Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by seasons » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:50 am

1. Do you feel that the Org should broaden its definition of anime to encompass this "non-Japanese" anime?
No.
2. If the site made a distinction between "Japanese Anime" and "Non-Japanese Anime", but still allowed both types of videos to be cataloged and uploaded, would you have any complaints?
In the interests of keeping this community alive, I'm open to the idea of doing something like this, especially considering how often these kind of works are being purged from the database and well-meaning newcomers are getting their early efforts booted from the announcements thread, I feel like this site needs to find a way to be more inclusive these days if it still wants to be around and seeing any kind of daily activity in another year or two.

My openness to doing this doesn't have anything to do with changing our definition of what we think "anime" is, although I can see how it produces the same end result.

If we have concerns about copyright matters, then videos tagged with these kind of sources could be allowed to be cataloged but automatically be blocked from being uploaded. Obviously, users could circumvent this by simply not listing said sources in their video entry, but dishonesty in this process has probably always been against the rules (?) and if this hasn't been a big problem in the past, it probably won't be in any scenario going forward.
3. If the Org went through with this, do you feel that AMV Contests should follow suite?
That's up to contest coordinators, isn't it? I have my opinions but I don't think they matter here.
4. Do you feel that the decision as to what qualifies as "Non-Japanese Anime" can be left to the admins/ moderators? Or should there an additional influence from the userbase?
It's up to them, they can listen to feedback or ignore it.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kireblue » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:19 pm

It's been about 2 weeks since I made the initial post on this, so I think that it's about time I started responding to some of the points that were made.
hamstar138 wrote:Honest I feel if you open it up to just a few collective shows it doesn't count as fair but you should open it up to all western shows then. There are a number of shows that were made with the contribution of Japanese anime studios (such as Toei working to draw for shows like Muppet Babies and such.) I realize the list is just shows off the top of your head, but i feel there isn't even a need to list shows, because once again if we open up to a few, we might as well open it up to all.
Xophilarus wrote:AI fall under the camp where I believe if you want to extend it to some western animations, you should do it to all of them. I understand how you want to use a different definition, but I feel like it is still too lose to really feel fair for a lot of people, especially since countries now just borrow so much from each other in terms how animation. So I basically believe it should be open to either all animations or just keep it as is. I do believe it would be amazing to incorporate non-anime animations because the editing of the two is still really similar and it allows editors to feel like they can branch out more. I know some have expressed concerns over copyright, but honestly I feel like it is already more "risky" with the Japanese companies since fair use doesn't exist there as well as record labels since a lot of them are big punks about their music. I also do believe the idea of making a distinction between the two is really good as well so if someone just wants to watch anime AMVs, it is easy for them to still find them without having to go through a lot of other animations.
As far as AMV contests go, I feel like it should be up the contest coordinator and the con coordinator, and I think it would be a nice thing, but I also don't think they should really be pushed to do that either since I know some have concerns that it would upset their audiences.
FoxJones wrote:Purist me from some 10 years ago would have said "Absolutely not, this is heresy"
Today's me (Who is a huge RWBY fan) is quite ok with this. Like it is implied here, the geographical borders have started to lose their meaning, when discussion goes to what is anime and what is not.
I think this path still needs to be tread carefully and in small strides, but if there's a clear distinction between these and it is clearly shown, I wouldn't have complaints. This way viewers can easily ignore the sources they find uninteresting.
I don't completely agree that we need to open the flood gates and allow everything for any type of expansion to work. In fact, allowing everything actually makes the transition process 1000 times harder (that's technically not even an exaggeration). The anime database works by users submitting shows or titles to be confirmed as a “anime” or “non anime” source. Because of this, the database is constantly growing, already consists of thousands of upon thousands of entries, and includes Japanese anime, American cartoons, live action movies, and even filmed and self recordings. Since a prerequisite for a video to be uploaded to the site is having a confirmed anime source listed, we've done our best to keep the anime list as organized and consistent as possible. But on the other hand, the confirmed non anime list is an absolute mess with little to no consistency and a completely unknown amount of errors and redundancies. The task of going through that list, confirming all the animation entries, removing everything else, and then giving them some level of consistency would take me forever. It took me almost an entire year just to go through and confirm the backlog of anime entries that had piled up before I became a admin.

So with this in mind, I think that FoxJones represented my sentiments the best when he said that we'd have to take this in small strides. Picking out about 20 or so shows to add to the anime list is easy. But filtering out every single animation entry in a timely manner is borderline impossible.
PieandBeer wrote:Honestly, I think the upload feature on this site is becoming a bit obsolete. Most people just upload to Youtube and leave a link for the full version because they either do not want to go through the upload process again or the file size is too big. People are watching amvs first on youtube, not discovering them on the org, and it's easier to just drop a link to like gdrive or another service than it is to make people sign up/log in to the org. I still think the catalog function is essential, in case of youtube making our lives hell, but really just to get links to other services.
Ileia wrote:• Will it present any new legal issues?
I don't proclaim to be an expert on the subject, but I know that there's a reason why we tend to get away with using Japanese anime vs some other sources. And it's the same reason why many AMV Contests won't accept entries that aren't Japanese animation. We want to share videos, but we also don't want C&D orders.
CrackTheSky wrote:100% no. Have you people even considered the legal implications? Like Ileia, I'm far from an expert, but this seems to be a one-track road to getting the site shut down for good. This site is lucky to have existed as long as it has. Honestly, it will probably stay around for a lot longer if nothing changes as far as upload content is concerned. Once you open the door to Western animation, you're opening it to all sorts of scrutiny from entities that otherwise don't give a crap what happens here.

No. No no no. This is a bad idea and I don't support it. Let those videos stay on YouTube so Google's legal department can deal with the copyright issues. We have an announcement forum for non-anime videos, can someone explain what there is to be gained by allowing cataloging of these videos and uploading them to our database? .
seasons wrote:In the interests of keeping this community alive, I'm open to the idea of doing something like this, especially considering how often these kind of works are being purged from the database and well-meaning newcomers are getting their early efforts booted from the announcements thread, I feel like this site needs to find a way to be more inclusive these days if it still wants to be around and seeing any kind of daily activity in another year or two.

My openness to doing this doesn't have anything to do with changing our definition of what we think "anime" is, although I can see how it produces the same end result.

If we have concerns about copyright matters, then videos tagged with these kind of sources could be allowed to be cataloged but automatically be blocked from being uploaded. Obviously, users could circumvent this by simply not listing said sources in their video entry, but dishonesty in this process has probably always been against the rules (?) and if this hasn't been a big problem in the past, it probably won't be in any scenario going forward.
Pie makes a good point. More and more people are choosing to not use the org's local server, and instead use their own google dive accounts to host their videos. And so I think I stand with Season's suggestion to allow the videos to be cataloged, but restrict them from being uploaded to the actual org server. This will make us less of a legal target, and still provide a place for Avatar and RWBY editors to catalog and share their works.
Ileia wrote:• Phade's opinion?
Though I do like the "we the people" option, it's ultimately the site owner that this would come down on if it went south. He may not be as active within the community as previously, but it's still his site and he may also still want it kept up a certain way. Before you go down that road, you'd need to know his take on it/his permission. Where does that currently stand?
CrackTheSky wrote:Also, this should be Phade's decision, absolutely, and if he's silent on it, nothing should change. As the site owner Phade would have to bear the responsibility of any legal repercussions, and thus something like this should 100% be his decision, and no one else's.
Phade doesn't visit the site very often anymore. And when he does, it's usually for the span of a few days, and then he leaves again. Nothing against him though. He's understandably busy and has switched focuses in his life. But with that being said, starting the discussion off with him would probably end up with him needing to formulate his opinion fairly quickly and then going back to his own life before all of you would have a chance to comment. I started this thread to just open the floor to conversation, and then present the argument to Phade so that he can make a decision.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Ileia » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:48 pm

Not consulting Phade first is kinda like not checking what you have in the pantry before asking what everyone wants you to make them for dinner. You first need to know what options are available.

Whether or not he's active is not the question - he has, in the past, still been adamant about the direction the site is headed (rightfully so).

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kireblue » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:19 pm

Ileia wrote:Not consulting Phade first is kinda like not checking what you have in the pantry before asking what everyone wants you to make them for dinner. You first need to know what options are available.

Whether or not he's active is not the question - he has, in the past, still been adamant about the direction the site is headed (rightfully so).
I disagree. My goal for starting this thread is already partially accomplished. I wanted to hear everyone's opinion on the subject and see if it's even worth discussing. If everyone in this thread had wholeheartedly opposed the idea, then there would have been no reason to take another step forward or even present the argument to Phade. Regardless of if he'd be interested or not, I now know a little more about the community and aren't just basing my presumptions on my personal opinions.

But I guess that I can agree with you a little bit in saying that there are flaws in my approach. I kinda was thinking that there are flaws in all of my options for starting the conversation, and so this is just the method that I decided was less flawed.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Ileia » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:17 pm

You misunderstand me. I'm not basing my comments off personal opinion but rather a decade of seeing the same scenarios.
I have seen enthusiasm to change things about the site get shot down time and time again. Or just stalled indefinitely (site redesign? D:)

Basically, I'm not against relaxing the rules. I'm just trying to say don't get your hopes up yet.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kireblue » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:30 pm

ah, I see. Yeah, you could be right about that. I guess it just my turn to see how things play out :lol:

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kionon » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:56 am

I am opposed to changing our content definition. This definition is not "Japanese" (in Japan "anime" refers to western works as well, most notably Disney, and "manga" covers things like Tin Tin), but this definition is our definition. Both in the sense of coming out of a very Anglo-American-centric definition of anime as Japanese animation distinct from animation which is not Japanese, but also in the sense of how we, the Org, have defined it. In turn, our historical definition boundaries have defined us.

I have always been of the opinion that the Org is at its worst when we try to be everything to everyone. I've brought it up in our admin/mod meetings, and brought it up previously to that. We need to figure out how to preserve our identity while at the same time recognising certain fundamental changes within the hobby. For myself, I believe it's just a fact that we have to accept that the Org will be far smaller, far more insular, and far less influential than it has been in years past. And that's okay.

I'm all for finding new ways to seek out those for whom our community is a good fit, but I'm not at all for changing fundamental aspects of who we are. I think a definition change in what counts as anime, while that may seem minor, is actually an underlying foundation of what sets us apart from other remix communities. Let's be the best us we can be, let's not try to be someone else.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kireblue » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:14 am

Kionon wrote:I am opposed to changing our content definition. This definition is not "Japanese" (in Japan "anime" refers to western works as well, most notably Disney, and "manga" covers things like Tin Tin), but this definition is our definition. Both in the sense of coming out of a very Anglo-American-centric definition of anime as Japanese animation distinct from animation which is not Japanese, but also in the sense of how we, the Org, have defined it. In turn, our historical definition boundaries have defined us.

I have always been of the opinion that the Org is at its worst when we try to be everything to everyone. I've brought it up in our admin/mod meetings, and brought it up previously to that. We need to figure out how to preserve our identity while at the same time recognising certain fundamental changes within the hobby. For myself, I believe it's just a fact that we have to accept that the Org will be far smaller, far more insular, and far less influential than it has been in years past. And that's okay.

I'm all for finding new ways to seek out those for whom our community is a good fit, but I'm not at all for changing fundamental aspects of who we are. I think a definition change in what counts as anime, while that may seem minor, is actually an underlying foundation of what sets us apart from other remix communities. Let's be the best us we can be, let's not try to be someone else.
I'm also opposed to changing the site definition to the Japanese definition of anime (meaning all animation). My proposal was to change it to something that allows "Voltron: Legendary Defender" to be allowed despite being produced by Netflix.

Do you also oppose maintaining the current site definition of Japanese Anime, but opening the door for a small subset of entries classified a "Non-Japanese Anime"?

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kionon » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:28 am

I do.

The first two seasons of the original Voltron, much like Robotech, created a series from Japanese domestic anime sources. By removing the audio, AMV editors are dealing with Japanese source for Japanese audiences. That we call it Voltron and not Beast King Go Lion is of no consequence to the origin of the footage. Additional Voltron series were made exclusively for International markets, specifically North American. Therefore, the footage is not Japanese in origin for a Japanese domestic market and doesn't meet our definition.

As for shows like Avatar, I have from the beginning opposed their inclusion. I'm with CrackTheSky: we already allow vidders to post in a forum for that purpose. This itself was a change, and a gracious one. I think there is only negative going down this road and no positive.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kireblue » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:33 am

Kionon wrote:I do.

The first two seasons of the original Voltron, much like Robotech, created a series from Japanese domestic anime sources. By removing the audio, AMV editors are dealing with Japanese source for Japanese audiences. That we call it Voltron and not Beast King Go Lion is of no consequence to the origin of the footage. Additional Voltron series were made exclusively for International markets, specifically North American. Therefore, the footage is not Japanese in origin for a Japanese domestic market and doesn't meet our definition.

As for shows like Avatar, I have from the beginning opposed their inclusion. I'm with CrackTheSky: we already allow vidders to post in a forum for that purpose. This itself was a change, and a gracious one. I think there is only negative going down this road and no positive.
Just confirming. Did you watch the video that I posted? I feel that all of the arguments that you presented were mentioned in the video and defeated with pretty sound logic. For example, part of the video talks about how shows like "Space Dandy" and "Afro Samurai" were produced in Japan, but intended for a international audience, and even premiered in America first. And then there's "Heroman", which was created by Stan Lee and even takes place in America. In that respect, RWBY isn't really that much different considering that it's now a manga series in Japan, and is currently airing and being dubbed in Japan. https://youtu.be/K2ROYyYqCl4?t=58

I personally feel that the site definition worked really well when it was first implemented, but since the anime industry has been evolving over the last decade, we should be wiling to evolve along with it. And like I said before, I'm not in favor of suddenly allowing Disney or every type of animation under the sun. I just think that it would be interesting to loosen the reigns a bit and be more flexible. It also makes it easier to make decisions about certain shows that fit into the grey area of the definition. When confirming anime in the database, I use AnimeNewsNetwork as a guide, but even they list RWBY as a U.S. Original Net Anime https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encycl ... p?id=17739

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kionon » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:16 am

I'm not familiar with Space Dandy, but I was always iffy on "Afro Samurai." I do not consider RWBY to be anime. Its importation into Japan doesn't make it anime by our current definition.

Where the argument you posted completely lost me was the claim that traditional children's anime, being for children, is not anime. Anpanman and Sazae-san are significant cultural touchstones in Japan, as is Chibi-Maruko-chan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I7H2qspqo8), that's obviously anime. Equally, a lot of Pre-Cure is completely atrocious (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF9qXB6H4PU), but I would never entertain the idea that it isn't anime. Then there's 12歳(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FjEofXPZVE), which I am a HUGE fan of (and have written about in Anime Series Discussion), even though it is clearly directed at maybe 3rd or 4th graders in elementary school. There's no possible way you could argue its intended audience makes it not anime.

Sounds to me like we have the classic "obscenity" issue: I can't tell you what anime is (or isn't), but I know it when I see it. Both for our videoblogger and for myself.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by XStylus » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:32 am

For the longest time, I used to be a bit of a purist regarding what constitutes an AMV. In the previous decade when Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts AMVs were rampant, I took issue with the fact that they were even permissible. Those are not anime. Fight me.

When I started running AMV competitions, I had plans to eventually start cracking down on that, but that plan actually got turned around in part because of the changing currents of the organization I volunteer for. I.e., SPJA just changed its mission statement, declaring its mission as being for "the promotion of Anime and Manga as well as arts that influence or are influenced by them."

The more I thought about it, the more I found myself okay with that. So, to that end, I relaxed AX's AMV rules regarding what's considered anime. Basically, if it looks like typical Japanese anime and is styled like typical Japanese anime, we won't split hairs about its origins. This explicitly includes Avatar, Korra, Voltron (new and old), and Boondocks. This wouldn't include My Little Pony.

I could foresee people rules-lawyering me by posing the bigger question of what "typical Japanese anime" should look like. After all, there's been several examples of where anime departed from its typical stereotypical norms, such as Panty & Stocking. I could see someone using that as a reason for Samurai Jack, Steven Universe, or Teen Titans to be accepted. To that, I would answer that P&S is not a typical anime, and therefore is an invalid example for comparison. SJ, SU, and TT don't even remotely have a typical anime look to it, and therefore I would not accept them.


TL;DR, my position is that if it looks like typical anime, then fine, but if the desire is to go even further by accepting things that share nothing in common with anime aside from being animated, then the site to me will have lost its core focus. You'd basically be opening the door to nearly anything that that point.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kionon » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:15 am

The Org has always been explicitly INCLUSIVE of Japanese produced video games, such as SquareEnix, from the founding. These were quite common pre-ORG on the AMV mailing list and on the con circuit. Therefore, while I concur they are not anime under our definition, they have always been included in what is allowed in the catalog. We're discussing an expansion of our current allowances, but the video games you cite were not a previous expansion. Their inclusion existed from day one.

I, personally, haven't owned a console since the Sega Genesis, and the only video game footage I ever worked with was the cut scenes and fight scenes from the Sega Saturn Utena game, which is anime by anyone's definition. See Quu's Particle Dance.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by XStylus » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:54 am

Kionon wrote:We're discussing an expansion of our current allowances, but the video games you cite were not a previous expansion. Their inclusion existed from day one.
Indeed, I'm aware, but nevertheless, it is neither anime styled nor based on any anime. Medium aside, it is not anime. The only reason it's allowed on the org is because, as you say, it was prevalent in the community at the time, so therefore it was grandfathered in. Have there been any new non-anime video game sources admitted into the org database since then?
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kionon » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:07 am

I was just stating a fact, not necessarily defending it. I can't say what, beyond maybe subsequent Final Fantasy games, newer games may have been included. I don't have a dog in the fight over video game inclusion, as I don't use any video games, but I would rather remove previously included video game music videos than include sources like Avatar/Korra, the new Voltron, etc. I think you can make a stronger case for their exclusion than you can for the source inclusion that kireblue has discussed here.

The legal issues aside, I don't believe our participation problems are best solved by putting our focus here. I feel there are a number of other more important changes we could implement that would lead to greater participation.
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