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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.

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.

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.

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