Lantis & Sunrise Demand Removal of Anime Screen Caps

no-geass-caps.jpg

Two studios renowned for their extraordinarily draconian approach to copyright enforcement, Lantis and Sunrise, have apparently been demanding anime fan sites remove all episode caps, citing a breach of copyright. Publishing fan art online is also forbidden by Sunrise.

Even heavy hitter Yamakan has offered harsh criticism of the policy, which seems to lend substantial credibility to the missives. There is also some suspicion from the titles involved that copyright is not their only concern…

Lantis seems to have warned site administrators thus:

Dear (Redacted) Site Administrator,

This is Lantis Corporation.

We invest in the production committees of, and protect the IP of, the anime titles “Akikan”, “Asu no Yoichi”, “Sora o Miageru Shoujo” and “Kurokami”.

We have discovered that you appear to be using parts of our works on your site. We would like to request that you delete these parts, as soon as you have read this.

We do not permit any unauthorised images of our shows, of the characters or otherwise, in whole or in part, and expressly forbid the publication of such.

Regardless of whether the infringement is for profit or not for profit, it constitutes violation of our copyrights under Clause 1, Paragraph 23 of the Copyright Act.

Please be warned that should you not delete the infringing material we will be taking legal action against you.

An extraordinary missive.

Sunrise offer similar warnings:

Regarding the use of images of Sunrise products on the Internet:

On the Internet, even when not for commercial gain, or on a personal homepage, you may not use them.

We receive enquiries about permission such as “It’s not for profit” or “It’s a personal homepage”; even in these cases you can’t use them. On the Internet, even personal use constitutes “reproduction and distribution”, thus you cannot use any such images.

Regarding pictures or writing made yourself:

Even with pictures or writing made yourself, when incorporating Sunrise products they must not be distributed on the Internet.

Exceptions:

On our ISP we offer 5mb user homepages, wherein you may publish what you have made yourself.

So all the dirty little fan sites had better not be capping any Gundam or Geass either. No fan pictures from artists published online either.

It seems this may be a legally dubious basis for asserting copyright violation, but of course intimidation is the intended effect of such missives, so this hardly has any bearing on their tactics.

The fan response is predictably scathing, although there are as always more supine fans who do accept the premise that the caps constitute infringement and, for example, suggest using only very low quality images (not that this would appease the companies in question, who forbid any images at all).

After all, who would bother watching an anime, let alone buying a DVD with unknown juicy extra content, after seeing a few quality screenshots of it?

However, the vast majority would argue that screen captures have a huge marketing effect, serving both as publicity material and as reviews, and have a highly positive effect on sales, in most cases.

Some are suspicious that total control over fan activity is not the only motive these companies have in pursuing so ludicrous a ban. A quick look at the anime being brought up tends to support this:

Akikan
Kurokami
Asu no Yoichi
Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo
Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai

To put it politely, none of these titles are known for especially high quality production values, especially Akikan

These warnings are applicable to Japanese domestic sites, but there seems little doubt they would be enforced against overseas sites too, were it only possible.

Famed Haruhi choreographer Yamakan, himself no stranger to such behaviour, has apparently weighed in on the issue, and is none too kind:

“Making copyright claims as if this is going to reduce viewer propensity to watch, or to buy, is truly a case of misplaced priorities indeed.

If your works are that precious to you, why don’t you stop broadcasting them on TV and selling the DVDs, and just exhibit them in an art gallery?”

The 2ch thread is preserved here.

The difference between these companies and relatively enlightened companies such as Kadokawa, or highly enlightened ones such as Gainax, seems to be as night and day.


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    Avatar of Zatsugami
    Comment by Anony
    21:20 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Like they can stop whole Internet fan community all over the world. I don't think so. At least we will have to use P2P network.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:09 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wad bout cosplay pics?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:20 30/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    soon they'll be . . soon . . .

    Comment by setsuna f. seiei
    22:01 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    dumbass probably asking war from doujin people,fansubber,blogger ,crazy fan and h4x0r , dont they ever thought that when people post their shit on the internet it will get it advertise and promote it more to people

    Comment by Rincewind
    22:47 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh, I know! Kaede Kimura from SZS is the new lawyer of Lantis and Sunrise... and of course, she gonna sue!!
    Seems that we gonna need Phoenix Wright here...

    Comment by Kaioshin Sama
    19:29 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good god people don't read anything people say to them anymore on the internet do they?

    I figure I'm just going to keep pointing out that the C&D letter was sent by Lantis and not Sunrise and that the fanart thing refers to a passive statement posted on Sunrise's homepage that reads that fanart is not okay in the case that Sunrise has not permitted it (which I haven't seen them do) until it finally sinks in. That way eventually somebody is going to read it (if perhaps by accident) and figure out what's actually going on.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    But as everyone knows Sunrise are the least tolerant of all these companies?

    Comment by Kaioshin Sama
    22:50 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Any specific reason why you would assume that everyone "knows" this? Toei can be pretty troublesome too along with Kadokawa and GDH. In fact I've seen more videos removed from youtube by GDH then any other anime concern out there. Sunrise is primarily anal about the usage of Gundam images since it's there flagship franchise, but that's generally been about it.

    If you ask me Lantis is the only one that has proven themselves to be a villain in this particluar case. That quote about Sunrise's image policies is old as hell and hardly enforced even on their own soil. In fact that site you linked me where you seem to get a lot of your stories from has loads upon loads of screencaps, some even stolen from Sunrise's own webpage and it's still going on unharassed. Hell they even have pictures of articles within Newtype Magazine which is a massive copyright infringment in any country.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    14:14 30/01/2009 # ! Transparent

    Because they are the most persistent in removing material they claim infringes their rights.

    And nobody said they were mounting a general campaign; they actions are certainly a mystery. The site in question by the way is just a 2ch matome, and so I'm not sure really counts as independently publishing in the same way a blog might, though I wouldn't argue the case.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:00 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    let them do what they want and see what will happen to them when fans abort their work. Most of the people who buys anime are often looking for info first than buy randomly. Screen caps and fanarts are a good example of advertising their merchandise but they want to ruin it and the effect is ruining their asses!

    Avatar of misterchef
    Comment by Riot Gear
    16:43 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    if screencaps and artworks be remove then,the major outcome of this be likewise,doomed to extinction.Less exposure,less sales.Many old and upcoming new fans out there may difficult to see which is a good anime or bad anime.

    Comment by Kaioshin Sama
    16:56 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If people honestly think they are going to enforce this then the jokes on them, not on companies like Lantis and Sunrise. If we push the panic button every time some company sends a C&D letter then that means their tactics are working.

    Personally though I'd like to see the original source for this letter (not the 2ch link, the original source) as well as who was supposed to have received it. It kind of helps to know these things if we are going to evaluate the situation. I mean before automatically blaming the company. For all we know this person could have been uploading material that is legitimately protected under Japanese copyright law.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Some would say their tactics are little more than legal terrorism and deserve to be exposed.

    Comment by Kaioshin Sama
    23:09 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lantis maybe, Sunrise, not really, especially since they haven't actually done anything in this case. If you expose them though you might as well devote time to exposing every company that is anal about copyright infringement. Toho is a pretty good place to start as the copyright bully to end all copyright bullies.

    They once sued a guy for having a site called Davezilla because they claimed he was infringing on the Godzilla copyright.

    http://grep.law.harvard.edu/articles/02/08/12/1821216.shtml

    My point is that this is nothing new in terms of Japanese companies being obnoxious with their copyright priviliges. It's been this way for a long time and it's going to remain that way in the future so there is really no reason to get so extra irate in this case. Especially when one of the companies you brought up didn't actually demand removal of anime screen caps at all.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I'm afraid I would be here all day... I hope this is an acceptable start?

    Comment by Valhalla Speaks
    17:17 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    FAIL... sif u wouldn't want free publicity.......
    i can see the logic .... no fanart = no fansites = "moar" fans
    ....agreeably some fanart is so crap that it reminds me of the "we didn't ruin the internet" song
    in respects that the nets is now fulla trash

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    16:37 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    These companies doesn't know that the majority of the popularity that their get came from the Internet...

    I guess they won't notice it since they'll be busy counting their money and filing C&D papers...

    "Exceptions:

    On our ISP we offer 5mb user homepages, wherein you may publish what you have made yourself."

    Oh LOL Bandai...

    Nice marketing of your web hosting service >.>

    is this letter a C&D notice or a marketing gimmick?

    Comment by Hangmen
    16:08 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ahaha oh wow. Thanks a lot for destroying the fanbase.

    Comment by co
    16:18 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There will be a time when we are not allowed to tell a friend about a movie we saw because of copy right... "the picture you remember is ours you are not allowed to use it and have to delete it from your mind!"

    Comment by Kaioshin Sama
    17:54 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think it's important again to note that Lantis sent the letter, not Sunrise. That text is actually quoted directly from their homepage and is purely passive in nature.

    I also think I should point out that the Sunrise hompage actually says that you cannot create fanart or fanfiction only if Sunrise actually says it's not permitted. Too my knowledge they have never done such a thing and it's simply a reserved right on the part of them being the original creator of a work.

    Kind of like how they reserve the right to sue people they catch distruting their works illegally. Technically all of us are already breaking the law anyway when we watch fansubs and yet they aren't suing people left and right so I don't see what any of this adds to the current state of affairs in the Japanese blogging world other then Lantis apparently happened to send a C&D to somebody, somewhere at some time. We're not exactly in a position to judge.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:34 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    bitches don't know about my US fair use laws

    Comment by Coco the Bean
    18:55 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Brb, gonna make some MSpaint fanart and post it on the internet.

    Comment by Fleeting shadow
    17:55 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This need tag [just before the end of Sunrise]

    Comment by Kaioshin Sama
    18:11 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Except they've had this same policy posted on their website since at least 2005 and probably a lot further back then that. The only difference is it's being quoted in English now. Hardly going to be the end of this company

    Avatar of vin-nii
    Comment by Tno
    18:02 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Getting rid of Fanart? have fun trying ;)

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:21 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's like they're saying don't watch our shows... cause fan art are like "free" advertisements, depending on how many fan art there is on the net shows how many enjoyed the show...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:57 01/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    no ones going to give a fuck sunrise

    Comment by Anon The Czar
    09:23 21/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They just lost a valuable customer. To hell with you, Sunrise. Your studio is no longer credible, except for the directors of various anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:21 28/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have a theory... Maybe the creators of Code Geass and these other series are homophobic? The only conceivable notion I can come up with is that they don't want images of their precious suzaku being violated posted for all to see. Maybe the president of the company ran across some particularly vile fanart and therefore has a misguided notion of what the majority of it is. Otherwise, they're just being plain crazy! (points to all of the good arguments prior to this one)

    Comment by Cerenado
    08:24 08/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai? Munto TV? What?
    I thought that it was KyoAny's Original production! What do Lantis or Sunrise have to do with that one? :S

    Comment by Lina
    10:06 14/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    thats what I want to know too ;_;

    Comment by TRXAcero
    05:28 08/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Okay, they sure want themselves to be turned into @#$%&
    They have a real esteem problem, I mean, they're like "Kill me, just kill me now and I'll be happy" with all this thing.

    Comment by minakichan
    13:16 30/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The hell? Go bomb Comicket or something. Morons.

    Normally I'm happy to comply with a company's will, but this is ridiculous. Fanart? Yes, because looking at someone's Geass fanart or shitty yaoi doujinshi = DAMN I CANT WATCH THOSE DVDs NOW.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:57 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seriously, do these companies not see how fanart can be beneficial to their sales? *facepalm* You have people who are willing to put in their own time to advertise your series. And how much can doujinshi circles and fanartists make off their work any way? I can't imagine it'd be big enough to make a dent in anything.

    Avatar of ToxicCookie
    Comment by FuktLogik
    09:10 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They should also forbid discussion of said anime, after all, we're talking about THEIR copyrighted characters.

    Comment by kenjiharima
    08:51 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's like the middle finger to the fans that love drawing.

    Avatar of muteKi
    Comment by muteKi
    08:49 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The next topic made here was Akikan fanart.

    GG Artefact.

    Comment by liangyinglee
    09:44 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol! Next on, Sankaku Complex has been sued.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:33 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If this is true then deviantart.com is going to get raped.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:01 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Being in America it'd be a lot harder for them. Pixiv on the other hand...

    Comment by sung gyu
    08:38 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fuck Sunrise

    Comment by Void
    09:10 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what this means is that you have to go to Sunrise/Lantis and ask nicely to get them to send me some production art.

    Well, good luck stopping internet distribution...

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:23 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well it can actually happen THIS time suprisingly you do know even in the states of Congress even internationally did pass a law Pro-IP laws act it's only a matter of time. It's alot different than the Anti-piracy act, and it's combine with it. You shouldn't be excited for it. Since it does cost $250 billion in revenues alone in the U.S., common sense of course they're gonna act on it. "CHANGE HAS COME"...sigh

    Conspiracy note: Corporates has already sent a *special* viruses in sankaku. Iono yesterday was suspicious when there was some argument on a certain anime. There were 2 blank images on search front page yesterday(maybe?), the blanks didn't load, I think something happened. That "IP#" address in a some article was just a zombie and for what things can come. In their subtle notes, either pay $150,000 fine OR get your computer wiped, if you don't obey the law.

    Another plot, "korean?" snitched to FEDS+Corporation?

    Reference about Pro-IP act:
    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/27/0255223&from=rss [http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/27/0255223&from=rss]

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    What? I don't mind conspiracies (they happen a lot after all), but I don't really understand your point?

    Avatar of RaikenTB
    Comment by RaikenTB
    09:30 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reminds me of Funimation and their holy crusade against fansubs.

    'facepalm'

    Comment by Ken Chowder
    17:59 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey, I wonder WHY Funimation would be so awfully mean as to wage a holy crusade against fansubs -- I guess it wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that the share price of (parent company) Navarre has gone from $18 to .50 cents in the past few years. A drop of over 97 percent, sports fans. Yeah, those innocent fansubbers don't hurt the market for anime, why should they stop? And if they completely kill off all anime production, having eliminated any chance of profitability, how could that be the fault of those poor maligned fansubbers?

    Comment by Tang
    09:57 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They even removed my video on Youtube of a Rayearth parody theatre from Brazil... @_@;

    Fuck Funimation~!!!

    Avatar of Miroku74
    Comment by Miroku74
    09:59 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Being that draconic is never good when you consider it'll hurt the companies's bottom line in the long run. Plus the cost of litigation in trying to sue not just all the offending websites, but also millions of fans posting their own Oekaki.

    Idiots.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Utter nonsense, I remember way back when Code Geass and Gurren Lagann screencaps were spammed on /a/ every fucking day, it finally piqued my curiosity enough to watch them both.

    Of course, I deeply regret watching one. I'll let you decide which, but that is not the point, if it wasn't for screencaps, that is one less viewer, and I am positive I can't be the only one who has been persuaded to watch something because of caps.

    Avatar of Vesper_nova
    Comment by vesper_nova
    09:39 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ouch someone just got dropping into boiling hot water
    Yamakan shows no mercy

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:48 29/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fan art?
    I dont even know you!!






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