bluemist anime blog pirated edition

By bluemist on September 10th, 2007

YARRRR!!!

It’s awesome! Anime blogs including mine are being copied! Thanks for the visibility. Gives me more visitors. On the other hand, don’t you get pissed off when someone copies your works for their gain. Maybe that sitey is generating profit. I demand some profit too. Please donate $$$ to the cause. I need to buy more eroge.

What do content providers feel about their hard work being copied and distributed, either for personal or for financial gain? Do you get pissed off? Or do you enjoy the added popularity? Ever since visual and aural entertainment became the mainstream form of wasting our time, there have always been “pirates”. No doubt about that. And yet up until now, nobody can stop it. Futile. Companies and capitalists (Goliaths) always step their foot down on the little guys (Davids) who distribute their work in a way they think is illegal to. Nowadays with the advent of the most ‘free’ form of communication known to man (the internets), the stakes are even higher in this war on yarrrr. Everybody is in the game now. The Davids have Web 2.0 style of information dissemination and social communication, while the Goliaths have the **AA’s and DRM and anti-piracy government bureaus. Think about it from a user point of view.

Technically, everyone is a pirate.

Watch a couple of youtube videos, more or less you view things that may have infringed copyright in one way or another. We send nice pics and music in forward e-mails, and maybe someone has the rights to that content without you knowing that it’s illegal to copy that. Heck use the iPod name and maybe the Apple police may come and get you.

You know, whenever I see news about corporations suing people for piracy and violating copyright, I shake my head in disgust. Imagine, clueless kids and mothers being sued. Many examples come from RIAA and MPAA. Companies relying on IP addresses to locate people who potentially pirate as if those were DNA. In the anime side of things, I’m not too keen about the ODEX thingie going on in Singapore, but asking downloaders a ridiculous sum of money for content they don’t even “own”… it’s an outrage! You know, we might as well sue ourselves to the death. Everyone is a pirate. This is one side-effect of a world with too much information.

But let’s think about the content providers first. I should maybe tackle on our favorite Japanese visual culture to make it more specific? Otaku stuff is undercrowded and oversaturated. So many eroge, so few people enjoying it. Imagine this seiyuu. She speaks and moans in this new bishoujo game she stars in. At the end of the day though… what’s her income? I don’t imagine it to be very big. She is not a celebrity. She’s just a poor girl with a good enough voice. But she works hard. She is proud of her work, so proud, that even if only 20000 otakus buy it and idolize her voice, that’s enough to buy her monthly apartment bills and bento foods everyday. But then the company she worked it is in danger of closing because some 30000 other otakus decided to download the game instead of buying it for the company to turn profit. It’s an eventual occurrence for the little guys. So, suppose the company did go bankrupt, poor seiyuu-tan doesn’t have a job. She gets pissed off at the pirates, but helpless enough not to make a stand, she’s just minds her own business. The end of her world. She dies of hunger.

NOT. So seiyuu-tan applies for a new job, her next eroge voice project. Her life continues.

Why do corporations insist that everything may collapse because of piracy? Sure, companies go bankrupt, but that’s common fare! It’s normal! The thing is… you have to be bad enough to be bankrupt. Maybe the company didn’t make a compelling game to sell more, or maybe seiyuu-chan isn’t too moe~ on her voice and didn’t moan enough. In the entertainment business, if you don’t do a great job, it’s OVER. That’s why you should aspire for innovation, motivation, and inspiration to do the best in your creative work. You are in this business not only to turn profit, but ‘also’ to show off your p*nises and provide “entertainment”. With all the focus on “piracy killing media”, we see less focus on “quality” of the work. You know why the industry is dying? It’s not just because of Britney and other pop stars giving crappy music (we’ve had crappy music since the dawn of time)… it’s because the “crappiness” of music comes from over-focus on turning a profit! Why does your super-special-music album NOT sell? Because your lyrics were just written over a single night-drinking-session, published the album in mere weeks and call it a day. No innovation, no motivation, no inpsiration, no dedication. I’m not saying all entertainment providers are like this, but sometimes people can be lazy.

And now you blame us for copying your crappy works. You know, you should be thanking us instead. The movie industry this year is churning up to be the biggest in history, music is losing CD sales but rising on online ones, and TV is thriving because of new outlets like going HD or streaming online video. Ask me, is your industry dying? With information overload, it’s just become bigger than ever before. Look at anime for instance. It’s not just US, Japan, and other first-world countries. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Even third-world poor folk like me are striving on miniscule budgets to buy something ‘original’ like a mere To Heart DVD, it’s an example of our dedication to the fandom. But then I wouldn’t know or love To Heart so much if I wasn’t able to download it or know about it on the internet. If you try to deny me information or entertainment about To Heart just because you want to protect your profit, in the first place you are ‘denying profit’. I wouldn’t be your customer if you won’t show it to me. Sure, many others like me will just survive on torrents and things without buying originals, but then we as a Web 2.0 community “share” the love to many other people, and maybe those people will be ‘your’ potential customers in the future.

Come on, even if they rip you off with high-quality 1920×1080 rips of your anime, someone is bound to buy DVD’s. HD-DVD’s, Blurays, posters, magazines, figurines, pencil cases, stick posters, t-shirts, pillows, stickers, bags, gadgets, and many other accessories related to the anime. Heck, some will even make fan sites, blogs, youtubes, and all other lovin dedicated to your anime just to show people “your anime is good”! As the provider of anime though… it is your right, your responsibility, or your call or whatever, to make your anime as good as it gets. Do not blame ‘just’ piracy for your dying wallet, ‘also’ blame yourself for potentially not doing a good job.

I put emphasis on ‘just’ and ‘also’ because these are not main reasons. Everything is a culmination of multiple factors. The idea is in the balance of those factors. What is your balance, what is your limit? How much freedom will you give up for your creative work? Let’s give a shout out to open-source software. Mostly non-profit, nice programming people basically share all their hard work in source code. Why? Because there is an opportunity to make their hard work product better, by letting other nice programming people give input. They realize that they are not the only godlike programmers out there, and there is bound to be someone who can solve some nasty bugs in their code. Of course this kind of openness wouldn’t apply to some forms of entertainment, but isn’t it nice to “share”? Maybe free download samples of your music. Nice clips of your movie. Wallpapers of your anime. Heck share the whole episodes like certain shows did (Heroes). Your main battle is in the quality of your work, and how you market it.

With all this, it is time for a win-win situation with everyone. There are too many sides to the war against yarrr, but in the end why is there a war in the first place? The entertainment industry as a whole has survived regardless of any negative factor. I have written a lot above already, and I still don’t get the whole picture. You know what? Just leave me alone. Someday my money will be in your pocket. That is the eventuality.

4 Comments

Posted By: Ronin On: September 10, 2007 At: 12:45 pm

And this rant would pertain to what exactly? The Odex saga? 😛

Posted By: westbluef On: September 10, 2007 At: 1:40 pm

Hmmm…..

I think you have a point there.

It’s not always piracy that forced some companies into bankruptcy, sometimes it’s crappy work, but still some companies will still insist on blaming piracy because they don’t want to admit their fault for making such crappy work. I mean when their in the industry, sometimes greed takes over and they try to protect their profits.

Just you wait, someday they’ll blame piracy for World Hunger, Global warming and other ridiculous things not related to piracy.

Posted By: plmko On: September 14, 2007 At: 9:52 pm

Companies like to estimate their “net profits” before they acutally make money, its just accounting conventions. They cry foul that they have lost profits due to piracy because they like to count people who have downloaded their products as part of their estimated sales figures when realistically people who have pirated havnt purchased anything. I find this quite stupid and this has made piracy seem like it destroys and bankrupts companies.
After all people who have pirated products wern’t going to buy it in the first place, hence the download, which could potential lead to a purchase because of interest found by trying the game etc out. I don’t think download replaces buying things (ie you get the box and goodies!” but certainly somethings are just not worth buying.

Posted By: lanie-emon On: September 22, 2007 At: 1:51 am

Oh, those blokes eh? Fair enough…

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