Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

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Ileia
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Ileia » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:07 pm

I enjoy and have made fanvids of basically any source, but several questions come up:

• How do you define the border?
This is as dicey as the previous definition. Opening up the floor means people are going to make arguments for every type of animation and, unless you go the easy route and proclaim all animation as open season, the site needs to be prepared to explain its choice of restricting some sources and why.

• 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.

• 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?

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by CrackTheSky » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:30 am

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?

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.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by PieandBeer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm

@Ileia and crackthesky

100000000% agree, Phade needs to be in this conversation

Really, i don't think that the upload function is crucial at all since most people use links so if we just say cataloging+linking is allowed and encourage discussion we can easily avoid that issue.

But, how is that any different from the grey areas we are with licensed anime and music? I def do not know the whole story of the org and the japanese vs other sources legality debate. i just think the amount of effort put in to be like "ok this is anime definitely japanese" does not make it suddenly more legal than french or korean cartoons. And what makes the western animation more copyrightable than the music yknow? I just think it is unnecessary gate keeping that is preventing the forum and site from adapting to the new world of animated fan videos @_@ but if someone can provide like the reasoning why anime is ok vs western cartoons and why western music is ok that would be super helpful

but legit Phade's decision in the end

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by ngsilver » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:41 pm

I prefer to use the actual japanese definition of the term anime, which is just basically short for animation. So by calling a site/video/ect AMV, anime music video, to me means more then this popular meaning we have in the west of Japanese Animation. So as far as definitions go, I would support the expansion. But as we have always done, and as far as I'm gathering form what has been proposed so far, we still need to make sure definitions are clearly posted (as they currently are) to explain what we apparently mean by the term anime.


@PieandBeer
We have a number of conversations every year at AWA on the copyright front partially due to the fact a lot of us are interested in copyrights and fighting for AMVs being considered part of fair use or properly defined as a part of remix culture which I believe it is.

As far as the term legal grey area, that is really a misconception and really AMVs are not legally grey at all as far as current definitions and legal precedent are concerned. The reason AMVs are often overlooked is a rights holder thing. Since the original rights holders are outside the country it is more difficult for them to persue legal action. Often it is left to the local rights holders, our anime companies, to handle the legal actions. The reason that legal action usually doesn't come to bear is because most anime companies realize that AMVs are a means of advertisement (free) and by cracking down on them they would be hurting that free advertisement as well as alienating a large portion of their fan base (see the backlash Nintendo has had for it's cracking down of Streaming and YT playthroughs of it's games.)

As far as fair use argument and even the remix argument goes, the anime/visual sources we use are fairly easy to argue because of the fact that generally we do mix that and create a different product. The problem we face on the legal side of things is arguing that by putting new visuals on top of a basically un-edited, full quality, audio track that we are creating a new derivative work and not just simply sharing/pirating the audio. Music companies just don't see how an AMV is a new derivative work, unless the audio is also remixed. So even if the artist loves to see AMVs for their music, it's the labels that usually are the ones that cause 'problems' and send the C&Ds.

There are others that can explain these things better, like our lawyer friends, but this is kind of an overview of the topic since you were asking about it.


I understand the views some have posted previously and that have been brought up a number of times. By broadening our definition of anime, letting in more stuff, we are creating a bigger bullseye. Our attack surface (to use an IT Security term) does become larger and we are opened up to more of a chance to receive C&Ds and have other legal action taken against us, terminating the site, ect. As much as I'd hate to see the org go because of this, honestly if we want to advance the precedent of remix culture it may be a risk worth taking. Though I also agree, as this is Phade's site, he should be involved in the discussion because it is true that ultimately the buck stops with him.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by mirkosp » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:18 pm

Watched the full video before commenting. He had to use a flawed assumption to make it all work, and that is that we would already count Korean and Chinese animation as anime, but really we don't. Japanese is what we've gone by, and anime in western dictionaries is essentially registered as japanimation, so Korean animation and Chinese animation are also out, it's not just about American animation or western animation in general. What he DID entirely miss though, is what we've actually gone by all these years, perhaps without realizing it.

That is, the country of production.

Animation produced in Japan is what has counted so far. Mind you, produced, not animated, and this is a big difference.
They can outsource the tweening to Korea, they can have Austrians do the key animation (we all love bahijd's work, don't we?), they can get paid by Americans to do Space Dandy or Big O S2, they can even have western directors have a go at it like in Tekkonkinkreet, but in all these assumed exception you can check who the producer was on ANN or AniDB and there you'll find it was a Japanese production alright.
This also means that all the indie self-produced animation by Japanese people counts as anime. We've seen Ishida Hiroyasu grow from his indie ONA "Fumiko no Kokuhaku" into a full-fledged director with a studio (Studio Colorido, that is).

On the other hand, if you open up wikipedia you can read "Avatar: The Last Airbender was co-created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California."
RWBY was produced by Rooster Teeth, so I'm afraid it doesn't count either.

And then, Shelter. The whole video in the OP spurred due to it. Who's credited as producer? Crunchyroll? Madeon? Porter Robinson? If you hit up MyAnimeList, you see that the producer for Shelter was ultimately A1's Fukushima Yuuichi. Perhaps it was a co-production after all, but that's fine.
There have a few co-productions between Japan and other countries. Those get counted as anime too, since Japan has had a hand in it. As an Italian, my mind goes to "Topo Gigio" and "Calimero," and if you check the credits, you'll find Japanese producers. Well, it is a co-production, after all.

It's not a matter of audience, it's not a matter of staff in general. Really, if we try to retrace what has been defined as anime in all these years, we'll find it was at least co-produced by Japanese people. Which also means that yes, potentially a show produced by Japanese, then entirely outsourced to the rest of the world would count as anime by this definition. And I'd be keen to say it should.
If Ghibli's movies weren't produced in Japan, but in California, even with the same director and animators and all, we wouldn't historically know them as anime. We'd know them as Disney.


And this site, my friends, is animemusicvideos.org. Not animatedmusicvideos.org, nor liveactionmusicvideos.org. We got a domain name, and if we want to change what we are about, we should change our name as well.

PS: as for Voltron (the 80s one), I thought we already counted it as anime, much like we count Robotech? We don't count Legendary Defender, though.
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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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