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Singapore's Odex Directors Speak as Protests Continue

Sep 9, 2007 6:00 PM

Jun 2007
A Sunday article in the Malaysia Star newspaper has quoted the ADR directors of the anime licensor Odex, the company has been sending compensation demand letters to allegedly illegal anime downloaders in Singapore. In the article, the two described Odex's origins and the video-on-demand plans that led to the campaign against illegal anime downloads. They acknowledged mistakes in the recent campaign, but said that they "promised [they] would be committed to protecting the studios, to bring piracy rates under control."

Go said: “We warned anime bloggers, we warned anime fan clubs in schools, that illegal downloads had to stop or we would take more drastic measures.”

But the warnings were largely ignored.

And so the infamous Odex compensation demand letters were sent. A laundry list of personal and corporate missteps resulted in the barrage of online attacks against the firm.

“We didn’t expect such a reaction,” admitted Sing.

In the last few months, he said “we learnt to be more humble ... and yes, we’ve made mistakes”.

To counter allegations of profiteering from the compensation amounts it had demanded from downloaders, Odex has said it would hire an external auditor to go through its accounts and donate any profit from the crackdown to charity.

But the crackdown will go on.

“We promised we would be committed to protecting the studios, to bring piracy rates under control if they did this video-on-demand with us,” said Sing. – The Straits Times, Singapore / Asia News Network

Original article from thestar online.
Sep 9, 2007 6:36 PM

Aug 2007
On reading the article (and leaving aside the 'watchers of fansubs = retail customers' argument everyone's probably already quite familiar with):

- it strikes me that if they only began mastering and subtitling after gaining the license, let alone gaining dubbing facilities, they are a basically crap firm; they're not doing it because they're good at it, they're just doing it because they can see a buck in it since no-one else did it first. That's no environment for competition, and if they're not competing, they've no incentive to improve quality. I'm therefore inclined to believe what I've heard about them producing rubbish quality products, and as such they should not be in the least surprised if anime fans prefer fansubs made by equally motivated but more experienced subbers.

- if they're donating all revenues from their fines to charity, doesn't that kind of put the lie to any complaints of lost revenue? That is, they can still afford to do what they're doing without the fines (I read somewhere that it was estimated at $9 million if everyone who's had letters paid them $3,500). So, basically, it's all about punishing people for what they themselves are demonstrating is a victimless crime.

- I can't remember how many times I've seen groups drop a series halfway or remove torrents after completion on announcement of a license acquisition for series that got licensed, but it's a large number, and most of it relatively recently - to me, it seems that more, not fewer, fansub groups are taking a "support the localised anime industry" stance nowadays. Claims that contradict that, plus claiming that series remain on the internet indefinitely once released, are basic untruths that do not help their credibility one iota.

- their own games retail firm was busted in 1999 for selling counterfeit goods. I LOL'd. That department was seperate from the anime department, though - it's not hypocrisy at all, it's just someone else's problem. Yes.
Sep 9, 2007 7:48 PM

Jun 2007
Yeah. Besides, according to the Pacnet case, its not even clear if they have a right to claim compensation fom illegal downloaders. They're not the exclusive licensees for almost all the anime they're seeking compensation for. I say that they should refund the people their "compensation" money until its clear that they are exercising their rights correctly.
Sep 12, 2007 9:24 AM

Apr 2007
Odex is gunna bankrupt alot of people and then expect for people to just go and buy shit from them? Screw that, I wouldnt buy anime from them if it was the only way to get anime. That is right I would drop anime rather than get it from Odex.
Sep 16, 2007 8:29 PM

Jun 2007
They should hire fansubbers (who provide better quality subs than theirs) and find a legal way to release the exact same downloads that people are downloading illegally legally on the net and as quicky. Then, no one will have an excuse to download illegally except for "its free".

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