DVD Group Demands End to Free Recording of Anime


DVD and video industry group the Japan Video Software Association (JVA) has issued a long and unambiguously worded complaint to the effect that personal recording of shows, particularly anime, damages its potential bottom line, so can’t something be done to rectify this, preferably involving payout to the JVA.

Close reading of their demands in fact reveals their sales are healthy, but they are being damaged “potentially”.

Their basic contention is that potential profits are adversely affected by private duplication (note the “potential” part); they don’t even bother to particularly blame the Internet, and they are coy over what kind of arrangement they would like to see.

“The influence of personal recording on DVD sales is large, so even without any reduction in sales compensation is required.”

Emphasis deserves to be put on the “even without any reduction in sales” – so in fact their sales are health but they would still like to see a levy or somesuch; commendably honest of them. Who wouldn’t like to receive a levy for the sales they haven’t lost?

Interestingly, we hear in passing just how much profit comes in from overseas, in an interview with the head of Production IG:

“Even with a property with mediocre viewership like Blood+, we still were in the black, especially overseas. Lately anime sold to the American market is said to be from $20,000 to $30,000, but we sold Blood+ for more than twice that.”

They are also said to rely on the long-term popularity of their properties, with rereleases and the like possible many years on for popular products.

In essence, their business model is said to be buying broadcast slots with no real revenue, and then going on to sell DVDs and engage in other merchandising.

Gigazine covers the matter in great detail.

This seems to be more of a wishlist than an actually realisable policy, but similar arrangements have come to pass in such nations as Germany or Canada, so it may be unwise to underestimate the power of a jaded industry lobby.

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    What’s next:
    “even if customers aren’t pirating our content, compensation is still required”

    And then:
    “No one is buying our shit anymore! WE DEMAND COMPENSATION FOR THIS INSULT!”

  • gamingikari says:

    Yeah, Canadian here.

    The last thing they want to do is tax media like that. The RIAA found that out the hard way when the discovered that, “Oops!” Because they got a tax for recordable media, anyone who copies their stuff onto that media has already paid for the problem, and thus they can’t go after the person again!

    Seriously. It’s a bad idea for them. I feel zero guilt for downloading songs because the greedy music industry forces me to pay them a tax on burnable DVDs even when I’m only using the things to back up my personal files or whatever. Even if none of their IP is downloaded onto my computer, they get a slice because it could.

  • gamingikari says:

    Actually, it’s not so restrictive in Canada.

    We just pay a very small tax on storage devices. Normally this might be noticeable, but in Canada we pay taxes on everything. Income tax, government sales tax, provincial sales tax, gas tax, tax tax… You get the idea. DVDR and the like aren’t any more expensive for us than anything else.

    The problem, which the RIAA sorely laments right now, is the fact that they agreed to the tax back when tapes were around. In Canada, it’s actually completely legal to fileshare, because we’ve already PAID the distributors a tax on recordable media “just in case”.

    Every time I download a song and wonder if perhaps I should support the artist, I remember that the music industry gets a cut from every DVD I buy, even if I’m buying the DVD to back up of my personal files before a reinstall. Then I wonder no longer.

    A tax like this only encourages piracy, because it’s a tacit invitation to making it legal or getting the tax repealed. Either the person burning a copy of the latest CD is doing it illegally and should be punished, or they’ve been penalized in advance for the potential act and thus, you have no legal leg to stand on to go after them again.