It Had To Happen Some Time (Addressing The Lantis And “Sunrise” Debacle)

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Oh Noes I’m Using A Screenshot From A Sunrise Anime! :o  Good Thing They Aren’t Actively Sending Out Cease And Desist Letters Like Lantis Is Or I Could Get In Trouble. Eeeeeek!

It was around this time in a 25 cour season shows run that a famous interview broke regarding a certain director’s belief that he had let the fans of his show down.  Alas the interview was misquoted and yay fans suddenly believed that what they had received was not what was intended for them.  By the time the mistake was corrected the damage was down however and turneth on that anime they did, for now it was viewed as but a false prophet.

All of this was happened before and alas all of it seems destined to happen again.  Lest I be called back into active duty to try and hold fast the darkness of falsehood and confusion and to bring forth the light of truth and confirmation.  For it is now at a similar time that history repeats itself, and the threat comes anew to tarnish that which I hold dear.

But seriously, folks, are we going to believe yet another misquoted and confused commentary on a commentary on a commentary about a comment made by one Lantis Corporation and let it ruin our anime experience?  Especially when it’s so easy to see the truth is we actually just read what is written?  I’m talking of course about the Sankaku Complex article regarding Lantis and supposedly Sunrise’s bid to quash fair use of images and content from shows they have produced, but apparently even worse still, fanart and fanfiction.

EVERYBODY FREAK OUT NOW!  OH MY GOD THOSE BASTARDS!  I’M GOING TO KILL SUNRISE!

But wait, I thought rather then rush to condemn Sunrise I should at least do a little research on what the deal is actually supposed to be.  Context is always important in these cases so I followed Artefact’s link back to the original source in the 2ch archive page and found that the article was primarily about a comment that a certain Yamakan of Haruhi dance fame made regarding a letter Lantis sent to a blogger whose name has been witheld from being printed.  Here is the letter in it’s original Japanese format:
> **** 管理者 殿
>
> 株式会社ランティスと申します。
> 当社は、TVアニメーション「アキカン!」「明日のよいち!」「宇宙をかける少女」
> 「空を見上げる少女の瞳に映る世界」「黒神」の製作委員会に出資し、著作権管理業務を行っている法人です。
>
> この度、貴殿のサイトに当該著作物を使用している箇所を発見いたしました。
> お読みになられましたら、速やかに当該箇所を削除して頂きたくお願いいたします。
>
> 当社では、当社の管理する著作物に関しまして、許可なくキャラクターなどの画像の全体又は一部を掲載することを禁止しております。
> 上記の行為は営利非営利の目的いかんに関わらず、著作権法23条1項で定義されている、公衆送信権の権利侵害となります。
>
> 速やかに削除して頂けない場合には法的手段を講じることもありますので、ご注意ください。

Roughly translated the content of the letter in English goes something liek this:

Dear **** Site Managere

This is Lantis Ltd.

Our company invests in the production committee of the following TV animation programs.  Akikan!, Asu No Yoichi, The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, The World Reflected In The Eyes Of The Girl Who Looked Upon The Heavens, And Black God.

At this time we have noted that a part of our book that was used for your site.

If you are reading this we would like you to promptly delete the part we are concerned about.

Our company prohibits publishing in whole or in part any image of characters etc. from the book that our company manages without our permission.

The above-mentioned act infringes on the right of public transmission Article 23 Clause 1 of copyright law regardless of whether it is in the interests of non-profit.

Please note that legal measures might be taken if it is not possible for you to delete this promptly.

Sounds like you pretty standard cease and desist letter from Lantis, although somehow Artefact makes it sound a lot nastier in how he translates it.  Anyway how does Sunrise come into this.  Well aside from the fact that they are also producers of Kurokami and The Girl Who Leapt Through Space (The other 3 shows belong to Kyoani, Brains Base and AIC.  I’ll leave you all to figure out which belongs to which), the question was dropped as to Sunrise’s policy in the original source for the Sankaku Complex article if the Yamakan commentary was said to Sunrise.  The original article you see didn’t actually state what Yamakan was referring to, just what he said which was:

> 観客の視聴意欲や購買意欲を殺いでしまうような著作権
>知的財産権の主張は全くの本末転倒だと思うのです。
>
> そんなに自分の作品が惜しいならTV放送もDVD販売もやめて美術館にでも陳列しておけっていう。

Which roughly translates too:

“Copyright claims kill the viewers desire to watch and especially buy media and I think the insistence on intellecual property right is a complete mistake in the long run.

If it’s so regrettable then you might as well exhibit your work in a muesum instead of broadcasting it on TV and selling DVD’s”

Basically it seems like Yamakan is addressing somebody and telling them they are foolish and that TV and DVD selling is reproduction anyway so if they are that anal they might as well keep the original in a muesem so that it can never be reproduced and they can have complete control over it.  Who is this entity that Yamakan is addressing? :

これはサンライズに言ってるのかな?

“Is this directed at Sunrise?” one poster asks.

ランティスの事いってるんじゃね?
何か警告メールのコピペが何処かに貼ってあったぞ

“Lantis possibly?

Some warning mail was pasted somewhere.” another replies.

Finally an answer comes when a poster gives everyone the content of the cease & desist letter from Lantis which I posted above.  So Sunrise has nothing to do with this other then their being involved in two of the anime Lantis called the anonymous blogger on copying protected content from right?  Well not according to Sankaku.

You see, later on down the page somebody posts a copy of Sunrise’s policy on copyright infringement which can be found on their hompage in it’s entirety and was assumedly quoted.  The quoted part reads:

●インターネット上でのサンライズ作品の画像について
インターネット上では「非営利目的」や「個人のホームページ」の場合でも、 使用頂けません。

「営利を目的としていないから」「個人のホームページだから」といった理由でのお問い合わせがありますが、
このような場合でもご使用頂けません。インターネットの特性上、「私的に使用する」ということはありえず
「複製・配布」と同義ということになりますので、画像はご使用頂けません。

●自分で制作した小説やイラストなどについて
サンライズ作品をもとにしてご自分で制作された小説やイラストでも、サンライズが許諾していないかぎり
インターネット上では、ご使用頂けません。

<<例外として>>
弊社運営のプロバイダ『ひのぼりドッとネッと!』では、プロバイダユーザーに『ユーザーズホームページ』として5MBのホームページ領域が割り当てられます。
このユーザーホームページ上では、ご自分で作成された データ等の掲載が可能です。

which translates roughly too:

Concerning Images Taken From Sunrise Work On The Internet:

It is not permitted to use them for non-profit making purposes and individual homepages on the internet.

“Pursuit of profit is not our intention” and “because it’s an independent homepage”, even if in this case it is not permitted to use them though there is a reason.

Because “private use” on the internet is still a reproduction and distribution and therefore you cannot use the images.

What about fanfiction and fanart?

It is not possible use Sunrise’s work on the internet in the case of images and writings that are produced by oneself as long as Sunrise has not permitted it.

Exceptions:

We have a service that offers 5Mb user homepages where one’s creations based on our work can be published.

Yeah…pretty anal retentative indeed, but this is actually old news and has nothing to do with the cease and desist letter Lantis sent out.  In fact it’s at least as old as 2005 going by Japanese user pages that have made reference to the policy.  To me it sounds like the standard overkill policy that almost all media companies have when it comes to copyright issues, but you don’t exactly see them enforcing this do you?  4 years ago at least this policy was created and doujin work is still published, people still cosplay as Sunrise characters, there are still plenty of places with screenshots of their anime and yet they don’t enforce it because obviously they can’t.  It’s pure wishful thinking and really what’s the point?

Well the point I’m trying to make is that this whole thing has gotten taken out of context and blown out of proportion.  Lantis was the only company alleged to have sent cease and desist letters in this case, and Sunrise policy was merely quoted in the article about Yamakan’s comments, yet I suppose because Sunrise is a much hotter name then Lantis’ people took it to mean that Sunrise was the one that issued the cease and desist letters.  After all they are mentioned in Sankaku Complex’s article along with Lantis so it must be the case right.  Well unfortunately no as I think I have demonstrated, it is not the case until Sunrise actually does start sending out cease and desist letters.

So I say by all means don’t let their silly webpage basesd rules about use of images get you, media companies have far more bark then they have bite and you don’t exactly see them sending cease and desist letters to people blogging about Gundam 00 do you?  What proactive measure have they even taken in this case?  None as far as I can tell, Lantis being a different issue altogether.

Speaking of which I think people ought to be far more wary of Lantis then Sunrise as they are actually the ones out their right now sending cease and desist letters, not Sunrise, and they have far more investments in far more companies works then you might initially be led to believe.

So I try in this case, try and establish a clearer narrative on this issue.  Truthfully neither of these companies are really innocent since their would be copyright policies are laughable at best, obnoxious at worst, but let’s focus on the true instigator of this issue in Lantis shall we?  Not sure how much good it will do since once the ball gets rolling people love to jump on the hate wagon nowadays and believe absolutely everything they read, but if I can reach even a few souls interested in knowing a little more about what the real deal is here then I think I’ve done my job.

On that note expect lots of pictures of MS Igloo Episode 2 in the future since Lantis has no copyright stake in that and frankly even if they did I wouldn’t too flying fucks to even have a reason to get worked up and panicked over it.  Remember, more bark then bite.

See ya.

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9 Responses to “It Had To Happen Some Time (Addressing The Lantis And “Sunrise” Debacle)”


  1. 1 Q January 29, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Ever since Internet bloomed, the issue of copyright has become less black & white and more grey areas appeared instead. The fact that now put up such policies makes it even greyer (to me).

    Btw really looking forward to your MS IGLOO 2 ep2 review! Just watched it now, and it’s pretty brill~

  2. 2 Arabesque January 29, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Next thing you know, Sunrise will be accused of eating babies, oy.
    Reading the letter sent, I noticed that they used ‘’book’’ instead of show or anime. Does that mean that the images that were used on the blog were from the light novels/manga and not from the anime? Or is this a translation error?
    And yeah, can’t wait for the MS Igool review :)

  3. 3 Sorrow-kun January 29, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I read the first two paragraphs of this and thought, “oh no, here we go again, more ‘boo hoo poor victimized Sunrise’ bullshit”, but this was a really well researched piece that brings a lot of clarity to the issue. I think it’s important to realize that Sankaku is basically the anisphere equivalent of a tabloid newspaper, and that facts aren’t always the primary priority in the face of a sensational headline. I certainly won’t be changing anything in regards to how I run my site (unless we actually get a C&D from one of these companies, which I think would be highly unlikely).

    But I can’t shake the suspicion that you wouldn’t have gone to this sort of effort if it wasn’t Sunrise that got fingered…

  4. 4 Kaioshin Sama January 30, 2009 at 4:13 am

    @Q: I’ll be getting right on that soon. Just gotta take care of some stuff around the house and then it’s MS Igloo watching and blogging time.

    @Arabesque: Don’t quote me on this as it’s pure speculation, but I think it might have been a photo of a magazine article that was posted somewhere that set Lantis off. The site that Artefact linked itself has quite a few screencaps and comparisons of newly released DVD images, photos of Newtype articles (Sora Kake Girl information)and even an image of a mobile suit ripped directly from the Gundam 00 homepage. I don’t know if it was the target of Lantis’ C&D letter itself, but it shows that the Japanese blogging machine, at least in this case, has a tendency to flirt with the limits of copyright law. When that happens sooner or later somebody is going to get burned.

    @Sorrow-K: Why thank you. I appreciate the compliment a lot as I do try to make it a point to do my research. Sankaku…..honestly I’ve come to the same conclusion, that they are the tabloid answer to Anime News Network and are primarily interested in drawing attention to their articles over pinpoint factual accuracy. Then again I never actually considered them any more of a news service then any other blog since no respectable news service mixes softcore pornography with the news. Not even the Nakes News.

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that it seems as if the website that Artefact linked to in his article is where he pulls a good part of his stories from and for all intents and purposes it is just a 2ch archive. In fact a lot of the screencaps he’s used in the past appear to be taken directly from that website. I’m not quite sure what to make of it to be honest.

    Anyway I certainly won’t be changing my screencap policy any time soon. As for whether I would have gone to this effort if it wasn’t Sunrise that got fingered, probably not, but then again I probably wouldn’t have even heard about it to begin with in that case.

  5. 5 rabbitpoets January 30, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Nice, thorough writeup Kaioshin. Well-thought out, well-researched. Much better than my trigger-happy, hamfisted response. ;-)

    it’ll be interesting to see how lantis proceeds moving forward. it’s easy to send c&d’s, but it’s all the follow up work that takes time/money. Heck, it took the RIAA/MPAA a couple years before they escalated their threats into actual lawsuits.

  6. 6 talalan February 1, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Thank you for your effort and info.

  7. 7 redmaigo February 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I read Sankaku Complex like everybody else. I consider it the aniblogsphere’s version of WaiWai (R.I.P.) which I also enjoyed.

    However, you know what WaiWai was like…

    Like The Media in general, you take much of what is provided as news with a grain of salt. If you do take a story or two seriously enough you do what you did with this post: Never take anything at face value and investigate it yourself.

    Kudos to you Kaioshin

  8. 8 Taina Vanstone March 18, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I to find this matter
    to be really one thing which I feel I would by no
    means understand. It seems too complicated and very wide for me.
    I’m having a look forward for your subsequent put
    up, I¡¦ll try to get the dangle of it.


  1. 1 WTF SUNRISE…W-T-F?! « Hey, Say, Anime! Trackback on January 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm

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