The wheels of motion against online piracy of Japanese media have kicked into overdrive, or so it seems. Some prominent anime production companies, such as TOHO, Studio Ghibli, and Sunrise have begun collaborating in an effort to reduce the unrestricted distribution of copyrighted video via the internet. Through a large umbrella group of companies and organizations called the ‘Content Overseas Distribution Association’ (or CODA for short), the idea would be to hunt down videos submitted without consent, and then demand the host websites delete the unauthorized media. The whole goal of this association is to ‘stamp out piracy and promote the legal distribution of Japanese content’.
According to ANN, this is currently restricted to video sharing websites within China, however it will only be a matter of time before other sites are monitored. High profile series like Mobile Suit Gundam 00 will be the center of attention, comparable to the recent anime series Canaan which was the focus of a similar anti-piracy campaign.
All in all, this probably represents another step in the direction into reducing anime, and indeed all internet piracy; a pretty touchy issue. The way I see it is probably the same as the production companies; as a loss in profits on their behalf. However, I also believe it is because of this massive internet proliferation in recent years that has made anime so popular. Sure it was available beforehand, but that was to a select market and not available to all, as it is now. And because the anime fan base is a weird and wonderful bunch, after watching the distributed media, we tend to buy the merchandise, the DVD’s, the plushies, all of that. Reason for this is because we ARE SHOWING OUR SUPPORT. Those DVD’s arent cheap after all…
If this leads to more authorized websites streaming anime series as they are released, then this is the way to go. Hopefully the production companies realise this and capitalise quick, rather then waste valuable effort into trying to completely kill piracy. Then again, I’m not holding my breath.