Celebrating Two Decades of Unlawful Progress: Fan Distribution, Proselytization Commons, and the Explosive Growth of Japanese Animation

72 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2005  

Sean Leonard

Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Chicago - Law School; University of Chicago - Law School - John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics

Abstract

The medium of Japanese animation is a powerhouse in the world of alternative entertainment. Proselytization by fans ignited the anime movement in America, despite Japanese copyright holders' abandonment of the American market. This historical and legal analysis demonstrates that, in at least one case spanning two decades, fans' continual infringement of copyright spurred the progress of knowledge of and commerce in animation. In light of the evidence, this article proposes a doctrine that recognizes both the value of grassroots activists and the property interests of copyright holders.

Keywords: Japanese animation, anime, intellectual property, copyright, Japan, US, fansub, piracy, commons, progress

JEL Classification: Z1

Suggested Citation

Leonard, Sean, Celebrating Two Decades of Unlawful Progress: Fan Distribution, Proselytization Commons, and the Explosive Growth of Japanese Animation. UCLA Entertainment Law Review, Spring 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=696402

Sean Leonard (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

University of Chicago - Law School - John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics ( email )

1111 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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