RDrake’s anime roamings

Odex vs Sgfanboys round 2?
January 4, 2007, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Anime, General Schtuff, Rants

Oh joy. It seems that the rumors that the gahmen wants to clamp down on us fansub downloaders are getting serious. It’s a good thing Odex is giving us a heads up warning first.

lolicontrol, tedfox,

I suppose this sort of thing makes for high tension and dorama amongst the anime elite. Yes, it’s probably bad news to the casual anime fans. How much positive light can this bring? It certaily does not equate to more sales for Odex Pte Ltd.

First off. The impression I’m getting is that people don’t buy from odex not because they can download it off the net but because it just isn’t a good enough product on it’s own to be worth the money. Stopping people from downloading does not necessarily equate to more sales for odex. I think I really will laugh when the laws kick in, Blue Max (which sells Naruto and Full Metal Panic) experiences a spike in sales (especially cos Naruto subs are still ongoing), while Odex gets hardly any net difference in turnover. I said it before. This can only be improved by Odex itself improving the goods. You have to make people want to buy, not force them to.

Secondly. People are forgetting that there the causeway effect. Anime isn’t exclusive to Singapore. If free anime is going to be illegal here, there’s always cheap legal anime across the causeway for those who don’t mind the much lower quality. Again, it’s a matter of attracting customers with quality over quantity, I guess. I do admit though, that the Malaysians have their advantages. Though I usually buy my anime from Odex, the Malaysians won me over with a couple of plus points. One, their unbelievably cheap prices, and two, I could buy stuff that I’m not legally allowed to in Singapore. I still don’t see how Melody of Oblivion passed the Muslim Malaysian censors as general but hit Singaporean shelves as NC16. If the Malaysians cut some parts, at least I didn’t notice. The overall effect was still good, and that was what counted.

Already two points why banning downloads will have little positive effect on Odex. Do we have a third? Sure. People forget about anime altogether. This I think is going to be pretty drastic, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the most likely path for roughly 50% or so of the anime community here. (Or worse…) Given that most anime fans are pretty young, or worse, without income, having to buy means that they would rather forget everything altogether. Very unhealthy for everyone involved, except for the gahmen who then have one less thing to regulate…

Sigh. Looks like a bumpy road ahead for all true anime fans. Bunker down people.

Personally, I think that I’ll be hit with a moderate blow. I’m not adverse to buying my anime unlike some people I know (I’m not pointing fingers, seriously.) I do buy good stuff. What I’m unhappy about is that not all the good stuff gets sold. Also new releases like the standard Bittorrent fare from TokyoToshokan and Animesuki. It means that there’s going to be a drastic reorganisation of anime blogging in Singapore. No more episode reviews… ok. No more reviews of the latest anime to hit the world? Now the horror…

Don’t worry. Take a wait and see attitude first. Perhaps they will only chase those people who STUPIDLY download stuff that’s already on sale here. Truth be told though, people like tj_han and Tsubaki will easily survive anime downloader purges. Such is the extent of their specialisation. Me? Wait and see. I definitely won’t abandon my faithfull readers though.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

simply put, i believe most people who download would just go away given harsh enough penalties. It’s just anime wot. Watch j drama or k drama instead.

which i think is very sad. given that it would seem the local anime community is just developing beyond naruto

Odex needs to diversify. Like merchandising n dvds, rather than throwing threats around. the local anime isn’t that strong yet.

oh, and offer free products to bloggers to review.

Comment by TedFox

How is downloading stuff that isn’t licensed by them illegal? I just don’t understand??

Comment by elohir

@Tedfox: I know. Maybe the profit margin simply isn’t enough for them to justify such a risk, even though the community is hollering at them to do so as a certain safety net can be provided…I think.

@elohir: That’s what I don’t get either. Ask the goverment folks.

Comment by rdrake

@elohir and rdrake you can read my entry as linked by rdrake. but in short summary

the berne convention made things that are copyrighted in one country, copyrighted in every other country.

+ the fact that recently singapore made downloading illegal stuff a CRIMINAL act, (the difference is now the police can straight away catch you, instead of needing ODEX to sue you)

means it’s illegal in singapore. (don’t listen to all those license arguments that apply to US only)

p.s. Odex licensed a lot of shit, even if they don’t produce the vcds for them

Comment by TedFox

Thats gay. Really gay. Well, this has happened before elsewhere. THE FAN SUBBERS WILL LIVE ON!!!! DEATH TO AUTHORITY!!

Comment by elohir

The Berne Convention is proven to be inadequate in the digital age, long before BT and fansubs came along. And companies have grown smart enough to recognise that. Bandai actively engages the anime community in the US, to the point of thanking fansubs lovers (who also buy original) for their support in laying the ground for them. Amidst the earlier uproar over the use of copyrighted images on fansites, AIC (a Japanese company) too indicated that it’s fine to use any of their material to promote their shows as long as the integrity of the works represented are respected.

That’s why most people in the anime community tacitly agree that while fansubs are technically speaking illegal, they are tolerated by the copyright holders.

Until Odex came along, that is. What they’re doing here would have PR and marketing divisions in companies elsewhere up-in-arms, but I think they’re more interested in the money than the well-being of the anime community or market. After all, Sinagpore’s anime market is insignificant – something they might have realised now. But at the current rate at which they fine people, it might prove to be a gold mine.

Happens only in Singapore, sadly.

Comment by Arashi

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