Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting Your Pirate on in International Waters

There's an 8,000 lb fluffy pink gorilla in the comfy bedrooms of anime fans everywhere, and it's no secret that it's piracy. With the combined Japanese & American Industries losing millions each year, studios closing their doors & reducing their workloads even the most insanely opinionated of pirates can't ignore that these events coincide with fansubbed anime and scanlated manga being more widely available. Companies are cracking down even harder than they did previously leaving many an inconvenienced fanboy squawking in disbelief while the purists enjoy a bit of unearned schadenfreude.

However, the questions I'm positing in this post are a bit different when it comes to the piracy issue. We want to tackle this from another angle (no, not from behind). We have a pretty good idea of piracy in the US/Canada & Japan as there's no shortage of evidence of companies that are doing much more poorly than they were just a few years ago, and we feel like we'd just be rehashing old talking points if we bothered with those markets.

My questions are for those of you that listen to our podcast from around the world. We know you're there, we've seen the hits, and enjoyed an email or two. In your country, how easy is it to access anime legally? As a non-American fan I know firsthand how boned I am when it comes to viewing anime on Funimation's site or (Copyright blah blah blah), and since my country is too small to warrant anyone going out of their way to ensure broadcast rights are covered for it, I probably will not be able to legitimately (without workarounds) view English-licensed anime. Customs markups here on DVDs & manga run anywhere from 10-30% so you can see how even a casual anime addiction can quickly get wildly expensive. Factor in shipping (often from seller to an import company and then from import company to my country) and it now approaches ludicrously insane. Ignoring the price factor, bookstores here see no reason to distribute manga on any sort of large scale & anime stores are almost completely unheard of. (There's one, I think, and I'm not quite sure of how much actual anime they sell)

If you live in a region where most anime outside of the basics (what has run on US TV for years) is unlicensed in your language, does this then prompt you to turn towards piracy or do you only sate your addiction with what you can access legally? How much of a markup are DVDs sold at when it comes to what your American/Canadian counterparts can purchase them at?

What kind of pirate are you? (Obviously if this question doesn't apply to you ignore it) Is it out of laziness, to spite the industry, or because you're genuinely frustrated at not being able to access the latest shows legally like others? Expound upon your concerns and feelings, don't worry about sending us pages and pages, we'll read it we swear.

If you're from North America and want to send in your view, you're more than welcome to do so, we're interested in hearing about this topic from all perspectives, even those I vehemently disagree with. I (and my colleagues) are very much interested in seeing the more worldwide picture.

Big Ups from the former Charlestown, stomping ground of this fine dead gentleman,

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Ricey said...

My reason for piracy is multifaceted, though the primary would have to be money. People might get a second job to buy a ps3, but I am certainly not going to get one watch random anime. For most of those cases, it is the age old piracy argument of I wouldn’t have bought them even if pirated version wasn’t available.

The second reason and perhaps the one that might actually be causing companies to lose money, is the lag between the Japanese release and the English release. I would love to give funimation ad revenue for watching shows on their site, but using it makes me want to pirate just to spite them.

Anonymous said...

I always watch One Piece on and Naruto on I also watch a lot of anime on Hulu.

I guess this is how I justify all the torrents I downloaded over the years. If they put it up on their site I'll watch and sit through their ads because streaming and downloading is simply more convenient. In my opinion what's really killing the anime industry is that they haven't fully embraced digital distributions. Everyone has godly internet speeds nowadays for the price of a cheap gym membership. What they need to do is hand everything over to steam... OH MAN YES! If steam took over anime sales through their digital distributions platform I would lose my shit and quite literally all my money. Oh wow I hope they don't get a hold of this post for the sake of my poor defenseless bank account... I really need to stop talking to myself now.

Dedizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dedizen said...

I grew up in a very poor family and we had to make do what little we have. You can imagine how hard it was to be on top of your bills and attend college, an expensive one at that, and that's the time I really started watching anime and reading manga. That is the real reason why I pirated back then, I always tried to support the people that provide such great story and animation, so I scrap up the few dollars I had to get a season of anime that I wanted but it was too hard. I had to resort to pirating if I want to watch anything. I even leeched of the schools internet because I couldn't afford my own internet services. Now I am doing a lot better and living quite comfortably, heck I even own a PS3. However I still use my skills in piracy to check out shows, games, anime and manga to see if they are good and if they are I will buy it. I always support the people that brings out quality entertainment. Because they deserve it

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