Viz is going to be selling downloads, apparently for sale and rent, of Death Note. Now, I admittedly know nothing of Death Note, and am not really as into the fan-sub scene as it would be fun to be, but I sort of wonder how this will effect their business.
The way I understand it is that as long as a title is unlicensed in America, fan-subs are generally not given any trouble (over subbing anime and giving it away for free.) I wonder if this move is seen as a good thing or a bad thing. From the comments on the news link above, it seems like people think it's neat, but they don't want to pay for it. Some want their payments to be "credited" towards DVD purchase, which seems silly. Are your iTunes credited towards CD purchase? Admittedly, it's a different market, where there are weird wait times yadda while things are translated, but I still don't think any vendor would consider such a scheme.
What would be even better is if they just released an English language version of Japan's anime network. Is it still WOW! or whatever it used to be? I mean, we export MTV and stuff, why couldn't we just import that. Have a team of translators whose only purpose in life is to completely translate that channel so that last weeks screenings are available this week in English. Premium cable.
WOE IS ME over premium cable. I wish you could get TV channels à la carte (Speak of the devil, Ian sent me that link a couple hours after I posted this. Wiggy!) I think the boy and I had this conversation one day and decided we would get: Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, TCM, and the Japanese channel. I would totally order subbed -- oh, here we go. It's WOWOW, and it's not just anime. I learned! Wikipedia tells us that it has become famous for broadcasting new anime, but also shows movies and Western shows. Go figure. So here is the channel we would really be looking for, Animax. And if you scroll down that Wikipedia link, it says (under North America) that they actually WOULD like to bring it here. If they would just do it subbed and not dubbed I'm sure many people would be very happy.