Author Topic: interesting video, commentary  (Read 4307 times)

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Offline Sindobook

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interesting video, commentary
« on: August 01, 2008, 07:48:10 am »
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2008/anime-expo/industry-roundtable-fansubs-the-death-of-anime

This was the closed-to-the-public panel at AX.  I don't know why they kept the public (fans) out.  It was much more civilized than I expected.  I expected some kind of "let's bash fansubbers" session but that's not what it turned into.

One of the interesting things that came out in this discussion was all the hoops and "impossibilities" that licensors have to jump through.  In many cases, this makes it near-impossible to license an older title like creamy mami.  The way the world dispenses with (licenses) intellectual property is simply too unmanageable for this type of thing.  There are many "Content providers" -- content can be anything, it can be like the song Mami sings in a certain episode or such, these guys all have to agree on something for a license to happen, and that's a difficult thing to do in reality.  Try to get a committee of 20 people to agree on anything irl.  Even with mutual gain in mind, it often cannot be done.  For this reason, certain titles just aren't going to happen, no matter how much potential profit is there.

The other problem is the fact that, by and large, the licensors don't cost-downrate certain titles like 'bridge' titles, niche titles, older titles, or others with limited appeal or sales potential in the US.  You get an occasional outlier like Animeigo licensing Yawara but this is far from the norm.  They'll never have a 'fire sale' of older, less well known, or limited appeal (in the US) titles.  To them, these titles are some of their 'best' properties, and they won't license them for anything less.  For instance, To Studio Pierrot, Creamy Mami, Pelsia, Magical Emi, and Pastel Yumi are still to be a matter of great pride and some of their best works.  But in the US, these titles would appeal to a limited audience, if that.  The same can be said for 'bridge' titles, titles which could open a whole new fanbase or genre locally but no local company is going to be able to shoulder that risk completely. 

To survive, the industry, not just the anime industry, but the whole related industry of content providers must evolve to make the overhead costs associated with licensing lower (and faster).  Things like "stock/form/standard contracts" and "licensing / IP pools".  Look at how things like electronic standards catch on -- you either have patent and royalty-free standards, or you have industry groups like the MPEG LA that license with standardized terms and 'fair licensing' agreements gauranteed as a precondition to becoming the standard.  If the industry cannot evolve in this fashion, they won't be able to survive long-term.