Welcome to the Profile of CL's Lord Inquisitor, Lord of the End Times, Brutally Honest Cynic as well as Prime Martyr and Cancer of CL!
Skype Username: DarkChaplain
What satisfied customers say about DC:
"You're DC so your teasing is different and special."
"I have yet to feel lately that you're excited to talk to me"
"what have you done to meee"
"now you made me laugh like an idiot"
DarkChaplain joined on May 14th, 2010, since that has made 3000 posts that are still accessible today, 124 of which are threads. Helping shape the community, DarkChaplain has given 6013 upvotes, and was last online on Aug 2nd, 2014.
It'd have been helpful if the code had been better commented and adjusting things regarding Comet wasn't breaking chat in general.
Are you gonna stick around and help fixing some leftover bugs in ZeonBBS, like the pagination which will either apply the page offset parameter or the sorting type, but not both unless the url is edited manually, or the issue with bans not working as they should on Chat?
I mean, cool, at least you gave us some explanation of the Websocket/Comet differences, which is a step up, but there are a few things more that we could use the original coder's input on.
Don't just cite one awful example, though. There were plenty REALLY GOOD Anime openings in Germany back then. They put some effort into those still - they stopped around the time Naruto started airing.
This one here is actually pretty faithful to the song and understandable by the target audience back then:
When they wrote original lyrics or rewrote passages to flow with the music, they also did it in a way that still fit the context of the series, which I can appreciate.
Again, they stopped doing that much work.
Really good episode that has both comedy AND plot development, as well as hinting at a much larger scale again. The end has me hyped for next week!
Also looks like the 12 minute episodes are the norm now, instead of the split episodes from last season (which were merged back together on the BDs)
To add to my post:
The way people, especially younger generations, consume media has drastically changed over the last 15 years. We have gone from buying DVDs or CDs, or even books, towards an instantly accessible online library of streams, downloads and ebooks. This is a trend that will not stop.
We have stopped going out to buy DVDs (or previously VHS) to watch, paying a ton of money for the product. Instead we have shifted towards clicking a website and watching the same thing online, without introduction, ads on the cassette or disc, or anti piracy warnings.
We click a stream and it loads. A few seconds of buffering the next minutes and you can watch uninterrupted - or interrupt at your own leisure. No advertisements mid-video if you so choose (Adblock keeps those away, even if the site uses them).
Even if the official streaming portals charge you a few bucks for on-demand movies, it'll still be easier and faster for most people to spontaneously decide to watch The Hobbit at home, on their TV, instead of buying cinema tickets or going out to buy the DVD/Bluray - if its even released already.
Just last night I saw that the Lego movie was finally released for the retail market. Germany will have to wait another 3 weeks for the release, however. Unless, of course, you'd like to pirate a remuxed version of the film, with the US video stream and german audio from the cinema recordings.
The pirated version, while inferior in terms of sound, is almost instantly accessible - and A LOT of people PAY for filesharing accounts on sites like Megaupload (now defunct/succeeded by MEGA) or the likes, to get their downloads without speed limitations.
Those pirates SPEND MONEY on what they use as a Flatrate for consuming whatever media they desire - games, movies, music, you name it. Those same people would likely be happy to pay in a similar fashion for official portals offering similar quality at less of a personal hassle and risk. They'd be retarded not to appreciate such options.
But these options have not been given by the industry for ages. Only recently have they started to adapt to the digital market, and even then it is often a sad fact that quality of streams and artificial delays on online libraries versus television airdates drive people towards illegal downloads.
Availability is key. If you make your products available in an easy way, at the customer's own terms concerning time, investment of effort and hard drive space, by offering various quality options (720p, 1080p, 480p, different dubs, subs, subs for hearing impaired...), they WILL come. It takes time. Any business or new trend needs time and effort to establish itself, and prove its value to paying customers.
But ultimately it is worth it.
You will NOT succeed by Geo-Locking your content due to either arbitrary bullshit reasons or licensing issues, however. Locking out countries from watching content via official channels, again, drives them towards inofficial sources. Yes, a dub may take a while to arrive on their country's television channels, but they are willing to pay for it now, to watch it while it is relevant and they often don't need the extra effort of dubbing, if you provide subtitles.
A few years back, I got plenty of trial invitations for Crunchyroll, for example. I could not redeem those. I just wasn't allowed to due to IP / Region restrictions. They were only allowed to stream to specific regions - excluding mine. I cannot blame Crunchyroll for this, exactly, either - they are bound to what their japanese content providers allow them.
Netflix won't let me use it either. Only now, in 2014, did they finally decide they'd like to expand to Europe, including Germany and France. You want to use Netflix from Europe? Better be prepared to pay for a VPN service, otherwise you won't be able to. A free VPN won't even cut it most of the time due to speed and traffic limits which will put a stop to your streaming habits.
We have shifted from a world of fractured local markets, reliant on physical media, to a global digital market, where new generations are willing to invest the personal effort into learning English and consuming media in the internationally most widely used and accepted tongue. They're willing to go that far to watch your shows or read your stories, or play your games.
All the industry needs to do is EMBRACE those trends instead of shying further away, while decrying the effect piracy has on them, and doubling-down on the customer's freedom by adding stupid, overblown and ultimately futile DRM measures.
I'm not even talking about the freedom to resell bought digital products - that won't work. I am talking about the freedom to watch it wherever I want, how I want and how often I want.
Amazon's made away with DRM on their MP3s quite some time ago, yet the Audiobook division they own, Audible, has not. Audible audiobooks are still locked in by an encrypted AAC format, which means that you cannot listen to those tracks outside of their specific software (which is FAR behind what an audioplayer software should offer), specific players or smartphones using the Audible app, or iTunes, which also demands you to log into your Audible account.
You cannot just take a few chapters with you on your non-approved media device either. It's the whole thing or nothing.
Despite offering a huge variety of products of fairly high quality, and various payment plans, whether it be monthly subscriptions combined with a free audiobook every month and discounts on purchases, to simple one-time purchases, their DRM measures significantly inconvenience the customer.
And this is what you should never do when you are competing with piracy. Piracy may just as well be a force of nature at this point - it cannot be prevented.
A day of keeping pirates out of your game is not worth the amount of potential customers you're losing due to silly DRM practices.
Exclusive contracts with TV channels are not worth it if you drive customers who do not have access to that channel, whether it be a paid subscription service or a geographical issue, to the pirate bay because they cannot buy or subscribe to it anywhere else.
And you know what is very amusing? Some japanese Anime BD releases actually include english subtitles nowadays. I know JoJo's Bizarre Adventure 2012/13 had "special editions" with said subs. Whether or not they were region locked on a disc-player basis (even in the Bluray age, there is still geolocking going on, built into Bluray players, as it was with DVD players in the past), I cannot say, but the inclusion of subtitles for english speaking fans does show a certain appreciation for those customers. People are willing to spend incredibly high amounts of money on shipping to import said physical copies.
Make it easier for them to pay you, and you'll benefit from your decision.
@Kip Tokyopop closed down its American branch, their German branch is still running.
In 2011, first their (then-new) CEO resigned, and months afterwards they folded their American branch.
And yes, Tokyopop did Anime as well, like Great Teacher Onizuka and Initial D and Samurai Girl.
And as you said, Tokyopop, even in germany, had HUGE delays on series. They also switched formats of their manga releases here at least once, turning old fans off, and were at the front in terms of price hikes.
So no, "Piracy" did not crush Tokyopop. Their own incompetence and scheduling did it for them, which obviously led to loss of licenses to other, more reliable publishers like Dark Horse and Random House. Tokyopop as a company did many mistakes.
On August 31, 2009, Tokyopop announced Kodansha was allowing all of its licensing agreements with the North American and German divisions of Tokyopop to expire for reasons unknown. Due to this loss in licensing, Tokyopop was forced to leave several Kodansha series unfinished, including the popular Rave Master, Initial D, GetBackers, and Life series. It would be unable to reprint any previously published volumes, rendering all Kodansha-owned Tokyopop releases out-of-print
Several other titles licensed and published by Tokyopop, including best sellers Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Clover, and Magic Knight Rayearth, were reacquired by Dark Horse Comics, though two other titles Kodansha licensed to Dark Horse had since transferred to Random House. Samurai Deeper Kyo was relicensed by competitor Del Rey Manga, a division of Random House, which published the remaining volumes of the series.
And even then they've been trying to get their american branch rebooted by now, offering more print on demand style publishing
Piracy is, at its core, a service problem.
The Manga/Anime industry would have never been prey to the large-scale piracy as happening right now if the publishers had bothered exploring export of their products more heavily and given legitimate ways to access that content.
With Simulcasting, Crunchyroll, Anime channels on western media etc, piracy has gone back for sure. Their reach has increased, and many people are willing to pay for their media - if it is available. Fansubs started out because Anime wasn't available in the west, and often had the "please stop sharing this if they license the series!" bidding attached.
I know that Anime completely crashed in Germany towards the 2010s. Stores stopped carrying DVDs, and high pricetags (higher than feature films fresh out of cinema!) for 2-3 episodes just ensured that neither kids nor their parents would buy into the DVDs.
The series airing on TV were usually censored because stations tried selling them to kids, instead of the actual target audience.
I heard of multiple cases of german publishers going belly-up over licensing conflicts with japanese and american publishers, as they could not secure the rights to continue shows, or picking up new quality anime. They went out of business as the japanese licensing situation is ridiculous and curbstomped a fledgling market.
Even today, licensing japanese audio for video games is difficult. The most recent example I can cite is XSEED's PC release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. They tried getting the japanese dub in, but could not, as, at least back in 2004-2006, when the game came out in Japan originally, licensing contracts for japanese voice acting were draconic at best. There was either no way to afford the license, or the contracts bound the dub to japan as the sole area of distribution, without a way to re-negotiate.
So, in my eyes, Japan shot itself in the foot over the 2000s by not being more open and responsive to the demands of the digital age. Demand existed, fans were busy going to conventions and cosplay, but they wouldn't have been able to watch most of these shows without the work of fansubbers and piracy. But instead of realizing the lack of official distribution, Japan sat idle and watched the piracy spiral out of control.
We all know that Japan is rather traditional, and stuck in its ways even when they are putting them at a severe disadvantage. They don't deal well with the digital age.
This gets incredibly obvious when you have, for example, Nintendo America playing ball with Youtubers, giving out early copies to The Completionist, without strings attached, to promote their games. But then Nintendo Japan comes along and issues copyright strikes on said videos, and the American branch cannot do anything about it. Even within the companies themselves, there is a lot of dissatisfaction about those actions.
The same goes for SEGA, Square Enix and co. Even the best PR from those companies in the west tends to get shafted by the japanese main branch's misunderstanding of the new media.
A lot of people are willing to actually pay for their media, however. Pirates will always exist, but if given the choice, many of them will instead opt for the legal way of going about their hobbies, often even if they've seen or heard or played a product already - because they'd like to support certain companies or products they enjoyed.
Of course, a certain awareness of the market and audiences is required, to not out-price your target audience or ignore their wishes. Something that Japan has not exactly been good at.
With the rise of Crunchyroll, I also wanted to switch to legal streams. I could not. The service was not available in my country. Only now, years later, did they open Crunchyroll Germany, which, of course, has a MUCH smaller selection of shows on offer. This is, again, down to regional licensing issues.
Thankfully, the German market for Anime has resurfaced in the last two or three years. I am seeing more Bluray Boxes than ever, at least on Amazon. Shows that I would have considered niche or risky are getting localized, and the market seems to embrace getting their hands on Fate Zero, Kara no Kyoukai, Tari Tari, Kill la Kill and the likes.
While those are good steps in the right direction, and I definitely appreciate them, it is undeniable that the Anime industry has been slow to act on the demands of its potential customers. They have basically shown a complete neglect for what could easily be their biggest group of customers, and screwed themselves over as a result.
I hope that this change in philosophy will develop things further, but changing your audience's mentality, and your own industry's arbitrary, outdated rules, is a gradual process. You cannot stop piracy from one day to another, and likely never will completely shut it down.
What you can do, however, is convince your fans and viewers that you are willing to listen and cater to them, and earn their respect and goodwill. This takes time and effort, but in the end will be the most rewarding, most profitable and least difficult way to improve your industry's standing in general.
If Anime is supposed to be one of Japan's top exports, they need to not only secure their own employee's jobs (see: studios outsourcing to china), but also find an understanding for the western market they are trying to export to. As long as that does not happen, no law in the world will stop Anime piracy.
There will even be a spin-off novel written from Elise's point of view. The as of yet unnamed book is being penned by Oliver Bowden
Would be fine with that. What made the first second novels about Ezio meh was that they were copies of the game plots of AC2 and Brotherhood without really adding anything and rushing a lot. Spinoff / alternate viewpoints are preferable to that.
Needs a third option "what the fuck are you talking about" for the 90% of people who use websocket by default and don't know what you are refering to :')
FUCK YEAH that was GREAT!