In this article I though I would go into the matter of what’s illegal and what isn’t. Let me come right out and say it, Majin Planet is an illegal site. Everything from writing my fan fiction, to the music videos I put on the server from myself and past creators, the Fight Club, the layout, all the screen shots and many, many more things here are all as in terms of the law is illegal for me to do.
Why? Because that’s the law, nothing, I can do about it alone. Personally there isn’t anything I would want to do to change that. So why bring it up? Well that’s a good question, and the answer to that question is why we protect the rights of those who create things, we should have laws for the other site.
Lets stop and look at the facts, why does someone make a fan website? How about we look at the TV show South Park for an example. You watch the show ever day. You buy the T-shirts, you buy the DVD’s when released, you even watch it every day. You support the creators and the show, but you want to show more of your support, maybe you want to start a fan club? You and your three South Park friends start-up a fan club where once a week you discuss about the latest episodes. One day one of you comes with an idea about writing your own episodes, for the fun of it to see what you can come up with. Maybe a past episode could have been better? So you go out and do this. Before long you have a host of stuff you made in your club and as time passed by you has more members.
One day one of them asks you, why don’t you make a website? Sounds like a good idea right? You can make an official site for your fan club, now, but you will not only have the ten members in your area but people from all over the world. You reunion and created a web site, makes a layout using screen shots from South Park. You then post up your “fan created” episodes, you put up your other creative work. Soon you learn that you can do more, so you start to add your favorite clips from the show.
You start-up a newsletter for your clan, even a membership system where people can sign up and take part in your message board where before you use to talk with others at the local park are now on your computer talking with someone you would normally never see or meet. This is the power of the Internet and this is the freedom everyone has. So what happened to this freedom?
Greed and the people who control the world, while some may think, it’s the Government who controls things, the corporations of the world run our lives, that’s for another article. So what happens to our South Park Club? They got shut down by the host that had their site on. Why? Well, and the corporation that owes South Park found out about the club. They see your using their works illegally, so they contact the host that host your site and threat to sue them if they do not shut down the site. So one day you and let’s say millions of other South Park fans where together and overall supporting the corporation and the show now are wondering why they got shut down.
You may be thinking that this could never happen, but indeed it happens every day. If you look at the corporation side and with Copyright laws you can side with them. The law is clear, we have them to keep order (and control) and you knew this going into it. So you should pay for breaking the law. It’s just like when you speed and you get pulled over. You knew you where traveling 45-miles in a 25-mile zone, so you were given a ticket for it.
Take things from the “fans” point of view. You supported them, you gave them money when you order Cable and watch the TV show by giving them ratings. You buy their DVD’s which they get money for, you went to the theater to see the film they did. You have South Park gear, again showing your support to the show and the people who created it. But they shut down your site, now let say you got anger and so you sold all your DVD’s crashed everything else you had of South Park and you move onto something else never to buy anything from South Park again.
They lost your support, you will no longer give them money and so now they have to work harder to make up for it. In the example when looking at the facts, one person is not going hurt any corporation anywhere. However it’s an example of what could happen if something at a bigger scale where to happen.
As I was saying, I agree something should be done to protect the rights and the law and to stop those who would overall “hurt” the creator. If you build a free web site and offer loads of free information and tools and other resources I can’t see how you would hurt them if you use copyright stuff if used in a way where you help them. It’s like free adverting. Maybe no one in Japan knew of South Park, but someone found your site in a search engine, and in return they told others and before long everyone in Japan knew about and now sales of South Park are up in Japan. This happened because of the free yet illegal use of copyrights you use to sell something to others through free adverting on your site. Now again for really here the chance of that is low. But not if you stop and think about it.
How many of you know the real reason Naruto is now in the US and UK being dub into English? How about the latest news about the Bleach anime that will be on television this fall? They are great animes and it was only a matter of time. However the fans boosted it to a point where the corporations here in the US went out to get the anime so that they can start making money here. And even with the millions of fan sites still hosting episodes and movies (mostly just the latest now) I do hope they make money off them and at the same time all the Naruto and Bleach sites learn to make it without hurting the corporations.
So in the end I think it comes to how far you take something. If where to ask me in terms of what would be going too far with something in terms of say anime would be full episodes, and the movies of a series that could be bought at a local store or on an online store. The same for a movie or TV show or even a book. Having a site about a book and uploading it all for downloading is one thing. I think that’s a big no, no. I think it comes down to not only if you are hurting them by taking away business but if you are making money off of it. That is where they come after you.
In the art of the Internet I believe that the fan site will be save, as I don’t think any creator or corporation would want to rick destroying that media making it too hard for someone to have a fan site about anything they wish without fear of being sue. I believe if you understand the law, know that you are breaking the law and that you work your best to not hurt them buy help them you will be OK.
I really do hope that this article helps some of you make way with your project and your site. Don’t be afraid but just remember if you run a fan site on anything you may be breaking the law in your area. You should remember that as long as you take the right steps in insuring whatever your fan site is about, that you support them. Don’t put up anything or do anything that would hurt them from making money, even know many corporations I would love to take out back and shoot. Thank you for reading and if you have any questions feel free to sign up and post a comment.