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Comcast Targets Unlicensed Anime Torrenters

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the hard-to-get-your-jpop-fix-without-it dept.

Anime 352

SailorSpork writes "According to a thread on the forums of AnimeSuki, a popular anime bittorent index site, Comcast has begun sending DCMA letters to customers downloading unlicensed fan-subtitled anime shows via bittorrent. By 'unlicensed', they mean that no english language company has the rights to it. The letters are claiming that the copyright holder or an authorized agent are making the infringement claims, though usually these requests are also sent to the site itself rather that individual downloaders. My question is have they really been in contact with Japanese anime companies, or is this another scare tactic by Comcast to try and reduce the bandwidth use of their heavier customers now that their previous tactics have come under legal fire?"

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Why? (5, Informative)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404235)

Haven't the anime companies pretty much said "It's okay, so long as it hasn't been licensed"? I remember the first season of Ghost in the Shell:SAC. When it got picked up for the US market, the company who owns it politely asked the fansub groups to stop. (And they did if I recall.)

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404301)

Thus far the Japanese animeka's and mangaka's have never protested. I have also not seen any such hints in the Japanese media. It only served to further their fanbase and potential market. Whenever a series became licensed in the US most groups fansubbing that series stopped.

Of course there's more people interested world-wide and it can be difficult to find it locally. (Not to mention some English translations are horrendous and the fansubbers are doing a very good job.)

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404383)

So unsurprisingly it appears Comcast are acting on behalf of other parties who have never actually complained, let alone asked them too Yet another classy Comcast move.

Just like the CRIA shutting down Demonoid, despite the fact that due to the levies we pay up here on media and players, it's been ruled multiples times by the courts that downloading for personal usage is legal. Also that uploading is legal, as obviously to download, someone has to upload.

The recording industry body still shut down the site, which was hosted in Canada, despite the fact that A) really all they SHOULD be allowed to do is demand the removal of music torrents, and B) torrents which, in the host country, were perfectly legal anyway.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404621)

If I recall the DMCA letter correctly you have to assure under penalty of perjury that you are or represent the copyright holder.

Re:Why? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404669)

If I recall the DMCA letter correctly you have to assure under penalty of perjury that you are or represent the copyright holder.
But does US law allow a company to be prosecuted for perjury? If not the individual can get out of it based on the fact that his employer told him something and he acted in good faith.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404769)

It doesn't necessarily have to be your employer to be acting on good faith. It could be someone else claiming an interest and you can be acting for them. However, good faith doesn't necessarily get you out of trouble.

Point is, if you don't know better then you cannot attest to the state of ownership so your complaint is false anyways. If I tell you that is mine, stop it from happening, and you file a DMCA take down, you better have a reason to believe I'm not lieing to you. Similarly, when you do this for a company, you are acting as an agent for that company so if it is something obvious, you and the company can be fined if not more trouble. Perjury is one of those crimes where you have to have some knowledge of your deception. Making a claim that you have no idea of can be part of the knowledge because you had no clue to the facts that you are claiming. so it would all depend on the facts associated with the greater reality of things.

Re:Why? (1)

transiit (33489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404827)

More to the point, is the DMCA enforceable in Canada, as the comment leading into this point said was the context?

Re:Why? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404819)

it's been ruled multiples times by the courts that downloading for personal usage is legal. Also that uploading is legal, as obviously to download, someone has to upload.

I'm not arguing with what Canadian law says, I just wanted to say that it really isn't that obvious that uploading would be legal based on the logic that for downloading to happen someone has to upload.

According to the DMCA, people are supposed to be able to make backup copies of media for personal use. But then, distributing tools to allow circumvention of encryption and copy protection measures is not allowed. Wouldn't it be rather... obvious that the distribution of these tools should be legal, since they are required for consumers to exercise their privilege to make personal copies?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404903)

The Canadian law specifically allows copying music, and the last time I checked, the common interpretation that 'downloading music is A-OK if you don't upload' was not yet court tested although I do believe it would pass. Instead, the existing court rulings were regarding obtaining account information from uncooperative ISPs.

Pretending it applies to things that are not music is foolhardy, and your assumption that "obviously someone has to upload for downloading to be okay" is fallacious, since (from memory) the law regards "the reproduction of musical recordings", and was intended to officially permit things like making personal mix tapes. Downloads were a fringe benefit, and before bittorrent, everyone prudent made sure to disable their uploads.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404473)

"Thus far the Japanese animeka's and mangaka's have never protested. I have also not seen any such hints in the Japanese media."

Not true. Japan has issued a formal statement to the US government asking it to take measures to prevent the illegal distribution of Japanese creative property. []

Re:Why? (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404639)

But that leads us down a murky path. If the companies that make the shows say it's okay, does the government have the right to say "Er, no, it isn't."?

Regardless, anyone who thinks this is bullshit, AC a "FUCK COMCAST" under this.

Fuck you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404659)

Comcast is bullshit, but you're a fucking idiot. I say we all AC a "Fuck you" as payment for the collective mental insult reading your shit will cause.

Re:Why? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404793)

It would depend on which government. In most western countries, copyright laws are there for the copyright owners/holders to control distribution of their content. So it only makes sense that if they say it is ok, then no the government cannot do anything about it. With the exception of some information being protected because of threats and so on. Manuals to kill your wife without being detected by the police might fall under that. So might instructions on how to build a nuclear bomb with common household materials (assuming it is possible).

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404871)

Sure, in some countries.

In this case, however, the copyrights are explicitly held by the publishing companies. The Japanese government can ask the US government to do something about it.. but that doesn't mean that a private company can start sending c&d notices to people for copyrights they don't own..

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404569)

> Thus far the Japanese animeka's and mangaka's have never protested.
But they did. []

This reminds me of AMD... (0, Offtopic)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404729)

The anime people are no different than AMD was.

They got their chips known for performance with the Athlon/K7 and the overclockers and tweakers (one of whom I once was, when I had more time and cash to blow on testing hardware and new rigs every few months.) Anyways, to cut to the chase, remember when AMD stopped their majority overclockers dead, and began to make it tougher and tougher to OC their chips? This despite the fact that the vast majority of tweakers ended up buying more and more AMD chips. It was basically AMD saying "thanks folks, you got us to be known as performance chip makers, and now here's us flipping you the bird, we got corporate marketshare now, we don't really give a shit anymore." This is exactly what the Japanese Anime studio/government bitch and moaners are doing. They got the US market interested through the fansubs (frankly until the corporate studio schmucks do as faithful a translation without americanizing the shows to "appease" to the masses, I prefer the fansubs most of the time... with VERY few exceptions. Vampire Hunter D is better in English, and Noir was good in both languages, IMHO.)

Re:Why? (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404823)

That's one publisher, who are notably not included in this discussion. As you pointed out, Animesuki does not distribute them.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404771)

Make no mistake, the Japanese -are- pissed because as far as they're concerned, fansubs devalue their product.

But you won't hear about issues with foreign licenses in the Japanese media. You'll hear about Japanese P2P users and programs like Winny and Share.

And any actual fan would know that fansubs are copyright violations anyway and that unfavorable reactions should be unsuprising and you should support the creators ANYWAY instead of bitching when they get annoyed with your running roughshod over their rights.

Re:Why? (1)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404855)

Some anime are never licensed in english, so the only way to watch them is by fansub.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404865)

Make no mistake, the Japanese -are- pissed because as far as they're concerned, fansubs devalue their product.

Says you.

1. I defy you to cite examples of Japanese anime houses (not US dub shops) objecting to the fansubs of unlicensed shows.

2. No US media company would ever have bought hard-to-categorize shows like Death Note, Nana or Prince of Tennis before the fansub community proved that there was a market for such shows among western viewers. Fansubs are basically free market research for the distributors.

3. The big money in US anime distribution comes from dubbing shows with English-speaking actors and putting it on cable TV. When a show is released to DVD as a subtitle-only set (such as season 2 of SuperGALS!, or the "Uncut" editions of Seasons 1 & 2 of Sailor Moon,) sales have been lackluster at best. Fansubs don't cut in to TV viewership numbers on Adult Swim. If anything, they boost ratings and DVD sales, because by the time, for example, Death Note hit cable TV last month, the show was one of the hottest word-of-mouth topics at anime conventions and on web forums for over a year. No amount of traditional marketing could have done for that show what a few dozen "L" and "Misa" cosplayers at each and every con last summer accomplished to get people curious about it.

Re:Why? (1)

Fourier404 (1129107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404883)

There's no way for an English-speaking fan to support the creator. They could buy the original Japanese version, but that would be utterly useless, and you can't expect them to do that. If it's one that's been licensed by an American company, only a small portion of the money, if any, will be sent to the creator, and the general consensus is that they'll get a worse product than that created by a fansub group. The usual argument is that the popularity of a series in the fansub community gets the American companies to buy a license, which gives millions to the creators, and this seems like a perfectly valid point.

Little incentive for them to stop it (2, Insightful)

FiniteElementalist (1073824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404505)

There's basically been tacit allowance of widespread copyright infringement for unlicensed anime because there is little incentive for the Japanese companies to try to stop it. That's because the English market for an unlicensed anime isn't open yet; they need someone to translate and distribute it. There's no money to be lost yet, so they can mostly benefit from the infringement to market the shows and get data on what's popular in the western markets. The only downside is the risk of not being able to stop infringement once they license, but many fansubbers will stop translating willingly when it is licensed. And people will still pirate anyways...

Comcast however, has a direct interest in stopping this: it eats up bandwidth. So I would guess they are either mostly or completely behind this rather than the copyright holders. I wonder if they even have permission from the copyright holders to send these out.

Re:Why? (1)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404681)

All I've got to say is that these guys are really pissing me off. If you hear about a car crashing into Comcast's headquater's it wasn't me.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Fourier404 (1129107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404893)

And if said car happened to be packed with a quarter ton of high explosives, it definitely wasn't me.

Anime is porn.. (1, Flamebait)

Another AC (151302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404243)

And I don't just mean like "hentai" anime that is ACTUALLY porn.

I work for a webhost, and it's weird.. other than porn, there's NOTHING like (even just regular) anime that uses so much bandwidth and disk on the Internet.

I understand why Comcast would go after this, and I doubt they really have any complaints from the copyright holders.

But really.. WHAT is the obsession people?

Re:Anime is porn.. (3, Insightful)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404321)

Some (possible) reasons:

- Series' length is small enough to let people that don't like sitting around for days on torrents download them, yet large enough to cause a impact
- Large fansubbing community, some of which compete (so a lot of different versions of the same thing floating around)
- Community that rabidly encourages watching new shows, partially because a lot of anime is so similar, and again, partially because of the short series length of each
- Otaku have the time and devotion to put into managing daily torrents/downloads
- Generality of the genre - it's like saying "there's a lot of people that watch sitcoms"
- There are a lot of nerds on the Internet, period!

I don't care for most anime (most of it seems to be robots, ninjas, and loli) but the people that do are very devoted to the genre. I'm not surprised that it would account for a lot of traffic.

Re:Anime is porn.. (2, Interesting)

FiniteElementalist (1073824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404363)

Add into that the fact that the internet is the only avenue for getting these shows in a translated format without having to wait for X years if licensed, or forever if not licensed. Standard domestic shows you can just watch it on regular TV or set up a DVR.

Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404765)

Generality of the genre - it's like saying "there's a lot of people that watch sitcoms"

Actually, I'd say that it would be more like somebody saying, "lots of people are into stage plays", or "there sure are a lot of people who read books."

Bottom line: Anime is a medium for storytelling, not a genre.

There are certain types of stories which are popular on Japanese TV which haven't caught on nearly as much here ("mecha" sci-fi, early teen romance, ghost stories, etc.), but for every show like "RaXephon" (a giant-robot show with strictly nerd-only appeal), I can name a show like "Nana", which plays like a very typical romantic drama, or "Sailor Moon", which bears striking similarities to the US hit TV series, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

And what's wrong with something that appeals only to nerds, anyway? There are a LOT of nerds in the world.

Re:Anime is porn.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404345)

I watched a few anime but never really became hooked -- but I can see why it's popular compared to American cartoons: quality short story series, characters actually die, a more attractive and sympathetic style of drawing than marvel or southpark, all types of genres that cartoons couldn't possibly touch.

If you ever went in a comic book store - you kind of see everybody pushing the same silly crap geared to little boys it's almost embarassing and I personally find the drawing style ugly. I guess to me this juvenile mentality to such a potentially wonderful medium is most embodied [] by crap like this.

To answer your question, I think that much that Hollywood offers is same old, same old (how many remakes of movies from the 50s-80s have they made lately) usually because it's playing safe and anime is relatively new and edgy, at least against the American mainstream -- and because the latest movies and episodes are in Japan -- it has to be downloaded, usually subbed by some local group.

It is also be popular among the same generation who also download porn (and never got it any other way) so the internet is just a natural delivery vehicle to them for something that isn't too easy to get locally offline.

Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404441)

You know, this brings up a point I said sometime earlier: The cable companies could make a killing offering a Japanese television package with TV-Tokyo and TV-Asahi. (E.G. I suggested it to Time Warner, my cable provider.)


TV-Tokyo has most of the popular anime, iirc.

TV-Asahi has Super Sentai and Kamen Rider.

Just about all the shit that gets torrented comes from these two stations, iirc.


Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404597)

Just get a dish. Last time I checked, DirecTV offered TV-Japan, but you had to get the DirecTV Plus system, which has a dual-receiver dish, or else you needed two dishes.

Re:Anime is porn.. (2, Insightful)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404777)

Then of course you just have to know and be able to properly translate Japanese on the spot in your mind or later after you record it...

No thank you, I'd much rather just watch after having been subbed so I don't have to sit there and ruin my viewing experience rewinding when I have to double check what I just heard.

Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404829)

I live in a tower, I don't think a dish is an option here. Otherwise, there's no fucking way I'd pay $70 a month for TWC when I could get DTV for less than that.

But you said "TV-Japan", not "TV-Tokyo" - I mentioned TV-Tokyo and TV-Asahi intentionally, as those are the specific networks that carry practically anything I would watch.


Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404755)

Just about all the shit that gets torrented comes from these two stations, iirc.
Of course, not everyone speaks Japanese, subbing takes time and money (at least without the current, not-so-legal method of having tons of independent groups doing it for fun and recognition), and even then, reading subtitles is something a lot of people don't want to do. There's just no market for it.

Re:Anime is porn.. (0, Troll)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404351)

Well considering a normal anime episode is over 200 megs uncompressed and that most anime isn't Hentai, you really don't have a point here other than to troll.

Re:Anime is porn.. (2, Informative)

Zorque (894011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404451)

If you'd actually read the comment at all you'd realize he was saying it's like porn in that it uses so much bandwidth and is so widely distributed. So I guess your comment is a troll.

Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404713)

ya, I wrote that post too soon although I still think he was being a bit of a troll here. By his logic, all large data files would be targeted not just anime. You know like youtube, metacafe, google video, WOW patches, live cds etc... but it's not, it's specific to anime, not just every other video file that probably also requires a lot of data transfer too.

Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404465)

What's the obsession? Take Rule 34 of the Internet. That rule applies outside of the internet, to the anime world. Except you can find more than porn. You get loads of polar opposites and stuff that wouldn't DARE air on TV here in the USA. For example. Dokuro-chan, the Club to Death Angel. Holy hell, are you in for it. That storyline will drop your jaw to the floor with it's near-pedophile intent. Then take Hajime no Ippo. That particular storyline shows the rise of a champion in a boxing ring, from a total pussy to a hardcore ring killer, and you get the emotional thrill as part of the ride.

One thing anime does well at is conveying emotion. You can feel what they're wanting to provoke, the intent. Dokuro-chan, despite it's nature, is a pure comedy. Wanton, bloody, but still a comedy, and you will laugh more than likely if you've got a flexible mind. Hajime no Ippo will potentially have your heart pumping rapidly. You don't get into any big fights and thrills for awhile, but they're keeping it realistic.

If you can't see the appeal, perhaps you're not seeing the right material?

Re:Anime is porn.. (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404613)

If comcast isn't a copyright holder and they were not asked by any copyright holders, then they have to shut up if they offered unlimited bandwidth.
Even when they didn't offer unlimited bandwidth, they shouldn't abuse the DMCA.
This has nothing to do with the DMCA.
And why do you care if it is porn or not porn, for Comcast it is just series of bits they are obliged to transfer.

Re:Anime is porn.. (2, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404803)

And I don't just mean like "hentai" anime that is ACTUALLY porn.
From my understanding hentai is hardcore, really hardcore. I don't have a taste for it, esp tentacle sex.

Anime in general is not porn. Yakitate Japan [] for example. It centers around the idea of "Furansupan" (French Bread), "doitsupan" (German rye-based bread), "itariapan" (Italian bread), all exist. So a boy blessed with solar hands perfect for kneading bread decides to create a bread for the Japanese people, a Ja-pan.

This is something not likely to be licensed in the US.

what is this anime thing ? (1, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404249)

I never really got it what the draw of anime is, can someone please enlighten me ? [] a total waste of time :)

Re:what is this anime thing ? (1)

piojo (995934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404313)

I never really got it what the draw of anime is, can someone please enlighten me ?
One advantage of anime over traditional TV is that (for most series) the story continues between episodes, and this can allow for a more intricate plot. (Of course, in some animes, each episode stands alone, and some TV shows have a plot line that continues throughout a season.)

Other than that, I'm not sure what the pull is. I know that most of it is made for adults, so you can't really compare a lot of it to kids' shows. Maybe part of it is selection--there's a whole lot of anime out there. Maybe I just don't like the sitcoms and reality TV shows that are on TV, nowadays. It's hard to say.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (5, Insightful)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404331)

There's two big draws I think. First off, look at the success of serialized shows like Heroes and Lost. Shows with ongoing plot lines, rather than completely episodic sit-coms and dramas like CSI. Rather than being the exception, shows with a single overarching plot line planned from the start of the series (or even earlier in the case of an anime based on a manga) are the norm in most genres. So you can have development, a real crisis, and a conclusion in 13 or 26 episodes. Compared to most american shows whose primary goal is to stay on the air as long as possible, anime provides a better storytelling experience.

Secondly, animated shows can tackle any subject matter. You don't need block buster CGI effects since everything is animated anyway. So anime shows can feature sci-fi, fantasy, or ridiculous action themes much more easily than an american tv show can.

There are some people who like it because it's Japanese and exotic and weird, but all in all I don't think that's the primary reason. It's simply that the animated medium allows more flexibility and creativity than live action, but is stigmatized in america as being childish.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404759)

It used to be stigmatized as childish. I think The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park changed that years ago.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404843)

I don't know about that. All three of those fall into a pretty narrow genre of comedy show. Could you really see someone pitching an animated show done in the style of Friends or the X-Files to any of the networks? And I mean that as a show designed to run in prime time, not Saturday morning or right after school hours.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404373)

It's a bit too broad to just define quickly. Anime is any animated TV-show, movie or direct-to-video (So called OVA or Original Video Animation) production from Japan. Most of it is junk and if you just randomly sample it'll take a long time before you hit on something good.

I recommend checking out Roujin Z, Perfect Blue, Golgo 13 and anything by Hayao Miyazaki, but that's hardly representative of Anime as a whole.

Read up on what you might like before (and if) you try to watch an entire series (as opposed to movies that are far shorter and easier to watch), otherwise you probably won't get through it without losing interest.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (0, Flamebait)

neostorm (462848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404393)

They're just cartoons from Japan. It's popular because of it's availability and cultural appeal, that's about it.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404405)

Ya, I never really understood the people who know everything about every anime. I first got into Japanese movies because for the first time, I was unable to figure out the ending based on the first 10 minutes of the movie. That does eventually go away though as you read a bit into the history etc.

Japanese media is just like any other media. Some is good, but most of it is crap. Japan just has a pretty rich culture to draw from. The music sucks (Hide is the only artist from the area that I can stand), but the tv and movies are pretty good.

One strange thing that I noticed though is that I listen to music and watch movies from all over the world, but Japan has been the only non-english country that has ever produced a TV show that I find enjoyable. I have actively looked for (and found) TV shows from other east asian and european countries, but never found anything that I could get into.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404427)

-ongoing storylines
-many of the plots are based in part on japanese legend and myth
-extensive use of metaphor and symbolism
-it's not like cartoons here which are mainly for kids, a lot of anime is geared toward older age groups and tackles more difficult/mature topics
-science fiction and fantasy brought to life through animation
-a great way to test out your understanding of the japanese language if you watch the original non-fan subed versions
-anime reflects japanese culture to some extent just like our own entertainment is molded by current events/culture
-a lot of really good story lines that actually are worth watching and draw you into the story.
-there are *a lot* of different genres and stories, if you find yourself bored with a certain anime series you can switch to another easily
-there's a big community behind anime and manga- lots of fan-fiction and what not that explores the story further

Re:what is this anime thing ? (2, Insightful)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404491)

For me anime is just an available source for more quality entertainment. I'm so desensitized to most entertainment that I dislike most of it now. So I look to other cultures to find things that are fresh to me. Anime seems to take a little more risk than American television so it keeps my attention.

The people that are truly obsessive only make it an easy outlet for me.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404565)

I never really got it what the draw of anime is, can someone please enlighten me ?
Plot, character development, basically anime tends to be quality entertainment. They are not like american cartoons which AFAIK are still affected by the McCarthy era standards. Anime tends to stand on it's own as well as much life action television. It's hard to explain, and I never fully understood why anime is taken so seriously by the creators. I have always thought of it like this, japan is relatively small country, and that being so I *think* they resort to anime as it requires less surface area to create.

But if it's not your bag, it's not your bag. If you want to give it a fair chance, The ADV re-dub of Macross is actually really good. This is not the American Dub of Robotech.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404825)

Plot, character development, basically anime tends to be quality entertainment. They are not like american cartoons which AFAIK are still affected by the McCarthy era standards. Anime tends to stand on it's own as well as much life action television. It's hard to explain, and I never fully understood why anime is taken so seriously by the creators. I have always thought of it like this, japan is relatively small country, and that being so I *think* they resort to anime as it requires less surface area to create.
Your failing for the mis-representative sample fallacy. Like immigrants, the ones that make it to our shores tend to be the top half of the quality bell curve. We don't run into the other half because no one cares enough to sub/dub/import/torrent it. Just like Not all Chinese are hard working and mild mannered but enough Chinese immigrants are to spread that stereo type (I'm Chinese please don't racism mod me). The effort required to sub/dub/torrent helps filter the crap just as the effort required to actually immigrate filters less willing people. There is a lot of crappy anime too.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (5, Interesting)

QuickSilver_999 (166186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404591)

Hmm... Why do I watch anime? That's a good question. Several reasons that I can think of off the top of my head are:

1) It's not the standard US crap that's all pointed at the lowest common denominator. Most US shows are so blatantly dumbed down that it's absolutely pathetic. Anything that strikes of being intelligent (and isn't a medical or criminal drama) usually ends up taken off the air in a season.

2) It gives a different perspective on life sometimes. The characters are of course larger than life and more extreme than reality usually is, but some of the differences in how Asians and Westerners perceive life is fascinating.

3) Anime doesn't need a $100 million dollar budget to put out a good solid high quality show.

4) Good anime is timeless. Just borrowed some old 80s anime from a friend, and it's just as irrelevant today as it was then. Still fun to watch though.

5) I don't have to put up with some annoying fluff head that thinks their opinion suddenly matters because they play a character on TV.

6) I don't have to put up with laugh tracks.

7) Voice actors on anime don't get paid a million dollars an episode like some American "actors."

8) I was a fan of Nagel [] and Olivia De Bernardis [] so... The fan service can be fun... :)

9) Different mythos and cultures can really make a show interesting to me even if I think the premise is kind of dumb.

10) Did I mention no fluff headed "actors" that couldn't make me believe they were on fire if I doused them with gasoline and put a match to them myself?

I tend to like the longer story arc anime, although a few of the shorter works are just as interesting. Cowboy Bebop was one of my favorites. I wrote bail for 2 years, and sometime the characters just reminded me of people I knew in the industry. Hikaru no Go was an interesting series as well, since it showed a glimpse into what it's like to be a Go player in Japan. I don't usually like the "Big F**king Robot" anime, although I do have a few exceptions to that rule (Armitage, Bubblegum, GunBuster). And although Naruto is a secret (well, not anymore) vice of mine I'm not really a big fan of the "Ninja" crap. What I mostly like about anime though is that the characters actually tend to develop as the series continues, unlike the cardboard cutout US characters. Most of the time it really doesn't matter to me what the setting is, as long as I can find the characters compelling.

A better question though might be: Why do people continue to watch the crap that American companies have continued to foist off on the world as "art?" Like "Survivor." After the first couple of episodes, I kept hoping they'd drop a nuke on them to give the bastards something to survive. Or "Lost." I figured out why they didn't get rescued. No one gave a flying fsck if they ever got off the damn island. "Dresden Files" I liked, but of course SCIFI killed it so they could have more wrestling (True, it's fiction, but is there REALLY any Science in pro wrestling?). I have 200 channels and I usually end up on Cartoon Network, TBS, Nick at Night, Discovery Channel, or the History channel.

There is no "draw" to anime. It's not popular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404775)

There is no "draw" about anime. Anime is NOT popular. A few nerds
like it but that's it.

Anime night (saturdays) is, by far, the lowest rated night on Adult Swim.
It's been stated by Williams Street that as soon as an anime program comes on,
their ratings drops by about half from the previous (non-anime) program.

It's no mystery why they're buying only one or two anime series a year now.

Re:what is this anime thing ? (1)

The Frogstar (1189619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404929)

As someone on IMDB said: "Space battles set to Bolero, what more could you ask for?"

Anime seems to have a much greater breadth of topics than any other visual medium. The trouble is a great deal is complete crap, so you find yourself spending one half of your time trawling through forums to find recommendations and the other half watching some juvenile rubbish.

Without a doubt however, when you find gems it is completely worth it. The series are often over 20 episodes long so you can totally immerse yourself in the universe. By far my favourite is Legend of Galactic Heroes, if you are into science fiction you should definitely check it out. It is over 100 episodes long, so it is quite a long haul, but the sheer number of deep and varied characters is simply astounding.

But this is one of the most serious anime series I know, most don't live up to the time spent downloading them.

DMCA requires the *copyright holder* to issue (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404259)

The DMCA requires the copyright holder to issue the takedown. If the anime is unlicensed, that means that **nobody** in the US is legally able to issue that takedown, and it should be ignored, or a counter takedown/law suit should be initiated...

IANAL, of course, but the wiki page [] is pretty clear on that.

Re:DMCA requires the *copyright holder* to issue (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404329)

No, but the Japanese licensors can request it be done, or authorize a 3rd party to make a request.

Re:DMCA requires the *copyright holder* to issue (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404389)

Yes, but have they?

I'm really glad that where I live the dominant force is COX, which, although it has its problems as well, does a decent job at actually providing internet service without all of the provider/customer warfare.

Re:DMCA requires the *copyright holder* to issue (4, Interesting)

MWoody (222806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404339)

Unlicensed doesn't mean uncopyrighted. It just means no company yet has the rights to produce an English-language version for local distribution. The original creators still own the rights to the work, and may enforce it as they see fit.

The "don't torrent licensed anime" rule held by many fansubbers or fans is considered a moral restriction, intended to get more fans turned on to anime in general or a specific series in particular without drawing revenue away from (and thereby discouraging future) English-language versions. It has no basis in law; licensed or not, downloading anime is copyright infringement.

That said, this story is still bizarre. Why care if an unlicensed anime is available with fansubs? I suppose if a future English-language release is forthcoming but not announced, they could think they're making sure they don't lose any customers. But if that's the case, it's still misguided for two reasons: 1) fansubs tend, historically, to increase sales of the released product, since they generate buzz about a show - hell, they're the only reason anime is popular here at all. And 2) the aforementioned "don't fansub licensed work" rule works in their favor, and such a bad-faith enforcement will shatter the basis for what's essentially a tentative moral code. Treat your fans like shit and they'll return the favor.

But even this foolhardy move seems unlikely, since these are releases from different companies being targeted, many of them tremendously unlikely to see a region 1 release. It really does look like Comcast is generating these DMCA notices itself, which is just... bizarre. I'd laugh if they weren't completely without competition in so many markets, meaning for some people this sort of bullshit is effectively inescapable. I'm not a libertarian, but can we get a LITTLE help from the free market here, people?

Re:DMCA requires the *copyright holder* to issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404529)

The "don't torrent licensed anime" rule held by many fansubbers or fans is considered a moral restriction
It's worth noting that not all groups follow this rule: for example, Dattebayo routinely releases licensed anime fansubs. (I'm only naming them to publicly shame them. Both series they release, Bleach and Naruto, and not only licensed in the US but actually shown on cable! So there's no excuse for them to continue to release episodes. Plus both series are crap, of the US Saturday morning cartoon variety.)

Apparently Comcast hasn't been cracking down on their illegal and immoral work, but it's worth noting that while most good groups refuse to release licensed anime, some groups continue will do it anyway. If Comcast were cracking down on them I'd have no objection, but I do find it rather curious that they'd crack down on unlicensed anime.

Re:DMCA requires the *copyright holder* to issue (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404837)

fansubs tend, historically, to increase sales of the released product, since they generate buzz about a show

This is an unproven assertion. At best a fansub makes the show available to those who wouldn't buy anyway, with a FEW additional buyers. At worst it may be cutting down the number of people who actually pay. I know there are a lot of die-hard downloaders who hate licensors for specious reasons, spouting arguments that have been destroyed regularly over the past 8 years. Suffice it to say, if the number of people downloading a given episode of a show off Animesuki were to buy the DVD it was on, the whole industry would be doing much better than it is now (which is to say, not very well.)

the aforementioned "don't fansub licensed work" rule works in their favor, and such a bad-faith enforcement will shatter the basis for what's essentially a tentative moral code. Treat your fans like shit and they'll return the favor.

The "fansubbers" blew it when more than a few started mouthing off regarding pre-licenses or mid-run licensing of shows, and only made it worse when they continue to sub and release shows for studios that have explicitly asked that it not be done, up to and including the 2004 Mediafactory letter to Animesuki.

The fansub area is nothing like what it once was, resembling more an 0day warez clusterfuck than fansubbing of old.

Re:DMCA requires the *copyright holder* to issue (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404359)

No one in the US can issue the takedown. Does the DMCA require that the copyright holder be based in the US, or just the person or organization that is being requested to take the work down?

Dunno. (2, Funny)

clayne (1006589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404263)

I never really got it what the draw of anime is, can someone please enlighten me ?

Me neither - but I suspect the 20-dick wielding monster humanoid might have something to do with it.

Copyright holder? (5, Interesting)

FooSoft (1150437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404273)

Are we in the right to demand Comcast to reveal the name of the copyright holder upon receiving a DMCA notification?

Re:Copyright holder? (2, Interesting)

Raptoer (984438) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404347)

The name and postal address of the copyright holder is not necessary in the DMCA takedown request, unless a counter notification is sent. IANAL

Re:Copyright holder? (4, Informative)

asuffield (111848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404783)

More than that, if the takedown notice does not include all of the relevant information, then it is invalid. The required information includes:
  • Identification of the work that is allegedly being infringed
  • Identification of the material that is allegedly infringing that work
  • Sufficient information for you to contact the complaining party
  • A declaration under penalty of perjury that the complaining party is the copyright holder, or is authorised to act on their behalf (meaning that if you send a takedown notice for something you don't have the rights to, you go to jail - perjury means roughly "lying to the court", and is a very serious crime)

If no contact information is provided (so you don't even know who complained), you may simply ignore it. For some of the other parts you are obliged to inform the complaining party so that they can correct the error, but you don't have to do anything further until they do. Since you can't contact them at all without their contact details, you have no obligations when that bit is missing.

I do not think that Comcast are sending real DMCA notices here, they're just making noise in the hope that people do what they say anyway. But if they were, the above would apply.

Will it ever stop? (0, Redundant)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404283)

For f*** sake... when will this stop? When will people say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" and jump off these ISPs and stop being their customers?

Re:Will it ever stop? (5, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404397)

When will people say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" and jump off these ISPs and stop being their customers?

When we have another choice besides dial-up.

Re:Will it ever stop? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404403)

For f*** sake... when will this stop? When will people say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" and jump off these ISPs and stop being their customers?

There are issues, like contract time left to run, availability of a replacement ISP, stuff like that. If all the ISP's start acting the same, well, choices diminish.

Also, not everyone who uses a net connection is the one paying for it.

Re:Will it ever stop? (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404417)

hehe, people in many parts of the US have no options. They've allowed their market to be dominated by a few players who are in cahoots.

Re:Will it ever stop? (5, Informative)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404553)

For f*** sake... when will this stop? When will people say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" and jump off these ISPs and stop being their customers?

In my area it's Comcast and Qwest. Qwests prices are significantly higher than Comcast.
When Comcast called me and said that 300 Gb/mo is way to much, I simply asked them if I could pay more for them to stop harassing me about bandwidth usage. So for another $30/mo I went from being a 'home' user to their business class connection. And even though their home and business connections are listed at the same speed (8 Mb), I now actually get 10-12 Mb. (Plus I go from 768 up to a full meg).

Now, since I'm a business class user, they expect traffic levels they would see from a business that has anywhere from a few computers to fifty computers. Now 300 Gb/mo doesn't seem so high when you compare it to one of the sites I do contracting for--they have 40 workstations, 3 servers, and are constantly transferring high res x-rays to other sites.

The only part that pissed me off about Comcast calling was that they simply never told me of their magical cap, and they refused to tell me what it was--just that I had run over it.

I would have had no problem if they flat out told me their rates and caps--like 500 Gb for $80/mo.

Re:Will it ever stop? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404861)

I bet Comcast didn't set a solid cap because it's probably based on a bell-curve of data usage. they try to keep the mean under a certain amount and so if the higher 10% or so of customers use 30% of the data for example, telling them to throttle back is an easy way to decrease Comcast's bandwidth obligations. They can't really tell anyone what the solid cap is because there'd be enough people maxing out what they can get away with under that solid cap and it wouldn't solve much under their current system. As to why they don't say you can use x gigs/month for x dollars, it's probably more profitable for them to sell "unlimited" contracts at a certain price that allows for most people's bandwidth needs and provide them with a nice cushy profit margin as well.

Re:Will it ever stop? (1)

daniorerio (1070048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404905)

Sounds a bit strange to me, how can they enforce a cap if it is not mentioned in a contract / user agreement? Seems to me that their scare tactics worked and they tricked you into paying more for a business connection while they have no legal basis to say that you were using too much bandwidth...

Comcast also just started port-blocking (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404303)

I've been running a personal mailserver for the past four-plus years off of Comcast, this Thursday or so they just started filtering SMTP connections to it. The IMAP / IMAPSSL / etc connections all were working fine. Anyone else seen same?

Re:Comcast also just started port-blocking (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404327)

I was blocking SMTP connections from comcast ip's a long time ago.. too much zombie spam.

Re:Comcast also just started port-blocking (2, Interesting)

Fluffy_Kitten (911430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404333)

I experienced the same exact thing, except over a year ago when I tried to run a mail server. As I recall I got a rebound email (or something along those lines) telling me to use comcast mail or some bullshit like that.

They're only complaining (4, Funny)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404353)

Because it cuts into their employee's bandwidth to download the same thing.

Re:They're only complaining (2, Interesting)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404525)

But it wouldn't cut into their employees' bandwidth. With the right software, Comcast could just monitor their customers' downloads and get copies of all the anime for their own use. ... I think I just realised why the NSA tries to intercept so much traffic.

Re:They're only complaining (1)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404555)

Wow. To be honest, I wouldn't know whether to mod that funny or insightful...

Seems to be a slight misconception (1)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404411)

The DMCA notice was issued to the person in question not because they downloaded, but because they were a source of the anime.

My guess is the person kept the torrent client open after downloading the file, and became a server for others.

The real question this brings up is just how much liability are you exposed to since most torrent clients will turn your machine into a server, thus converting you from a user to a distributor in the eyes of the law.

Re:Seems to be a slight misconception (2, Insightful)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404423)

Well, since peers also share pieces of the file, you could technically get busted even for running a download.

Re:Seems to be a slight misconception (2, Insightful)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404653)

you could technically get busted even for running a download

Technically nothing, that's exactly what happened. Worse, the person that got served had no clue (and still doesn't seem to realize) that they didn't get the notice because of downloading, but because of sharing. How many other people are there that don't know how torrents work who are in the same position?

Standing back and looking at it, it's a great tactic. Torrenters will turn sharing off to avoid these notices, which in turn will cut down on availability, hitting the torrent concept squarely where it benefits most. Sources become fewer with more infringement per source, making them more profitable to persue legally.

err k. (1)

MrCawfee (13910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404419)

i guess some post by some random person somewhere is proof of evil doing....

i mean seriously, QoS is a hell of alot easier to reduce bandwidth then sending DMCA letters. Comcast may be evil, but not everything that happens is evil.

Crap (1)

56ksucks (516942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404435)

Comcast needs to worry more about providing decent internet service and less about blocking crap. I looked forward to living in an area with comcast so I could get a VoIP service and ditch bellsouth. Now I'd rather have Bellsouth than deal with this crap.

thanks for the new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404469)

AnimeSuki? i didnt know this site. i am going to check it out and watch a few movie.
thanks for the news.

Re:thanks for the new. (2, Informative)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404735)

animesuki is one of the two sites I get most of my anime torrents from. Tokyotosho is the other that I'd heartily suggest. Some torrents are duplicates, but they do carry a fair bit of different stuff too(eg: OSTs on tokyotosho, raws, etc...). And tokyotosho doesn't mind carrying some shows that animesuki wouldn't be willing to.

It's simple... (2, Insightful)

Raven737 (1084619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404655)

Comcast has no idea what Anime is, they probably don't even know WHAT their users are downloading at all
nor do they REALLY care, all they care about is what costs them money and that is people USING the service they paid for
a wee bit more then others. (oh the horrible crime!!!)

It is simply the assumption that bittorrent + lots traffic = illegal. No need to verify, just roll out the DMCA crap.
Comcast expects that teir 'stupid customors' won't know how to properly respond and hope that they simply won't have the resources
to put up any fight. It the same as the *AA thugs say, BitTorrent or ANY type of P2P file distribution is ALWAYS used, by ALL users,
to share copyrighted content and only if THEY have full control over the distribution (which can never fully happen in P2P) can they
believe that anyone MIGHT be 'less of a criminal' (but they should probably pay them anyway, since all people are obviously evil).

It's Comcasts + MAFIAA ongoing attempt to make P2P illegal, not just by law but also by peoples believes.
If you tell them often enough that it's a horrible HORRIBLE crime, then at some point people (especially by those who do not use/understand)
will believe it and that's when you get stupid juries that award x billion for having some bittorrent client installed.

Distribution (without profit) of unlicensed content is fully legal, but like i said, Comcast doesn't even know it is unlicensed Anime
and nor do they care. They didn't care what content was distributed when they simply killed p2p connections before. It was p2p, that's enough.

So the MAFIAA wants you to remember:
P2P = bad = crime... obviously you should feel really REALLY bad the next time you download a WoW patch... (you criminal!!!)

Common Carrier? (3, Interesting)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404687)

Now that Comcast is actively monitoring and selectively interfering with traffic doesn't that mean they are no longer a common carrier? Aren't they now obliged to detect and stop all the child porn and all the unlicensed & infringing material, and slander & libel, and terrorist threats ?
More importantly aren't they legally responsible for such content on their network? Can't they now be sued by various interests?

Re:Common Carrier? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404801)

I don;t think that they are considered a common carrier. As far as I understand it, they're considered to be a private network by which they can pretty much decide what can and can not go through but at the same time they have found a way around any obligations implied with that kind of control.

Re:Common Carrier? (1)

jpfed (1095443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404853)

I don't believe ISPs in general have historically been classified as common carriers in the first place.

Ooh Ooh I know why (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404691)

Must because more and more subbed anime is the only thing worth watching. Right now, on my paid for "digital" cable from TimeWarner, the only thing worth watching i some show on the Travel Channel about unusual McDonnals restaurants around the world. Damned if I had only thought ahead to download so anime ahead of time. Everything else that would have been worth while watching is reruns. The rest is just crap. So Comcast must just have figured that they would getter get more people to watch tv if there was less anime to watch.

legal crud... (1)

si1houette (1057812) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404699)

comcast's dmca says that

Comcast has received a notification by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, reporting an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works made on or over Comcast's High-Speed Internet service.
It never says that the particular copyright owner in question has the rights on this particular copyright. it only says that a copyright owner claims that somebody's copyright has been violated.

To bad it's not a DMCA notice (3, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404701)

From the DMCA, takedown notices must include

512(c)(3)(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

However, the letter posted in TFA doesn't look like a DMCA takedown notice. It looks like just a warning about acceptable use policy infringements. If they'd been DMCA notices then Comcast would apparently be committing perjury.

Re:To bad it's not a DMCA notice (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404939)

Indeed, they are DCMA notices instead of DMCA notices. (as per the article) :)

Interesting... (1)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404715)

I wonder If I'll get one.

Why Anime is Interesting (2, Interesting)

foxalopex (522681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404751)

It's interesting that so many folks don't understand what anime is. I've helped run a club for nearly a decade so what I can tell you and why it's loved has more to do with it's format I suspect. I prefer to call them anime series because most series are about 12-26 episodes long. Imagine going to watch a good movie and having it last for 12-26 episodes. It's why I like anime, they can go far more in depth than a good movie plus they cover topics that would give our censoring groups a heart attack. Some views on religion or god for example are interesting. Also there's a massive variety. Imagine the variety that a movie rental has. That's the diversity that anime has. Plus if you find something you like, you'll have a good 12-26 episode series versus only 2 hours of fun.
I find it sad that most folks still consider anime as being for kids only. That's as bad as saying Movies are for kids only. Or video games are only for kids. They arn't.
As for why torrenting is popular. Anime has an interesting distribution style which is something the North American companies should study. Originally when I first joined anime years ago it was tough to find it. Now you can find nearly anything licensed or unlicensed online. While the general idea is that once a North American company licenses it, the torrenting is suppose to stop it doesn't. Halariously most copyright holders don't entirely care. That's because they don't have to spend a cent on advertising and a series gets popular by it's own credits. Fans then go out and buy the overpriced series they like. So there you have it, it's all online for you to pick and choose and if you really like it you can shell out your hard earned cash. I guess in a sense this means that fans end up paying for the pirating but hell, if you really love a series don't you want more people to see it? Win-win for both consumer and producer I say. ISPs of course lose on this the most due to all the torrent traffic.

You FAIL it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21404797)

are aalo3ed to play

Anime is mainstream (1)

enderwig (261458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404887)

I see this as a marker of just how mainstream anime has become. Back when there was only a few thousand people who knew what anime was, the studios probably didn't care. Back then, the cost of going after fansubbers when potential profit was near zero was just throwing money away. Now, millions know about anime, and there is potential profit at stake. The anime studios don't need the free advertising effect of fansubs, especially now that they have real advertising channels to play with.

Some History here... (4, Informative)

initialE (758110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21404919)

A bit of history here, could get long-winded.
The actual origins of the letter are a group of Japanese Anime Licensors, acting under the umbrella of a foreign distributor, Singapore-based Odex Pte Ltd, which itself provides local distribution of VCDs, DVDs and sublicensing for on-air distribution. They first started going after their own customer base, by obtaining lists of ISP customers through their ISPs, (and please note the ISPs themselves were so ignorant of their customers rights that they didn't really put up much of a challenge to the right to obtain customer data, but hey, lawsuits like this doesn't happen often in Singapore). Once having obtained the contact info of the customers they started issuing letters of demand to the individual customer themselves for the amounts of SGD3000-5000 in restitution, together with a promissory note not to do it again.
Of course, there are those who would say it was a fishing expedition, just to get the person to admit fault and become liable for prosecution (which would mean possible jail time under Singapore law).
In any case, the PR backlash was immense, it made the news, and anime communities around the world took note. In order to pursue the alleged infringer without compromising his identity, Odex is now attempting to use the ISP as it's middleman to communicate their demands to the ISP customer. Which is why the letter is sent from Comcast and not from Odex itself, the company is supposed not to know the exact details of the infringer. []
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