Is There A Difference Between Piracy And Promotion?
from the it-all-depends... dept
Nearly two years ago, we wrote about a piece by Larry Lessig looking at how the comic industry in Japan was thriving based on copycat comics that would normally be seen as infringing works in the US, forcing entertainment industry lawyers to shut down these fan-created efforts. In something of a followup to that piece, Henry Jenkins has written about how so-called “piracy” has been a huge help in making Japanese anime popular and commercially viable in the US. Clearly, the easy distribution of digital content has different effects — some of which are beneficial and some of which are harmful — for the creators of that content. By assuming that only one of these effects exist, companies that are cracking down on “piracy” without realizing they may be hurting free promotional activity are doing damage to their own business.
Comments on “Is There A Difference Between Piracy And Promotion?”
Two key points
1. What if the independent cultural trends, rather than piracy, led to the popularization of Japanese anime? Back in the 1970s/80s, Japanese anime was regarded as too violent/tasteless/sexist. But Western cultural trends since then have favored increasingly violent/tasteless movies, while Japanese anime has become less sexist since. The internet has created a Western culture of entertainment in extreme topics.
2. What if piracy has led to a degradation of anime quality? The market in Japan is saturated with lookalike manga/anime, lacking creativity. Western nations will notice this in a few years, since Western-released anime is typically a few years behind the domestic market.
Re: Two key points
Regarding point 2: more likely that fourteen-year-old anime geeks will continue to suck up the lookalike anime just as fast as they sucked up Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh cards. These are the same kids who watch Trigun and Slayers and Reign and any other anime they can get their hands on, and I reckon they’re a large part of the anime market in the U.S.