Producer takes aim at illegal downloads

Japanese animation producer and distrib Showgate is cracking down on illegal downloads of its toons in Singapore.

Acting on behalf of Showgate, Singapore law firm Rajah & Tann has sent out letters to those suspected of downloading “Devil May Cry,” “Great Guardians” and other Showgate toons through BitTorrent, violating Singapore’s copyright laws.

Violators have seven days to reply, after which Showgate will take legal action against them, according to local reports.

Japan’s Showgate is following in the footsteps of Singaporean toon distrib Odex, which took similar action last year.

Showgate’s step is a first for a Japanese distrib, though U.S.-based toon distrib Funimation, acting on behalf Japanese toon producer d-rights, sent out power-of-attorney letters this month, demanding U.S. sites take down three d-rights titles. Funimation has also issued such letters for toon producer Gonzo for two years running.

Showgate is a subsid of Hakuhodo DY Media Partners engaged in toon and live-action pic production and distribution, as well as DVD sales and rights management.

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