not an anonymizer though, it's a commercial darknet. And that _does_ stop ISPs from getting your info.

Demongod86
2007-08-07, 08:08
Um, why not do it off of IRC?

nadare
2007-08-07, 08:45
Good luck finding DDLs. The primary method is torrents. And i dont think IP anonymizers can stop the ISP from getting your info anyway.

DDL aren't that hard to find. Just google lolipower . As their website say "Powered By loli" . They upload anime up to the latest releases by fansubs.

parrywrinkle
2007-08-07, 09:53
I can understand a civil suit between a Japanese Anime Producer and the downloader violating intellectual property ownership of said producer. Downloading may also be equated to a crime in that it is actually a theft of intellectual property.

But there are questions to be answered.

1. What if I actually possess the rights to said intellectual property because I bought the material? Suppose I download some anime, they come knocking and my door and then found that I already legally possess the material to which I have downloaded but nonetheless find the fansubbed material superior in all other manners? Am I still legally liable to the Japanese Anime Producer? Furthermore in the criminal sense, how can I steal something I already own?

2. What is the extent of which AVPAS can act for those producers? Suppose the Japanese producers have no intent whatsoever to licence in Singapore, and that I have no other possible way of getting this anime save to order it from Japan and learn the Japanese language to further understand the contents of the anime. What is the economic benefit AVPAS is serving? Or are they proceeding purely on moral grounds? If indeed the entire process is purely on moral grounds, would it suffice for me to send a letter to the Japanese producer asking for permission to download said anime, a failure of response which would equate to permission granted? I am therefore no longer morally obligated not to download nor economically endangering my country, and the law therefore becomes only a statement of policy. Even so, what is the justification to such a policy?

I blame the lack of forum in Singapore to bring issues such as this into the open. The media lies largely in the hands of the government and thus even if there is a public forum, it is likely to be biased. Because intellectual property is a hot commodity, it is of vital importance to country like Singapore which has no natural resources to protect and respect intellectual property rights. The balance that has to be sought however is to protect rights that SHOULD be protected because the property can be made available or is available, and rights which fall into the area of only civil action without criminal sanctions because the property in question that is acquired is not available to be procured through means that do not violate the IP rights.

It is in my opinion that downloading is equivalent to theft and therefore morally wrong. But the problem with anime is that Opex has shit quality and there is a lack of alternative. I gladly pay top dollar that I pay for import DVDs for that level of quality, alas there is also a dearth of import DVDs for anime because of the seemingly lack of a market. Is anime therefore relegated to a luxury good in Singapore where only the rich and linguistically talented can enjoy? Or are we forced to take crap from a company that holds the cards?

HurricaneHige
2007-08-07, 14:54
DDL aren't that hard to find. Just google lolipower . As their website say "Powered By loli" . They upload anime up to the latest releases by fansubs.

they are tons of DDL out there if u just look, granted u have to pay like 10 bucks a month for it...or somewhere along the lines of that, but if the dub company is really as bad as u guys say they are, and are willing to pay a little cash for anime, then DDL is still a viable choice IF they cant track that

parrywrinkle
2007-08-10, 04:19
One thing has been bugging me: how can a company and an association of companies "fine" people? Isn't a fine a criminal sanction? How does a private entity fine a citizen?

Ending
2007-08-10, 17:50
On a similar note, take a look at THIS (http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn12463-uk-government-warned-over-wild-west-internet.html) article on New Scientist:

UK government warned over "Wild West" internet

Web companies, retailers and the government must do far more to protect people from the dangers of the "lawless Wild West" of the internet, according to an influential group of UK members of parliament.

In a critical report Personal Internet Security published on Friday, MPs warn that the government and industry have a "laissez-faire" approach to online crime that could eventually lead to an "economically disastrous" loss of public confidence in the net.

With computer fraud growing ever more sophisticated, people have little hope of protecting themselves, say members of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee.

"You can't just rely on individuals to take responsibility for their own security," committee chairman Lord Broers said at the launch of the report. "They will always be outfoxed by the bad guys."
So it's not just Singapore anymore, but many more who seek to compromise the freedom of expression (which, by the way, is the core of Internet) by taking hold of the net. This way it is no longer the users who can say what they want to say, but some anonymous parlament member and his financing groups who think they know better what is right for you.

And, as usual, I'm pretty sure the standard "for your safety against criminals" will go through without a second question.

Aoie_Emesai
2007-08-11, 02:46
Because quality, kinda, sucks? :D

Even so it's free. I'm just gonna assume that people watch the anime just for enjoyment and some entertainment, not for detail of the design, if so just buy it.

AVPlaya
2007-08-11, 05:47
If you're Singaporean, I'm assuming you can read Chinese, right?

Just get your anime streamed from a very famous Chinese site which start with a T. Most subs there are in simplify Chinese so you guys can read it too. Everything is there. PM me if you don't know about this site.

ultima
2007-08-12, 08:13
If you're Singaporean, I'm assuming you can read Chinese, right?

Just get your anime streamed from a very famous Chinese site which start with a T. Most subs there are in simplify Chinese so you guys can read it too. Everything is there. PM me if you don't know about this site.

We won't be tracked?

TinyRedLeaf
2007-08-13, 04:20
One thing has been bugging me: how can a company and an association of companies "fine" people? Isn't a fine a criminal sanction? How does a private entity fine a citizen?

I haven't followed the reports for a very long while now, so I could be very wrong. As far as I understand, ODEX isn't actually slapping a legal "fine". Rather, they're threatening to sue for theft of intellectual property. The "reasonable" alternative is for you to accept their invitation to a little chat at their office, where you'd be shown the evidence of your wrong-doing and then proceed to discuss the terms of settlement.

(I don't like the implications of how they obtained such evidence any more than any other Singaporean. It's pretty shitty that the majority of Singaporeans don't know enough to demand a proper Data Protection Act like what exists in the UK.)

I'm not sure of the extent to which I got the process correct, nor of the extent to which this is a proper procedure. In any case, it'd probably be to your severe disadvantage if you were to bring the case to court. It's pretty normal in Singapore's courts for the losing party to pay for the winner's legal fees, on top of whatever penalties are applied -- so you'd potentially end up paying a lot more if you fight a legal case in the Subordinate Courts (which is where such cases would be heard I believe).

How to get around all this legal mess?
(1)
First of all, recognise the very brute fact that you are in fact doing something illegal. Don't cry bloody murder simply because the legal owners of the IP want to take action against you. If you are a true fan of the medium, think seriously about how you'd make up for all the downloading you've done. The creators and distributors of the IP aren't making anime just for the sake of your entertainment you know...

(2)
Not every recent anime has been listed on the AVPAS list. Granted, a lot are, but obviously, ODEX is run by buffoons who don't even know what their customers want, so they seem to have missed quite a few significant titles. Meaning? As far as I'm concerned, I can say that if it's not on the list, it's fair game. This rationale might work, but only to a certain extent. ODEX claims to act on the behalf of major Japanese studios and not as a licensee, so technically, they can still take action against you even if the title is not on the AVPAS list.

(3)
As many others have suggested, you don't have to download torrents to watch your favourite anime. There are other sources....

And no, I don't think ODEX can take legal action against video streaming sites that aren't hosted in Singapore....

(4)
Import. Boycott ODEX and drive them bankcrupt (hopefully). Why pay good money for VCD in the 21st century? It's a complete travesty. I do understand that part of the problem is pure economic common sense. Given a choice between a VCD that costs $10 vs a DVD that costs $70, it's not hard to see why Singaporeans still choose to buy inferior quality.

Hopefully, whichever hi-definition standard takes off over the next few years will start driving DVD prices down to more competitive levels. Only then will we probably start to see people use VCDs for what they're truly worth: frisbees or coasters.

wao
2007-08-14, 08:39
Ahaha, this time they ramped up the coverage by including a small column on page 2 of the Straits Times about ODEX finally getting info off StarHub, another major ISP in Singapore. Apparently they got the names of about 1000 people. Interestingly enough StarHub was actually resisting the order to reveal the information, so they could protect their customers' privacy, but I believe it was a legal order and in the end they had no choice... They're currently going after PacNet as well, and they'll eventually have to buckle in as well.

...I've pretty much stopped downloading anything off torrents since I heard about the whole deal, but it's probably too late. I use StarHub...

*gulp* If I happen to be one of the lucky 1000, then it's time to face the music, I guess :uhoh:

MakubeX2
2007-08-14, 10:05
...I've pretty much stopped downloading anything off torrents since I heard about the whole deal, but it's probably too late. I use StarHub...

All's quiet on my Singnet front using the Holy Trinity of Winny, Share and Perfect Dark downloading files named in Japanese.

They'll need to spy on the Nodes first and hired a translator to translate the file names into English if they need to get anything on me. Based on how the subs of Odex are....I don't think they even understand the basics of Japanese.

Even if they do got me, I'll just plead ignorance of not knowing Japanese and have download the files by mistake.

innominate
2007-08-14, 10:40
1. What if I actually possess the rights to said intellectual property because I bought the material? Suppose I download some anime, they come knocking and my door and then found that I already legally possess the material to which I have downloaded but nonetheless find the fansubbed material superior in all other manners? Am I still legally liable to the Japanese Anime Producer? Furthermore in the criminal sense, how can I steal something I already own?

This question is extremely perceptive =O Someone should try it one day.


(4)
Import. Boycott ODEX and drive them bankcrupt (hopefully). Why pay good money for VCD in the 21st century? It's a complete travesty. I do understand that part of the problem is pure economic common sense. Given a choice between a VCD that costs $10 vs a DVD that costs $70, it's not hard to see why Singaporeans still choose to buy inferior quality.

Hopefully, whichever hi-definition standard takes off over the next few years will start driving DVD prices down to more competitive levels. Only then will we probably start to see people use VCDs for what they're truly worth: frisbees or coasters.

Considering that those who have been caught by odex have obligingly chosen to cough up dough in order to peacefully settle the matter, boycotting would not be sufficient to drive them bankrupt. As far as I know (and as earlier mentioned, by yourself) there is no legal 'fine' per se, and it's just that those who choose to pay odex would be saved from the threat of being sued.

In other words, is it the case that odex actually earns money from catching people, no? I dunno. D:

On a side note the vcd remark made me laugh ^^.
-

One thing has been bugging me: how can a company and an association of companies "fine" people? Isn't a fine a criminal sanction? How does a private entity fine a citizen?

I think Redleaf has answered your question already, but, um, another question... In the event that one refuses the settle matters peacefully with odex, in what manner would odex sue one in? =O Is odex really threatening a legal lawsuit?

AVPlaya
2007-08-14, 16:00
We won't be tracked?

Use an anonymizer to view. That's how people in China get around their national firewall.

Use this site:

http://proxify.com/

Enter the URL (you should know it) from the website and try it. Make sure you uncheck "no script" so that flash player can play. Worked for me. With this site, the firewall can't track where you ended up going. All they know is that you're going to this proxy site.

wao
2007-08-15, 02:02
All's quiet on my Singnet front using the Holy Trinity of Winny, Share and Perfect Dark downloading files named in Japanese.

They'll need to spy on the Nodes first and hired a translator to translate the file names into English if they need to get anything on me. Based on how the subs of Odex are....I don't think they even understand the basics of Japanese.

Even if they do got me, I'll just plead ignorance of not knowing Japanese and have download the files by mistake.

I've always considered trying that, but I give up trying to tweak it around especially since the one time I've tried it keeps using way too much memory and I'm too stupid to figure out what's wrong.

Anyway, nowadays I don't keep anime around much anymore. I just find there's no need to keep them that much... and I'm not one to get annoyed about video quality, so certain streaming sites are fine for me. Watch it once and then leave it at that. But there's all that stuff from last year and the year before and so on... :/ Well, non-anonymity is the price you pay for using BitTorrent.

I don't know whether the letter concerns people downloading raws or if it's just subtitles only. From what I understand they obtain IPs by observing BitTorrent files meaning they have to go for each file and can't do a blanket check on one tracker... is that the case? (I don't know.) How do they pick which shows?

I wonder if they observe posters from big scale forums or from blogs and then check out all related torrents from there.

Hoshi_Kawa
2007-08-15, 09:57
This was on anime news network home page:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-08-15/court-orders-singapore-isps-to-name-illegal-anime-downloaders

apparently some company named Odex is going after perople who download animes illegally. They also stated that they hired a company that will hunt illegal anime downloaders here in america...

intersting...

more links, credits those who found the links

http://anime.tedfox.com/2007/others/news/choice-quotes-by-odex-stephen-sing-and-peter-go

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odex

Justice Knight
2007-08-15, 10:01
its in everywhere in singapore right now and sheet them now i am scared of dling animes.....

MakubeX2
2007-08-15, 10:32
This fiasco is entertaining to me just because this is the only time I see Hardwarezone's forum going on a 2ch scale of replies per minute with the same scale of drama, gramatical errors and idiocracy in one of my own native language, no doubt.

DwArD
2007-08-15, 10:32
About time some people started this. We should let the whole world know of the current situation of the anime community in Singapore. The interesting thing to note is that the company, Odex, not only have the rights to take legal actions against people who downloaded animes they licensed. Odex is apparently part of a private organization called AVPAS, and its members include famous japan studio such as TV Tokyo and Geneon. AVPAS give Odex the rights to take legal actions against anyone who downloaded animes from their huge list of authorized titles. Read wikipedia to find out more. If those jap studios really wanted to curb the downloads of animes, then no country will be completely safe in the future. Heard that the only reason why they begin with Singapore is because it is small and can be easily controlled. Let's just hope this wouldn't spell the end of fansubs.

AVPlaya
2007-08-15, 13:04
Let's just hope this wouldn't spell the end of fansubs.

Not if there are still Chinese fansubbers around. The sheer number of fansub groups and their own raw delivery system will ensure that It's always going to be available on the web. Even if all the English fansubbers are wiped out they can all just start releasing subtitle files instead.

Slice of Life
2007-08-15, 15:21
Maybe I'm too optimistic but I believe that more pressure will only lead to better technology to protect our privacy and more public awareness about the problem. Anonymous torrenting is already possible in principle (and I don't mean hacks like winny et al.) it's just that people don't care ... yet.

And for a quick fix here and now: What about a dedicated server somewhere outside of Singapore?

Peanutbutter
2007-08-16, 07:43
AVPAS give Odex the rights to take legal actions against anyone who downloaded animes from their huge list of authorized titles.

You want to know something funny?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odex

http://www.avpas.com.sg/AVPAS_Member.html

Members of AVPAS

President: Dr. Toh See Kiat[2]
Vice President: Mr. Go Wei Ho Peter (ODEX, Director)
Secretary: Mr. Sing Xin Yang aka Stephen Sing Treasurer: Miss Yong Yet Yuen

Those 4 people are the same people who set up ODEX, not just Mr Peter Go alone.

Evidence from the Wiki site:

The address of AVPAS found in their website (under their "Contact Us" page)

Anti Video Piracy Association(Singapore)
10 Anson Road #16-09,
International Plaza, Singapore 079903

is the same as the address of the office of ODEX.

So, what does it says? They gave themselves the rights to pursue downloaders? :heh:

MakubeX2
2007-08-16, 20:15
All I can say to those N00bs who whines and flames is that if you must be a thief, be a good and l33t one to avoid being caught. No use crying over spilled milk.

I've already give a very obvious hint on what they should switch to. Guess my choice was a smart one after I've read up on how BT works, and the fact that I'm a Japohphile.

wao
2007-08-17, 05:02
Well, this will probably force the really hardcore ones to learn if they really want to get it. Necessity is the mother of... invention and many other things.

I find it amusing how when it comes to P2P, the Japanese seem to have started off trying to be as secretive/anonymous as possible and keep it underground, while in the rest of the world people will go for the easiest one even if your IP is completely visible to the authorities. Unless I'm mistaken of course. But maybe it just is an indicator of a difference in mindset between that culture and others. Pirating is probably more restricted to the "l33t" who can figure out configuration and p2p and how to make oneself reasonably anonymous over in Japan, or it's just seen as so bad that anyone who wants to go down that path will want to make sure they can cover up asmuch as possible.
Whereas in Singapore at least people are so unashamed about doing it that here we are talking about downloading in public forums and many being so surprised at people who actually buy their anime.

EDIT: Oh yeah. I also want to mention that the way the backlash is getting covered in the newspapers I'm really finding this whole thing very embarassing. Those who know nothing about anime/online culture are so much more likely to assume anime fans are just entitlement whores who think they're so important they're above the law and so on. Or something like that.

There's a year-end anime event in Singapore every year, right? I wonder how different it will be this year...

click
2007-08-17, 17:12
A recent move by a local distributor of Japanese animation movies to seek legal action to force Internet providers to hand over the names of illegal downloaders has outraged fans, even prompting death threats, a local daily reported Friday. Recently, a Singapore Subordinate Court ordered StarHub, a local telecom company and Internet service provider, to disclose the names of about 1,000 of its subscribers who are alleged to have illegally downloaded anime. The court is also expected to decide next Thursday on whether another Internet service provider should do the same.

full article
http://jayed.us/2007/08/17/singapore-crackdown-on-anime-piracy-angers-fans/

Gundam Zero Force
2007-08-17, 17:16
wow! That doesn't sound too good. I've never downloaded any anime illegally but I sure would hate to have my name on that list if I did. . . . .

TakutoKun
2007-08-17, 17:21
First, I suppose you would have to define what "illegal" downloading of anime is. Personally, the legal barrier would be when the anime itself is licensed in your respective country or has been licensed by a large body (corporation), then it is considered illegal to download it. Otherwise, it is hard to mitigate the legality of downloading shows that are played on TV. In the case of fansubbing, fansubbers merely are translating the dialog so that other clients (viewers) are able to understand. So, if you guys think that this Singapore issue will affect you right now, it will not cause a problem until the USA makes it a law.

Gundam Zero Force
2007-08-17, 17:27
So, if you guys think that this Singapore issue will affect you right now, it will not cause a problem until the USA makes it a law.


Yes I know it may not effect me here . . . but I still feel for my fellow anime fans across the world :). You also make good points about the definition of illegal downloading. I guess it depends how mainstream the anime is and if the owners decide to take action and the other stuff you mentioned.

innominate
2007-08-18, 00:27
Heard that the only reason why they begin with Singapore is because it is small and can be easily controlled.

Isn't it just because Avpas is located in singapore?

So, what does it says? They gave themselves the rights to pursue downloaders?

I think, that Avpas is affiliated with some licensing groups so on behalf of these groups they might want to pursue downloaders, but from their website I don't think it's actually what they're doing.

In December 2000, a research team was formed to assess the piracy situation in Singapore.

It seems like that is what they've been doing more likely.

parrywrinkle
2007-08-18, 21:34
Odex is not representative of the government of Singapore. Therefore they do not PROSECUTE.

This is very important. Please spread the word. They do not prosecute. They cannot send you to jail. They can only as you to pay for damages for their loss of profits.

I repeat: They cannot send you to jail unless they take you to court and you refuse to obey the court orders (refusing to obey court orders is known as contempt of court and is an action by the courts of Singapore against you).

ODEX CAN ONLY SUE YOU IN CIVIL ACTION AND THEY HAVE TO PROVE THAT THEY SUFFERED DAMAGES FROM YOU ACTION

Pure economic losses are very hard to prove. Thus a loss of $3000 to $5000 is actually a gamble by Odex that Singaporeans are not law-savvy and just pay that "fine". That "fine" you are paying is what they deem to be their loss from your actions of downloading. In other words, suppose you downloaded Anime X, they would have to prove in the court that they suffered $3000 from your downloading of Anime X. The onus of proof of the loss suffered is on them, not you.

ODEX CANNOT FINE YOU. IT IS NOT A FINE. THE $3000 IS THEM ASKING YOU TO PAY THEM FOR LOSSES THEY INCURRED FROM YOUR DOWNLOADING.

Pure economic losses are very difficult to prove. Resist their action if you can. See if you can qualify for legal aid. Spread the word about legal aid. If they send you a lawyer letter, do consider if you want to pick up the action. $3000 to $5000 can get you an okay lawyer. At the very least it would allow you to reply to their lawyers writs. For every action that you resist, ODEX can't make money off you. CHECK IF YOU QUALIFY FOR LEGAL AID.

If enough people resist, we can bankrupt odex. Remember that no matter what, ODEX will have to pay their lawyers.

IT IS NOT TRUE THAT IF YOU LOSE THE SUIT YOU MUST PAY ODEX LEGAL FEES

This is subjective. If you think about it, you are already paying Odex legal fees by paying their "fines". Resist their action! Make them suffer legal backlash from their lawyer fees. Pay a lawyer $3000 to fight it out.

--------------

NOTE: The above are personal opinions and should be relied on for legal purposes.

--------------

RE: http://forums.vr-zone.com/showthread.php?t=178451

lwin
2007-08-20, 09:38
http://odex.com.sg/

If you were to visit the site above, it shows an article penned by Odex to clarify matters on the crackdown on anime downloaders.

They mentioned animesuki and said that sites like animesuki are not legal. Hope this site doesnt get "Odex-ed"!

nadare
2007-08-23, 18:15
Odex is not representative of the government of Singapore. Therefore they do not PROSECUTE.

This is very important. Please spread the word. They do not prosecute. They cannot send you to jail. They can only as you to pay for damages for their loss of profits.


But, SG has copyright laws right? If they have proof of license of X anime. They can sue you for infringement.

wao
2007-08-23, 20:27
Oi, what the hell. After Singnet and Starhub gave away the information of all their customers....

A judge rules that ODEX does not have the right to get such information from PacNet.

Wa lao!
Okay, so I feel a little cheated. Gah.

Amusing how this sort of thing gets onto the 2nd page of the newspaper...

Still haven't gotten a letter though.

M L Monster
2007-08-24, 01:47
a friend of mine got a letter from Odex for something that was dled 5 months ago. :rolleyes:



This is ridiculous. Can't believe the government are allowing them to blackmail

Latrommi
2007-08-24, 02:58
In Short,Odex's a load of bullshit

suguru
2007-08-24, 19:52
It's hard to believe Odex is so stupid they think this is going to make their sales grow like crazy, just by suing people. Fansubs are the best publicity they have--all fansubs do is allow me to do the same thing any Japanese otaku with a VCR can do, watch anime before it hits DVD to determine if I want to buy it or not. Yes, but if I download a fansub I can watch it over and over! Right...but how is that any different than if I lived in Japan and taped Nagasarete Airantou off TV Tokyo with a VCR?

People in Japan still buy the DVDs because they provide a quality product and deep down I think most fans who can afford it want to support the industry--and that seems to be the part Odex doesn't understand. If your product is the same quality as a VHS tape, it's not hard to figure out why people aren't lining up to buy from you. It's a sad situation for everyone in Singapore that a company like this has a monopoly...they don't seem to realize it but they're kicking themselves in the balls with this approach.

I'm just waiting for the day ADV pulls the same crap in the US, they seem to keep getting more and more shrill about blaming fansubs for their woes--never mind the fact they overexpanded during the boom thinking the market would grow 50% a year forever. Business doesn't work that way--if the market had kept going at that rate soon everyone in the US would be an anime fan, and as cool as that would be it's never going to happen. Anime is a niche market--sure, it grew a lot earlier in the decade as anime DVDs became widely available, but now the market is more mature and fansubs or no it's not growing 50% a year again anytime soon. I think part of the slowdown in sales is also that a lot of fans are in the same position I am--we have big enough DVD libraries now that we're more picky about what we buy.

parrywrinkle
2007-08-24, 21:50
But, SG has copyright laws right? If they have proof of license of X anime. They can sue you for infringement.

A lot of people misunderstand copyright laws.

1) First there is the civil action between the copyright owner and the person who infringes the copyright. In this case, Odex has the licence but not the copyright, it merely claims to enforce the copyright of the copyright owners.

2) A little into the nature of the copyright is in order: a copyright is an unofficial declaration to the world that you have rights over a certain intellectual property and that you reserve the right not to allow people to copy it. It is unofficial in the sense that there is no register for you to register it. Pretty much anything can be copyrighted. You can draw a picture of a dead squished frog and copyright it on the spot by putting the (c) symbol.

3) The Singapore government can prosecute you for infringement of copyright under the Copyright Act. Specifically it will rely on s.136 of the Copyright Act. Generally the act is to prohibit sale, hire, rent or trade, or for public exhibition of copyrighted material. The part that affects normal downloads for private use is s.136 (A) and s.136(6). s.136(7) states that if you possess more than 5 pieces of work that infringes, the onus is on you to prove that it is for private use.

4) s.136(A) deems it an offence if:
- the infringement of the copyright in the work is wilful AND
i. the extent of the infringement is significant and/or
ii. the infringement was done for a commercial advantage

5) The penalties can be severe (up to $20,000 or 6 months prison or both). So far the AG has not pressed charges on these, but they could.

6) There's a lacuna for a legal argument here that has not seen the light of the courts: suppose you download Anime A (and infringe Jap Animation Co's copyright). You like the anime and decide to buy it, but being a discerning consumer, you bought an unsubbed high audio and video quality DVD from the internet instead of the POS company in Singapore.

- By buying this DVD, you can argue that your previous act of download was not wilful (in law wilful means to do something without "reason", a very complex thing here). You can prove that your previous infringement was for the purpose to checking it out before buying it.

- Another argument is that in fact have been given the right to ownership of this piece of intellectual property by buying it. Since copyright is the right not to allow others copy, through your purchase you can argue that you have been given permission by the copyright owner to own this intellectual property once you buy it.

Of course those are my own opinions derived from my limited knowledge of the law. But I think if at the very least you have purchased copies, you can refute the wilful part and mount some arguments.

JayF
2007-08-24, 22:07
Today is a great day for Singapore anime fans

Check out today's (25th August 2007) The New Paper pg 5.

You ready?

ODEX LOST IN COURT!!!:love:

The District Judge Ernest Lau said in his released ruling that he was not satisfied with the way Odex got the identities of the alleged downloaders and that under Singapore's Copyright act only the original copyright holders (the Japanese companies) and the exclusive licensee can pursue legal action in any case.

Therefore, Odex being a sub licensee cannot pursue legal action under the Singapore Copyright Act, and all the money they taken is now under this ruling money not owed to them legally and if you get a letter from them, ignore it since according to the ruling they have no legal authority or right to pursue this.

Judge Ernest Lau ftw!:bow:

parrywrinkle
2007-08-24, 22:24
It does not detract from that the AG's office can still prosecute you for infringement of copyright if it wishes to.

To be on the safe side, either buy loads of the stuff you downloaded or don't download at all.

Still, Odex lost. Haha.

JayF
2007-08-24, 23:01
Correct, The AG can prosecute you if they wish to.

However, here's something to consider.

1)The AG in Singapore will prosecute only those they feel are wiful downloaders, ie ppl who they feel are downloading on purpose and also in full knowledge of the fact it's illegal.

2)There is no pressure on the SG govt to take action other than Odex, which is a small company to begin with. So unlike movies or music, the govt has no real stake in this fight and in reality could care less. Sure, they may prosecute a downloader and uploader for show, but the vast majority of downloaders are safe.

Remember to the SG govt anime= children cartoon. So the possiblity of them catching downloaders like they go after movie or music downloaders are really, really slim.

Odex was the only one with the reason to fully go after anime downloaders and with this ruling they have no legal right to do so. And if the AG isn't too interested, you can bet the police can't be arsed to go after what are mostly students and minors as well.

Still, it helps to be safe, but yeah with Odex taking a beating from Judge Ernst Lau you are safer now.

Latrommi
2007-08-24, 23:07
Today's the day to celebrate!Apparently Odex's unable to fine anyone as they are not the copyright HOLDERS of anime

parrywrinkle
2007-08-24, 23:22
Re: JayF

Not quite right. The government has incentive to act because most of Singapore's financial success rests on its stable political climate, good policies and it's "clean" reputation. Trust funds, investments and a whole lot of money goes through Singapore just for the reason that businesses feel that if the money has gone through Singapore, it has the sanction of being legal.

That's the impact of our reputation overseas. It's like a stamp of approval in the region that once your money has been exchanged in Singapore, you feel better about where the money came from. You feel that your money is good money. Legal stuff. Thus there is still incentive for the AG to act on this charge, just so to show that Singapore protects copyright holders and respects intellectual property, so that business know that if they establish their copyright in Singapore, they can enforce their copyrights in the courts of Singapore.

However specifically in this case, we're looking at consumer infringement of copyrights as oppose to commercial entities infringing copyrights for trade. The AG's office can act, but it would be a draconian and very very severe response. In the midst the Odex saga, such an act by the the AG's office would send a very negative message not only to Singaporeans but overseas as well on the nature of the government of Singapore. It is a bad time for them to act, because it would sully their reputation through association with Odex. Not only that we're looking at a criminal offence of up to $20,000 proportions and/or 6 months of jail.

I think for the moment until the Odex saga dies down, this piece of legislation will remain a toothless tiger. But should such a situation arise where Jap ani coys start to establishes make their presence in the region (think millions of dollars of investments and a creation of industry) and require the law to clamp down on copyright infringement, I think a "kill one silence one hundred" approach will be taken through s.136 of Copyright Act so set the climate for this enterprise.

Today's the day to celebrate!Apparently Odex's unable to fine anyone as they are not the copyright HOLDERS of anime

Not exactly.

They can request from the real copyright holders for the fiat to act in the capacity of the copyright holders to enforce the copyrights.

JayF
2007-08-25, 02:30
And according to Judge Lau's ruling on the case, they will have to be Exclusive licensee of the copyright in order to do that. Meaning that the Japanese copyright holders will have to release all the rights to their own property in the Singapore market.

As you can guess, they're very reluctant to do that with a company that is not a subsidary of theirs. So it boils down to whether the Japanese companies wish to sign away all their rights to their own series in Singapore just to sue downloaders. Take note they aren't making too much money in the first place and the market is still small
so there really is little incentive to make Odex their exclusive distributors for the SG market especially since there are two other companies (Poh Kim, BlueMax) who are reporting good sales without the legal and PR fiasco.

After this ruling, the Japanese companies are less likely to give them exclusive rights and cut off two profitable sub licencee of their series.

parrywrinkle
2007-08-25, 04:58
The Jap ani coys don't give rights, you have to buy them.

A civil action can still be brought by AVPAS with sanction from the Jap ani coys; question of how damages are calculated and will be distributed will hamper the action, thus render it unlikely.

Prosecution brought by the AG is irrelevant as to whether Odex has rights or not.

Thinker
2007-08-30, 08:28
http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/STIStory_153203.html


Odex stands firm on pursuing illegal downloaders of anime By Jermyn Chow , Aug 30, 2007
ANIME distributor Odex is standing firm on its stance to pursue illegal downloaders.
Clarifying its position in a media conference on Thursday, the company even brought in the muscle of anime copyright holders from Japan to back its case.

Odex said it had to take legal action because of the large numbers of illegal downloaders of the Japanese anime titles it brought in.

The company revealed that over 483,000 illegal downloads had been made here over the past 10 months alone - making Singapore 10th on the list of countries worldwide with the most illegal anime downloaders.

Compounding the problem - 59 per cent of households here have high-speed broadband access.

So Singapore has the highest percentage of anime downloads per capita, far ahead of countries like the United States, Australia and Hong Kong.

Odex's aim, said its managing director Peter Go, is to bring down the number of illegal downloads to about 85 per cent.

Odex authorised to act on behalf of copyright holders


To further bolster its case, Odex brought in representatives of four Japanese studios, which own the copyrights of blockbuster series like Naruto, Dragonball, Tsubasa Chronicles, and Romeo and Juliet.

The representatives told reporters through an interpreter, that they support Odex's legal action.

All four studios had in fact issued authorisation letters for Odex to act on their behalf, before the company went to the courts.

Said Mr Yukio Kawasaki, manager of TV Tokyo Corpration: 'If there is a necessity from the courts of Singapore requiring us to come down (physically), then we will come.'

The studios appealed to anime fans to stick to original copies.


Appealing court orders

Odex is currently in the midst of appealing to get a court order which will force Pacific Internet to supply the names of illegal downloaders using its service. A judge had turned down its request last Thursday (Aug 23).

To date, Odex has sent out 300 letters, from the 1,000 Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that SingTel had provided. An IP address is a string of numbers that can identify a user, although web addresses are commonly shared here.

StarHub has also been served with a court order to provide Odex with another 100 ISP addresses.

The Odex fracas has led to fervent online chatter with some anime fans vilifying Odex and others voicing outrage over the court orders forcing Internet Service Providers to reveal the names of their subscribers.

=================================================

Looks like Odex is going to win this one--with the blessing of the Japanese companies. This is happening in Singapore, but if it goes through it will set a precedence that may have implications in anime fansub communities elsewhere.

Hope you guys are ready for the future, for it ain't bright. :(

SeijiSensei
2007-08-30, 08:56
Odex's aim, said its managing director Peter Go, is to bring down the number of illegal downloads to about 85 per cent.

85% of what?

Did he mean they want to reduce downloads "by 85%"? It certainly doesn't seem likely that they'd engage in all this fuss if he meant reducing the number of downloads to 85% of their current levels, i.e., a reduction of 15%.

I wish journalists were forced to take more math.

Did any of you really not expect that the production companies would back Odex in this campaign? Odex is their licensed distributor in Singapore. What other option do they have? What other options do people in Singapore have for obtaining legitimate copies of anime? English speakers can buy R1 releases; I don't know what's available legally for Chinese speakers. What about anime on free or pay TV? Is it not possible to watch Naruto or DBZ on television in Singapore?

I've read a number of complaints here about the poor quality of Odex's releases. Does that subject come up in media coverage of the issue, or is it all focused on "piracy"? Perhaps a couple of anonymous (and well-written) letters to the editor outlining people's legitimate objections to Odex's work might help. Or write a letter to Mr. Chow setting forth your views about Odex. The problem as I see it at the moment is that, whatever legitimate criticism you may have of Odex, those objections are submerged in a sea of anti-piracy discussions.

DwArD
2007-08-30, 09:55
This definitely ain't looking good. Oh well....I suppose anime will die out sooner or later in Singapore if this situation continues. As if anyone will buy any dvds (or vcds in Odex's case) if they didn't even know how its like in the first place. Since Odex really have the support of those japanese studios, there's really no point in arguing any further. What I'm more interested in is the future. If the japanese studios are really that 'desperate' to actually give the rights to Odex to take action on their behalf, it won't be long before they'll decide to do the same thing in countries outside of Singapore. After all, they did mention that they started with Singapore first because its a small country. Let's hope this doesn't spell the end of the anime community.:rolleyes:

Thinker
2007-08-30, 10:49
85% of what?

Did he mean they want to reduce downloads "by 85%"? It certainly doesn't seem likely that they'd engage in all this fuss if he meant reducing the number of downloads to 85% of their current levels, i.e., a reduction of 15%.

I wish journalists were forced to take more math.

Did any of you really not expect that the production companies would back Odex in this campaign? Odex is their licensed distributor in Singapore. What other option do they have? What other options do people in Singapore have for obtaining legitimate copies of anime? English speakers can buy R1 releases; I don't know what's available legally for Chinese speakers. What about anime on free or pay TV? Is it not possible to watch Naruto or DBZ on television in Singapore?

I've read a number of complaints here about the poor quality of Odex's releases. Does that subject come up in media coverage of the issue, or is it all focused on "piracy"? Perhaps a couple of anonymous (and well-written) letters to the editor outlining people's legitimate objections to Odex's work might help. Or write a letter to Mr. Chow setting forth your views about Odex. The problem as I see it at the moment is that, whatever legitimate criticism you may have of Odex, those objections are submerged in a sea of anti-piracy discussions.

A lot of people have written in to the press regarding the poor quality of Odex's products. The only reply Odex gave the press was "perception problem". Even academics and senior writers have written in the media about the role fansubs play in promoting the anime market, and how they're different from downloading MP3s and software. But Odex is in no mood to listen, and are only bent on further enforcing the crackdown by fining hundreds of dowloaders. With the Japanese companies behind them there's little anyone can do, except speculate why they'd want to come down so hard on an insignificant market.

But it'll be interesting to see if Kadokawa and Bandai turns up, given their recent admission that fansubs have boosted Haruhi sales in the US.

As for catching the latest anime here, fans here can either import R1 from the US or R2 from Japan. A few other distributors besides Odex have decent DVD releases too, but the titles are far and few. There are a few shows on TV, t they're supplied by Odex, and there are talks of boycotting that as well. :)
But fans here are just like those in the US--they want to catch the latest available, least of all, uncensored ones. Most are willing to stop downloading licensed one, but Odex, via a piracy watchdog they created (AVPAS), literally has a blanket ban on any shows under the Japanese companies, regardless whether they're licensed or not. That alone is 400 over titles, including the latest series out there.

That's the 85% Odex is talking about--they want to kill off fansub downloads. They've made it clear this is just the beginning, and has even talked about going after fans who watch streamed anime off YouTube. That's how draconian it's become.

Heron
2007-08-30, 11:11
I realise this might not be the best way to do things, but I fear the worst in Singapore's anime scene due to the recent actions of Odex against us.

Just today, Odex held a press conference with 4 anime distributors stating that the Japanese studios support Odex's actions and will come down to the Singapore courts if necessary to suppress illegal anime downloaders. It also said to the anime community in Singapore to support the original. Link to article (http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/STIStory_153203.html)

Apparently, they wanted to stop Singapore from becoming a piracy hub for anime. But what I do not really understand is why they are trying to do this. I personally got the letter from them, so I am now under immense pressure to give up the fight, but all this is making me just wanting to support the manga, never mind all the new stuff that will be coming out.

Fansubs are being labeled as illegal, a movement by pirates and Singaporeans are being asked to support the original. But a look at the shelves of the stores of Singapore says a lot, as many titles are not even found. Odex itself also have a lot of translation problems being highlighted, but what has Odex done for the fans?

Yes, the Singapore market is small, but have those people know WHY? The fact is that many of our anime titles come very late. The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is one such anime. After all the fuss and buzz about this excellent anime, we are not getting it. A support of the original is necessary, but when we can't even get it, that's something to be asking about.

Not everyone in Singapore can get parallel imports due to a prohibitive price. This compounds the problem more as we are stuck with only 2 choices, Odex VCDs or fansubs. Now, Odex is forcing its hand, making sure that we will have to consume their inferior goods. What can we do?

And that's why I am asking for the global anime community's help. I have no qualms of supporting the original. But give us something on par with the rest or this will not work! It will only hasten the demise of the anime market that is in Singapore.

I hope this message can get through. It merely could be a precursor to the danger facing us all......

sos-dan
2007-08-30, 14:11
u might wanna take a look at these materials
www.odex-rebellion.blogspot.com (http://www.odex-rebellion.blogspot.com)
www.xedodefense.org (http://www.xedodefense.org)
Heron, I agree with you totally. Personally I'm for originals, anime and merchandise alike. The amount of merchandise I have can probably prove it, but anime-wise, I would buy in the official if I could. However they are not available in Singapore generally. Im talking about Bandai , Kadokawa releases. Those with bonuses, omake, basically good stuff innit. Not some barebone tattered copies of "self-proclaimed" originals. IMHO, the studios involved do seem to be aware of the fact that such piracy is rampant, but they do not realise wad is causing it. demand>supply, its pretty simple, actually. I just have no idea why Odex would wanna choose such a suicidal route in handling this situation. are they dumb?

Heron
2007-08-30, 18:51
Note that the Japanese animation studios have a hand in this. Given that, and the fact that they are providing a VoD service right now, is totally coincidence, huh...

wao
2007-08-30, 19:13
Yeah, now if the Japanese companies come down and lend their support to this then all the fancy Odex-bashing would have been... kinda useless. I dunno. Anyone who'll still go picket the Japanese companies might as well quit watching anime altogether :heh:

SeijiSensei: Thinker generally covered them all, though I'd like to add that I think we have a much wider selection of anime on TV compared to the States if you add in
a. Chinese channels (some of them are dubbed)
b. Animax Asia (A branch off the Japanese Animax, they have 24h anime programming that shows episodes in one go but has a decent selection IIRC - I'm still so jealous that they showed Princess Tutu [I]and Emma)

There are some occasions where there are local releases of stuff here faster than they come in the US - correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Gundam Seed Destiny came here a lot faster and I"m pretty sure KimiNozo was here way before it was in the US. But generally speaking - especially for newer titles I think? - this does not appear to be the case. Another problem here is a humongous lack in marketing. There in the US you have cons, websites, notices on sites like ANN and AoD and whatever - here you won't know what the hell got released until you actually see it in a store. As about 5000 angry fans might have mentioned by now Odex's site didn't used to have any release info on it.

Now, of course, it is completely different...

EDIT: I just read some reviews of the first ep of Seto no Hanayome that's available on their new VOD service. (Great, they have Tokyo Majin, which I still haven't watched the 2nd half of since ages ago, and I wouldn't mind seeing it here since I certainly wouldn't want to buy the VCDs... hopefully they'll put up the rest of the episodes)
The video quality looks pretty good - good enough for me anyway, and since it seems like a decent job then I'm more than willing to support this!

...now to somehow beg my parents to at least let me have control over my bank account so I can use paypal, it's not like I'd spend a huge amount of money anyway. $2 per episode valid for 7 days - sounds like a decent enough deal for me, frankly speaking, if it's a show I'm not willing to buy DVDs of without previewing or something I won't buy the DVDs of anyway. So let's just pretend everything I'm watching now for example is available there at the same price. That's a total of four shows. 4 x $2 = $8 a week. Honestly, I don't even buy anything else - only a 90c Milo in school and I don't eat out or buy clothes or gadgets or anything, so why the heck can't I just spend it on something I actually like?!!?!</personal whining>

Thinker
2007-08-30, 20:38
Japanese anime firms close ranks with Odex
http://www.todayonline.com/articles/208525.asp

More articles. Of interest is this.
"In other countries, noted TV Tokyo Corporation's manager Yukio Kawasaki, most culprits stop downloading illegally once they have received a complaint letter from the licensee. He said Japanese animation studios usually leave it to their local representatives to take action against copyright infringers.
.
Based on exchanges with anime fans here, Mr Sing said Odex "understands they will not stop downloading just because we sent them a warning letter". "


All exchanges Odex did with "anime fans" are most with their focus group--many of which, I gather, were supportive of the crackdown. Majority of the community here had no idea what was going on.

So, it's the local representatives that matters...

Anonymous_kimchi
2007-08-30, 22:24
FROM - http://forums.hardwarezone.com/showthread.php?t=1711684

source: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/200708...le-231650b.html

SINGAPORE: Anime distributor Odex has defended its action against illegal downloaders as a form of enforcement against piracy rather than for profit.

Rumour has it that the company earned some S$15 million by taking action against illegal downloads.

Computer users, most of them teens, have been pilfering anime titles from the Web.

In fact, one report even ranked Singapore number one in the world, when it comes to illegal anime downloads per capita.

Odex has uncovered close to 500,000 cases of illegal downloading so far.

To further prove its point, Odex has roped in about 30 Japanese copyright holders who have said they will support Odex in its legal move.

That move saw Odex going to court to force SingNet and StarHub to release the names of its subscribers who have illegally downloaded its cartoons.

The result - a backlash against Odex.

Some people have accused the company of sending 1,000 warning letters, each supposedly called for the identified subscriber to pay between S$3,000 and S$5,000 in fines.

But at a news conference on Thursday, Odex said that there was no fine involved. It said 300 letters were sent out.

About a third of the recipients settled with Odex for an undisclosed sum. The rest are being mediated.

The company claimed that any excess money from the move, after deducting costs, will be donated to a charitable cause.

Odex added that no one was forced to pay beyond his/her means.

"This exercise was never meant to be just an enforcement. It's not a profiteering mission to get as much money from everybody. It was conceptualized with a very big picture (in mind).

"Illegal downloaders can download animes for all they want... five years, ten years, there will be nothing left to download. This is the fear that most strikes us. We want to address that situation," said Stephen Sing, director of Odex Pte Ltd.

That's why Odex still plans to continue what it calls its enforcement process. Its target - an 80 or 90 percent reduction in illegal downloads.

That seems like quite a stretch, since the company has seen only a 17% drop in illegal downloads this month.

More importantly, Odex may not have the right to pursue its so-called enforcement after all.

Despite the company's success against SingTel and StarHub, a judge has ruled that Pacific Internet does not have to give up the names of its subscribers who have been accused of illegally downloading anime.

This is because the court found that Odex is just a sub-licensee and not the copyright owner or exclusive licensee for most of the anime titles sold in Singapore.

Odex says it will launch an appeal to reverse the latest court ruling. - CNA/ir

What do you think the future holds for funsubs around the world if odex wins this war ?

JayF
2007-08-30, 23:46
Allow me to bring a little hope to everyone here.

Firstly, Odex's legal case is the same as before. It's not about the legitimacy of downloading and the quality of their work. That's a forgeone conclusion, as in the former is illegal and the latter is really bad.

What matters here is that whether a sub=distributor has the right to act as a proxy for the JP companies and to claim infringment damages from it. THAT is the whole legal tussle here.

What the JP companies can show is that they back ODEX on this and that they have given permission for them to sue. However, according to the Copyright Act, only copyright holders AND EXClusive licensee have the right to compensation and to start legal proccedings for infringments.

Here's another thing to consider, as a sub licencee, ODEX is not entitiled to any sort of benefit from any legal proceddings in this case. And should they wish to sue on behalf of the Japanese companies, they must first do the following.

1)Apply from leave from the court to act as legal rep for the companies. By starting an appeal, Odex has stopped this option. Apparently, they wish to follow their old argument.

2)Not in anyway benefit from any legal payout gotten in this case from any convicted infringers. You see, under the copyright act they aren't supposed to get any. The letter of authorisation and other legal documents cannot grant them rights they are not entitled to under the act.

3)Odex has in their letters threatened to imprisonment. That is unethical and possibly misrepresentaion since as a private entity they cannot do so. Know this, Odex's rights to the anime they licence other than Gundam Seed in Singapore only applies to dsitribution and sale in Singapore. They have no right to sue for copy infringement if you are not distributing it.

4)Lastly, the Copyright Act trumps any letter the JP coys can give unless it's an exclusive license and even then it's not retroactive. Sub licensee and distributor under the Act cannot sue for infringement and the plantiff here is still listed as Odex Private Limited. All the letters they get mean for nothing if someone who has no business being there is listed as a plantiff. If Odex winning means that they get damages for infringment, then THEY CANNOT SUE because the court isn't supposed to give someone something he's not entitled to under the law. Also note that in a High Court Appeal, THEY CANT CHANGE THE PLANTIFF. The Japanese will have to file another suit, listing themselves as the plantiffs in order to do so. And Odex cannot be party to the lawsuit, being someone who isn't entitled to any damges in the first place.

5)Should the court allow Odex's appeal to go through, this raises the question of what then is the difference between an exclusive licensee and sub. Because now they can sue to something that violates exclusitivity, not distribution and this will ultimately diminish the value of an excluisive licensee, making it unfair to other anime distributors in the local market. Where the line stop and which comes first? The legal limts of a sub license or the limits to how much that can be overcome with a letter to represent? Besides, if they are representing the other companies, why is it that Odex is listed as the plantiff and not Gonzo or Toei? Why aren't damages going to them?

So take heart all those who got the letter. Odex due to their status as a sub distributor is not entitled to legal damages under the Copyright Act and the letters of Authorisation doesn't overcome the limits of Odex's rights under the Act. Only the JP companies themselves and exclusive licencees can sue you. And as long as Odex is listed as a plantiff, the court if ruling according to precedent and the law will have one verdict.

Case Dismissed.

P.S Also note that if the Japanese companies are not listed as companies in Singapore, they also cannot sue you. You have to be registered in the relevant jurisdiction to get the relevant rights. Of course, that would be easier than trying to rewrite the Copyright Act via case law, as Odex is trying now.

Heron
2007-08-31, 04:09
Allow me to bring a little hope to everyone here.

Firstly, Odex's legal case is the same as before. It's not about the legitimacy of downloading and the quality of their work. That's a forgeone conclusion, as in the former is illegal and the latter is really bad.

What matters here is that whether a sub=distributor has the right to act as a proxy for the JP companies and to claim infringment damages from it. THAT is the whole legal tussle here.

What the JP companies can show is that they back ODEX on this and that they have given permission for them to sue. However, according to the Copyright Act, only copyright holders AND EXClusive licensee have the right to compensation and to start legal proccedings for infringments.

Here's another thing to consider, as a sub licencee, ODEX is not entitiled to any sort of benefit from any legal proceddings in this case. And should they wish to sue on behalf of the Japanese companies, they must first do the following.

1)Apply from leave from the court to act as legal rep for the companies. By starting an appeal, Odex has stopped this option. Apparently, they wish to follow their old argument.

2)Not in anyway benefit from any legal payout gotten in this case from any convicted infringers. You see, under the copyright act they aren't supposed to get any. The letter of authorisation and other legal documents cannot grant them rights they are not entitled to under the act.

3)Odex has in their letters threatened to imprisonment. That is unethical and possibly misrepresentaion since as a private entity they cannot do so. Know this, Odex's rights to the anime they licence other than Gundam Seed in Singapore only applies to dsitribution and sale in Singapore. They have no right to sue for copy infringement if you are not distributing it.

4)Lastly, the Copyright Act trumps any letter the JP coys can give unless it's an exclusive license and even then it's not retroactive. Sub licensee and distributor under the Act cannot sue for infringement and the plantiff here is still listed as Odex Private Limited. All the letters they get mean for nothing if someone who has no business being there is listed as a plantiff. If Odex winning means that they get damages for infringment, then THEY CANNOT SUE because the court isn't supposed to give someone something he's not entitled to under the law. Also note that in a High Court Appeal, THEY CANT CHANGE THE PLANTIFF. The Japanese will have to file another suit, listing themselves as the plantiffs in order to do so. And Odex cannot be party to the lawsuit, being someone who isn't entitled to any damges in the first place.

5)Should the court allow Odex's appeal to go through, this raises the question of what then is the difference between an exclusive licensee and sub. Because now they can sue to something that violates exclusitivity, not distribution and this will ultimately diminish the value of an excluisive licensee, making it unfair to other anime distributors in the local market. Where the line stop and which comes first? The legal limts of a sub license or the limits to how much that can be overcome with a letter to represent? Besides, if they are representing the other companies, why is it that Odex is listed as the plantiff and not Gonzo or Toei? Why aren't damages going to them?

So take heart all those who got the letter. Odex due to their status as a sub distributor is not entitled to legal damages under the Copyright Act and the letters of Authorisation doesn't overcome the limits of Odex's rights under the Act. Only the JP companies themselves and exclusive licencees can sue you. And as long as Odex is listed as a plantiff, the court if ruling according to precedent and the law will have one verdict.

Case Dismissed.

P.S Also note that if the Japanese companies are not listed as companies in Singapore, they also cannot sue you. You have to be registered in the relevant jurisdiction to get the relevant rights. Of course, that would be easier than trying to rewrite the Copyright Act via case law, as Odex is trying now.

Excellent research...yet again for the 105 who have settled...I feel for them.

But what I (and many) really worry for is the bigger issue, the problem of a company NOT giving us what we want. And the fact that fansubs are really being targeted as illegal groups when it was them who brought anime into the mainstream audience.

To quote Mr Peter Go, 'it's very sad'.

JayF
2007-08-31, 09:46
One more thing which maybe good news~ Perhaps you have heard of how Peter Go flapped his mouth on Thursday's press conference on how much they paid Singnet over each IP address. Apparently this has affected sales at the Comex event when Singnet's staff went home early. No one was buying their stuff. Guess they didnt like being sold for $150:heh:

Also, you might be interested that all the relevant govt agencies are looking closely at this case as it has now become a landmark case as to how far a letter of authorisation can go and if the previous rulings on a sub licensee not having rights to sue for infringement will finally become case law. Of course, the govt agencies are not going to interfere in this one, since they also want to clear up the confusion over this. That the Singapore Govt wants to protect the copyright is not in question. WHO exactly is entitled to WHAT rights is what they're worried about.

Needless to say, Odex can't afford to loose. They loose, Singnet is going to look very stupid and they might just decide to dig up something on Go and company to get some payback. Starhub which has delayed releasing the names of their suscribers after the DC ruling will likely file suit to get the previous order squashed meaning that Odex will have to pay even more on top of their legal fees and damages to Pacific Net. Not to mention the 200+ who are preparing to countersue once case law established they don't have right to send those letters in the first place.

You're feeling the heat? Guess what Odex isn't sitting pretty either. The fate of their firm (and their own financial status) is hanging in the balanance and they already riled up both the anime community AND Singnet especially after Peter Go let loose the $150 thing. They're just as desperate and legal precedent now isn't on their side.

If Singnet decides to get payback, Odex will crumble like a spoilt cookie. Their lawyers are nasty and when they're unleashed can take on just about anyone. A small company like Odex isn't going to survive.

cpxmay
2007-09-01, 07:43
You know....I only get to know that Odex actually licensed some titles when they started suing. Talk about bad marketing. =p
I used to walk into video shops looking for anime titles and all i see are crappy VCDs and the usual DVDs like Naruto, Bleach etc.

Jazzrat
2007-09-01, 10:36
A simple solution is to just download em in malaysia XD.
I feel sorry for you guys but that's just how it is in Singapore.



And Animax suck after you have been DLing anime, dual sound but no sub. And the animes are so slow that you are still 4 to 5 yr behind what the japanese are getting and typically the usual primetime shounen stuff.

wao
2007-09-01, 21:19
Well, Animax is good if you want to watch older stuff you've never seen before (for example I want to watch Wolf's Rain). Instead of buying it straight off (what if you realise you hate the first 2 eps - then it's a complete waste, and if you want to import it it's not cheap either), or renting it (...which you can't do here anyway), or downloading it (which is illegal), you could watch it off Animax (so if you dislike it after watching the first few eps you can just drop it and it won't cost you that much since you're paying for Animax as a channel).

But for anyone who doesn't understand Japanese (which is most of us) having no subs is really a drawback if you have only the original Japanese or English dub to pick from. If I didn't understand what was going on in a show I'd much rather not watch it at all than have to watch dubs, generally speaking... well, I don't think that has anything to do with Odex.

In other news I am really surprised at how much coverage this thing is getting in the local newspapers. Today there was no less than three separate articles on the Odex saga in the newspapers... One a column written by Andy Ho questioning the whole thing, another talking about Stephen Sing and Peter Go, and another one in Life talking about the availability of anime in Singapore.

Jazzrat
2007-09-03, 11:54
Well either way, i m sure someone would noticed this issue and look into the anime market in singapore though to be honest, i don't really think the otaku population in SE region have enough to justify a competent regional legal anime distribution.

How many people would buy legal anime when it's easily attainable through downloads? There might be some who would but i think most of the local fanbase are still teenagers and college students whose purchasing power are less than that the working folks.



At a certain level, i can sympathized Odex's intention.

TinyRedLeaf
2007-09-03, 14:53
I was browsing through Kinokuniya, and to my happy surprise, I discovered this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v295/islien/voicesofdistantvoices.jpg

For a mere price of S$26.64, I get a good quality DVD with decent subs, bundled with an interview of Shinkai Makoto, She and Her Cat (Shinkai's first work, a 5min animated short), and a Director's Cut of Voices with original vocals (Shinkai's and his fiance's).

If I hadn't seen examples of Shinkai's work online, I would not have given this DVD a second thought, let alone purchase it. Good job, Blue Max, for showing how business ought to be done. It's really very simple. Give me a good quality product, and I will gladly buy. On the other hand, if you choose to bite the hand that feeds you, then be prepared to reap the commercial consequences.

JayF
2007-09-05, 13:19
A letter which I've sent to the New Paper after reading an "article" by one of their journos bemoaning the PR disaster the whole saga has become. Whether they will publish it though is another matter.

Name and contact details omitted obvisously.

I'm writing in to comment on your article "Oh Odex" which was published on 5th September Wednesday.

Firstly I would like to congratulate your reporter on the apt description of Odex has being a cowboy riding into the sunset and was unexpectedly shot down. How appropriate for the fiasco the whole sorry saga it has become. Who would have imagined what was at first glance a routine anti piracy action against Japanese cartoons would evolve into a test case for copyright now that it's going to High Court?

First, a few things I simply have to point out for the sake of making sure the public at large gets the whole picture.

Online hate for Odex products isn't new despite what your reporter seems to believe. Derision of their videos have long been a running joke among the local anime community, which ceased to be funny when the letters started appearing and turned the company from a punchline to a hated symbol. At first, the vast consensus was that Odex was legally correct in doing what they're doing, even if they felt the punishment was too harsh on children.

When the Pacific Internet Vs Odex ruling broke and was later released to the public however, all bets were off. Now it seems that Odex didn't have the law on their side except for one title.

The law was on the side of the copyright owners and exclusive licensee for sure but Odex has admitted to the Court that they are not, which was duly noted by Judge Lau in his written ruling. Now it appears that Odex was claiming money that they were not legally entitled to in the first place, which upset people even more.

After this legal upset, Odex finally decided to hold a press conference to dispute the claims floating around the net about where the money is going. Of course in light of the ruling which cast doubt on their right to sue in the first place and news that a company owned by Odex directors was raided for peddling pirated hardware was uncovered raised questions why was Odex doing so only after their legal case wasn't as airtight as was once thought? Would they have been as forgiving if they had won against Pacific Internet?

At this point, the online community was in no mood to reconcile. Odex's promise not to backlog letters after Monday also ringed hollow in the ears of the anime community, which still hasn't forgotten or forgiven Stephen Sing for trying to deny the double six remark at first.

After all, what is to stop Odex from suddenly not remembering when they made this post if they win in High Court and send the letters out anyway? Legally speaking, they can always sue anyway. Barring a signed agreement, there is nothing holding Odex back if they want to go ahead.

Lastly, if Odex truly is not doing this for profit, why not bring in the Japanese to sue which the District Court has ruled has a case and insist on doing it itself?

If Odex isn't trying to rewrite legal convention via case law as it is now it would have saved people plenty of grief at watching the local anime scene become a legal drama as it drags on. Surely, the Japanese right holders will be glad to reimburse Odex for all their costs in protecting their interests.

If they're not however, perhaps Odex should consider another video genre to distribute where their partners appreciate them.

In old cowboy movies, the hero wore white hats and the bad guys wore black to show who is who.

As the farce drags on though, Odex's hero cowboy hat doesn't look as pristine white anymore.

Also, feel free to copy and post this in any forum where the Odex thing is being discussed.

FiRe_RoSe82
2007-09-15, 00:14
Sigh.. I wonder when all this will be over! :(

Thinker
2007-09-16, 13:00
Sigh.. I wonder when all this will be over! :(

According to Peter Go and Stephen Sing of Odex, not until they have reduced anime downloading in Singapore by at least 85%. If not, the crackdown will probably go on indefinitely.

JayF
2007-09-17, 10:49
This whole thing will end when the High Court throws Odex out on their collective behinds onto the stairs.

Or they go bankrupt which ever comes first.

Just to remind you guys, this little "crackdown" is until the High Court rules otherwise, basically illegal.

Also in today's news, Odex tries a new tactic by getting the ISP to send online letters to alleged infringers. Considering the court had thrown out their case and evidence, I can't help but think they're doing this just to be cheeky.

Of course, other than Singnet I don't think any ISP will be willing to send any sort of warning to their suscribers after the recent fiasco.

....who knows, maybe even Singnet will tell to get lost until they have a court order.

Thinker
2007-09-28, 09:49
Remember Odex, the Singapore anime distributor who cracked down on fansub downloads in Singapore? Looks like fans are now suspecting that the subs for their latest Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu may have been lifted off/altered from a.f.k. fansubs. :)

http://www.odex.com.sg/forums/viewtopic.php?t=214&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Thinker
2007-09-28, 10:07
Appears they're doing the same for Nanoha too.

http://akichigo.org/?p=1294

Deathkillz
2007-09-28, 10:13
*Can't...stop...laughing...*

So now you have to pay to watch fansubs :rolleyes: (oh sweet sweet irony ^__^)

bayoab
2007-09-28, 12:30
Odex usually outsources their translations to random people for the lowest bid contract they can find. These people have been known to rip off fansubs before and this is definitely not the first case of it. The current batch of Odex editors are either unaware or don't care. The higher-ups are aware of this happening before.

*When the person who I knew edited for Odex reported this to the higher-ups, he basically got a "we'll look into it".

Green²
2007-09-28, 19:01
Sometimes the comedy just writes itself. But although some may be tempted to send out some kind of C&D letter to Odex, I would really hate to see future broadcast animation episodes get pulled as an result. (Ok, maybe only .0000013% of an chance of Odex in doing anything as result.) But shame on Odex. And at the least, Odex should credit the related fansubbers as a source for a part of their work.

Eclipze
2007-09-29, 08:40
http://forums.playpark.net/showpost.php?p=1533422&postcount=562

Not directly related, but this shows the "quality" of Odex's product being bad, which has been refuted previously with "preception problem". And really, if their argument is that the translator they've outsourced to was the one responsible for the plagiarism, it still means that they were the one who hired the translator, no? Since this is not the first time that they've had such "copy" instances, they would've learned by now to monitor and control who they are hiring to do the translations - otherwise, they're telling us that they don't give a damn, which would kinda weaken their reasonings to start the whole fiasco in the first place.

They've been around for 10 years, and yet nothing seems to be improving.

bayoab
2007-09-29, 12:06
http://forums.playpark.net/showpost.php?p=1533422&postcount=562

Not directly related, but this shows the "quality" of Odex's product being bad, which has been refuted previously with "preception problem".
Except, that ISN'T by Odex. That has been falsely attributed to Odex. (Notice the last line on that post.) Initial D 4th stage is licensed by someone else. The one that wikipedia used from Fruits Basket was a much better example.

And really, if their argument is that the translator they've outsourced to was the one responsible for the plagiarism, it still means that they were the one who hired the translator, no? They really need to comment on how this is done themselves. There are multiple ways to find translators. The question is if they directly hire translators on contract or if they outsource it to a company. The person I knew at odex got their job by sending in a list of grammar corrections on a title and was directly contracted to edit. It's possible that the a good number of the people who they hire know that they can pass off fansubs as their own work (like chinese bootlegs do) and there are very few honest translators out there. There even might be some editors out there who just substitute fansub lines when the one they get back from the translator is garbage.

firestingerx
2007-11-24, 09:08
I've posted my thoughts and suggestions here on my blog (http://firestingerx.my-place.us/blog3/?p=40#more-40)

I've didn't elaborate much....but I hope to see what you guys think of them in my blog. :D

In short, I think ODEX could have done other stuff that not only better their reputation as a major distributor, but also cement a loyal customer base.

Things are obviously going the other direction....

shalom89
2007-11-24, 10:40
dun noe whether this is related. but this furore has definitely not helped the anime scene in Singapore. In fact, i seriously think that it is destroying it. hard times in being an anime fan.....

In fact, some person is so stupid (or brave) that he managed to hack into the ODEX website.

http://www.darkmirage.com/2007/11/22/odex-has-been-hacked/#more-961

westbluef
2007-11-29, 04:48
Hmmm it seems singapore anime fans are still in hot water (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/314369/1/.html)
So things will get even hotter in there :uhoh:

Vexx
2007-11-29, 05:49
Sounds like Odex is bound and determined to wage war on their actual and potential customers rather than go after real bootleggers and update their business models.

Nothing dooms a company more than testicle-waving executives....

FateAnomaly
2007-11-29, 05:57
Lets just see how long they can keep up their stupidity. I rather buy from amazon than from them.

westbluef
2007-11-29, 07:38
When they have odexed everyone...
I wonder how many "potential" customers will there be left?

minhtam1638
2007-11-29, 07:53
Uh oh... looks like the rage against the machine begins...

dryden28
2007-11-29, 12:44
From what i heard odex don't have to rely on consumers to earn their keep. They had been selling the broadcast rights to our local Tv station and are doing fine. I just watched D'gray man 2 hrs ago on tv and the quality of the show tonight was lousy. Colour is abit out and double images can be seen. I believe the last time i seen this kind of low quality show is during the VHS times. When more than half of the anime broadcast in japan today are in HV, i don't really know how odex's dvd/vcd can make the mark.

Xellos-_^
2007-11-29, 12:47
From what i heard odex don't have to rely on consumers to earn theri keep. They had been selling the broadcast rights to our local Tv station and are doing fine. I just watched D'gray man 2 hrs ago on tv and the quality of the show tonight was lousy. Colour is abit out and double images can be seen. I believe the last time i seen this kind of low quality show is during the VHS times. When more than half of the anime broadcast in japan today are in HV, i don't really know how odex's dvd/vcd can make the mark.


Do a complete boycott, Don't buy any Odex products form aby company affilated with odex and don't watch any odex license shows on tv. If Odex license shows start losing ratings that will effect thier revenue.

If all else fails quit anime and get of your house and breath some fresh air. I think that stuff is actually good for you or i have heard.

wao
2007-11-30, 13:54
Oh FFS, not again... :(

Well, I second Xellos-_^'s suggestion about Going Out and Fresh Air, it actually does... seem to do some good! Wow, who'da thunk.

Also, you can watch equally entertaining and inane videos on the web, there's moooore than enough to find if you look hard enough (ignoring the fact that many of them - MADs, parodies etc. tend to fall foul of copyright laws anyway)

But then again I'm getting the feeling that since ODEX (possibly?) knows it can't get the complete trust of most anime fans back it might as well stay on the side of the law and what the Japanese companies desire. After all, even if everyone says they can't survive with fans' money, there's still the General Public who's been informed that ODEX is on The Right Side and all thanks to local reporting, and not-so-net-savvy kids who might've seen something cool on TV and want their parents to buy it for them... and perhaps to them it's just a better use of time building better relationships with the Japanese companies?
I'm not saying going after downloaders is an absolute prerequisite for the companies to license stuff, but perhaps they're more likely to (or something - VoD rights perhaps?) if ODEX does do that...


I guess you'd have to keep in mind that while Odex has bungled around quite a bit, the ones making the real fundamental decisions are...

Ryusiangel
2008-01-30, 03:42
i been hearing about odex? you think odex will make there way through the united states? or has it been done i'm wondering :(
i was hearing they steal there fansubs from other fansubers thats really bad.

foux
2008-01-30, 05:58
where else would they get their money to run the business?
Selling false subbed anime or suing their customers who refuse to buy their crap.

Jyukai.
2008-01-30, 07:42
@Ryusiangel
Odex wouldn't have any power in the states I think.

Just read online that Pacnet now has to release 500 IP's of illegal downloaders @@

Phantasmagoria
2008-01-30, 08:02
I have to ask something. If you're in Singapore, are you able to download episodes of newer animes like Gunslinger Girl II, etc?

Jyukai.
2008-01-30, 09:00
Initially I thought that only anime licensed by Odex were off-limits if you wanted to play safe, but now I'm not so sure as Odex has conned the Japanese Studios into fighting for them since they don't have the right to force the SG ISP's to reveal the IP's. Why?

wao
2008-01-30, 09:19
Conned? I don't think so... You think all these Japanese companies really still like sitting around watching people distribute anime in a way they don't have control of and make no money off?

I don't think Odex can touch anything that happens in other countries, though.

evil|plushie
2008-01-30, 09:23
Odex lost the case.

Ryusiangel
2008-01-30, 12:58
if what i'm hearing about odex is true, they need to shut down. srsly what kind of place is singapore for false stuff? they need a real company to do that not poor quality company they need to be shut down i wish we could fight for them from the united states :\ where getting awsome quality from ADV films and those anime distrubers.

Phantasmagoria
2008-01-30, 13:07
Lol, I was wondering if in Singapore, you're allowed to download unlicensed anime.. apparently not?

SeijiSensei
2008-01-30, 13:19
Lol, I was wondering if in Singapore, you're allowed to download unlicensed anime.. apparently not?

I hate to break it you, but there are few countries in the world where you're "allowed" to download anime of any sort. It's called copyright infringement (http://www.animesuki.com/doc.php/licensed/). Whether someone will prosecute you for this varies enormously by country. Odex, and the Japanese rightsholders, appear to have decided to take the prosecution route in Singapore.

Phantasmagoria
2008-01-30, 14:23
I shall re-phrase then. What are the chances that in Singapore, someone will prosecute you for downloading unlicensed anime? Is there anyone caught for doing it?

How about Hentai/Yuri-theme anime? Will these be on a different level? I don't remember Odex mentioning or licensing any of those, nor do I see their DVDs/CDs in the various stores.

Vexx
2008-01-30, 14:44
They don't seem to care WHAT the content is... just that you're copying supposedly intrinsic "works" without compensation to companies they *claim* to be agents of. All we can tell you is that the Singapore authorities and Odex are making a bigger deal out of it in a small country where its easier to "drag the nets" for infringers.

Basically, you have to take reasonable precautions and monitor the levels of activity. I'd suggest using the appropriate tools to protect yourself .... but they are the same tools I'd suggest under any circumstances for keeping people you don't want out of your computer and its connections to other computers.

Good anti-virus, Peerguardian, firewall, encrypt all sessions where feasible, use IRC or http rather than torrent (if ISP is being an ass about p2p apps), etc.

wao
2008-01-31, 02:14
Unlicensed/licensed as you guys put it has little relevance in this country when it comes to getting caught - maybe obscurity is a better factor, but if what you're downloading belongs to the Japanese companies that have received the names from the High Court instead of Odex, then you would arguably be in more trouble if you're caught... This time around it was... *checks* Sunrise Inc., Kadokawa Pictures Inc., GDH K.K., TV Tokyo Medianet Inc., Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and Showgate Inc. who have gotten the names from PacNet. Apparently Odex wanted to bring in many more Japanese companies but only those 6 could make it in time or something.

Those who still want to watch anime have long moved to other avenues of acquiring their material. Not necessarily legal.

But I wonder if all these Japanese companies REALLY have the money and time to honestly sue small-time foreign downloaders like this - wouldn't it be easier to act within their country first or something...

Takuto19
2008-01-31, 17:58
Seems Odex won the court battle to get the personal details of the people in Singapore....

Aritcle (http://torrentfreak.com/isp-ordered-to-reveal-identities-of-bittorrent-anime-sharers-080130/)

Jimmy C
2008-01-31, 23:22
Odex did not win as previously said. The information was released to the Japanese companies themselves. It'd be interesting to see if Odex is willing to persue action again and forward all the money they collected to the original rightholders, as they should. Or will they tell them, "We're not getting enough out of this arrangement, sue them yourselves"?

westbluef
2008-02-01, 07:16
Or another possibility would be, is that Odex will act as the "legal" representative for the companies and start suing them. :upset:
Heck, all Odex needs is a "Special Power of Attorney" and it will be 8/2/07 again:frustrated:

evil|plushie
2008-02-01, 07:40
AFAIK, they can't do that because that was WHAT they were trying to do in the first place. Odex pretended it had the authority to do so but the courts basically said 'screw you, you must be the actual license holder'.

Jimmy C
2008-02-01, 14:57
Heck, all Odex needs is a "Special Power of Attorney" and it will be 8/2/07 again

From what I can recall, an important distinction of such a representative is that they cannot benefit from any legal action they undertake on behalf of their clients. They might get a commission based on the fines they collected, but the majority had better go to the true rightholders. And they can't cheat either, or they can kiss any future licensing deals goodbye.
It would be interesting to see Odex's reactions if the commission won't cover their expenses, I doubt they'll ever admit to any numbers in public though.

westbluef
2008-02-01, 23:30
From what I can recall, an important distinction of such a representative is that they cannot benefit from any legal action they undertake on behalf of their clients.

True they cannot get any benefits if that ever happens, but if they had "fun" on suing people, then all hell will break loose again.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what Odex plans to do next.

TinyRedLeaf
2008-02-02, 00:26
True they cannot get any benefits if that ever happens, but if they had "fun" on suing people, then all hell will break loose again.

It's business not personal. Although where money is involved, it's sometimes hard not to get personal.

The idea that people enjoy the whole sorry procedure of starting a legal case, hiring a team of lawyers, dragging people to court, all just for the sake of a few thousand dollars, a petty amount that is not even enough cover the cost of the whole process - it's incredibly silly. Businessmen have more profitable things to do with their time.

My point? Don't demonise people for doing what they felt they had to do to protect their business. If you ever start a business of your own, particularly in the media/creative industry, there will probably be nothing more galling than having people steal your ideas without giving due credit. That's what filesharing looks like to anime companies and distributors. Ask yourself - when was the last time you contributed anything in return? Content is not produced for free, for your sole entertainment. Creators need to make a living too.

To be sure, the media industry is fighting a losing battle against emerging technology and the sooner they adapt to new distribution channels, the better it would be for them. Anime studios ought to consider video-on-demand services or even to allow micro-payments in exchange for downloaded content.

As for distributors like Odex, their future looks bleak from a technological point of view. From a commercial point of view, I don't know. There is a very important reason why this middle layer exists - to consolidate disparate media content into packages that they can then sell to broadcasters. It's very rare for broadcasters to deal directly with content producers, because a single studio is unlikely to possess a library of content diverse enough to cover all the programming slots a broadcaster has to fill.

That said, I haven't seen much anime programming available on our "free" broadcast channels, so Odex is not doing us any favours in this area. There used to be anime occupying the 10pm - 11pm slot on Channel 12 from Wednesdays to Fridays, but I recall that the programmes have been gradually pushed back to later time slots. Which basically means that the broadcaster is not making enough advertising revenue to broadcast the anime in "primetime."

Then, there is the Animax cable channel, which you have to pay to receive, so advertising revenue is not as big an issue, but it would still be an important consideration.

Bottom-line? Let's face it, Singapore is far too small a market for any commercial distributor of anime content to make reasonable profit. Filesharing isn't making the situation any easier.

By the way, a very good analysis of the whole Odex saga, plus its implications on the privacy of Internet users in Singapore, can be found here (http://www.singaporeangle.com/2007/09/the_chronicles_of_odex_the_isp_1.html). I would highly recommend Singaporeans to read it before yapping about what should or should not have been done. The article also provides a list of references that is good for further reading.

Vexx
2008-02-02, 08:32
I had gotten the impression that the leaders of Odex HAD personalized it and basically sent "good business sense" out the window. But then I'm relying on second/third hand reports.

Fynal_Fyre
2008-02-03, 06:58
True they cannot get any benefits if that ever happens, but if they had "fun" on suing people, then all hell will break loose again.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what Odex plans to do next.

I doubt they had "FUN" suing people, given cost taken to engage lawyers, go to court, and send out individual LOU's.

Maybe they will, given their history, try to enlist the aid of studios that DO have the names currently, like TV Tokyo.

However, perhaps they have learned and will probably think twice before doing anything that might severely piss off their consumers, because, sadly, that IS what they have done.

DestinyFate
2008-02-03, 16:20
I doubt they had "FUN" suing people, given cost taken to engage lawyers, go to court, and send out individual LOU's.

Maybe they will, given their history, try to enlist the aid of studios that DO have the names currently, like TV Tokyo.

However, perhaps they have learned and will probably think twice before doing anything that might severely piss off their consumers, because, sadly, that IS what they have done.

they did have FUN suing people, since they gloated in the internet "OMG YAY I DOUBLE SIXED SO MANY DOWNLOADERS! SERVE THEM RIGHT!"

Fynal_Fyre
2008-02-03, 22:19
they did have FUN suing people, since they gloated in the internet "OMG YAY I DOUBLE SIXED SO MANY DOWNLOADERS! SERVE THEM RIGHT!"

Oh yeah, I remember, Stephen Sing, his infamous "I double-sixed so many downloaders" quote only shows how much Odex pissed of their consumers, but personally, NO company likes to go to court, it's a expensive affair.

And he was an arrogant moron for that, the main reason why I avoid Odex products like the plague, and the reason why the anime community here went up in arms against Odex.

Jimmy C
2008-02-06, 04:01
Maybe they will, given their history, try to enlist the aid of studios that DO have the names currently, like TV Tokyo.

If they did that, there's only so much benefit they can gain from it due to Singapore's laws. If they sincerely wanted to rid Singapore of piracy, they could say something like this:

"Appoint us your representatives, give us the names and we'll take care of everything from here. We only ask that you give us a small percetage of the fines collected for our efforts."

But if they did that, they won't gain much income for their efforts. Yet, they can't say:

"Initiate legal action against these people, we'll collect the fines from them and keep 90% and give you the rest."

That would make the Japanese rightholders doubt their sincerity. In fact, they might even feel that they can't trust Odex with future licenses.