I'm sure many of you heard the big anime news that has been circulating over the last 24 hours. Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo have joined forces to file lawsuit against a gang of anime fans that were illegally ripping/uploading anime to YouTube. The content include shows like Naruto and Bleach. YouTube was contacted and has since removed the episodes in question.
I can see how the act itself is illegal. There are certain streaming deals made between Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo, as well as other anime companies, and these rules give them rights to air certain anime episodes at certain times. People that take these episodes and upload them somewhere else are breaking the rules of the deal, and both companies have the right to legally go after them.
What's my issue with the story, then? Well, there's one line in the lawsuit that really has me scratching my head. According to the lawsuit, TV Tokyo claims that actions like this will "lose a customer opportunity". In other words, they say that anyone that watches these programs on YouTube is losing them viewers, as well as customer opportunities.
I have to ask you guys, do you agree with this line of thinking? I don't believe what the people did is right, but I'm not sure I agree with what TV Tokyo is saying. Much like letting friends borrow games, books or music, I would think that spreading the word on anime might actually net new customers. They watch the upload, want to see more and head to the official sources to do so. Not every view goes that way, but I would think that a good amount do.
Again, I'm not saying what these uploaders did is right. I'm just trying to decide if TV Tokyo's reasoning makes sense.