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Strike Witches 2 expanded regions
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52 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 10/15/10

dokudokugwo wrote: Explain Linebarrels of Iron... streaming on Funimation and on Crunchyroll... was here before funimation picked it up.
The thing to remember is that the only law is the copyright of the original creator, which grants them the right to say who can or cannot make a copy of the work ~ and under the Berne Convention agreement and WTO "Intellectual Property" rules, most countries around the world respect copyright gained in most other countries.

The rest of it is by contract and, indeed, normally a chain of contracts. A creator can sign over all rights. That happens when work is done for hire, with the signing over of the rights included in the employment contract. That happens when a creator signs an exclusive worldwide distribution deal with some company. Given the nature of anime, most of it is work for hire, and the studio is the original copyright owner.

Or the creator can sign over specific rights. This is what happens more often in manga, where the mangaka retains all rights that have not yet been contracted out.

Now, in anime, the finance of the animation production is done by the formation of a production committee, with various members of the production committee putting money into the budget to produce the anime in return for specific rights. The television stations (normally more than one) will chip in money in return for broadcast rights. These are mostly single-city or single-region stations, what were called "Super-Stations" in the US back in the 80's and 90's, and the station that airs the anime first puts in more money for the privilege, so they are normally the "senior" station (though sometimes the senior station is broadcasting on the second and third day because of different scheduling issues). A toy/merchandise company may put in money for merchandise rights. An anime studio puts in money ~ in other words, does not request the others to cover 100% of the budget ~ for DVD distribution rights. If it was based on a manga, the manga publisher will put in money, both because the anime will publicize the manga and lead to more sales, and because they get the right to make drama CD's featuring the voice actors and actresses to use as cover disks to boost sales, and the mangaka will put in their rights to the original character designs and story. Etc.

Sometimes, for the late night airings that are being seen on DVR's as much by the out of work or underemployed that can stay up until 1:30 in the morning to watch anime, the TV stations do not actually put any money into the pot, and instead the other members of the production committee buy the advertising on the anime that put the anime on the air. Obviously in that situation, the television stations have far less power in the decisions of the production committee.

Now, someone in the mix has international distribution rights. One of the reasons for delays in announcing series has been that production committees, focusing on overseas DVD licensing, were not even deciding on which member of the production committee handles that, and how the proceeds are distributed, until after the first broadcast. Based on when overseas DVD's were normally licensed, "cross that bridge when we come to it" was normal. With more overseas simulcast streams, It seems in the last couple of seasons, production committees have been making that decision earlier.

And somewhere there will be a formal agreement that sets out the committee and the contributions and the rights, which is the next step in the chain of contracts. That's where the international licensor ("or", side giving) gets the rights that they are selling.

In some cases, Crunchyroll has a contract that gives it some form of open-ended streaming rights for some set of countries. Those would often be non-exclusive rights, so someone else could also get the right to stream. Normally every additional power in a rights contract costs something, so the open-ended right to renew the streaming license probably came with a larger up-front streaming license fee.

In at least one case, Crunchyroll had the full rights to a series. That seemed to have an option to renew, but it was not renewed, which probably means that it was not generating enough revenue in the back catalog to cover the cost of the renewal, and the license lapsed.

A contract to get the stream for a limited period ~ the most extreme is 30 days after the episode streams, which I really do not like, since it kills the chance for late-comers to catch up if word of mouth spreads mid-season ~ will be cheaper.

So the only general answer to why the terms of one series are one way is that the deal was on the table after negotiation, Crunchyroll evaluated the deal, decided that they thought the stream could fund itself under those terms, and signed the deal.

Generally, if there are restrictions, that is likely to be either (1) the best that was being made available or (2) the best that could be funded by the stream, according to Crunchyroll's analysis.

Kadokawa Pictures seems to have a clear tendency to prefer to have the full exclusive regional rights to offer, so it seems likely that those are just the deals they are offering.

Other rights, negotiated with other rights holders, may have more generous terms available, which may or may not look like they will pull their own weight, when Crunchyroll analyzes the commercial impact against the cost.

The fact that Crunchyroll is continuing to get some streams that are going into the back catalog shows that they are still trying to get it, but they just are not going to have that offered for every single one that is available for simulcasting.

So the decision on whether to "accept" those "season+30" streaming licenses comes down to more simulcasts in a season or fewer, and Crunchyroll has clearly decided on more.
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Posted 10/15/10
Cool! Now my cousins can watch it! I love Strike Witches! ^^
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