So we wish for hope like the Simoun girls, yet are we worshipping merely ourselves in the process?
I actually have nothing much to say about the whole fiasco of ODEX since it has been over run by so many people lately including me during the past two months. However, the latest blog entries surrounding this issue about Stephen Sing reeks of mere punitive naive flaming.
Stephen Sing, for the uninitiated, is one of the directors in ODEX and the secretary of AVPAS. I will not say that it is a smart choice by any PR standards to leave verbal/written evidence of one’s personal feelings toward such a case, simply when it is such a sensitive issue with cash involved. When you are one of the heads of a company, the confidentiality of such sentiments should be kept strictly to yourself and is an invite to ridicule. It seems easy to accuse him for being a total fill-in-the-blanks. However, as much as I want to flame him altogether for his gloating words, I can’t.
Why not, you might ask? The thing is that the resulting flames and entries written by the anime community in Singapore has done nothing except to pander to our egos as a group that is happy to accuse anything done by ODEX without moving a step backwards to think a little about the things that are moving in. I do think that the anime community is a small but tightly knitted one, but sometimes a bit too naive in its knowledge about people being sued. I can be very sure that none of the money that went to sueing those people goes into the pockets of ODEX, simply because the lawyer fees for setting those cease and desist letters will probably take up most of the profit.
Another fact that many fans should take note is this. ODEX does not depend on the fans to actually survive. If anything, ask yourself whether you have ever remotely feel like buying any ODEX releases. I am not going to make a judgment on whether the product is good or bad, but 90% of the people in Singapore who download anime will not think twice to actually buy the product truthfully. As much as we all like to be saints and blame ODEX for it, they do not need us to keep their company afloat. If they really have to depend on us to actually buy their products to survive, I doubt we will complain about ODEX at all since they will be defunct years ago.
So what if you boycott the product? I am sure that ODEX earns more profit selling broadcast rights of the anime that they license to the cable companies such as channel 56 and Channel U, as well as doing dubbing for overseas ventures. I also have to be a little controversial in saying that there are no enemies in the anime community in Singapore since anime downloading is never legal in the first place. ODEX is never having any form of credibility in the first place, and screwing up the fans that will never buy the product will have almost a net effect of ZERO. Hence, why not please the broadcasters and dubbing companies who are paying them the cash, and secure their profit line?
My simple word for this issue is this: Being childish over this downloading and the words spoken is really not putting the community in a good light. What will people think of us? My bet is that we will be seen as a group of immature little punks that know nothing of the law and simply know how to flame. I do not like to be seen in that light at least. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, and some might even flame me for this stance. Still, make a sense of some things I have to say, and think if it makes sense at all.