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Anime Novel Receives C&Ds

May 29th, 2010, by zalas
Posted in Translation

Translation website Anime Novel has now received two emails, according to two posts on the gemot. Currently it does not appear that Anime Novel is stopping their activities.

According to a post on the gemot, the website AnimeNovel received an email from AKABEiSOFT2 after posting translated lyrics to the opening theme song for Concerto Note, which was published under one of AKABEiSOFT2’s brands, Applique.

A translation of the email reads:

Dear Anime Novel:

Sorry for emailing you out of the blue.

My name is Shijyo, from AKABEiSOFT2 Ltd., the company that produced Concerto Note.

I looks like you are making an English patch, but this would be an infringement of our copyright, and thus we would like to ask you to stop.

We are very happy that there are fans overseas who support us, and as creators, we take great pride in it. However, we sell these products after being approved by a reviewing[rating] agency in Japan, and thus there’s a possibility that it may violate rules overseas.

Furthermore, there’s the possibility that [making translation patches] would worsen recently increasing piracy and illegal downloads, so please work with us [and stop your activities].

**********************************
AKABEiSOFT2 Ltd.
Director Noriyuki Shijyo
〒810-0042
Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City,
Chuuouku, Akasaka 1-12-6
Akasaka S Building 3F
TEL 092-716-8828
FAX 092-716-8828
E-mail:shijyo@akabeesoft2.com
**********************************

The IRC channel topic for Anime Novel currently indicates that a project for Concerto Note is ongoing.

Anime Novel appears to have also received a second email, this time for Hime x Hime and Pastel.

Hello, my name is Tokuyama, from upset co.,ltd.
The creation of English translation patches for our company’s games “Hime x Hime” and “Pastel” on your website infringes on our copyrights, so we would like you to immediately stop doing so.

Our company is looking into overseas sales on our own, and thus we would like our overseas fans to wait for an official release respecting our copyrights. We hope you understand.

******************************************************
upset co.,ltd. Hirotaka Tokuyama
GAME-brand Etoiles http://www.etoiles-soft.com/
E-mail amane@upset.jp

Ikebukuro Headquarters
Ohba Building 3F
2-35-4 Ikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan 171-0014
TEL/FAX 03-3590-6848

Kashiwa Development Office
Suncorpo 102
1-14-11 Asahi-cho Kashiwa-shi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 277-0852
TEL/FAX 04-7137-7621
******************************************************

UPDATE: The Anime Novel site is now replaced with a placeholder and a countdown currently at 365 days.

UPDATE 2: The IRC channel topic for Anime Novel now indicates that two of the games they were translating, Hime x Hime and Pastel, have been dropped as a result of the cease and desist notice from upset co.,ltd.

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  1. Puchin Says:
    May 29th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Currently it does not appear that Anime Novel is stopping their activities. = They’re heroes sent by GOD.

  2. JustYourDailyAnonPoster Says:
    May 29th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Woah, that’s quite a handful of C&D’s but well, judging from their team…I can’t see them stopping anytime soon…If they could read this right now and is feeling depressed because of skeptics,…hey we’re here!! We are still looking forward of your works

  3. NM64 Says:
    May 29th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    The first one just sounds like the same thing as minori, except with a nicer tone, trying to make our decisions for us and stuff.

    But with the second one, they actually have a valid reason rather than the typical stuff spewed by the 1st C&D.

  4. Anonymous Says:
    May 29th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    I would ignore Akabeisoft too, no progress will ever come from them.
    Etoiles’ stance remains to be seen… I guess they have a time frame from now and until the patch is released, to prove that they are willing to license their games.

  5. anon Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 12:05 am

    ignore akabei, respect upset.

    show them.

  6. Murf Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Well, I actually feel both parties make good points (especially the second one), and really, the consequences of ignoring these C&D demands would further deepen the rift between the (fan) translators and the developers. We already see this with TLWiki, though maybe their motto of respecting the developers rights were somewhat disingenuous in the first place.

  7. ManaYagami Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 1:08 am

    As if they ever had any interest in releasing anything outside Japan. They just mentioned it, since that’s the reason that would make a translation team drop a project. If that had any truth in it, we would have heard something about it prior to this C&D and any excuse that a completed translation project with a patch released would affect the sales of titles of that same company on the West is ridiculous. Nitro+’s localized titles are highly expected due to the fan translation of Saya no Uta and, stuff like Umineko Episode 4 has been on the tops of importing sites, which only goes against any of their claims that any type of fan translation would affect their sales in a negative way.

  8. Annnon Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 2:10 am

    @7

    So we distrust.
    So we decide.
    So we act like fuckers.

  9. Kouji Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 2:32 am

    so….g-senjou is in danger.

  10. ManaYagami Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 5:48 am

    @8

    0/10, but if you aimed that trolling to the Japanese, maybe it would make sense.

  11. pondrthis Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    @9:

    HEY DAMMIT KEEP THAT MOUTH SHUT!

    And if Akabeesoft2 didn’t hit TLWiki after minorigate but hits these other guys, it’s possible they want their hottest games (Sharin, Gsen) TL’d because they know it will up sales more than the lesser-known games.

    And, uh, I just backed up the scripts in fear.

  12. qazmlpok Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    >However, we sell these products after being approved by a reviewing[rating] agency in Japan, and thus there’s a possibility that it may violate rules overseas.
    I wonder. Is it at all possible for the ESRB to rate the untranslated eroge games to remove this fear (or excuse) of theirs? I know next to nothing about the ESRB though, so would they accept foreign games without having a local distributor like PeaPri?

  13. Eric Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Yeah right like they could be trace and send them to jail…LEAK LEAK LEAK

  14. mstrchef117 Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    If upset Co. is actually looking to localize their VNs, I think the group should actually stop their TL. At least for a period of time to see if they are actually localizing them, or offer them their own services (lol). Any ways, I wait for more info from those guys later.

  15. Anonymous Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    @14
    The fan translation should continue in my opinion. It’s a bad decision to trust their words blindly, you are only opening yourself to potentially be deceived. If they really do want to bring their game over to the west, they have plenty of time to license the game to for example Mangagamer before a full patch is even released.

  16. zalas Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    >>12
    Somewhat related, but Peter Payne said that he once went through the ESRB to rate their games (getting AO obviously) and then decided it wasn’t worth the hassle because it was a lot of money and time and they’d just get AO in the end anyway.

  17. random.idiot Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    there is no doubt in my mind, minori, or someone else, have started attacking fansubs and is trying to see it end.

  18. Omochikaeri Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    random.idiot, my thoughts exactly. minori always seem to be the first to do something before a lot of companies jump on board and copy them, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if those assholes were pulling the strings behind all of this C&D action lately.

  19. random.idiot Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    zalas or anyone who might wish to do an interview with JAST or MG (or even a simple QA at some con). Could you ask about this,

    is their negotiations, with Japanese eroge makers, been more difficult or even hostile since the discussion on introducing the Tokyo virtual children ban have started?

    do they feel that they might lose some of their existing or potential licenses because the west is being wrongly blamed for this ban?

  20. Kanao Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Why are people so sure these are legit?

    Two totally different companies sending similar emails to the same group about different projects within days?

  21. Puchin Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 3:18 am

    @Kanao
    They’re contacting them idiot!
    or the worst case is 2ch is telling them to do so.

  22. ManaYagami Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 3:50 am

    @Puchin
    Sure is summer around here.

    Thanks to the white knights, Anime Novel shut down their site and placed a counter that will stop in a year. I don’t know if they gave up, or have gone underground,but I hope that you are happy.

  23. Puchin Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 3:52 am

    @Mana
    use irc

  24. ManaYagami Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 4:04 am

    @Puchin
    Learn to read.

  25. krondo Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I bet they’re going to do it underground.

  26. ManaYagami Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 5:18 am

    That’s what I thought and Puchin seems to confirm it.

    It’s sad when fans have to keep a low profile when they are simply bringing works that they love to a larger number of people who don’t understand it’s original language, while there are people translating games from companies like Square Enix, Konami and Nintendo, who not only aren’t bothered by either their Japanese and/or American/European offices, but who even get moral support from people who work in the industry, like Electronic Arts, or even Gust/NISA which never threatened anyone for the retranslation project for Ar Tonelico 2 and all the AT related translations. And all those projects are well known. Square Enix even released Front Mission for the DS after it had been fan translated on another system for almost 10 years and it sold more than they expected. People that buy the games and support the industry won’t stop doing it just because someone translated that game before and they could easily pirate it, since it’s even more easy to have a copy of a localized game. There aren’t any studies that prove otherwise.

    Before anyone mentions Chrono Compendium, the only problem that people had with Square Enix was because they weren’t translating one of their games and publicly released the patch, but because they changed the game’s contents and even it’s story without the creators’ consent.

  27. Annnon Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 7:38 am

    from 26:
    /*People that buy the games and support the industry won’t stop doing it just because someone translated that game before and they could easily pirate it, since it’s even more easy to have a copy of a localized game. There aren’t any studies that prove otherwise.*/

    But more ‘fans’ (by fan translations) can make pirating games that much easier. Then companies would have to deal with foreign-maintained distribution networks in addition to local p2p networks. You can then check out ye hongfire, where a large proportion of friendly seeders and leechers are from (lol) Japan. The thing with fan translations, is that most of them are released in patch form; meaning that there would be a higher chance of a healthy torrent or ddl links of the game in Japanese. I would assume that they are more concerned about Japanese sales.

  28. ManaYagami Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:57 am

    The main Japanese P2P network is Share, it’s foreign users aren’t even 1% of the total number and it isn’t them who upload the games on the launching day, so any kind of attack to the fan translations wouldn’t affect the Japanese sales, since it’s the Japanese who pirate them first and continue doing it with a translation patch or without it.

  29. Lee Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Actively prosecuting fan translations is a financial sinkhole for Japanese companies UNLESS they legitimately plan to make sales in western nations. After all, the translations only make the game available to a wider audience and aren’t directly related to piracy. Keep translating until they either spend some money to shut you down (and at that point they may as well consider just making an official translation and selling it themselves) or they just keep on sending toothless letters.

  30. =) Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I agree with Lee, and I also would like to say something….

    For those that keep saying that patches increase piracy.. I really don’t think that it is too strong an argument… At most it is a second or third tier indirect causation. The direct process is more like 1) fan translation patch is released. Then 2) people will want to get the game. Of course, at 2), people splinter off in two directions: legally and piracy. “Ahah! there’s the piracy.” Well, now I will ask two questions, who are the people that want the game after 1) and when are the patches released? For the first, it will probably be English-speakers. Japanese speakers will obviously not be like OMFG!@#$!@ it’s not in English WTF when the game comes out. They will just get the game because umm they speak and can write japanese much better than they can in English? Also, these patches are released a year or more after the release of the games, so most Japanese people will have gotten the game already.

    “BUT WHAT ABOUT ENGLISH PEOPLE THAT PIRATE?!?!?!”
    Well, now I will point towards Lee’s comment and say they do not give a damn about the English market because for one, they aren’t even making the game available in English =.=…..In other words, the Japanese and English market do not overlap and they are obviously targeting the Japanese market, not the English one… However, if they do decide to make an official translation, then I wholeheartedly support it,…. but yeah…. whenever that comes… and although in the manga community, a C&D letter usually implies that the manga will be brought overseas, that is probably not (always) the case here. For example, as much as I enjoy Minori and their games. Their actions of blocking foreign IPs and basically saying !@#$ you foreigners is meh (although understandable, I’m not a fan of Agatha either) . It might just be me, but I seriously doubt their C&D letters imply they will export to the foreign market =S

  31. Doku Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Mmm… The “disaster” goes on.
    Going “underground” is probably looking smarter and smarter for a lot of translation projects right about now… Not that that isn’t where they should have been in the first place.

  32. Annnon Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    @30:

    I just wanted to put up a counter argument in the comments section where everybody goes “screw Japanese companies, we’re obviously in the right here”. For some shit of a reason, the continuation of translation and release of a patch is as good as piracy + disrespect to the creators’ wishes in my eyes if they already expressed intent that they do not wish to have their games translated.

    Referring back to my point in 27, I was talking about the ease of piracy [i]promoting[/i] piracy. It ends up being a really simple decision on the companies’ side: ‘prevention is better than cure’ or ‘tell the fans we love them and hope our decision doesn’t come back and bite us on our butts’.

  33. AQZT Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    AS2: Fan translation patches increase piracy! Well, they also increase our sales and open up potential markets, but who cares about that! We want them to stop!

    Geez, if you’re going to feed us a lie about your motivations, at least make it a little less transparent…

  34. zalas Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:06 am

    >>33 (AQZT)
    I don’t think it’s lying if the person actually believes it to be true.

  35. Anyone Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:41 am

    I agree that it is stupid for Japanese companies to worry about lost sales because of translation patches, but I just don’t think they think these things through.

    This is the same attitude we saw from Insani back in the day. If I remember correctly they even asked people to break one of the discs that came with Wind to prove they legitimately had a copy before they’d give out the translation path.

    After all the stupid drama with the Wind/Planetarian piracy the English community has calmed down, but the creators are still very defensive. Don’t criticise them too harshly though, remember we used to be just the same way!

  36. AQZT Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 6:52 am

    “This is the same attitude we saw from Insani back in the day. If I remember correctly they even asked people to break one of the discs that came with Wind to prove they legitimately had a copy before they’d give out the translation path.”
    Actually, that was NNL, not Insani. And NNL is famous for being massive trolls. And they still eventually released the patch to
    the public after massive backlash, something that I doubt the Japanese Companies will do.

    >>34
    If they actually think that it is true, then they have far more serious problems than I once thought.

  37. zalas Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 7:04 am

    >>36 (AQZT)
    Yes, although NNL did not have that reputation until that incident.

  38. Anyone Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Insani still refused to create any more patches for any commercial games after the Planetarian piracy, including even other versions of Planetarian like the CD version.

    I have a lot of respect for Insani, but that’s an overreaction just as foolish as these companies sending C&Ds.

  39. Anon Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Insani does good work. However, they have an extremely pompous and elitist attitude (yes my opinion is mostly based on reading their F.A.Q. page, but please can they be anymore full of themselves). And that’s saying something since the general attitude of the whole translation scene is pompous and elitist.

    As for the whole “break the support disk” fiasco, even though NNL gets the “blame” for that, I can’t help but believe that it was in reaction to insani’s/gp32’s attitude towards piracy. The two groups did go their separate ways over philosophical differences in the end.

  40. =) Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 10:05 am

    @32
    haha, I totally agree. No one is in the right – It’s more of a battle of who is less wrong =). The sides are:
    A) Companies who fear “further” retribution from groups like Equality Now if their product become easier to access in the English speaking world where their customs and beliefs somewhat differ from the Japanese.
    B) Fans who want to learn the story/play the game because games like ef are simply just too beautiful =).

    As to the respect argument, meh… it’s not strong imo because companies obviously are saying something along the lines of !@#$ you foreigners instead of like giving us an official translation or something…. imo people who do not give respect do not deserve it (of course this is somewhat a chicken or the egg story, but I believe if one is respectful and the other is not, the one that is not is wrong, but if both are disrespectful, meh there’s no right or wrong)

    Think about the situation this way. For all those Harry Potter fans (myself included), imagine J.K. Rowling decided to release the seventh book in *insert random language here* and forbid any translations, not even fan ones. How many will people will respect that wish, going “oh well, I guess I just can’t read the seventh book where it ends and all the omfg good stuff happens.” Ummm…you might be one, but I’m not =)

  41. zalas Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 10:49 am

    >>40 (=))
    That’s not a fully accurate comparison because eroge companies are not directly forbidding official translations. At most, like in minori’s case, it would be J.K. Rowling (or her publisher) forbidding unofficial fan translations of her books and setting a set of regulations (which may be difficult to comply with) for companies who would want to translate her work officially.

    I’m sure even minori would be happy with an official localization if said localization did not cause them to be uneasy about possible repercussions coming back to them. After all, they are one of the companies where some of the employess went overseas for vacations and posted pictures on their blog way back before all this mess.

  42. =) Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:23 am

    @41
    haha, yea that was the flaw in the analogy [all analogies are not perfect after all =) ]
    However, technically, one has to also consider the difference of a billion publishers actively pursuing the licensing of Harry Potter (cuz the profits will be godly) whereas there are only two major companies: mangagamers and jast. Thus, for this market, the visual novels have to actively pursue the overseas market themselves if they want English-speakers to play their works. However, I don’t think they feel the overseas market is “worth it” – the small market size and the possible further foreign pressures on the “pervertedness” of japanese product (retarded to probably all of us, but probably seemingly legitimate to the ignorant masses). Thus, their active pursuit of the foreign market is unlikely, and with only two “big” middlemen companies “mangagamers and jast”, which do not have enough resources to localize the hundreds of vn’s that get released, fans in the english-speaking world would probably have to wait a very long time for an official one to come out, whereas a fan translation patch would give the translation, but not the game. IMO the action they should take is make the games much more available to the foreign market but then considering the piracy… meh.

    So to change my analogy. Instead of barring foreign localizations, imagine all the english publishers suddenly all going bankrupt except for one, which is now responsible for publishing all the books in the english speaking world. Then, imagine their priorities being reference books or something, so a copy of Harry Potter in English would not be available until maybe a few years later at the best, and they also have to translate, which would take time. I would die of impatience by then =S

    On the other hand, I see Hime X Hime creator (don’t know the name sry =S) mention that they were interested in the foreign market above so I remain hopeful, but minori… meh… they were the one who blocked foreign ips and was the first to send C&D and seems to have notified other companies because they followed suit rather quickly =S

  43. DarkOwl Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 6:53 am

    I originally wanted to rant about the crap but sanity came back to me…

    Those anti-depressants and other “medications” might have help…

    But Fan Translation cannot be condemned by law, or at least in my country. We intend to continue our work and distribute it “privately”. Violating Copyrights and Intellectual property laws of other country along the way. And finding an IP masker and a better proxy server. Studying Japanese from a DVD costing about $25 or that kanji writing tool in PSP. My personal prejudice to Japan except for their women increase a little bit after visiting a Veterans Bank, reading my history book, remembering how they burn my country to the ground during WW2 and suffering a 2 months of hellish summer from ROTC while managing to avoid being drafted. Damn I should have done better things this summer than staring on my PC’s LCD. Got my self a Drivers License in case I would need to drive a get-away car in which I have spent 14 hours of my life in Driving School. I finished reading all of 4 Stephenie Meyer’s Novels and watching the 2 movies only to find that Ashley Greene is the only thing that I like about it. Then I log-in my YM to just be notified by the two e-mails that the Translator received. Played Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword and Nuke Japan repeatedly… Then finally writing this useless comment.

    We are going underground with our work as if the Gestapo or KGB are trying to assassinate us.

  44. Emily Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Insani still refused to create any more patches for any commercial games after the Planetarian piracy, including even other versions of Planetarian like the CD version.

    I have a lot of respect for Insani, but that’s an overreaction just as foolish as these companies sending C&Ds.

  45. Amy Says:
    June 5th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Insani does good work. However, they have an extremely pompous and elitist attitude (yes my opinion is mostly based on reading their F.A.Q. page, but please can they be anymore full of themselves). And that’s saying something since the general attitude of the whole translation scene is pompous and elitist.

    As for the whole “break the support disk” fiasco, even though NNL gets the “blame” for that, I can’t help but believe that it was in reaction to insani’s/gp32’s attitude towards piracy. The two groups did go their separate ways over philosophical differences in the end.

  46. random.comment Says:
    June 8th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    even people from t h e p i r a t e b a y . o r g are saying that if you liked something you just pirated, please support them. quality developers are worthy of your support.

    but if eroge companies are now sending their C&D’s, then this only means:

    1. you don’t support them.
    2. they are low quality. (which I seriously doubt)

    even mangagamer is merely just trying to stay alive. We really need to support them when we pirate so that we see lesser chances of C&D’s. None of us would want to see the end of translated visual novels; fan translated or commercial translated.

  47. DarkOwl Says:
    June 30th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Yes… We must support those commercial companies…

    Since they provide the uncensored VNs.

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