Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale became one of the most talked about anime movies in Malaysia after releasing in theaters on February 18th, 2017. The viewers had a good time, went back home after the movie ended, and had no problems for the rest of the month.
As if that’s the case…
Two days after it’s release, the largest cinema chain in Malaysia, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), released a statement which said accordingly:
In short, someone recorded parts of the movie and uploaded it online. Not only is this illegal, but this event will lead to GSC having difficulties securing anime screenings in the future.
The movie’s distributor, ODEX Private Limited, released their own statement on the matter:
As it said, the leaks were traced back to the fan screening in both Malaysia and Singapore that were held on February 18th, 2017. The leaks consisted of footage that were 8 to 10 minutes long.
While some might think this is a small matter, Japanese licencors take infringement really seriously, as stated by ODEX. As such, ODEX says that there might be a chance of Malaysia and Singapore being blacklisted from future anime releases. This is bad for the Malaysian and Singaporean anime communities and ODEX, which ODEX mostly serves Southeast Asian market.
ODEX reminds people to circulate the information to friends in order to help stop unauthorized recordings in theaters. It’ll be hard for people to record in theaters if everyone knows that a person recording can ruin the country’s future anime releases.