bluemist anime blog pirated edition 7 release candidate

By bluemist on May 5th, 2009

bluemist anime blog pirated edition
Read my old article first. Interestingly, I have more things to add today, since the situations have changed a bit dramatically in under that couple of years.

Back in late 2007, the concept of licensed internet video streaming of TV shows and movies was at its infancy, but now it is going mature. The solution to the internet piracy problem is here. Well, almost. A sizable amount of shows, even anime, are being legally streamed in a very wide variety of sites. Moreover for the anime side, the concept of being left out with the latest stuff in Japan is coming to an end, as more new anime are being simulcast to the world through internet and even cable television. Sometimes it’s even faster than fansubs, and you wonder why fansubs are needed anymore. It’s really a good time to enjoy anime and other entertainment while staying legit.

However…

We are still at a transitional phase in this war against yarrr. There are still certain aspects of piracy that still leaves it in a gray area, at least in my point of view. You see, I’m not from the United States, and so most 90% of all that legal, streaming or downloadable internet content is unaccessable to me. Why? Regional restrictions. You know what I think about it? It’s a load of crap. Take for instance Crunchyroll. Good service yes. But even if I subscribe to their standard anime membership, my anime selection is still limited according to my region. Let me say it again in another way. Despite me having to pay the same darn amount as anyone in the United States, I still can’t watch the same anime as them. In fact, I can only watch… 10% of what they can. WHY?

It makes no sense for me in so many levels, but there can be a lot of technical terms in worldwide copyright licensing mumbojumbo blah blah that can explain to me why I can’t have the same anime fix as other people around the world. Well you know what? That doesn’t matter to an entertainment consumer like me. Other people will either say “well you can’t do anything about it, third-class citizen of the world” or “well there’s always the torrents”. Either of those still seems unfair. Think about it.

It’s not like it’s only the United States’ fault or anything. While their worldwide trade policies are too stagnant to compare to the advances in technology nowadays, their kind of setup is still the economic standard of the world. And we are at fault too. I read an article recently about book tariffs. Our country put a high customs import tax on a certain popular novel series which I would only name as ’emo vampires’. Imagine that, putting a high price on a mere book for personal or government profit. Crab mentality which almost hampers the flow of information. Same way with licensing. If some show is from Japan, we need to import it to make it legally available here, but we have to pay the price.

I proudly announce that I finally bought the To Heart DVD set. Awesome yeah. To Heart is one of my favorite anime series ever. But with buying that DVD set comes along realizing the painful reality of the current trade policies of the world. That DVD set cost me 40$, which is the same price an anime fan from the US can get it. But me, being in a third-world country, with my third-world income, cost me an “additional” 40$ to ship the thing… AND a horrible 40$ more for the customs tax. RAAAAAAGE!

What can I do? This is the only way to go legit. Sure, I can finding relatives in US and Canada who’ll get it for me cheaper, but that’s an added hassle. All-in-all, with globalization slowly becoming real, these old crappy policies must change. Too bad that they won’t because everyone’s too busy with the recession and all to worry about a problem that only affects a few people like me. But that in itself is a problem. You know why we’re having a recession? Because old habits die hard. We are either too weak or too lazy to change things. That’s another whole issue that I already explained in that older article, so let’s stick back to the new idea. While having more entertainment legally available to the internet is good and all, we are still being dragged down by the old policies of the old industries. Especially the ones outside those holy lands. Simply put, if one wonders why I stick to gray-area piracy for some particular entertainment I want to listen to or watch, I’d say because it’s not available in my region. Sure, label me a pirate, but I have tried everything in my power to go legit. I have failed in some parts, but thankfully I did succeed in others. That 10% available anime. That To Heart DVD set. I told you my money will eventually go to your pockets.

6 Comments

Posted By: ghostlightning On: May 05, 2009 At: 12:15 pm

I own no original anime. None. What I have is original merchandise (toys), and a considerable amount of original manga. I have them because they are available in local toy and bookstores.

Posted By: bluemist On: May 05, 2009 At: 12:28 pm

@ghostlightning
Yeah, graphic novels and merchandise are quite widespread and thankfully the tax is minimal. And you’re an example of how gray-area anime viewing promote fandom and buying of said merchandise. We all help the entertainment industries in some way.

Posted By: DaFool On: May 05, 2009 At: 10:26 pm

I stopped using Amazon precisely because of the ridiculous customs duty — 1500 pesos just for a rare textbook

Nowadays if I can I use Western Union to pay the vendor directly and instruct them to use UPS and label the package as a gift.

For strictly online downloads though I’ve noticed more and more sites accepting of Philippine credit cards… in those instances I am a first-class global consumer citizen.

Posted By: Catherine On: May 06, 2009 At: 5:34 am

I bought a CD for £20 from Japan and shipping and customs meant I eventually spent about $35 on a CD (I thought buying just one would save money…. ;_;) It sort of takes away the happiness of receiving something you have saved up for and really want. I don’t want to think about importing anything else if just a CD costs that much.

I do wonder though if anything was ever made readily available if I’d ever buy it. I’m so used to certain things in a digital format by now.

Posted By: bluemist On: May 06, 2009 At: 7:45 am

Well because we consume too much entertainment chances are most of them won’t get the legit treatment. A wise consumer would only buy their heartfelt favorites. Even if anime were made available in DVD form I wonder too if I would just get second-rate series for the heck of it. It would still depend on one’s wallet capacity.

Posted By: Sailor Enlil On: May 06, 2009 At: 4:57 pm

At least some groups are starting to notice, especially Sony with their PS3 – what did they do? They took out the Region Lock of all PS3 games! Why? Despite using the legality (or rather illegality) of mod-chips to try and control the regional sales their titles, it’s a losing battle against customers who want titles outside their region (in fact a big slap on Sony’s wrist was that one case in Australia where Sony lost a lawsuit against mod chips there). In fact my PS3 is a US model (Blu-Ray region A, DVD Region 1), but I have 1 Japanese market PS3 game – Megazone 23, which I managed to buy locally, and be able to play on my US model PS3 with no problems (aside from not being able to read Japanese text :P). The rest of the entertainment market had better follow suit if they want a share of this potential global pie. At least Blu-Ray is also one step in that direction (from 7 Regions for DVD to just 3 for Blu-Ray; and East Asia, Japan, and North America are all Blu-Ray Region A thank goodness).

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