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By the looks of it, the chances of us getting more anime movie releases just got a whole lot slimmer, no thanks to a bunch of movie goers who recorded Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale and shared it online.

The news comes from GSC Movies (as announced on their Facebook page) that due to the actions of these people, the whole anime movie screening scene might have become a lot duller.  As it is, we don’t typically get many anime movies on the big screen (with the exception of stuff like Kimi No Nawa/Your Name), and these few people have essentially wrecked it for the rest of us.

Here’s what GSC released on their recent announcement:

“Calling all SAO fans, it has come to our attention that some of you guys had recorded some of the movie and illegally uploaded it online.

This is a serious issue, we understand that you are great SAO fans, but by making illegal recordings, you have tentatively limited our ability to arrange for another World Release in Malaysia in the future.

We would greatly appreciate it if anyone would report any leaks they find online! Please and thank you! #GSCMStories #SAOMovie

In short, due to this turn of events GSC will be having difficulties securing more anime screenings locally. Sword Art Online Ordinance Scale is distributed by Odex Private Limited, and we’re trying to get in touch with them and GSC to shed more light on the issue.

In the meantime, if you happen to come across any leaked videos of footage from the movie, please do inform GSC and hope that we can still be trusted enough to get our movies.

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Update: So Odex Pte Ltd, the Singapore-based company that distributes Sword Art Online Ordinale Scale for the region, has put out their own statement on the matter on their Facebook page. The leaks in question were traced back to the fan screening in both Malaysia and Singapore that were held on 18 February 2017. The clips in question had 8 to 10 minutes of the movie in them.

While many might think this is a small matter, the licensors for Japan take the infringement really seriously, according to Odex. As such, Odex says that there might be a likelihood of Malaysia and Singapore being blacklisted for future anime releases.

Here is the statement from Odex in full:

SWORD ART ONLINE movie 8 min leak from Singapore & Malaysia

Dear SAO fans,

We received a notice from Japan that there are SAO movie video leaks ranging from 10 secs to 8 mins; and the source was traced to Singapore & Malaysia’s Fan Screening on 18 Feb 2017.

Regardless of the reason or circumstances surrounding the unauthorised recording of the movie, this incident has serious repercussions on our local anime community.

The irresponsible actions of the minority who carried out the unauthorised recording drew flak from Japanese licensors because this is a serious infringement of copyright,resulting in the very likelihood of Singapore and Malaysia being blacklisted for future anime film release.

While ODEX is doing its utmost to limit the damage suffered, we seek your help to alert the cinema management of any unauthorised photography or videography taking place during the screenings.

We work to bring the latest and popular anime movies to the big screens of Singapore and Malaysia, this will not be possible if there are movie leaks damaging the integrity of our local anime community.

We need your help to stop unauthorised recording in cinemas.

Thank you.

ODEX Private Limited

PLEASE HELP TO CIRCULATE THIS INFORMATION AMONG YOUR FRIENDS

The original Facebook post can be found here.

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Look, we know that many fans would love to share their experience while watching a highly anticipated anime movie in the theatres. However, Japan has always been REALLY testy when it comes to copyright infringement.

It doesn’t help that Malaysia, in general, has had a dubious reputation when it comes to the subject of piracy. For many, a 5-10 minute video clip might not be much, but it can lead to severe consequences, like what’s happening now.

And if you think only the Sword Art Online franchise will be affected, think again. Odex holds the bulk of the popular anime movie distribution rights for the South East Asian region and past movies they’ve distributed include the Naruto and Boruto anime movies, the One-Piece anime movies and many more.

So can you imagine IF Malaysia and Singapore gets blacklisted, that’s a big chunk of popular anime movies that we WON’T be able to see. Hopefully it doesn’t come to a full blacklist and the Japanese licensors will be able to forgive us for now.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this issue and will update as more develops.

You might also like to read:

10 anime/manga live-action adaptations to watch in 2017

  • Hitoribocchi

    I, for one, prefer that people in Malaysia “do not get any future anime movie releases.” I have no qualms about it.

    1. They disrespect with this shenanigans.
    2. They disrespect the image rights of seiyuu-singers by taking photos when they are not allowed to. Examples: Pile, Animax Carnival 2015’s angela/GARNiDELiA/yanaginagi and so on.
    3. They have no qualms buying bootlegged versions of BDs shoehorned by some companies here.

    So all in all, I don’t mind Japan blacklisting Malaysia and Singapore. One rat feces spoils the whole soup, so the Chinese saying goes.

    • Dante Ting

      And then what of the legitimate fans who wholeheartedly support the series franchise?

      • Timothy Galisin

        because of the irresponsibility of some people…..looks like we have to dig somewhere else to get our fix of animes….

        • Dante Ting

          Sad!

      • Jj Lim

        we suffer along with those that has caused this problem. There is a high possibility that we will be blacklisted and that is something I dont want. Heck Kuroko no Basket the Last game is about to screen and I want it in Malaysia.

      • Khaiari

        Probably the best way is a collaborative effort of all legitimate fans to trash out those irresponsible people by banning them from these anime festivals in the first place. Efforts can be put like criminal arrest for copyright infringement when they take pictures…THEN AGAIN: I don’t know if Malaysian police would even bat an eye to such a cases…..Sorry guys, can’t help you here 🙁 I think a good management of the anime events like tighter security aka no phones etc. The least is to stop the guy taking pictures when you see them I guess.

    • Mary Phun メーリ

      I’m in these events too
      They’re just too much!

      We have the responsibility to stop them

      • Khaiari

        Exactly my thoughts

    • fizmartin

      who cares… we have internet… ban them all you want noobs… im gonna watch anime for the rest of my life….

  • VF2blaze

    May we rest in peace. If only fellow brothers and sisters didn’t drag us down with them.

  • Jj Lim

    Since I am one of the few who watched the premiers in Mid Valley GSC cinema I can say that you cant really blame the security of the GSC staff members. Thr were alot of fans when I went in and thr were like 5 theaters readied for us. So far when I was watching I didnt really see anyone near me recording with their phones but to those in my theater I couldnt really see since I was too focused on the movie xD

  • Jj Lim

    I mean I get that some fans love the movie alot but cant they wait for it to be available on sites like Gogoanime or Chrunchyroll? They dont make anime sites without a reason lol

  • Villi

    Coming from an anime fan but did not attend the screening of the film;

    Piracy will always happen. Publishers and distributors need to accept that fact. The need to stomp piracy out is warranted, but the reaction from this saga is a bit harsh. Putting the blame on the 99% PAYING fans is absolutely ridiculous and pointing the finger.

    IF, ODEX is so strict on copyright infringement, the pressure should be on the distributors. To similar effect, GSC’s statement also shows a level of unprofessionalism. They’re basically blaming their customers and not even accepting their part of the responsibility.

    To quote;
    “This is a serious issue, we understand that you are great SAO fans, but by making illegal recordings, you have tentatively limited our ability to arrange for another World Release in Malaysia in the future.”

    Mind the use of “YOU.”

    Really? That’s how you treat your customers in the face of a common piracy problem?

    • 九鳳院正宗

      Yes they are right. It’s the PAYING customer’s fault. Wanna know why? Because the PAYING customers CAN’T UNDERSTAND SIMPLE RULES AND REGULATIONS. So what if you’re paying? Does that give you the right to NOT obey any rules and regulations set? Your entire post is retarded. If you can’t even obey SIMPLE rules and regulations, they have the right to ban your viewing even if you paid for it. Paying does NOT mean you’re entitled to do anything you wish. Also, wanna know the second reason why? It’s BECAUSE of those paying customers(people who don’t pay don’t get to watch it first, common sense?). If NO ONE went to watch the viewing, there wouldn’t have been this problem in the first place because the recordings can only come from the PAYING CUSTOMERS. Paying does not mean any shit other than you get to watch it with others during it premieres.

      Yes you’re right, they blame the 99%, because Japan doesn’t care about the minority that breaks the rule. EVERYONE gets punished no matter what. There is a saying that goes “Just as a single rotten apple has spoiled all the good ones”. If you can’t even understand this concept or how movies are distributed, save yourself the embarrassment and not post retarded shit like this.

      • Villi

        Right. So it’s okay to stereotype and group a bunch of people cuz one dude decides to break the rules?

        You said,” If NO ONE went to watch the viewing, there wouldn’t have been this problem in the first place because the recordings can only come from the PAYING CUSTOMERS.”
        – If no one went, there’d be no money to make the movie lah adoi. Where the fricking revenue gonna come from to justify the budget? The whole entire movie DEPENDS on paying customers.

        Lol. If payment doesn’t mean anything to you, then why are you arguing with me, when I’m agreeing to the fact that legitimate effort deserves proper returns.

        What you’re arguing about is exclusivity to a bunch of idealistic people who so called “promise not to break the rules.” We’re fucking humans. We’re erratic and unpredictable. Shit happens all the time. Finger pointing gets us no where.

        How about a new idea to up the security standards of distributors and trying to prevent shit like this from happening again? That’s a start.

        Peace.

        • Kevin Kok

          Villi, I completely agree with your point of view.

          If there’s light, there’s always shadow. It is simply impossible to stop piracy. And yes, we need to be a responsible consumer to ensure we can enjoy these entertainments in the future as well. However, the distributor needs to take their responsibility to try to stop the act of piracy as well.

          But seriously, those who support the product will pay money to support it with or without pirated products out there. Those who don’t support wouldn’t even care about all of the fuss that we have here.

          And maybe it’s a good thing that they stop distributing it to Malaysia? Maybe then people can spend their money somewhere more constructive than entertainment alone? Jokes aside, no rules or method can ever stop piracy in my opinion…

          • JamesP

            Pirates are depriving the anime creators of revenue. And in this case, making it easier for those who are on the fence to pirate. This isn’t about paying hollywood execs and stars mega bucks. The Japanese anime industry in recent times is seriously struggling with Japan’s decreasing birthrate and growing interest in western shows that means anime isn’t as profitable anymore.

    • 10 seconds to 8 minutes of a feature length film have been leaked. This is not going to stop anyone who’s interested, from watching the full movie.

      If anything, it will stir up interest among those who’ve not been exposed to the franchise before.

      I think the licensor needs to review its hissy-fit reactionary policies.

      This is like the stupid early days of digital music, when record labels sued teenage music fans for illegally downloading music that they loved and usually ended up paying for at the CD store.

    • zewe3h

      Punish the other customers who willing to pay money to watch the movie will not solve the piracy(?) problem, some more it is just few minutes leak and not entire movie leak, probably some people will see it as trailer or promotional item to get more people to go watch the movie. People will not interested or pay attention to the thing they never see or known, thus nobody will contribute the money to the anime maker if they know nothing about the anime. For example, many people go to AFA SG early year to watch for May’n concert(singer of Macross Frontier song), but that time Macross Frontier anime is not even licensed in Singapore and not show in TV too, and still a lot people in Singapore know about Macross Frontier…Just figure it out yourself.

  • Louis Lee

    all the uploader go fuck yourself

  • Ina mo

    nice

  • Daniel Wong

    OMG Dam those stupid idiot who record it illegally and mess it up for good people .I agree it is a serious thing to record in cinema but to ban the rest of the good people and fans is a little too strict if you ask me . They can maybe just make sure all devices are maybe switch off or handed to staff for safe keeping rather than banning the release of a movie in the whole country i mean like because of maybe 1-2 people you lose business and make hundreds of thousands of people suffer which is just sad

    • Kireas

      The problem with that is that you then risk phones getting lost which in turn means loss of personal info, memories etc.

  • Gary Wong

    those scums dunno english… poor education

  • shaa

    Please don’t blacklisted anime from Malaysia..WE WANT ANIME!!!! We Are anime fan

  • SI PUNK

    This is so sad cause those countries are so lucky to have anime movies on theaters!! In my country NOT A SINGLE ANIME MOVIE HAS BEEN SHOWN IN THEATERS!! ANIME IS NOT EVEN A THING IN MY COUNTRY!!! IF I GO OUT & ASK SOMEONE IF YOU WATCH ANIME? They’ll be like ”What the hell is anime?” That’s how it is in my country!!

    • Domokun09

      too bad for ur country, This SAO need to be watched, i have been wait too long for this >+<

  • fizmartin

    nothing like the power of pirating can handle this….. INTERNET DOWNLOAD… STREAMING…. Torrent…

  • Alex SDU

    What if I tell you that the uploader is not even an anime fan. But just another regular movie goer?
    Furthermore, placing the blame entirely on the audience only make it worst.
    You know, in some cinemas in western countries, they installed Infrared spotlight on their screen, to prevent recording in the cinema. Human naked eyes can’t see this light, but handycam can, which mean, it can’t record the movie and only showing bright light.
    But I don’t know if it would work on phone camera, though.

  • wallance lee

    Is okay! I will wait months for the blu ray release then download from torrent. Can save my wallet, utilize my internet! Best.

  • Maxime Bolduc

    This makes me sad since I’m living in a part of Canada where anime not only rarely appears in theaters. In the last 10 years, I can count on ONE hand how many 2D movies made it in the local theaters. This is because we got a provincial law that doesn’t allow any movies without french sub to be displayed unless it’s for a cultural reason (like if the movie is set in some past time in history and uses the “old” language spoken back then.)

    Then we can buy the disk version (bluray or/and DVD), but 80% of the time, we have to buy it online and import it from the US. (Which comes with some S&H fees + taxes)
    Whenever we got it locally in stores, the price is jacked up to about 200%-250% its actual price. (Most of the time, we got the European version which was subbed in French and English and shipped to Canada months after its release.)

    This is why I’m a subscriber at Crunchyroll as it’s the cheapest way of legally accessing anime. In the case of this movie, I can guess it will take around 1-2 years for it to appears there. So, in the end, I’ll surely end up paying around 80CAD + almost 15% taxes for it to be imported from the US.

  • Muhammad Anas

    oh man im from Malaysia