After reading this particular rant, I believe that it haven’t covered the most important area. Sure, Anime have gotten cheaper, but they remain more expensive than a whole season box of a US series like Heroes or Lost which have alot more episodes and I end up spending 40-50 dollars for the whole season. Sure the days of 3 episodes on VHS for $30 or 4 episodes on a DVD is over, but this is not the main focus on this topic, The main focus is the US Anime Industry and Corporate Media.
And believe me, I buy licensed anime on shows I want to watch and my sister owns a pile of licensed DVD releases.
The editorial fails to mention about licensed anime outside the US.How about Europe? Some series will probably never get to be licensed in other countries, which leave people who want to watch the series having to import, which cost more and requires another DVD player due to region coding. DVD region coding is another problem caused by corporate media.
With corporate media, you think you own the media, but you don’t. The anime you have on your DVDs are licensed to you, not owned. This holds true with streaming media in one particular postkimaguresan posted:
Ownership: This is the elephant in the room. When you watch a streaming show, you see it, and then it’s gone.
There is no freedom with corporate media. Their interest is to license the show, distribute it and make a profit, and while you at it, restrict your fair use rights with crap like digital rights managements, region coding, streaming, and other things. There is no freedom in this model, ever. Another point with big media is that the content creator gets shafted and get a very small cut of the profits sold from these licensed DVDs. Big media companies like Funnimation and Sentai Filmworks take most of the cut from the sale of Anime DVDs which leaves the Animation studios like Shaft, Kyoto Animation and the rest with so little profits. This is the same with music labels where the music labels like EMI, Warner and others get a big cut from album and digital music sales guess what the artist or even the composer get? A very small cut from it. The problem here is corporate greed and less profits from the content creators. On top of that, the greed comes in form of high prices on price gouging on Blurays (on lesser extent, DVDs) and DRMed media. On top of that, removing DRM from your media such as DVD ripping is illegal according to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) because using such programs circumvent Digital Rights Management. Stuff like DMCA further take away our fair use rights away. What happens if our media gets scratched up and become unreadable, do we have to buy another copy of the media? I think this is wrong because anyone should be able to back up their DVDs because we own the media already, why can’t we since “fair use” allows us to make a personal backup copy. (Note, it’s technically illegal to rip DVDs in this Real Network ruling.)
The end of the day, no matter if we own the media, we are slaves to corporate media and with streaming, our freedoms are basically gone with this and the content creator don’t benefit from this at all. The only way you can surely support the series you like is buying related merchandise such as figurines, artbooks, albums, games, etc. The merchandise they sell usually generate more money than licensed DVD releases and remains a great way to support the series you like while still buying R1 releases.
Note: I do not advocate not buying the Licensed DVDs or resorting to illegal means to obtaining “licensed” DVD releases because of some of these reasons… You should still buy R1 Licensed DVDs despite this and expressing my opinion won’t change that, I will still buy anime that is licensed.
kimaguresan on Crunchy and Big MediaOne License to Rule Them All ¶