Fans are often eager to learn more about an upcoming project they’re interested in, and this has led to leaks. Leaks can happen to everything from movies to games to anime, and Takamitsu Sueyoshi, a rights agent and producer at Shueisha, cautions that these leaks are not harmless and could hurt the business.
Sueyoshi explained this late last month in a series of tweets. Fans might think they’re helping by leaking things early and supposedly getting people interested, but that’s not how the people behind the project see it. They set themselves up for an official announcement, and they watch the reaction to that announcement. So do other companies. So, for example, if something is leaked early and then the official announcement doesn’t get much attention because people are already aware of it, other companies are less likely to invest or get involved since they don’t see as much of a reaction to the official announcement. This can prevent a property like an anime from getting licensed or getting more adaptations made.
He doesn’t like leakers getting positive attention for what they do. He also made it clear he doesn’t blame people who are hanging around on the internet or scrolling through something and accidentally come across some leaked material. He just asked that you not pay attention to the leaks.
According to him, Shueisha is working hard to fight against leaks, but it’s pretty hard to stop them altogether. So he asks people to all work together by not taking part in leaks.
Recently the production committee behind Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU put out a statement making it clear that they take leaks very seriously, and they aren’t against responding with legal action. The Pokémon Company also went after leakers in the courts after the leaked material was taken out of context and got the business bad publicity.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.