November 27, 2007


I'm insanely busy right now, but there is a very lengthy post on internet piracy going on over at Colleen Doran's blog,  The discussion has reached 85 posts in the comments and is well worth a read.

The post mainly concerns comic piracy but the subject matter is likely of at least academic interest to many anime fans.

Full Disclosure: I've watched fansubs and bought several DVD series because of them. Every few months I go to a bit torrent party to see the first few episodes of what's new in Anime.

The fansubbers, however, don't stop with the first few episodes, nor do they, as Stephen Den Beste suggested, reduce their video quality to you tube levels.

I have little sympathy  for the video companies who saddled us with region coding specifically to screw Japanese consumers and the new "solutions" to the piracy problem that tend towards things like this.

However, the technology has advanced to the point that I fear we're going to see a "tragedy of the commons" in several artistic industries in a few years.

Well, I'm off to work. Be back in a day or two.

Suddenly...related posts...lots of them, some quite....special.
It's like Colleen is the hundredth monkey or something.
Actually this flurry of interest is strictly anime related and seems to stem from this editorial at ANN . (HT: Stephen who has further thoughtful screedage here).
Avatar has industry insider perspective here, and points out the unlikelihood of RIAA style crackdowns on fansubbers here. While some may be very happy to hear this, the jist of his argument is that the Anime companies,  because they don't have the financial resources...these are small operations frequently run by people who were fans of this stuff and they don't have the spare change to deal with the lawsuits.  This is unsurprising, in my experience, particularly on campus recently,  "standing up to the man" generally means taking pot shots at those who can't hit back.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:08 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 331 words, total size 3 kb.

1 As a random note, I recently got a copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
At one point it's explained to the reader that Goblins have "peculiar notions of ownership." Specifically, they believe that anything a Goblin craftsman creates is rightfully the craftsman's property for all time. You don't buy things from a Goblin so much as rent them; and once you pass on, the goblin artifacts in your possession, by Goblin tradition, revert back to their makers' ownership. (Which is why Goblins and Wizards have had so many issues in the past--- Wizards who had paid for something from a Goblin craftsman understandably got testy when the Goblins attempted to confiscate "their" property back.)

It struck me immediately that this was a pretty good description of the hostilities between John Q. Public and the RIAA.... most of the kerfluffle is due to the fact that the RIAA has a radically different concept of "ownership" than the average music or movie consumer. The public operates under the assumption that when you give something away for free--- like music over the radio--- that your claim of ownership and control over it is rather diluted. Especially if the product in question has been out in the public square for several years or even decades. The movie and music industries operate under the assumption that anything created by them belongs to them under every circumstance and for all eternity.... and copyright law backs them up on this.
The public's resentment of this is made worse by the fact that entities such as the RIAA openly abuse and expand upon the original spirit of the copyright law. As created, copyright was to give the <I>creator</i> of the content in question the ability to profit from his work... for a reasonable amount of time, before allowing his work to settle out into the public domain. Whereas the entertainment industry has manipulated the law so that the rights of the <I>distributors</i>, not the creators, are paramount, and so that what should have descended to public domain decades ago is, effectively, under their control for all eternity.
When a corporation asserts copyright control over "Happy Birthday," it's self evident that things have gotten out of hand.

Posted by: RHJunior at Fri Dec 14 01:19:07 2007 (IjLV3)

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