Sinthetyc Sanytii Dojinshi

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Sinthetyc Sanytii Dojinshi


The on going check of the authors’ mental creativity in the face of the Eternal Twisting Ether of their souls




Japanese 101

Volume: 1 Issue: 9 Created by Anime Fanatic

Wow, 2 issues in a row with out a 2 month gap in between! This is a record! Well, If you’ll excuse me for a second, I have a small thing to talk about…’s STUPID PEOPLE! Now normally I can deal with stupid people, since they’re everywhere. But this is different. There’s stupid people, then there’s moronic people. Then there’s stupid/moronic people who use (or try at least) to use computers!! Well, this “guest” of mine wanted to use my computer, fine, that’s ok….[I had a bunch of people over gaming and having a good time. -AF-] Any way, so as he’s surfing, he goes to a site that I’ve flagged as a virus site [set up my browser to tell people that this is a bad site, and to not go there. -AF-] Well, he goes there and starts to download these “MP3s” well, this would be ok, if they were normal mp3’s, but they were injected with viruses, if ya don’t understand what I’ve said, it’s a hacking/virii term. **SIGHS** Well, to make a long story short, and avoid a three page rant about this, he infected my computer with three different viruses!!! Needless to say my computer was really messed up! Luckily my anti-virus software minimized the damage, but it basically almost killed my computer with a spawning virus. Anywho, I had to just about wipe my computer, since almost ever file was infected….. And to make matters worse, he spills, his “drink” all over nearby drawings. Mainly stuff that was waiting to be scanned  Need less to say 15 pages of manga as well as some covers were ruined beyond fixing. So as of now, there wont be any manga for this little zine, too much of a set back. Gotta redraw everything, it’ll be back, it’ll just be awhile. F#$%$@!$^@&@%$!!!!

Well, this issue is a little different then the rest. It has an article from Newtype that I scanned in. I thought it was cool, so picked it up. I’m thinking about going through all my new type, when I get them and scanning in the sweet articles that they have in there for those of you that don’t get or don’t have access to Newtype. Oh yeah, and their stuff reads right to left, as in read the right most article first then the left. Well, tell me what ya think, and enjoy!

-Anime Fanatic-

(I agree with some of these points, but not others. But that is for another issue –AF-)

Unethical Fansubbers
by Christopher Macdonald
I just got off the phone with one of the nicest people in the Anime industry, and she was pissed off.

As you all probably know, Urban Vision holds the license for the new Ninja Scroll TV series. What you might have missed, is that UV is actually co-producing the show and that they are in fact one of the driving forces behind it. If it hadn’t been for a pitch that UV made to Madhouse, there would be no Ninja Scroll TV series. In short, it’s thanks to UV that the Ninja Scroll TV series is being produced.

Ninja Scroll is a very well-known title, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s being fansubbed. But it’s not supposed to be fansubbed. For the most part, ethical fansubbers have long adhered to the rule that you do not distribute a title that has a North American licensor. But most isn’t all. There are some fansubbers that give the activity a very bad name. One of those groups is Anime Junkies.

Anime Junkies has a huge list of licensed titles that they have fansubbed or are currently fansubbing and are available for download from IRC. They also make their fansubs available by BitTorrent. One of the great things about BitTorrent is that it is very easy for the original distributor to remove access to a fansub once it has been licensed. Unfortunately Anime Junkies hasn't done that. They have functional links to Torrent files for a number of licensed titles, including Ninja Scroll.

Urban Vision, thinking that Anime Junkies probably wasn’t aware that the title was “licensed” wrote them a polite e-mail informing them that it was licensed and requesting that it be removed from distribution.

Anime Junkies’ answer was anything but polite. The tirade of insults, curses and fallacies suggested that Urban Vision was doing something wrong and that Anime Junkies had every right to fansub licensed material and distribute it as an inexpensive, immediate alternative to the DVD release.

A few juicy tidbits from their reply: (the full e-mail can be read here)

“Leave fansubs to fans or do it for free yourselves. All you are doing is getting rich off a series we helped make popular.”

“Who the fuck are you anyways to buy a series we were doing?”

“You knew we were subbing, you know people fansub... So why the fuck did you start a DVD company?”

“Rot in Hell”

Shortly after this e-mail, my friend at UV had her mail-box flooded with more harassing and threatening e-mails.

Despite this, she still appreciates the work that some fansubbers do. Not all fansubbers are like this; many groups still show respect for the ethical guidelines that have always existed. Personally, I'm not sure if there's really any need for the fansubbing of brand new shows at all. But as long as the ethical code is respected, it’s a start, and I respect the fansubbers for it. No one can argue with the fact that fansubbers helped build the North American anime market throughout the 90s.

To any fansubbers that are reading this: please show that you’re better than Anime Junkies. Show respect for the American companies and the licensing process and remember why people started fansubbing in the first place. Don’t forget that without companies like Urban Vision and the North American commercial market, many of your favorite shows wouldn’t exist.

And don't forget: when a studio contacts you to remove a title, it's sometimes by request of the original creators. Some creators, such as Hideyuki Kurata, are renowned for wanting fans to see their projects by any means possible. Other creators would prefer that fans wait and see their shows in the best possible way, as even a very high quality digi-sub can't compare to a professional quality DVD.

As for Anime Junkies, I hope that everyone in the community turns their backs on them. It’s the least that they deserve. I also hope that another company with more legal power really puts the letter of the law to Anime Junkies and shuts them down for good…or more.

(I would highly suggest readthign through the forum link, and reading the email that Anime junkies sent, its interesting in the directions that they go.)

(I agree with this post on the forum)

chidori wrote:

Oooh one last thing... AJ is SOOoooo popular!!! If this editorial was written about another fangroup, perhaps with the exception of the ANBU group, it would get less than 1/10 the replies and hits that it is getting now!!

Or maybe the hits are because of the fact that most people do not approve of how Anime Junkies responed to Urban Vision. –RadicalEdward-

BitTorrent - The future of fansubs?
by Dan42,

Note: for the purposes of this editorial I will make a distinction between "fansubbing" and "piracy", although many people feel there's not much of a difference.

In the past few months, the world of fansubbing has been seeing a major change in the way digisubs are distributed. IRC used to be the place where fansubbers distributed their new releases, and it still is, but more and more files are now being distributed with BitTorrent.

BitTorrent is a protocol designed for large scale distribution of files on the web without having to bear the bandwidth costs normally associated with large scale deployments. For the end user it's very simple: once you have the BitTorrent software installed, you just have to click on a link and it downloads the file. But as it downloads, it also uploads the parts it has received to other people who want to download the file. Because of this, the original server doesn't incur the huge bandwidth costs which have traditionally been the bane of multimedia websites.

Here's a brief technical explanation of the process (You can skip this paragraph if you are not tech-inclined). In order make a file downloadable with BitTorrent, first one needs to create a meta-file which contains information about the file to download. Among other things, this meta-file contains hash codes to validate the integrity for the different segments of the file, and the address of the tracker which keeps track of everyone who is currently downloading the file. The meta-file (usually with the extension .torrent) is then placed on a web server and when it is accessed by a browser the file is passed on to the BitTorrent software. With the information contained in the meta-file, the software first allocates a chunk of space for the file on the hard drive, then it contacts the tracker to get a list of peers who are downloading the same file, and then it contacts those peers and asks them to send chunks of the file. As each chunk of the file arrives (in random order), it becomes available to be sent to other peers who are requesting it.

So basically, each file has its own miniature peer-to-peer network (called a swarm) where peers download and upload from each other until everyone has the complete file. Of course, this requires that all of the file fragments be present in the swarm, and the only way to make sure of that is to have at least one of the peers playing the role of seed, someone who has the complete file and so is only uploading to the swarm. When your download completes, you automatically become a seed until you close the download window. It is considered good etiquette to keep your download window open for as long as possible after your download is finished, so that you may contribute to the distribution of the file in equal amount to what you have taken. (honor among thieves...)

So what makes BitTorrent different from all those other filesharing programs? Apart from the extreme simplicity of clicking on a link to download a fansub, the difference is very simple: BitTorrent is NOT a filesharing program, it's a file distribution program. Many people mistake BitTorrent for a filesharing program because of the peer-to-peer aspect, but the truth is that even though there are peers, this is a client-server technology. The BitTorrent client software is dependant on the meta-file and the tracker on the server. Where a true peer-to-peer network is decentralized, it would be more accurate to say that BitTorrent is distributed, in the same sense as distributed computing (like seti@home).

One of the great things about BitTorrent is that it uses a tit-for-tat algorithm which makes the word "leech" fundamentally obsolete; the more you send data to others, the more they send data to you. If you were to hack the client to prevent uploading, it would reduce your download speed to a trickle. But the biggest advantage is undeniably, at least for fansubs, that it puts responsability for distribution of the file right back where it belongs: in the hands of the fansubbers.

Until now, fansubbers could only say "please stop distributing this fansub once it is licensed". But now they'll actually have some control over the distribution. When the anime becomes licensed, they'll be able to remove the central download point for the fansub - the torrent file. Of course, people will still be able to get the fansub from various p2p networks, but if the fansub didn't rely on such networks to begin with, the file would probably be much less common on them.

Let's take the case of IRC, the traditional home of digisubbers. In order to distribute a file, the fansubbers had to put the file on a Fserve (fileserver), from there it would be downloaded by other people, some of who would put the file on their own Fserve. In this way, the file would slowly spread, each operator being responsible for the files present on his own Fserve. This would often result in any kind of files being present on a particular Fserve, including DVD rips of licensed anime, and old fansubs that should have been pulled due to licensing. But since each individual can do as they please, there's really no way to make sure that all Fserves remove the appropriate files once an anime has been licensed.

In a way, fansubbers are indirectly promoting piracy by distributing their releases in an environment where piracy has free reign. Even on channels which have a no-licensed-anime policy you're almost certain to find files of licensed anime. Policing of the channel is usually slack, and even when the ops try to enforce that policy it's still a losing battle. An environment where "legitimate" releases are mixed with pirated stuff can only increase the damage done to anime companies. And if you're a true anime fan, you don't want that. In a time where the distinction between fansubbing and pirating is becoming increasingly blurry, fansubbers need to remove themselves from that pirate-friendly environment if they want to conserve the last shreds of legitimacy associated with fansubbing.

Let's face it; there's no way to stop fansubs (or piracy in general). As long as people can get something for free, even if it's at the expense of others, they'll do it. But with BitTorrent it's possible to put a greater emphasis on the actual enforcement of those semi-mythical "fansub ethics". Some will say it's pointless to try to prevent piracy when it's so easy to get a file on p2p networks, but that argument doesn't hold water; a little something is better than absolutely nothing. If you can do something to help curb rampant piracy, why not do it?

For all these reasons, I would like to encourage all fansubbers to drop support for IRC (apart from chatting of course) and start releasing uniquely with BitTorrent. I believe it's what responsible fansubbers should do.

( I agree with some of the rules again, but not with others. But at least I think it is a good base to start from. -AF-)

Abstract: The goal of this ethical code is not point the finger at fansubbers who do not follow its every precepts. This code is intended as an impartial view from a source independant from both the industry and the fansub community. The guidelines outlined below were made deliberately stringent, and could be considered as a difficultly attainable "holy grail" of ethical fansubbing. For example, based on how many of these rules a fansubber follows, one could evaluate how ethical he is compared to others.

This code of ethics is based on 6 basic premises from which a certain number of specific rules are derived.

  1. The main purpose of fansubs is to allow English-language fans access to obscure anime they would never see otherwise.

    1. At least once a year, a fansubber should justify his or her existence by subbing an obscure or older title.

    2. A fansubber does the community no good by duplicating another's work. Therefore, if a fansub of an anime is already available, the fansubber should devote his or her efforts to another series, unless said existing fansub suffers from an excessively bad translation.

  1. A secondary purpose of fansubs is to give fans an advance taste of anime that may someday be licensed.

    1. Because of the speed at which new series are picked up, it should be assumed that a new series *will* be picked up. Therefore only the first 4 or 5 episodes should be fansubbed in order to give a taste of the anime. (roughly the same as viewing the first DVD release)

    2. If, after the show has completed its run in Japan (or one year from the airing of the first episode), the title is still unlicensed, then fansubbing may continue.

  1. Fansubs are not to be considered a substitute for owning a legal, English-language copy.

    1. Do not distribute an American-licensed anime. Distribution must stop the instant a license is announced. Any distribution after that point gives the licensee legal cause to pursue the fansubber.

    2. Fansubs are not meant to compete with a professional product, therefore perfection should not be considered a goal. Small improvements in video quality or translation should not be considered justification to create another competing fansub.

    3. Fansubs are not meant to compete with a professional product, therefore the audio/video quality of a fansub should not attempt to match or better the quality of a professional DVD. In fact, a large filesize is a hindrance to the spread of a fansub and thus goes against the purpose of increasing awareness of a title. 175MB per 25-minute episode should be considered a maximum and 140MB a better choice.

  1. Fansubbers should operate in a manner which minimizes impact on the commercial interests of anime-producing companies as it is in the best interests of anime fandom that these companies be healthy and create more anime.

    1. Do not fansub an American-produced anime. Even if the company didn't officially announce a "license" or a release date, we know it's going to come to the US.

    2. If the Japanese company went to the trouble of producing a DVD with English subtitles, do not fansub it and especially do not rip it and pretend it’s a fansub. Region-2 encoding on the DVD is easily overcome and not considered a sufficient obstacle to fans to justify a fansub.

    3. If the creators of the show specifically request it not be distributed over the internet, their wishes should be respected.

    4. Encouraging and supporting people who choose to pick up the R2 DVDs as they come out is a good idea. Make the timed script available as a DVD subtitle file for people who would like to buy the Japanese DVD but don't understand Japanese.

  1. We have an interest in the way other fans behave because it affects the reputation of all fandom.

    1. If you see any series that is licensed (beyond one or two episodes, especially) on a fansubber's website, e-mail them about it. If they do not take it off in a certain number of days, e-mail the company that holds the license. Remember to give the company the URL and what series/OAV/movie is being fansubbed that is now licensed.

    2. The fansubber should promote fansub ethics by displaying the code of conduct expected of the viewer somewhere in the anime (preferrably during the eyecatch), such as:

      • not for sale, rent or auction

      • do not distribute once licensed

      • if you liked this anime, please buy a legit copy once it becomes available

  1. You make fansubs voluntarily, out of your own free time, because you are a fan. Never for personal profit or recognition. If at any time you feel you should be compensated for the work you've done then you're probably doing this for all the wrong reasons.

    1. The fansubber’s goal should be to promote the anime they are fansubbing, not to promote themselves. As such, a fansub shouldn't contain credits (translator, timesetter, etc.) or a watermark identifying the group. The only exception is the name and website of the fansubber, presented at the beginning, eyecatch or end.

    2. At no time should money be made from distributing fansubs. The one and only reason to ask for money is to offset the cost of distribution supplies such as blank DVDs, CDs, packaging materials, shipping costs. A fansubber should not charge for time or labor (time spent copying CDs, going to the post office) as he is doing this voluntarily. Where distribution costs exist, those costs should not be rounded up, either to simplify pricing or to obtain compensation for labor; this amount, no matter how small, is not part of the distribution costs.

    3. Start-up costs and expansion costs of fansubbing equipment are the sole responsibility of those that would subtitle/distribute. You may not charge for the non-distribution costs associated with fansubbing, like buying the R2 DVD, paying for a translation or maintaining a website. Charging these expenses out to fans requesting fansubs is not reasonable. These expenses are considered the costs of participating in this expensive hobby. Fans or other sources, however, can voluntarily provide funds for these costs.

I got this from ANN. It’s on the copyright system for Japan and the US. It’s sorta convoluted, but I wanted to have the feature for this issue be well rounded. Anyway, enjoy, if you like this sort of thing anyway…’ s sorta interesting.

As anyone who has ever tried to read international law knows, copyrights are a tricky thing. Furthermore, there are some differences between the American and Japanese copyright system, which can complicate matters further.

In order to understand the legal status of fansubs, we need to consider the status of the original work in Japan, the fan-translation produced in America, as well as distribution and various other aspects required by the fansub scene in both America and elsewhere.

First, let us look at Japanese Copyright Law:

Japanese Copyright Law

Most broadcasts, and most "videograms" (CDs, DVDs, LDs, video tape, film reels), and most public and private exhibitions are considered "works"1, and thus are protected by Japanese Copyright Law2.

Relevant protections that are granted to authors of the copyright law in Japan include the right to reproduce the work3, the right to transmit the work4, the right to distribute the work or its reproductions5, the right to transfer ownership of the work6, and finally the right of translation7.

Nonetheless, users are entitled to several protections of their own. A user is entitled to make a reproduction for personal use. The only exception to this is if a "machine" is placed in the public for the express purpose of automatically copying the work8.

So what does this mean? This means that the creator of the work has the right to make copies of his or her product, sell them, as well as translate them into any language he or she wishes. Additionally, if the author feels that another person or group might do a better job translating the work, the author has the right to sell it to another group for the purpose of translation and distribution in another country.

Fansub groups inherently violate most of these protections; in order for anyone to download their work, they first translate the title, and then redistribute it to others. While there is no mention of illegalities receiving the file, those who offer the file for download are certainly in violation of Japanese copyright law.

One note of interest is the use of "automatic reproducing machine". No distinction is made between computers and machines, and as such, it may be possible to construe the term "automatic reproducing machine" as the BitTorrent ".torrent" file that enables users to trade the file between one another.

Of course, few of the fansub groups are centered in Japan, and copyright is based heavily on geographic location. If you live in a country that does not respect international Copyright Laws (discussed below), then your country is free to do whatever they wish with respect to copyrights. In other words, without international treaties, groups that operate outside of Japan would not be affected by Japanese copyright. If the translation entered a country that respected Japan's copyrights, however, then the translation would once again fall into Japanese copyright jurisdiction.

One example of this is Son May. Son May is an unlicensed CD company based in Taiwan. Prior to Taiwan's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, Taiwanese law allowed companies like Son May to copy products under certain circumstances. They were permitted to copy a product if, and only if, a licensed Taiwanese version had not been released within 30 days of the original, foreign release . Son May utilized this law to copy hundreds of anime CDs and re-sell them cheaply. They were able to do so because they did not need to pay licensing fees. While Son May CDs remained in Taiwan, they were legal to buy and sell, because Taiwanese law permitted it. If there were no International Copyright agreements between countries, then it would be legal to import Son May CDs into the US. However, there are international conventions, which make importing Son May CDs illegal because they are violations of the Japanese company's copyright. Since Taiwan's entry into the WTO, it now respects, by treaty, foreign copyrights.

To put aside the Japanese side of things briefly, let us look at what domestic copyright law has to say about fansubs.

American Copyright Law

The Japanese copyright system is cleaner and more straightforward as to what is permitted by law than the archaic American copyright law.

The same protections afforded to Japanese copyrighted works can be found in America, although are significantly more difficult to locate.

American Copyright protects derivative works9, which includes translations. However, US Copyright law inherently accounts for copyright protections of other countries, when "the work is first published in the United States or in a foreign nation that, on the date of first publication, is a treaty party"10.

The US and Japan have signed numerous treaties, the most important of which is the Berne Convention, although others exist. As such, US Copyright protects Japanese productions, including anime, as well as derivative works from it, such as translations.

American copyright law goes on to state that if a work is first produced in a country that the US government does not recognize via a treaty, within 30 days after the product first enters another country (such as Japan or the US), the product is considered protected. This means that, prior to the WTO, Taiwanese bands who released CDs in America would still have been given copyright protection even though Taiwan may not have respected American copyrights.

This does not mean that Son May CDs were legal according to US copyright. Since the original material for Son May CDs came from Japan, any unlicensed Son May CDs brought into America were violations of the Japanese copyright, which was upheld in America.

The US copyright law makes reference to the Berne Convention, which is one of several international treaties that allow for countries to protect their copyrights in other regions of the world.

As stated above, if no international treaties existed, then copyright law could only be enforced as far as the border's of any given country. Thanks to international treaties, it is possible for Japanese companies to seek copyright protection for bootlegged products in America and elsewhere.

America has one other clause in its copyright law of interest, and that is "Fair Use"11.

In order for a work to be borrowed and still be considered "Fair Use" it must qualify on four counts:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

This means if the copy is created with no intent of profit, and is being done either for educational purposes, or for the purpose of educating another, it may qualify as "Fair Use".

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

This means the reason the work is being copied, as well as what type of work it is. Some information may be considered "Trade Secrets" or violations of national security and would certainly not be considered "Fair Use". Additionally, the reason for the duplication influences this; most anime series are created for entertainment, and so copying the series would most likely be for entertainment as well.

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

The amount of the work copied is relevant to "Fair Use". There is no fixed percentage for how much of a work may be copied. It is theoretically possible for an entire video to be reproduced and still fall under "Fair Use". Most cases involving "Fair Use" are in Colleges and Universities, where many ideas circulate around and the original owner is lost. As a general rule of thumb, most colleges suggest 10% of a work is considered "Fair Use". As the percent of the original work to what is copied increases, it becomes more difficult to justify as "Fair Use". This would be equal to approximately 3 minutes of a TV episode. If an entire series is considered a single work, then it may be possible to consider 10% of the series (2.6 episodes of a one-season series) under "Fair Use".

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

This asks, "If the work is a commercial product, how much harm could come from making a copy?" If the work is distributed a single time, then there is relatively little impact. If thousands of copies are distributed, then the potential market for the series may be affected. Once again, there is no set amount of distribution necessary before the work no longer falls under "Fair Use". However, as distribution increases, it once again becomes more difficult to justify as "Fair Use".

A creation that uses copyrighted material can only be considered "Fair Use" if it meets all four of these requirements. As such, it would need to be a non-profit creation made for educational purposes, totaling perhaps 10% of the total length of the series, and distributed in such a manner such as not to impact the domestic or international markets.

Berne Convention

The Berne Convention is what binds the US and Japanese copyright laws together, although it is not the only treaty to which both are signatories. It enables Japanese companies to persecute people who make unauthorized copies of their works in America and many other countries.

The only notable distinction in the Berne Convention is in Article 2:

"Translations, adaptations, arrangements of music and other alterations of a literary or artistic work shall be protected as original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original work."

This does not mean fansubs are original creations -- instead, this means that the translation found on a fansub may be considered an original creation. The video and the audio remain copyrighted as far as the Berne Convention is concerned. In other words, translations created by groups may be considered independent of the anime they've translated. However, this would be the only original part of the fansub that might possibly be distributable.

Depending on the content of the translation, as well as its accuracy to the original Japanese script, the translation may or may not eventually be considered a unique creation, independent of the anime being translated.

Other Considerations

Commercial companies should, although do not have to, pursue copyright violators after being informed of license violations. This fact is often confused with "Abandonment of Trademark", another legal definition, in which a company loses its trademark for failure to protect it. Anime distribution is a matter of copyrights, not of trademarks. As such, "Abandonment of Trademark" does not apply to fansub groups attempting to claim the legal high-ground over commercial companies who have historically not acted in protecting their products.

In Japan, thousands of "doujinshi circles" produce fan-created manga, gathering twice a year at "Comiket" to sell their products. These creations are not exactly legal, but have only been prosecuted rarely. One of the more recent cases was several years ago, when a doujinshi group produced a pornographic Pokemon fan-manga.

Historical Precedents

Even given all this legal justification, is it possible to say that there is any enforcement? There have been several cases of enforcement, or the apparent effects of fan-subtitled products.

As far back as 1995, the anime industry had formed a coalition against commercialized bootlegging called "J.A.I.L.E.D." (Japanese Animation Industry Legal Enforcement Division) Although much of the industry was behind it, rarely has J.A.I.L.E.D. acted against anyone, in part due to a lack of large-scale for-profit bootlegging. Additionally, J.A.I.L.E.D.'s goals did not include targeting "Fan Activities". As such, it did not act often. Although still technically a presence as late as 2000, J.A.I.L.E.D. was seen as rather ineffective. Credited with only a handful of "busts" and with minimal presence at conventions after 1997, their status is unknown. Traditionally, companies look after their own titles, and accept URLs of violators to pass along to their own legal departments.

In 1997, the Housou Bangumi Kyoukai (Broadcast Producers Association) declared it illegal to provide tapes made from Japanese TV for rental in stores. Several stores, primarily in California, had tapes seized through this action. While minor in terms of enforcement, it was one of the earliest forms of joint Japan-US enforcement that affected fans of anime.12

The first major case of companies directly asking fans not to distribute their product was Rurouni Kenshin. Ryuta Shiiki of Sony Visual Works sent Digital Anime Distribution an e-mail on January 18th, 1999. The e-mail, sent by an employee rather than a Sony lawyer, asked D.A.D. to remove Rurouni Kenshin from their website. D.A.D. simply treated the letter as a notice of license, and removed the series. Media Blasters announced the license to Rurouni Kenshin on October 9th, 1999 at Anime Weekend Atlanta.

At Anime Expo 2000, ADV Films shared an anecdote regarding sales of All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku. Popular as a fansub in the mid-90s, when it was licensed it was quickly pulled from fansub trading networks. However, sales of the first two volumes were low, although it was a heavily traded fansub. Surprisingly, however, sales of the final volume were significantly higher than those of the first two volumes. While a number of factors may have played in the difference in sales between the first two volumes and the final volume, teh fact that the third volume had never been fansubbed may have played a part in the significant growth in sales.

Bandai's Jerry Chu has stated as early as Otakon 2000 for fansubbers not to subtitle Gundam, and to "expect to see something happen" for those that do. Since then Bandai has seized illegal Gundam products at conventions, although has not taken any noticeable action against fansub groups that create Gundam fansubs.

On December 6th 2002, "Ghostwriter" of the Production I.G. forums wrote asking that fans buy, rather than download their works. "Ghostwriter" is Yoshiki Sakurai, a writer for the Ghost in the Shell TV series.


Legally, there is no difference between "fansubs" and "bootlegs". In the eyes of the law, both could be seen as damaging to the market. Regardless of whether or not a title has been technicaly licensed in North America, it is illegal. Lack of enforsement of copyright laws in terms of unlicensed fansubs maybe the result of several different factors. Some companies may believe that the early introduction of the title to North America is beneficial. Others may simply tolerate a "fan-activity" as long as it does not become too damaging to sales. And yet other companies may not want to or be able to invest the time and money necessary to prosecute foreign violations of their copyright.

In the end, regardless of ethics, or motive, fansubs are technicaly illegal.

CRIC Japanese Copyright Law
1: (CRIC, Chapter II, Section 1, Article 10)
2: (CRIC, Chapter I, Section 2, Article 6)
3: (CRIC, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 3, Article 21)
4: (CRIC, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 3, Article 23)
5: (CRIC, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 3, Article 26)
6: (CRIC, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 3, Article 26bis)
7: (CRIC, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 3, Article 27)
8: (CRIC, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 5, Article 30)

Title 17: United States Copyright Law
9: (Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 101)
10: (Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 104(b)(2))
11: (Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107)

CJAS Newsletter Archives (Fall 1998)
Further Reading
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J.A.I.L.E.D. (Information and Press Releases)

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Do not interpret this article as legal advice, or even necessarily the correct interpretation of the law. Laws in your nation may vary. Please consult a real lawyer if you have questions or concerns. I am not responsible for any benefit or harm that comes from use of this article in any way.

TechTV has acquired the broadcast rights to Geneshaft and the first Banner of the Stars series. Banner is scheduled to begin Tuesday, November 4th, and Geneshaft will premiere at a date to be determined.

ADV will be releasing three Nadia TV soundtracks and the Nadia: The Motion Picture soundtrack on November 25th. The discs feature music by prominent anime composers including Yoshimasa Inoue, Shiro Sagisu, and Hiromasa Ijichi, as well as vocal performances from Miho Mirokawa, Satomi Matsushita, Yuko Mizutani, and others.

Viz has announced they now hold the licenses to the Angel Sanctuary and Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Hana-Kimi) manga series. The two titles are scheduled for bi-monthly releases beginning next spring.
ADV has pulled together another website for an upcoming anime series. This time it's Angelic Layer, replete with downloadable artwork, episode guides, and plenty of omake.

(This is pretty wicked IMO =))

Bandai Japan has unveiled a special Gundam themed edition of Nintendo's Game Cube along with a similar Game Boy Advance. The consoles feature the insignia of Char Aznable (the Red Comet) and are colored red. An image of the Game Cube and the GBA can be seen here.

Currently serialized in Weekly Shounen Magazine, the gag manga Sakigake!! Kuromati Koukou will be adapted into an anime TV series by Production IG. The series is set to start October 3rd at midnight on TV Tokyo. In anticipation of the series premiere, Star Child has opened a new official website for the series.

Mousou Dairinin, a new TV series by Satoshi Kon, is set to broadcast in Japan on WOWOW this coming February. The sotry is a murder mystery about the phantom killer of Musashino City.

There are unconfirmed reports that Kawai Katsutoshi's manga "Monkey Turn" is being adapted into an anime that will premier on TV Tokyo this coming January. The manga, which follows the challenges of a would-be professional speed boat racer, is serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday.

A Sequel Series for Divergence Eve was announced at the end of the broadcast of the final episode of the first series on the 24th. The series, due out next spring, is expected to last one season and will be called "Misaki Chronicle ~ Divergence Eve."

Gainax is working on a new Anime, Bokyaku no Senritsu ("The Forgotten Melody"). A romantic comedy with a female lead named Bokka. It is expected to air in Japan in the Spring of 2004.

(this is some very wicked and some sik screens, a must see!! -AF-)

Square Enix has announced that it will be re-visiting Final Fantasy VII in the form of a CG movie that takes place some two years after the end of the game. The film is however expected to depart from the more traditional anime style look of the game and feature more photo-realistic art as seen in Final Fantasy X. The movie, named "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children" is due out in 2004, some images can be seen here and here

Similar to the special Spirited Away DVD set released last year, Toei and Toshiba are teaming up to release a Space Captain Harlock Limited Set. The very limited (limited to 869 units) and very expensive (178 000 yen, or US$1600) will include a special Captain Harlock version of Toshiba's new multi-drive hybrid DVD recorder RD-XS41 and the Space Pirate Captain Harlock anime DVD box set.

The DVD recorder will be black with the skull and crossbones logo on it, and the remote will also be black with a silhouette of Captain Harlock printed on it. The recorder's startup screen and menus will also be Harlock themed and feature pictures of various harlock characters.

The DVD Boxed set will contain the entire 1978 Space Pirate Captain Harlock (42 episodes) and the 1978 movie Mystery of the Arcadia on 8 DVDs.

The set goes on sale at 11am (Japanese time) on November 11th and will only be available to order on the Internet.

The set's official Japanese webpage is here.

(Some interesting news. This could be good, although hopefully funImation will get its act together distributing DVDs in the future. Stuff with actual Extras maybe.. )

Corus Entertainment, the parent company of Nelvana, released a pair of press releases for their investors day yesterday.

Announced in the press releases is the launch of Nelvana Home Entertainment and a deal with FUNimation.

No specific purpose for the new division is announced in the press releases, although some details are given about the deal with FUNimation. They state that FUNimation, has acquired the rights to release 44 of Nelvana's back-catalog titles. Furthermore, "FUNimation also becomes a strategic partner on prospective new anime productions as well as a potential co-production partner."

A deal was also signed for UK based distributor Maverick to market 33 of Nelvana's titles in the United Kingdom.

More details on the Nelvana-FUNimation deal are expected shortly.

FUNimation already distributes numerous titles for 4Kids Entertainment.

On October 1st, Pioneer LDC and Pioneer Entertainment, the Pioneer subsidiaries recently acquired from Pioneer by Dentsu, will officially change their names. October 1st is the date when all shares of the companies are officially transferred to Dentsu.

Pioneer Entertainment (USA) Inc. will, will henceforth be known as Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. , while Pioneer LDC will have its name changed to Geneon Entertainment Inc.

The new name, Geneon, is derived from the words generate and eon (Eternity or a Billion years), and is meant to signify innovation and longevity. The name change signifies a transfer of company shares to Dentsu.

Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. new websites will be at and (replacing and , Geneon Entertainment Inc. will have a new domain name as well, (replacing

North American company president, Mr. Yosuke Kobayashi, is stated to be remaining with the company and will be the president of Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. In a statement, Mr Kobayashi said, "We have built a solid and respected reputation as a licensee among publishers, rights holders and anime producers in Japan." Adding "With Dentsu as our new parent, we anticipate tapping into its global resources as well as our own to expand our anime offerings to the growing North American audience."

Japanese Studio responsible for Spin-offs / sequels from establibled brands to be shut down after current project ends

Walt Disney has announced in an internal memo that it is shutting down Walt Disney Animation (Japan), its 14-year-old Tokyo-based animation studio responsible for the "Piglet's Big Movie" and "The Tigger Movie" theatrical movies as well as OVAs such as "101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure."

The studio's current project, a "Winnie the Pooh" spinoff called "The Heffalump Movie," will be its last.

Disney confirmed the closure of the studio, which employs 103 animators and artists, in a statement issued earlier this week. The closure follows a similar one in France, where Disney shut down its Disney Studio France (DESTINO) last summer, and recent layoff of 50 employees from its Orlando animation studio.

According to the statement from Disney, "Our experience working in Japan for the past 14 years has been outstanding, primarily because of the world-class artists and executives who have produced exceptional animation. However, after reviewing our business plans and production requirements, we determined we no longer can support this additional production capacity."

Although the Japanese animation studio is being shut down, Disney's other Japanese ventures will not be affected. "A number of our company's business ventures in Japan remain strong: Tokyo Disneyland Resort, the Disney Stores Japan and Buena Vista International, among others. The Walt Disney Co. looks forward to continued successful partnerships on other business fronts."

Hot on the heels of Disney's abandonment of their Japanese operations, Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced they will open a Japanese studio. Current plans are for the studio to produce two animated films a year. No details are known as to the nature of these films, which should see release in 2005.

Japanese 101

In an effort to learn Japanese myself, I thought that it would be helpful if I put it in here, so you could learn something. Just my convoluted way of drilling vocab/phrases into my head!! This is also going to be a continuing list, just to let you know. Also, the dual letters indicate a prolonged sound. They are normally spelled with one of the doubled letters. If you are not interested in learning Japanese or looking it over, just skip it, its all good. Also, if I screw something up, please tell me! Even if just a little thanks!
-Anime Fanatic-
Akeru – to open
Katu – To win
Agaru – To rise, to ascend
Ageru -- To give (to a second or third person)
Arau – To wash
Arawareru – To appear
Jiko - Accident (car accident - Jidoosha-jiko)
Seikaku na - Accurate
Mishi no mukoo -
Katsudooteki no - Active
Haiuu - Actor
Joyuu - actress
Juusho - address
Tekitoo na - adequate

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