During the past several months, both companies have been working together to identify and take legal action against Internet sites and individuals who offer unauthorized downloads and video streams of Critical Mass and ASM titles, the companies said.
Many of them direct “rips” of the companies’ Region 1 DVDs without compensating either the respective North American licensor(s) or the Japanese creators, a representative said.
“Adult Source Media has been targeting websites and affiliates who have been stealing our content for quite some time now,” ASM President Wendy Crawford said. “We have been jointly working with Critical Mass Video to facilitate measures to both shut down these sites and pursue criminal and civil charges against those who run them.
“As entrepreneurs who both started our companies with self-financing and tremendous sweat equity, Shawne Kleckner and I have to look at things from a broad perspective. This not only hurts our sales. It jeopardizes our ability to license new titles, and in turn, affects the livelihoods of our terrific employees and their families.”
Critical Mass Video President Shawne Kleckner agreed.
“To add insult to injury, a number of the sites are selling the creative content they have illegally appropriated," he said. "The bottom line: When we’re not being paid for our content, the Japanese companies and creative teams aren’t being paid. In turn, it affects whether or not new anime even gets made … and the Japanese licensors are increasingly vocal about their concerns in this area.
“Sadly, these site owners are forcing us to go beyond issuing cease and desist orders. They are placing us in a position where our only option is to hire attorneys and pursue legal remedies to this situation.”
For questions about this effort, or to report sites featuring suspect content, email email@example.com.