DarkMirage is conducting an independent survey on ODEX’s reaction. Go do the survey now or Yuki_N gets it….
It appears that ODEX is trying to counter with their “charm offensive”, to rebuild its battered image:
(1) ODEX has re-launched it’s website.
ODEX’s New Look
Not only does the revamped site mention new DVD releases, there’s also a forum as well as a VIDEO ON DEMAND feature.
(2) Yesterday, ODEX held a press conference at the Marriott hotel (I didn’t know about it. I suppose none of the local otaku-bloggers received an invite). According to the Da Bear, the international press was present at the conference.
In a nutshell, ODEX wanted to re-assert its legitimacy to crackdown on those who download anime. From reports, the representatives from Gonzo Digimation Holdings, Toei Animation Enterprises, Showgate and TV Tokyo Corpration were among the four Japanese companies present at the conference to declare their endorsement of ODEX’s actions. The panel represented the interest of nine anime ‘copyright holders’, some of whom appeared on video to state their support for ODEX.
According to Straits Times:
“Odex brought in representatives of four Japanese studios, which own the copyrights of blockbuster series like Naruto, Dragonball, Tsubasa Chronicles, and Romeo and Juliet. The representatives told reporters through an interpreter, that they support Odex’s legal action.
All four studios had in fact issued authorisation letters for Odex to act on their behalf, before the company went to the courts.
Said Mr Yukio Kawasaki, manager of TV Tokyo Corpration:’If there is a necessity from the courts of Singapore requiring us to come down (physically), then we will come.’
The studios appealed to anime fans to stick to original copies.”
At the press conference, it seemed that Japanese anime firms had closed ranks with ODEX. ZDNet also reported that “Odex has copyright owners’ support“. ZDNet quoted Stephen Sing aka Sing Xin Yang aka xysing, who said that “the company is not going after all illegal downloaders but only those who have downloaded regularly and in high volumes.” However he would not reveal the company’s benchmark for what that constitutes, and said that that would further narrow down the figures from its initial list of IP addresses.”
During the conference, ODEX also stuck to their point that they are not going after anime downloaders for profit (click on link to watch video of conference. Direktor Stepen Sing speaketh….). ODEX also took the opportunity to say that Odex said that there although 300 letters were sent out, no fine was involved. Yet, it was also mentioned that a third of those who received the letter settled with ODEX for an undisclosed sum. The company claimed that any excess money from the move, after deducting costs, will be donated to a charitable cause. Odex added that no one was forced to pay beyond his/her means. (yeah, right)
Here’s a quote from Stephen Sing aka Sing Xin Yang aka xysing:
“Illegal downloaders can download animes for all they want… five years, ten years, there will be nothing left to download. This is the fear that most strikes us. We want to address that situation”
HAR? KONG SI MI LAN JIAO??!!!!??? “Yellow Car is the Race Car of the Big Tree!!!!”
ODEX is not budging from its position to crack-down on fan-sub downloaders. By bringing in the BayTSP’s Mark Ishikawa as well as the Japanese representatives, the company is trying to regain the ‘moral high ground’ so that they can continue their Inquisition with legitimacy.
(3) On a separate note, here’s an account from The Panegyrist who’d freelanced for ODEX in the sub-titling process. Reading about the subbing process is like watching sausage being made.