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IAD :: ''A Disturbance In The Force''
Posted on Thursday, October 13th 2005 by Anonymous

Written By: Alexiel

A press release presented by a new, yet small, up-and-coming Internet business, known as International Anime Distribution (IAD), has stated their seemingly conscientious and revolutionary intentions in creating a venue in which anime fans will be able to purchase professionally subtitled, and high quality episodes of licensed - and apparently, unlicensed also, according to their indecisive choice wordings on their About Us page - anime that would otherwise not be available in certain countries to be licensed. Their intentions are indeed ambitious and highly controversial to those who have been reaping the benefits of fansubber groups for any length of time. According to their weblog, this group has already received negative responses to their high-standard and righteous goal to insert themselves into what they believe to be a "paradigm shift that has already begun." IAD's proud "simple ideas" to become the "planet's first gateway to worldwide distribution for anime titles and properties," "the world's source for legal, licensed anime fansubs," and "to provide a mechanism for the worldwide distribution of anime titles that aren't available otherwise" sound attractive, though they are certainly questionable aspirations that could be misinterpreted at first glance. Anyone who is in any way involved with a fansubbing community, and/or has been conscious about the rabid retaliating banter concerning the never-ending controversy between the moralistic and legalistic logistics of fansubbing, might even possibly agree that this debate could be compared, to some extent, to being as bad as the deep-seated conservative and liberal beliefs of pro-choice and pro-life. Yes, fansubbing is a serious issue in the anime fanbase, if you were not aware before, but how does this relate to IAD's brave attempt? I will do my best to give my take on this.

(read more)

Since the distribution and success of an anime once it is licensed is based on the fans supporting the licensing companies through product revenue, I do forsee a paradigm shift, but not totally in the favor of IAD's purposes. The shift that I see is one that could potentially harm DVD distributors. At first, my thoughts were in favor of IAD's plans, but then a poignant thought of mine got my attention.

What if IAD's posit of the availability of anime titles through online means discouraged anime fans to invest in DVDs once they are licensed?

Fans with some value of income could obtain high-quality, digitized anime episodes for "prices that are competitive with DVD" with just a few clicks of the mouse. Parents of preteens that are too young to work will absolutely love the idea of sedating their resident fanboy/girl without ever having to leave the comfort of home to drive them to and from the mall. Otakus who prefer their "home base" over the disparaging qualms of a society who refuse to accept their hobbies and passions as normal - I am in no way harping on otakus, as I respect and admire them for their resolute ways of living - could willingly sample, indulge, and disect a fresh anime not long after it had aired in Japan. The argument could be raised, especially regarding otaku, that if they really liked the anime, they will go out and purchase the shiny Special Edition Box Set w/ additional features and complimentary figurine (or panties, depending on the amount of fan service dished out) without a second thought. However, the question I ask is this: How many IAD users, after paying x amount of dollars to watch a typical series (26 episodes) - whether the viewing was due to craving the next episode or simply the fan's desire to see a series through to the end is irrelevant - with the high-brow quality that IAD assures, are going to be so taken by that anime that they will then pay out $80+ for a Special Edition box set if they have the funds and/or means? If IAD actually does substantially push this said "paradigm shift," what does that mean for top licensing companies like ADV Films and Geneon Animation? Though anime producers, distributors, and fansubbers would see some proper return profit for their time and effort in joining with IAD, there is a good chance that IAD could sink their teeth into those licensing companies that want to make proper profit as well.

Isn't this what the whole fansubbing conflict is based around in the first place?

I would have to say that those who have access to a wide variety of licensed titles greatly outweigh those countries who get the short end of the stick. IAD appears to be seeking to reach out to the latter audience, while also appealing to fansubbing groups, anime producers and distributors [in different countries], and anime fans in an effort to help come to some sort of compromise to end the conflict over the technicalities of illegal fansubbing. That's like killing six birds with one stone, right? Maybe so, but their ideology could very well be the start of a new breed of conflict in this fansubbing debate; in the midst of their hopes to "change the world," their ambitions could be more dubious than they realize. This is not to say that fansubbing should not be without proper boundaries - there are many groups that are of a submissive likened belief with licensing companies that the availability of a licensed anime be discontinued - but if IAD is truly out to "change the world," according to their weblog's subtitle, I have a difficult struggle averting my eyes from the desparing aftermath of the solace they intently perceive within the wave of this "paradigm shift."



* = Note: I am in no way claiming originality in this editorial's title and am aware of my blatant reference to "Star Wars." However, as the original writer of this editorial, I deemed it fitting for topic matter of the opinionated case presented.

Copyright 9/2005 by: Alexiel (Newtype)

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ForeverGoNe on Thursday, October 13 @
This whole debate has gone on for quite long and as I see it, IAD won't get anywhere.

Fansub groups alike will still be around and major licensing companies like ADV Films and Media Factory won't even bother with such an insignificant issue because they know IAD isn't any competition for them.

Lastly, the wave of this "paradigm shift" has already started? Paradigm my ass, nothing has ever moved in the first place. IAD's still just a big bunch of balogny.


Riecth on Friday, October 14 @
I honestly can't foresee any "paradigm shift" caused by this new group. At it's base value, all IAD seems to be is another fansub group that is charging people money instead of doing it for free. They may produce the best quality ever, but at what speed? They may introduce new and unique series into the mix, but in what quantity?

From my point of view any true otaku who watches a series through and loves it would just absolutely have to have the limited edition box set. And any true leecher is just going to keep on downloading free fansubs and never pay for a single episode. I don't see how this new group appeals to either of those people.

Far be it for me to say that there won't be some people interested in this new venture that want to contribute to fansubbers and licensed dealers alike. But then again, Amazon has always worked for me.


Bowser on Friday, October 14 @
They might have the best intentions in mind, but charging for somthing that has been free up to now.

Anyway, don't most licensed DVDs have the original language with subs already available?


CGY on Friday, October 14 @
Nah, free stuffs arre better, no one would want to pay the anime they get anyway.


kudo_shinichi on Friday, October 14 @
I downlaod it for free or it buy a DVD for money, but I surely won´t pay for my downloads.

PS: Seen their homepage? Realy great. Can´t remember seeing such a masterpiece of design and creativity for a long time. But it could be a little less eyecatching in my opinion. Just my opinion


Raiden on Friday, October 14 @
who do they think they are? just popping out of nowhere and say that they're have the "best" quality on fansubs and they want $$ for it? BAH!

I'd rather buy the DVD's than pay for it Online. besides...KAA already has the best DVD quality fansubs don't you think guys?


Estara on Friday, October 14 @
Why would any fansub group give their hard work for free to IAD who then make money with it, instead of doing that themselves (if they want to).

Why would any production company who has not licensed the anime and therefore doesn't see a single cent of the money IAD makes, allow large scale robbery of their intellectual property?

There are only a few countries who haven't signed the Bern Convention, so this is very easily a question that will go to the courts.

My belief: This is utterly unrealistic, unless money changes hands with the copyright owners first, and with whatever fansubber would want to supply IAD first.

The TRANSLATION ITSELF is the legal copyright of the fansub teams, anyway. They could sue if they wanted to.


atikiN on Friday, October 14 @
At this point I'm neither for nor against this. I will wait to see if this actually happens and how it will work before giving this my support or completely shun it.

#2. Well unless they’re monkeys with bananas up their asses, I think they’ve already realized that unless they want to go bankrupt their first week of business, their “pro” fansub group will need to be able to compete with every other group out there in terms of speed. As for the quantity of the “B List” anime, well that will all depend on the all mighty dollar. If there is a profit to be made, they’ll be sure to go after it!

#7, To answer your questions:

1. They would hire current fansubbers to do the translations. So think of it as taking the cream of the crop from all fansubbing fields and making one supper group which will be REQUIRED to fansub things as soon as they come out. Plus if you're going to be paying money for this product, you will be free to go into their channel or in a forum and bitch your head off if something isn’t exactly right or a second too late and they won't be able to do anything besides apologies and tell you that they're working on it as fast as they can.

2. You don't honestly think that the licensing companies as well as the original studios won't be benefiting from this? Obviously each party will get their fair share of the pot.

In the future, please first read the IAD website before ranting and asking silly questions.

So far my biggest concern is how they will charge for this service. If it's going to be a reasonable monthly fee for unlimited downloads, then I'll be all for it. However if they plan to charge per episode, then they won't last long.


V16Dragon on Friday, October 14 @
i don't like the subbings of the so called professionals they do their job to get paid and not with heart while fansubs do their subs cause they love to, i don't know about any one else but i can see and feel a difference in how much feelings they put in the subbs, and i just love how the fansubs put in the kareoke on every ep. you can see in every group a unique style of how they sub their projects, while to me i can only see a dull standard of "professionals"


Ramune on Friday, October 14 @
Just to make everyone aware, I was the one who wrote this article. I did not make an account because I had no idea how it would be received. Fortunately, I did, and I do hope that this article achieved its purpose with those of you who read and commented.

What was the purpose? It was to bring about awareness of this company's intentions and to have those who support the many fansubbing communities - quietly or openly - to have their say in what they believe would come out of a project like this. Of course, I don't have all the answers, but it was my take on a realistic scenario that could occur IF IAD did somehow succeed in their plans. Who knows? Maybe they will flop in a blink of an eye, or maybe there will be those like AngelKing who would support them if they actually prove to be a useful tool in the legalization of fansubbing.

At any rate, you're either for them, against them, or waiting to see how the "wave" crashes.


JOman on Friday, October 14 @
Well I can see such a thing may be succesfull, just as I-tunes and the such are very popular, but it didn't put a stop to, or even slow piracy. If anything it, lit a fire under people to seek "alternate methods" of getting music. So I believe that all this will do is cater to people with money to burn, too lazy to go to a store, and don't know any "alternate methods" of getting anime. and the whole idea of being competative with DVD prices, then will it still be like 10 bukcs and episode? The only benifit that I-Tunes has to buying CD's if you can pick and choose the songs from a particular album you want. But most people want all of the episodes on an anime DVD. So if they wish to compete, they better have reduced prices, like 2 bucks an episode, cuz hey, who'd pay ten bucks for 22 minutes of fun when they can get it for free?


Cybolt on Friday, October 14 @
This idea is a possible solution but if the music industry is of any example, very little will change except for harder access to find free fansubs.


konosuke15 on Saturday, October 15 @
screw quality, screw time, i wont pay crap for fansubs unless i cant find them anywhere else.


Zellron on Saturday, October 15 @
In reply to the first one...

Thats what the dinosaurs said when they saw the meteor... "What meteor..."

Those if anything, I think it'd be better to relate it to evolution... If you leave it alone and starve it... It will die out.

On the other hand... If we pay attention, give it challenges... it'll evolve and flourish.

Only time will tell what will happen...


fmafan on Sunday, October 16 @
IAD must offer something more if they are to expect customers.

As of now, their offers aren't good enough.


Kaiser on Sunday, October 16 @
I am personally hestitant to judge what will become of this in the future. If the Japanese Studios do back this, then it could open a whole new world of possibilities if the anime community does come together.

There is a whole new world of untapped audiences that are not in North America and Asia that they could generate revenues from.

I do not see it completely replacing fansubs or DVDs. People will always want their DVD collections and pay the premium for that but as we see with the mp3 scene. More than 50% of internet users are already paying for mp3s and this trend is continuing.

Video will continue down the same path and it would be foolish for companies to ignore this.


Vicious-CB on Monday, October 17 @
I'llstick with free istead of paying for fansubs.


wrldtrvlr on Monday, October 17 @
I don't think anything will change.


Akuki on Monday, October 17 @
I highly doubt this will cause any change due to the fact that anyone who is downloading is probably unwilling to pay for what they are already getting for free.


Phantom14 on Tuesday, October 18 @
This is going to be extremly intresting to see. I know one thing is for sure. I am not going to pay for my downloads. If I am going to dish out hard earn money, it is going to be for my glossy anime dvd box set with the anime in that box set. My contribution to the hard working anmators and directors in Japan, and to the distobuters that worked hard to get it over here and translate it.


Haven9270 on Tuesday, October 18 @


Maybe fansubs will be legalized in a way that it should be "payed fansubs" and therefore "free fansubs" would be considered illegal (duh).

That will force us, the consumers, to change our methods.... and therefore IAD would indeed "change the world"

Still, either charge a low monthly fee or sell each episodes for like a dollar or two ^^

Face it, they sell a lot of garbage out there.
I'm only willing to pay for those that deserved to be immortalized in a disc with DVD image (or HD) and sound (5.1 anyone?) quality PLUS a terrific packaging AND other extras like figurines and the like.
Examples of these animes are like 0079 Gundam, Macross, and Evangelion which are RARE (in proportion to the actual number of anime titles).

The rest.... that's what the dowload button is for.
In this case, they're just asking for us to give an effort and shell out a few bucks ^^


onieyez on Wednesday, October 19 @
well said Akuki

i would pay for anime if it has enough fan service in it. but yea i love to download more since i have no job

unless i have a reason like teh same reason why i bought the platinum evangelion series

i like how the fan subs are now why change it, would it make it better or worse? o well it doesn't matter much so long as i still get my anime


GreyCloak on Thursday, October 20 @
Fansubbed work is equal to "no-charge at all" and vice-versa.

The whole idea of fan subbing is to dish the anime out for free. Thats what i've or we've been doing for a long time. Just pressing the download button and voila! free anime.

I prefer to buy those nice DVDs and VCDs sold at my favorite stores than use my hard earned money buying Fan-subbed animes.

Anyway, some of us do contribute to those hard working fan-subbers.. We really appreciate their hard work.


Viseroid on Thursday, February 08 @
Fansubbers sub for two main reasons: for the love of the anime and the desire to share the anime they love with those who are not fluent in the Japanese language. Many subber pages feature a donate button and annually remind that while the money doesn't make the world go round it certainly makes the job easier for them. It is no surprise that people have started changing to payment buttons.
Depending on the price of the subs and the professionalism presented in them I might consider the possibility of buying a few. However, in the end I would be most comfortable buying a mint copy from a store to support the anime directly.


albonn on Thursday, March 22 @
i appreciate fansubbers very much for their intentions are good and they do spread the love for anime to people who have no access to them in stores like me at some point. But not buying anime directly from stores won't encourage more production of anime even if it's a hit. it's sad really...

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