Earlier today, a user (or possibly users) from a single Japanese IP address claiming to be representing eroge company minori cleared the TLWiki entry for Eden*, resulting in an edit war until one of the TLWiki administrators locked down the page. Several legal notices were posted along the way, as well as an argument between the two sides. It remains to be seen what minori will do about NNL’s upcoming releases.
The edit war started with said user deleting the contents of the Eden* TLWiki page. This was quickly reverted, and the user in question returned around three hours later to replace the page with the following statements:
Translated to English, the statements read: “minori holds copyright over all the files made available on this webpage. We, minori, have removed the contents of this page because the owner of this page has not received our permission for distribution of these materials. Please understand [the above statements]. Still, if there are objections, etc., please contact Minori, Inc. in Japanese at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Notice of Copyright Infringement
Address:Takagi bldg. 6F, 1-20-10 Sugamo,
On behalf of “ minori Inc., ” in JAPAN, I hereby provide notice to you of copyright infringement by the website of www.minori.ph.
and request you to remove, or disable access to, the certain materials uploaded on the above website as follows.
1. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed:
2. I have a good-faith belief that the copyright owner, its agent or the law, does not authorize use of the material in the manner complained of.
3. I state that the information in this notification is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that I am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
This went on for several more revert wars, ending up with said user writing “これ以上、不当に更新を行った場合、当社は法的措置を行います。minori Inc.” (If there are any more improper updates, minori Inc. will be taking legal measures.) and then adding an English translation: “Our company legally takes measures when updating it unjustified any further.”
The user talk page for said user’s IP address also contains a discussion between said user and several other TLWiki users [comments and translations in square brackets]:
If you don’t want people translating your games, publish them in English and we will buy them. 18.104.22.168 [this is one of the IPs involved in the reverts] 13:14, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
私たちのゲームは全て日本国内の法令を遵守して制作しており、また日本国外への販売、日本国外での使用は全て禁止しております。もし貴方たちが日本国外でminoriのゲームをプレイしたいということであれば、minoriから翻訳のための正式なライセンスを受け、当該国における倫理審査団体（例えばアメリカであれば、Entertainment Software Rating Boardです）の審査を受けた上で、合法的に翻訳し販売（もしくは頒布）すべきだと考えます。当社はminori本社へいらっしゃって日本語で交渉される場合、その用意があります。–22.214.171.124 13:19, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
[All of our games are produced while respecting the laws of Japan; exporting of these games and usage of these games outside Japan is forbidden. If you wish to play minori's games outside of Japan, you should be obtaining an official license to translate from minori, adhere to your country's game rating agency (for example, in America, there is the ESRB) and legally translate, sell (and perhaps distribute) these games. We are willing if said party wants to come to minori headquarters and discuss these matters in Japanese.]
Wrong. The ESRB in the US is not needed for PC releases, as companies like JastUSA and Mangagamer do not use it. 126.96.36.199 13:23, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
他社の事情はわかりかねますが、私たちのソフトウェアに関しては必ず当該国の倫理機構団体の審査を受けることを条件にライセンスを提供します。それが当社のポリシーです。私たちは英語版をリリースする予定はありませんが、英語版をリリースしたいと考える会社、グループが正式な手順でコンタクトしてくるのであれば、可能性を閉ざすことはありません。当社は社会的ルールに従って行動することを要求しているのです。–188.8.131.52 13:28, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
[I do not know about other (game) companies, but with regards to our software, review by an ethics organization in the target country is a condition to our license. That is our policy. We have no plans to release English versions of our games, but if there is a company or group interested in releasing an English version, and they follow proper procedure in contacting us, there is some possibility for it to work. Our company wishes to operate along the rules of society.]
MangaGamer.com releases games from Navel, OVERDRIVE, Nexton, Circus, 07th Expansion, BaseSon, and a number of others in English, despite never talking to the Entertainment Software Rating Board
MangaGamerはMangaGamer、minoriはminoriで別の会社ですから考え方が違うと思います。ご理解ください。–184.108.40.206 13:33, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
[We do not know how MangaGamer operates. We believe that releasing games without going through a rating agency is immoral. Even if we release our software worldwide, we believe that it's necessary to have a guarantee from a third party. MangaGamer is MangaGamer, and minori is minori; different companies have different viewpoints. Please understand.]
Unlike other countries the American ESRB system does not refuse to rate anything they are given, they have no policies in place to allow them to refuse a game. So it would be trivial to get a rating, nothing more than giving them the cash.
現在ESRBに変わるシステムが無い以上、その審査を受けなければいけないとminoriは考えます。 それが商業としてソフトウェアを社会に送り出すルールだからです。当該国の文化は当該国が守って行く大事なものです。ですから、その国の定めたシステムを守ることも企業として当然のことなのです。ご理解いただけますか？–220.127.116.11 13:39, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
[As long as there is no alternative system to ESRB in place, we at minori believe that games need to go through the ESRB system and that it's a rule that a business should abide by when releasing software into society. It's important that a country protect its own culture. Therefore, an enterprise naturally must abide by the rules set by the country it is in. Do you understand?]
To avoid confusion, just in case you didn’t notice: the person you’re currently arguing with is just a random user, he’s not speaking on behalf of the project staff or TLWiki staff. At the moment, none of the project staff members are online, and I am currently the only TLWiki administrator online. Just saying this to avoid any potential misunderstandings. VDZ 13:49, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
VDZ様、ありがとうございます。ですが、例えプロジェクトメンバーでない任意のユーザーだとしても、私たちは企業として真摯に対応し、minoriがどこの国においてもその国のルールを最大限尊重している事を理解して頂くために努力をしなければなりません。 また、今後、プロジェクトのメンバーやTLWikiのメンバーが私たちの会社にコンタクトを取ろうと考えるならば、その扉を閉じる事はありません。–18.104.22.168 13:57, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
[Thank you very much, Mr. VDZ. However, even if it is just some random user unrelated to the (translation) project, we, as a company, are sincere, and we strive to have people understand that we respect the rules established by a country to the utmost degree, no matter what country. Now, if the project members or TLWiki members wish to contact us, our door is open to them.]
Finally, there was an additional post on TLWiki administrator’s talk page:
The .sc files made available on said page are copyright materials belonging to our company and are protected under copyright law. Translating and publicly distributing these files is an infringement of the translation, replication and distribution rights of the copyright owner. With regards to the current issue, the views of the company have been emailed to the maintainer as well as the project. Still, if there are objections, please send email to our company at email@example.com. (If you investigate the IP address, we believe you will realize that these posts have been made from our company, minori.)
Following this, several pages on the wiki containing .sc files have been removed by said administrator.
Thanks to Dan88 for the heads up.
UPDATE: A video of the ef fandub produced in cooperation with NNL and linked from their website has now been taken off YouTube “due to a copyright claim by 株式会社ミノリ”.
UPDATE 2: An official response has been posted on TLWiki regarding minori.