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Can M.A.G. bring more members to Crunchyroll?
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Posted 8/5/14
If you haven't been paying attention over the last week, a number of companies in the Japanese anime and manga industries have joined forces with the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (METI) in an effort to fight piracy through (1) pursuing bootleg distribution of 580 anime and manga titles, (2) starting a peer-pressure campaign to thank legit anime and manga customers for their patronage and (3) make it easier to find legit content via a common catalog website, Manga-Anime-Here.com.

Now, much has been written in various forums over the past week about M.A.G. ... people arguing that policing doesn't work, many of them people who would be inconvenienced by policing so they want that to be true, people pointing out that the website is a hot mess in the best "ignore what is not invented here, no matter how useful" Japanese website design style, arguments over how effective peer pressure can be ...

... and of course, lots of people arguing that the Japanese should not engage in policing in markets like the US, China, France, the UK or Australia where there is massive availability of legitimate current anime, either because of one or two anime that are not available, or because they do not live in those countries where there is massive availability of legitimate current anime.

However, once you get past the clunky design of the Manga-Anime-Here.com site (and the "wtf?" factor of why they decided to put dashes in the site name), one thing jumps out: its a whole lot of free advertising for Crunchyroll. When you bring up the M.A.G. website, before you search for anything, you get a bunch of splash logos for different manga and anime titles, in "big" and "small" sizes.

I click on the four big splash manga that show up as I write this, and I get: one Viz title (Shonen Jump), one shared Random House and Crunchyroll Manga title (Attack on Titan), and two Crunchyroll titles, My Wife is Wagatsuma-san, and Mysterious Girlfriend X. I click the four smaller splash logos along the left side, and its similar: one shared Random House and CR Manga (Aslan), one Viz and QQ.com (Naruto), and two CR Manga only (As the Gods Will and Coppelion).

Aside from everything else, if the M.A.G. website works as advertising for Crunchyroll, that is good for all Crunchyroll users. The more members Crunchyroll has, the more titles it can license, both for anime and for manga. The more titles it can license, the more opportunities it has to step around the haphazard patchwork of exclusive license regions to make more material available in different parts of the world. And, of course the more material it can get legit access to in some part of the world, the more members it can attract from that part of the world, making it easier to add that region in future licenses.
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Like I said, the M.A.G. "Manga-Anime-here.com" site is a hot mess. Its user interface is both unusual and non-intuitive, so a lot of people who try to use it will come away being unable to make full use of the site. But the number one flaw, and also the number one benefit to Crunchyroll if they fix it, is that there is no region information at all in the display of titles.

That's right: they have a website that is supposed to let you know how to get access to legit titles, and they don't tell you whether YOU can get access to that title, and even if you have legit access to SOME of the providers that they list ... they don't tell you WHICH ONES.

Plus, they feature series the same way for everybody, whether or not they are in a region that can get ANY of the content. A country could have dozens of legit anime available to them ... but if they were looking at the Manga-Anime-here.com site, they would most likely never realize it, because most of what is advertised to them are anime they CANNOT get.

Look at Sailor Moon Crystal. They show VizManga, they show Hulu, they show Crunchyroll ... but a majority of the international anime market is locked out of VizManga and Hulu, the first two choices, and lots of people are locked out of Crunchyroll.

For lots of people around the world, the only legit access to Sailor Moon Crystal is at NicoNico ... which is the site that would most benefit from an external "series finder" site since its also a very badly designed Japanese website ... but there is no NicoNico button in the Sailor Moon Crystal page.

What they HAVE to do is to include all legit access for their featured series, including authorized YouTube channels and NicoNico ... and what they OUGHT to do across the board is detect your region and put a flag that matches your region on the bottom right corner of all of the splash logos of the content available in your region, plus in the main series page in the bottom right corner of all of the sources that stream to your region.

Plus, the featured title display should be sorted on regional availability, so that someone accessing the site from, say, South Africa is not inundated with anime series that are only available on Hulu.

I think that the M.A.G. legit content discovery site could be excellent advertising for Crunchyroll. But first they have to fix it so that it includes all legit sources, so that it lets users know which sources are the ones that work for their region, and so that the featured titles are actually manga and anime that are available in the country of the person browsing the site.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another big failing of the site if it is to work as free advertising for Crunchyroll are the strange limitations in coverage. It seems that this site only covers part of the industry. So it has Fairy Tail Manga ... but doesn't have Fairy Tail Anime. Indeed, when I entered a series of Daisuki titles in the site ... most of them are not there. Sword Art Online is a series with a lot of online buzz ... no series page.

M3 the Dark Metal, which is available at Daisuki, at Viki, and (since the Daisuki deal is worldwide outside of Japan and China), certainly on one or more licensed Chinese sites ... and so which would be a series that anyone from anywhere around the world could find a legit stream ... no series page.

It really makes no sense to discriminate in favor of some group of insiders and discriminate against some group of outsiders with this site. The more legit content people can find using the site, the more people will use the site, and so the better it is for everyone.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, what do you think? What are the best ways that the efforts of M.A.G. could be used to benefit Crunchyroll? And how do you think we ought to go about in getting their attention, so that we can point them in the right direction?
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25 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 8/5/14
what power does japan have overseas?

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35 / M / Washington
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Posted 8/5/14

AnimeKami wrote:

what power does japan have overseas?



They don't have power over China...
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Posted 8/5/14

Nerdworks wrote:


AnimeKami wrote:

what power does japan have overseas?



They don't have power over China...


so people will bounce servers over china...

seems legit.
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31 / M / Boston, MA
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Posted 8/5/14

AnimeKami wrote:

what power does japan have overseas?



I would assume they could get Funimation and/or Viz to harass websites?


PS. How do you get M.A.G from M.A.H? Manga-Anime-Here.com
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Posted 8/5/14
M.A.G = Manga-Anime Guardians...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHxLCFu29A

Their "promo"
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Posted 8/5/14

Brakkis wrote:


AnimeKami wrote:

what power does japan have overseas?



I would assume they could get Funimation and/or Viz to harass websites?


PS. How do you get M.A.G from M.A.H? Manga-Anime-Here.com


from a business perspective.

if japan cuts off ties; profit loss.

no one wants to lose profits.
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Posted 8/5/14 , edited 8/5/14

yngvarr wrote:

M.A.G = Manga-Anime Guardians...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHxLCFu29A

Their "promo"


You know, I bet it would help if I'd clicked on their website link. I'm gonna go facepalm in the corner now.


AnimeKami wrote:

from a business perspective.

if japan cuts off ties; profit loss.

no one wants to lose profits.


This is true but they wouldn't have to cut off ties. Funimation already has a reputation for sending out cease and desist messages to fansub groups of both Manga and Anime. It's not like Japan would have to prod them with a stick to do it. They could just point and say "Go get 'em".
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Posted 8/5/14 , edited 8/5/14

Brakkis wrote:


yngvarr wrote:

M.A.G = Manga-Anime Guardians...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHxLCFu29A

Their "promo"


You know, I bet it would help if I'd clicked on their website link. I'm gonna go facepalm in the corner now.


AnimeKami wrote:

from a business perspective.

if japan cuts off ties; profit loss.

no one wants to lose profits.


This is true but they wouldn't have to cut off ties. Funimation already has a reputation for sending out cease and desist messages to fansub groups of both Manga and Anime. It's not like Japan would have to prod them with a stick to do it. They could just point and say "Go get 'em".


seems like people are just getting off their asses and doing their jobs.
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Posted 8/5/14

Brakkis

You know, I bet it would help if I'd clicked on their website link. I'm gonna go facepalm in the corner now.


It's an acronym that doesn't match their website name, which is typically a Bad Thing, so just a slight shoulder droop would be fine. I did a whois for manga-anime-guardians.whatever, and most are for sale.

Pet peeve of mine, comes from my professional job.
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55 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 8/5/14 , edited 8/5/14

AnimeKami wrote: what power does japan have overseas?

Depends on the country. In China, it needs to be government to government, since China is already working with Japan on fakes, and its easy enough for the Chinese government to come down hard on some small fry making a small amount of money pirating anime to fend the Japanese off on more lucrative business.

A lot of people familiar with the problems that overseas companies have in getting copyrights respected assume that it would be the same for a government, but once China has already started working with a foreign government on an issue, as they have for the past several years with Japan, then its not automatically true that its equally hard at the government to government level.


Brakkis wrote: PS. How do you get M.A.G from M.A.H? Manga-Anime-Here.com



yngvarr wrote:

M.A.G = Manga-Anime Guardians...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHxLCFu29A

Their "promo"

Yeah, "Manga Anime Guardians". The "M.A.G." is heavily featured as their logo.

I just did a top two problems ... there's enough of them to do a top ten list, if I was focusing on what was wrong with the site, instead of what are the potential benefits to Crunchyroll that need to be fixed up ...

... indeed, there are enough problems with the site that there could be disagreement over which ones deserved to be in the top ten. I earnestly ask that people refrain from actually doing a face palm every time they see a "wtf??" on that site ... because its not worth the concussion risk.

But that is one of those problems: they have this big bold box surrounding the Youtube embed that says what the youtube embed is about ...

... but they didn't put that text in the Youtube clip!!!!

As if people would pass around the link to their page with the youtube clip, instead of just passing around and embedding the youtube clip.


Brakkis wrote: I would assume they could get Funimation and/or Viz to harass websites?

They can do that in western countries that respect copyright, but their Chinese licensors don't make enough money from anime to fight piracy, exactly because piracy is so rampant in China and they get such a small share of the total audience. So they need help from the Japanese government who can direct pressure from top down.

The problem is that the division they are working with are more experienced with actual knock-off goods, and may be a bit naive about copyright infringement with digital media.
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Posted 8/5/14
or slap there severs in to Switzerland and you be safe
cirby1 
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Posted 8/5/14
Of course, if they were interested in selling their wares in various places, they'd have some way to BUY a lot of that content, or at least rent it.

Heck, how much money would they make if they took the anime soundtracks on iTunes Japan and made that content available in the United States?

(still looking for a legal, legit copy of "Witch Activity" for less than $26 on an import single)


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Posted 8/5/14 , edited 8/5/14

cirby1 wrote: Of course, if they were interested in selling their wares in various places, they'd have some way to BUY a lot of that content, or at least rent it.

Heck, how much money would they make if they took the anime soundtracks on iTunes Japan and made that content available in the United States?

Likely not very much, but Apple would be happy since Apple would definitely make money from the deal.

I assume that the 580 titles that they are supposedly going to be focusing on will all be titles that have legitimate access somewhere overseas ... but I also assume that they are mostly focusing on the bigger markets ~ US, China, France, etc. ~ and we will have to find some way to get their attention for them to pay attention to people in markets that have no access at all to those titles.


Lunami-Lu wrote: or slap there severs in to Switzerland and you be safe

Nope, put their servers in Switzerland and its easy to C&D the content.

Heck, one of the oldest international copyright conventions was the Berne Convention, agreed to in Berne Switzerland in 1886. Switzerland has been respecting copyright for longer than anime has existed.
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Posted 8/5/14

cirby1 wrote:

Of course, if they were interested in selling their wares in various places, they'd have some way to BUY a lot of that content, or at least rent it.

Heck, how much money would they make if they took the anime soundtracks on iTunes Japan and made that content available in the United States?

(still looking for a legal, legit copy of "Witch Activity" for less than $26 on an import single)




Ask any Japanese Otaku if they are interested in selling used AKB48 CD's they keep wasting money buy votes on pretty girls.

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