Monday, August 11

Kadokawa's view on Fansubbing.

Last May, when Kadokawa Holdings released The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya on DVD in the U.S., fans of Japanese animation swarmed shops in Los Angeles and other cities. For months, Kadokawa, a Tokyo publisher and TV and movie distributor, had dropped hints about the anime's imminent overseas release on a Web site. But other than that, it did almost no advertising. It didn't have to. The company merely tapped into the huge following Haruhi Suzumiya already had on YouTube and other video-sharing Web sites.

It sounds like the classic viral-marketing success story. But Kadokawa arrived at this strategy more by luck than by design. And lawyers would have been appalled by what they saw: the company allowing rampant Internet piracy to go unchecked.

That's not how Kadokawa sees it, though. Chairman and CEO Tsuguhiko Kadokawa thinks his company has nothing to lose by reaching out to anime diehards. As he sees it, the company's traditional publishing business has no future in the digital era. And suing YouTube for copyright infringement, as MTV Networks owner Viacom (VIA.B) did last year, would have only angered anime fans who have been using the site.

Most business strategist will be horrified with Kadokawa's lack of concern for intellectual property piracy overseas as this article seem to be written by a confused traditional business writer who unable to fathom the thinking of Japanese firm.

An interesting article that fansubbing supporters can use to counter the anti fansubber in eternal argument.

Some content-rights owners, like the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers & Publishers (JASRAC), blame YouTube for the surge in piracy and have demanded that YouTube remove every breach of their copyrights. Others have taken a different tack. In March, Tokyo-based GDH started releasing anime clips on YouTube, video site Crunchyroll, and others the day its content is broadcast on Japanese TV.

But most have opted to do nothing. During a scouting trip to Japan, Los Angeles-based movie producer David Alpert met with Japanese studio executives and expressed his interest in buying the overseas distribution or remake rights for their anime. But when he asked for a private screening, "they would say, 'We don't have subtitles,'" says Alpert, a partner at film and TV production and management company Circle of Confusion. "They'd look at us, look around, and then say, 'Check out the fan subtitles on YouTube.'"

Any fansubber will be delighted to read this, it is affirmation of some sorts from source material of their contribution. Ironic.

Full article here

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