[EVA] legal status on EVA movies / altered episodes in the U.S.

Kevin Barth kbarth at qrc.com
Wed May 6 18:17:05 EDT 1998

At 04:09 PM 98/05/06 -0400, you wrote:
>Cle van Herten wrote:
>>I noticed that a certain company uses this line to justify the sale
>>non-commercially unreleased / altered foreign movies in the U.S  (with
>>or without english subtitles)
>>"The Berne Act" clearly states: films unreleased in the United States,
>>including original version of
>>films altered and/or edited for release in the United States, are not
>>protected by American copyright; thus, they are considered public

100% unadulterated bullcrap.

The Berne CONVENTION (not act...that should be your first tip-off that the
above is bogus), which is cosigned by most developed nations, including
Japan and the United States, protects foreign copyrights as if they were
issued in this country. If you have a few hours and want to check it out,
the full text of the convention is available at:


>>If the sentence mentioned above is correct, wouldn't that mean that it
>>is legal to distribute / sell the EVA movies and  the altered episodes
>>in the U.S., or am I completely wrong here?

You are completely wrong.   If it is copyrighted in Japan, it is copyrighted
here, and distributing or selling it in this country except with the
permission of the copyrightholder is illegal.

>           Aaaaahhhhhhh.....Public domain, is there a sweeter word? As far
>as I know public domain is legal as long as you are getting movies or
>episodes or whatever if 
>a) It is from one anime collector to another 
>b) No American based or owned company has the rights to the anime 

Wrong.  There is no legal differentiation between distributing the Eva
movies without permission of the copyright holder and distributing Maison
Ikkoku without permission of the copyright holder.  Whether an American
company owns the distribution rights or not is immaterial.

Please note that fansubbing per se is not illegal.  If you own a licensed
copy of the work and are using the fansub to make it understandable, it is
quite legal.  But using fansubs in lieu of a licensed copy is illegal, plain
and simple.  which means that an awful lot of cons I know of could be in
serious trouble if someone decided to pursue matters...

Fortunately, the chances of that happening are between slim and none.


Kevin Barth
Research Analyst
Quantum Research Corp.

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