Licensing: Who gets the money?

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Kidder

Kidder

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How does licensing work?

When a US company buys the rights for an anime, do they give a one-off payment to the Japanese studio that produced the anime or does the Japanese studio get a percentage of the sales?

I was wondering about this because whenever I buy an anime dvd, I'm assuming that I'm "donating" towards the Japanese studio to continue to produce good anime. But if none of my money actually reaches the creators then I'd rather not be shelling out my cash to companies that didn't actually have a part in the creation and production of the anime.

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shinsengumi

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shinsengumi

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Some companies may not have a part in the creation and production of anime, but they still do the important task of distribution, without which you would have no legal (and cost-effective) means of getting anime domestically. Remember that as much as people may complain about how much anime costs in the United States, as a whole, anime costs more per-episode in Japan than it does here, and I imagine a similar state of affairs exists in Europe, Australia, and elsewhere.

However, increasingly, US companies have been co-producing series along with Japanese companies because with the costs of production as they are and with the increasing number of US viewers, US consumption of anime and the financial support of US-based companies is one of the things that is keeping the anime industry afloat in Japan.

So, the bottom line is that when you buy an anime DVD, you're helping to ensure both that the anime you enjoy will continue to be created in Japan and that it will continue to come to the US (or wherever you may live).

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Oh, wow, I wasn't aware that US companies actually have a part in the production work itself. Are these like temporary partnerships for a particular series or are they permanent?

  • Feb 26, 2006

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