What is the Copyright Status of the Original Dub?

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MementoNepenthe

Aurorae Lunares
Mar 8, 2012
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#1
While perusing the U.S. Copyright Office's website, I found that they'd recently added a ton of listings for the first 65 episodes of the original/DiC dub (records for the remaining episodes, movies, the Viz dub, Crystal, most of the manga, etc, don't appear to have been digitized yet) so I decided to look through them. For the purposes of this thread, I'll be using the first episode ("A Moon Star is Born") as an example.

The episode's copyright was first registered on May 7, 1996, with "DIC Productions, LP, employer for hire" given as the work's author and copyright claimant.

A few years later, a copyright security agreement was filed on November 29, 2000, listing Chase Manhattan Bank as a second party. This was presumably done in preparation of Andy Heyward's buying back Disney's majority stake in DIC.

This agreement was then terminated on August 15, 2008 and a new one was filed on September 17, 2008, listing the Royal Bank of Canada (Toronto) as the second party. Again, this was presumably done pursuant to DIC's merger with Cookie Jar.

The most recent records were registered on May 30, 2012 (listing Cookie Jar Entertainment, Inc., and the Royal Bank of Canada as the parties involved, and on September 25, 2012 (listing only Cookie Jar and its subsidiaries). Again, this was presumably done pursuant to Cookie Jar's merger with DHX Media (now WildBrain).

This would all seem to suggest that DHX currently owns the copyright to the original DiC dub. (The status of the copyright on the movies and CWi dub, I'm not sure about.) Presumably Viz would need to work out a deal with them first if they wanted to re-release at least those episodes, but also presumably, DHX/WildBrain could simply try to work out a deal with Toei to release the old dub themselves. Maybe it's time to start a campaign?
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#2
I don't believe Toei has any interest in re-releasing the old dub.
They now have an "uncut", complete, brand-new dub they want to sell and wouldn't want any competition against.
 

MementoNepenthe

Aurorae Lunares
Mar 8, 2012
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#4
I would never spend money on the Viz dub, but I would absolutely buy an official re-release of the old dub, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels that way, so if Toei wants our coins, they'd have to approve a re-release. I'm also sure a lot of people who have bought or are going to buy the Viz dub would also buy the original dub if it were available. No one who's interested in owning the Viz dub is going to chose to buy the old dub instead; they'll either buy both or just buy the Viz dub. Even if Toei didn't want to go through the expense of manufacturing DVDs/BDs, they could at least put the old dub up for streaming. Might as well make /some/ money off of it. Better than just leaving it to collect dust in an archive somewhere.
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#5
It’s not competition, they make money either way
Yeah, it's competition between two dubs. Even if they make money out of both.
An "uncut" dub they actually had control over and an edited version produced by another company trying to fit the series into US syndication, in a time Japanese companies didn't really have a say on anime localization in the US. I'm 99 percent sure they want only one version to be the official English-language version of Sailor Moon, and that's the Viz dub.
I agree it would be neat for fans to be able to have the old dub in their shelves, but that doesn't make much sense from a business standpoint. At least not now, when the Viz dub is not even completely out yet. Maybe in a decade, after they milked everything they could from it.
 
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Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#7
I'm sure the rights to the movies' and S/SuperS' old dub is with Toei. They did produce them after-all. Even if Pioneer technically did, I'm sure the rights would've just reverted to Toei like all standard anime dubs.
Every dub produced by Cloverway in Latin America for Toei anime reverted to them.
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#8
Yeah, it's competition between two dubs. Even if they make money out of both.
An "uncut" dub they actually had control over and an edited version produced by another company trying to fit the series into US syndication, in a time Japanese companies didn't really have a say on anime localization in the US. I'm 99 percent sure they want only one version to be the official English-language version of Sailor Moon, and that's the Viz dub.
I agree it would be neat for fans to be able to have the old dub in their shelves, but that doesn't make much sense from a business standpoint. At least not now, when the Viz dub is not even completely out yet. Maybe in a decade, after they milked everything they could from it.
As we all know people can’t buy both. It’s illegal to buy one and then buy the other.

Toei may be focused on the Viz dub but they also like money and would make money with the Optimum dub just as well.
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#9
I guess I already made clear how nonsensical is to re-release the old dub at this point, but there's still more.
Why the heck would Toei release an alternative dub while the Viz is still releasing and promoting theirs?
That wouldn't be competition for Toei, but for Viz it absolutely would be. Lots of people rant on Viz's social media pages about how they ruined Sailor Moon and their childhoods. But still, their dubbed and subtitled release is the only official way of getting hands on Sailor Moon currently, and some of these fans end up buying it. But if the old dub is made available, most of them aren't going to support the Viz release anymore. If Toei re-releases the old dub now, they would simply screw up Viz and their business relationship. So, as I already said, this makes no sense from a business standpoint.
 

MementoNepenthe

Aurorae Lunares
Mar 8, 2012
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#10
Rumor has it Toei wants to end its licensing agreements with Viz anyway, at least where the 90's anime is concerned. Also, no one is suggesting Toei re-release the old dub today. We're just discussing the possibility of their okaying a re-release if the current rights holder (DHX/WildBrain) showed an interest in doing so. That wouldn't happen until long after Viz's dub release finishes, so it's an irrelevant point to bring up.
 
Oct 31, 2009
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#11
Old dub's dead and legally probably never coming back sadly.

New dub's probably dead soon but could come back in 10 or 15 years because of the uncut factor.

Unless there was an extension with Season 3's pickup, Crystal's probably dead here soon as well since both shows were picked up at the same time (2014).

(For those confused, check this post and also the entire Spain thread)
 
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Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#12
New dub's probably dead soon but could come back in 10 or 15 years because of the uncut factor.
I don't think so. Toei very probably owns it and doesn't need to renew contracts with Viz in order to keep streaming it for long as they want.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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#13
But if we were to sell the Dic Dub, what would it be officially named as? Sailor Moon ... Original English Adaptation?
 
Jan 2, 2010
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#15
But if we were to sell the Dic Dub, what would it be officially named as? Sailor Moon ... Original English Adaptation?
They could name it the TV version. Honestly Viz should’ve just had it as a bonus disc for their releases. I believe the German or Italian release had both the uncut dub and the original TV cut? I don’t remember specifically.
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#16
I believe the German or Italian release had both the uncut dub and the original TV cut? I don’t remember specifically.
I think you're talking about the Italian dub. But it was the very same dub from the 90s, I remember the airings on Hiro had scenes that were cut in the original broadcast, like Michiru kissing Haruka's bleeding hand in the Nehelenia arc in Stars. Not sure whether they had the original dub or the voice actors returned to redub these particular scenes.
 
Likes: ChibiBoi
Jul 6, 2018
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#20
I am sure Viz would have include it, if they could. Maybe the S and SuperS dubs could still be arranged legally. I think the problem might be the Classic and R
 
Likes: ChibiBoi