Japanese Government Enforcing Anti-Piracy Law on Anime and Manga - Update

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Japanese Government Enforcing Anti-Piracy Law on Anime and Manga - Update

The Japanese government will launch a massive anti-piracy campaign for the anime and manga industry this Friday.

Update: Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry revealed its Manga-Anime Guardians project, which will monitor and remove illegally uploaded copies of anime and manga. The project aims to create an environment where people can enjoy official versions, spur creation, and continue to create new works and cultivate new talent. The METI states online piracy hurts Japan by nearly $20 billion. Over half of US anime and manga fans watch and read pirated works, according to the METI.

The project is a part of the Manga-Anime Anti-Piracy Committee, which includes Aniplex, Kadokawa, Good Smile Company, Kodansha, Sunrise, Shueisha, Shogakukan, ShoPro, Studio Ghibli, Tezuka Productions, Toei Animation, TMS Entertainment, Bandai Namco Games, Pierrot, and Bushiroad.

Original: This Friday the Japanese government will begin an anti-piracy campaign with 15 anime and manga producers and distributors and enforce legislation from October 2012 directed at illegal file sharing.

In 2012 Japanese government enacted a bill that punished both people who uploaded copyright infringing material and people who downloaded the material. The jail sentence can be as long as two years for downloading copyright infringing material and as long as 10 years for uploading it.

Since the legislation, piracy has remained a problem in Japan just as it has worldwide. Anime and manga are one of Japan's cultural exports as they have spread in popularity around the world.

The government and the 15 producers and distributors will begin contacting 580 "overseas pirate sites" demanding they delete copyright infringing content. The sites are located around the world, but many are in China, where much of the anti-piracy campaign will focus. A new site will direct fans to legal copies of affected works, which are available for a few hundred yen (equal to a few US dollars), the NHK noted.

"We want to create a project so that anime fans overseas can enjoy Japanese content legally and without infringement worries while the profits are paid to anime production companies and publishers," the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry stated to the NHK.

Because Japanese anime and manga is a niche market outside of Japan, many people will watch anime and read manga with fan translations before they are licensed and legally distributed in their home country. The Japanese government and partnered foreign distributors will need to address this problem, and anti-piracy laws have done little to fix it so far.

Source: NHK (Japanese) via Torrent Freak

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So theyre finally doing it.

Are they going after everything? Or just the things that are licenced and available overseas?

A nice idea, but outside of Japan at least, the largest problem is they simply do not licence it for many countries. The USA seems to get a reasonable amount of online options but beyond that you are lucky if a hugely popular series gets a Western DVD release within 2 years of a Japanese one.

When you compare that to some non-Americans not being willing to wait a week or even a day for a US television program to be released before pirating it, it does put it in perspective.

Even with legal avenues such as Funimation and CrunchyRoll, they have bizarre restrictions on which countries can watch what. The Anime and Manga industry consider non-Japanese countries to be a very low priority a lot of the time. So while piracy is bad, they really should not be surprised how bad it is.

Legion:
A nice idea, but outside of Japan at least, the largest problem is they simply do not licence it for many countries. The USA seems to get a reasonable amount of online options but beyond that you are lucky if a hugely popular series gets a Western DVD release within 2 years of a Japanese one.

When you compare that to some non-Americans not being willing to wait a week or even a day for a US television program to be released before pirating it, it does put it in perspective.

Even with legal avenues such as Funimation and CrunchyRoll, they have bizarre restrictions on which countries can watch what. The Anime and Manga industry consider non-Japanese countries to be a very low priority a lot of the time. So while piracy is bad, they really should not be surprised how bad it is.

A lot of shows are refused licensing or have it delayed because of there fear of reverse importing. That the Japanese fans will wait to buy the cheaper US release rather than pay $60+ for 2 episodes of there normal release (some anime cost as much as $100 for a 22 min episode in Japan)

Legion:
So while piracy is bad, they really should not be surprised how bad it is.

They should also not be surprised if it possibly gets worse when this idea blows up in their face. The thing about combating piracy is, the more you try to head on fight pirates, the more fuel you are giving them to want to continue doing piracy. While at the same time, shutting down fan made subs and translations might cause more to want to pirate as well. Because as you said, not everything is localized, and most of the time it's just to the US. Even then, with all the restrictions on what is and what isn't allowed means a good majority of things aren't localized in western markets at all.

I'm reminded of how the music industry tries to make itself still relevant because they thought CDs would be forever and MP3s would not catch on. Well they were wrong, and now can't stop music piracy, and I believe the anime and manga industry is at this point as well in which they can't stop it. Reason is because it took them so long to realize markets existed outside of Japan. All in all, while many sites might be taken down because of this, new ones will replace them, just like back when One Manga went down (anyone remember that site).

You can buy anime legally for a few dollars? When the first BluRay of Madoka released here it was $120 fucking bucks for three episodes. If someone can point me to a site with English subs that I can download DRM free, 1080p episodes for three dollars I would be over the moon.

Cruncyroll is great for mainstream stuff, but the problem is shows disappear off there and then you can't ever watch them again. You can't go back and watch your favourite shows from 15 years ago like you can with actual copies. Also like, I can't go on there and watch Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space because they don't stock weird Japanese art-house stuff.

ffs. if the pirates are offering a better service then your doing somthing wrong and need to adapt to the times.

So now I won't be able to watch or read quite a lot of it until it's been out for years. I buy all my anime and manga as soon as it's available in my country, until it is out I will watch/read fansubs and scanlations online.

So, another country will attempt the failed mobster methods of anti-piracy, hurting the consumer and themselves more than piracy, creating a lot of animosity. The only winners here are the lawyer firms that are stuffing their pockets with money.

As always, the solution is to improve availability and have reasonable pricing. If anything, the massive popularity is an obvious indicator that there's a market overseas and all they have to do is take advantage of it, instead of trying to force the audience to their timeframe and the licensing agreements they want.

Legion:
A nice idea, but outside of Japan at least, the largest problem is they simply do not licence it for many countries. The USA seems to get a reasonable amount of online options but beyond that you are lucky if a hugely popular series gets a Western DVD release within 2 years of a Japanese one.

When you compare that to some non-Americans not being willing to wait a week or even a day for a US television program to be released before pirating it, it does put it in perspective.

Even with legal avenues such as Funimation and CrunchyRoll, they have bizarre restrictions on which countries can watch what. The Anime and Manga industry consider non-Japanese countries to be a very low priority a lot of the time. So while piracy is bad, they really should not be surprised how bad it is.

Yep.

Honestly, this has been the problem for most industries. Music industry. Movie industry. Man, how awesome would it be if someone actually LEARNT something from all of this and didnt go through the EXACT same hoops as the stupid industry before them did?

But now how am I gonna read an entire manga series for free and pretend it benefits the creator that I don't pay for it? (Oh YES I motherloving went there.)

Weaver:
If someone can point me to a site with English subs that I can download DRM free, 1080p episodes for three dollars I would be over the moon.

This is my main concern. Why is it that there are no drm-free digital video services yet? Until that happens, they won't be competing for any pirate's cash. Streaming isn't really a bad thing, but if your Internet can't keep up with it the quality will be shit and it can be a hassle to skip forward and back and streams will occasionally freeze. Shit, spotty Internet service works just fine for torrenting though which can be started and stopped at anytime and you'll end up with a better quality and more flexible product than even the fastest Internet streams

Well, I suppose I could always read western comics... *sigh*

Seriously, what do they expect? Half of all anime and manga doesn't get released outside of Japan and unless it's ridiculously popular the chances of actually finding it are slim.

This won't work, you can't find up to date annuals, like Shounen Jump, easily in England at least and most anime is to risky for cartoon channels to air. Then of course there's the cons and their unlicensed goods, all this is gonna do is stifle the anime/manga culture.

Make it easy to buy it and I will buy it, or don't because someone online will.

Before anyone goes thinking i'm one of those peeps who doesn't buy anything ever, most manga series i've read I own, I even have an entire series in Japanese which wasn't released over here that I bought from the Japan Centre because I love the art so much...
<_<
>_>
OKAY, IT'S AN ECCHI SEREIES, DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!!!

AstaresPanda:
ffs. if the pirates are offering a better service then your doing somthing wrong and need to adapt to the times.

Problem here is in this particular industry it's going to be very very hard to beat the 'pirates' service. An episode/chapter is released in Japan and within 24 hours it's been professionally subbed/translated and readily available in your language. The official business can never be that quick when you start taking regionalism into account, not to mention all the other stuff they have to catch up on.

This is a terrible idea the reason anime and manga is getting popular here is because people have access to it so by making everyone have to buy it first they are both restricting access through money and whats legally been brought over. I know personally I buy what I enjoyed but honestly I know very few people who would be into anime or manga if there weren't fan subs for them to have watched in the first place.

I suspect they will end up shrinking the market more than anything cause anime is too expensive to risk potentially liking it on.

2 years for downloading and 10 for uploading? Fucking christ, I could commit armed robbery here in Canada and be out faster.

RandV80:

Problem here is in this particular industry it's going to be very very hard to beat the 'pirates' service. An episode/chapter is released in Japan and within 24 hours it's been professionally subbed/translated and readily available in your language. The official business can never be that quick when you start taking regionalism into account, not to mention all the other stuff they have to catch up on.

In Japan, an episode being "released" means that it is being aired on TV. For free. With practically zero advertisement revenues. The series' profit from disc sales months later, which are only paid for by a core of otaku fan collectors who choose to order the whole thing for artist support/bragging rights/superior image quality.

If anything, the local industry culture is a prime example of artists coexisting with "piracy culture", or at least with the honor based system of unrestricted access to the content and fans choosing to pay afterwards.

Except that practically speaking, they could adapt that by letting western people watch the shows free on the Internet, and maybe a few choosing to order disc copies too.

They are too obsessed with enforcing their legal "rights" just because they can, to realize that they are pretty meaningless.

The White Hunter:
So now I won't be able to watch or read quite a lot of it until it's been out for years. I buy all my anime and manga as soon as it's available in my country, until it is out I will watch/read fansubs and scanlations online.

Well, you will be able to do it, but from now on you have to suffer the knowledge that the IP owners would really, really, really like it if you weren't able to do it.

Alterego-X:

The White Hunter:
So now I won't be able to watch or read quite a lot of it until it's been out for years. I buy all my anime and manga as soon as it's available in my country, until it is out I will watch/read fansubs and scanlations online.

Well, you will be able to do it, but from now on you have to suffer the knowledge that the IP owners would really, really, really like it if you weren't able to do it.

So Toei will hate me.

I'm cool with that. They fuck up enough scenes to justify that.

Queen Michael:
But now how am I gonna read an entire manga series for free and pretend it benefits the creator that I don't pay for it? (Oh YES I motherloving went there.)

I'd be perfectly willing to pay a monthly subscription for the manga site I read that went to the authors. I do pay for a crunchyroll subscription. But frankly their service is not as good as the free hosting sites are.

Not to mention that the only reason I watch most of it is because its free or near free. There are few series a year I watch that I would buy on disc if I had the money, which I don't anyway. Its the same with american tv shows. Sure I'll watch them on tv but there are so few I'd ever buy.

If they shut down the hosting sites thats their prerogative. But it won't get me to buy anymore unless they offer a good netflixy kind of service. I'll just stop watching or reading.

I'll bet this gives a good boost to manhwa series if they take out manga hosting sites.

So how exactly will they enforce this overseas where their products aren't licensed and the laws are different?

Sounds like this is going to effect my manga and anime habits. Pity, I was just starting to get back into them as well. Maybe if they actually you know, gave a fuck about foreign markets, people wouldn't have to turn to fan-translations. Surprise, Japan! When you ignore an audience, they turn to shady means to get what they want.

And they can effect foreign markets. Two hentai sites have been hit, one so bad it was shut down. The other is still standing, but only because they remove the content they get warned for. We also lost one of the most dedicated fan-translation group because of this.

Edit: I may have just found a list of sites that will be hit. Starts at page 11. Link is safe, I was just there.
http://www.meti.go.jp/policy/mono_info_service/contents/downloadfiles/140414.pdf

Some known sites that will be hit are Mangahere(my manga site), mangareader, mangafox, Youtube, Daily Motion, Animeultima, Animeplus, and multiple well known anime, manga, and visual novel torrent sites. Looks like some bigger names are fine, Fuwanovel, Baka-Tsukui, and my anime site are not being targeted.

They aren't shutting the sites down either. Only removing eighty anime titles and five-hundred manga titles from their websites. Good thing I read mostly obscure as fuck manga, should be fine.

NHK? Clearly this must be a conspiracy to turn anime fans around the world into hikikomori!

It's a conspiracy I tell you!

RandV80:

AstaresPanda:
ffs. if the pirates are offering a better service then your doing somthing wrong and need to adapt to the times.

Problem here is in this particular industry it's going to be very very hard to beat the 'pirates' service. An episode/chapter is released in Japan and within 24 hours it's been professionally subbed/translated and readily available in your language. The official business can never be that quick when you start taking regionalism into account, not to mention all the other stuff they have to catch up on.

I think Space Dandy kind of disproves part of this. The show aired in the US with a English dub the same day it was first broadcast in Japan, so it's clear that it CAN be done, the only question is if you can find a distributer (and for a lot of the larger studios, there'd be plenty of takers).

youji itami:

A lot of shows are refused licensing or have it delayed because of there fear of reverse importing. That the Japanese fans will wait to buy the cheaper US release rather than pay $60+ for 2 episodes of there normal release (some anime cost as much as $100 for a 22 min episode in Japan)

Wow, and here I thought 65$ for a half season was a ripoff. Well actually it is, I've found full seasons for 20$ or less, but that's beside the point.

Here's the rub people from Japan: Pirates provide a better service because the stuff I want to see either isn't released here, or it's mangled while being imported.

Who is releasing 80s mecha shows like Braiger and Xabungle in the west? Where can I find uncut, subtitled versions of Yugioh? Where do I go to find the new GARO and Kamen Rider Gaim and ToQger? It's a positive step I can now see stuff like Aldnoah Zero or Terror in Resonance on streaming sites in America, but what if I"m not from America or I'm looking for Inazuma Eleven or Digimon Savers or another older show?

Can't really say I care that much as my interest in the subject pretty much subsided since the industry decided that producing shonen, hentai and ecchi stuff is the only worthwhile business...
Try to find a recent anime/manga that does not start the description of its protagonist with "is a student/6thgrade etc. ..." and fits into mentioned 3 "genres"
Good luck with that.

Anyway I think they are going to shoot themselves in the foot here.
Fansubs and scanlations provide an important service to the fans especially outside of the US in terms of prove of interest, advertisement and test-reading.
Additionally for obscure content it is the only viable option to access it all together.
Killing it off will leave the industry more unaware in what will actually appeal to western audiences, repel/prevent consumer with weak buying power (most of the usual target audience) to even enter the fandom, set back release schedules round about 1 to 2 years for actually popular series and kill off access to obscure content altogether.
This could have negative synergy on the business.

As for the "licensed" status:
Copyright laws exist basically everywhere. Of course they won't apply Japanese laws outside of their territory. They can perfectly fine shut scanlations and fansubs down on their respective countries laws.
The reason it didn't happen thus far was that they didn't pursue it. They left it to the companies that licensed their stuff or their regional subsidiaries to do that and didn't much care for what happens beyond Japan unless they had scheduled releases outside of it.
That's why the sites usually removed licensed stuff as with the license came a pursuer and they but themselves at risk being shut down.
However they don't have to license something to a company in a different country or have a subsidiary to sue for copyright infringement. A fansub/scanlation is a copyright infringement regardless of the license status and they can sue anyway. It is just a hassle to so as they have to confront it a foreign court.

Pickapok:
NHK? Clearly this must be a conspiracy to turn anime fans around the world into hikikomori!

It's a conspiracy I tell you!

Well, not YOU, clearly. You get to be a ninja.

OT: I should ask what they actually plan to do about it, but the usual fore-front question is always... What action are you taking to eliminate the demand? They always treat the symptom. Why not go for the ailment? The cause?

gigastar:
So theyre finally doing it.

Are they going after everything? Or just the things that are licenced and available overseas?

Pretty much my question. I'll admit (regrettably) that I've read/watched fan translation of work that, frankly, isn't available in the states. However, I always try to purchase merchandise available here. I hope they take that into account.

I support the fight against piracy, but they need to make things more available too.

Queen Michael:
But now how am I gonna read an entire manga series for free and pretend it benefits the creator that I don't pay for it? (Oh YES I motherloving went there.)

As someone who subscribes to CrunchyRoll, buys his manga and has quite a few DVDs of various series as well, I still disagree with what you`re implying here. The fact is anime and manga, although the former more than the latter, are ridiculously expensive, even when comparing to Western TV series of the same size. For example, to buy 22 episodes of Psycho-Pass, one of my favourite recent animes from the last couple years is around 100 CDN and I`ve seen other series get more expensive than that. The fact is, if one wants more purchases by consumers, one has to set their products at reasonable prices because not all people are as lucky as I am with my current work status and paygrade.

Most of the manga I like are not translated into english.

On the other hand, manhwa is getting into rival range of manga. So it might not be as much of a loss.

A new site will direct fans to legal copies of affected works, which are available for a few hundred yen (equal to a few US dollars), the NHK noted.

That's important. It's how you really mitigate (I say mitigate, for you will never truly eradicate piracy, and attempting to do so entirely will just end badly) piracy.

1. Price it reasonably
2. Make it easy to access.

Anything less than those two things, and you'll be getting pirated to the point that it truly is financially damaging.

Not trying to justify piracy btw, just trying to explain why certain things find themselves so much more pirated than others - just look at Game of Thrones and Australia.

RandV80:
Problem here is in this particular industry it's going to be very very hard to beat the 'pirates' service. An episode/chapter is released in Japan and within 24 hours it's been professionally subbed/translated and readily available in your language. The official business can never be that quick when you start taking regionalism into account, not to mention all the other stuff they have to catch up on.

Not really. Just look at GoG. All their games are in nice and neat, DRM-free installers on a well organized website and they provide support for their products. I'd rather buy their old games than pirate them figure out how to get them working. Likewise, have you ever sifted through torrents before? They usually aren't very descriptive and you can wind up downloading many torrents before you find what you're looking for, in the quality you want, the language you want, and with enough seeders to actually download the content (so I've been told...). It would much simpler to sign up for a legit website, buy stuff (at a decent price), and download it in a similar fashion to Humble Bundle which lets you choose between torrents and direct downloads

This will never work unless they start speeding up overseas distribution of titles. That will mean starting the translation process long before the product is finished.

I know the BBC had a huge problem with people torrenting Doctor Who because it wouldn't get broadcast on BBC America till 4 months later. They eventually dropped the delay to 1 week, still didn't completely solve the problem. Now I think it's only delayed by the time difference between the US and the UK. By the time someone could actually get it up on a torrent site with enough seeds for a fast download, it's already been broadcast here. A number of other BBC shows now seem to be avoiding the months long wait since the fans can't (and won't) wait.

You can't combat pirates because they are a hydra: "You cut one head and two more will grow back up".

You are just enforcing more piracy by doing this. There are people outside of US that have no means of buying the anime/manga or have a site for premium payed streams like Crunchyroll and they resort to piracy..there is no way around it really.

This will hurt the japanese government more than they think if they close sites of fansubbers.

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