I know I don’t really pay attention to most of the happenings regarding Arashi (gotta admit, I kinda miss AMNOSnet being an Arashi site, otherwise I would have wrote this on the blog section. Anyway, moving on.), but when I got on my Twitter after arriving home from church choir practice, I see this piece of news in the Arashi ON LJ Community.
While a lot of the fans there are utterly shocked at the news, me being an old-timer fan wasn’t at all surprised. This is where I become very tempted to tell the JE fandom world that no matter what odds and ends things may end up, one way or the other from the most trivial to the more serious situation, NEVER mess with JE!
I’m sure several fans are ticked with the way JE runs things with all these restrictions and sometimes overly trivial copyright requests, but there seriously isn’t stopping JE anywhere in Japan from doing what they’ve been doing over the last 45 or so years. I know it seems right that all fans, most especially foreign fans and non-FC member fans, have the right to watch the video Arashi posted in the FC (J-Web?), however, keep in mind that in order to join the FC, you have to have a valid address in Japan and you have to pay the annual fee. I believe it’s the same with subscribing your cellphone to J-Web, but I can’t remember the specifics (I was still a JE/Arashi fan when JE first launched J-Web years ago). For those who did pay to keep up with their favorite idols, seeing these exclusive videos from their favorite idols and groups is one of the benefits of being a paid member. In other words, this is one of the ways JE makes their profits.
As much as many of you fans are furious with JE’s past warnings, there’s no other force (petitions don’t work either) that can stop JE from everything that they do. At least what all fans (FC members or not) should do is give some respect to JE and their artists for everything that they do is for us. We have to give them something in return too, you know. Those who have been complaining and whining about this warning notice should be ashamed of themselves, but most of all, those who violated the rules (I’m pretty sure it’s an FC/J-Web member fan who started uploading these vids on streaming sites such as YouTube) should seriously need to think about what they have done. Just one little move like that and eventually, JE will catch that act (not necessarily the fan who did the act him/herself, but they will find out that one or a few paying member fans would violate their rules one way or the other).
Although I believe that JE’s mindsets are still in the old ages, one way or the other they are getting familiar with the so-called wonders of the internet social networking and are really catching up with the latest trends and technology. I even remembered how AMNOSnet was launched three years before Johnny’s Net official site did. And despite the fact that Arashi’s fandom increased highly from the foreign fans’ standpoint since Hana Yori Dango, it seems that JE’s mindset still haven’t opened up outside the borders (except for a few, but come on, what’s with the enclosure?).
I do know for the fact that many Japanese artists would want to be a household name around the world (how would I know that? Because I do know. :P ) and dreamed of appearing in at least one movie or so that would gain the world’s attention (in short, Hollywood). Sadly it seems that the talent agencies (most especially JE and at times, Up-Front Agency (the peeps behind the Hello! Project/Morning Musume groups and projects)) are controlling the lives and schedules of their idols. But keep in mind, they’re doing all this for the media, exposure, and of course, presentation to the masses. Have I mentioned before that the media altogether controls this entire planet? It’s true if you think about it.
I take no sides in this particular situation. JE should think of a lot more ideas other than withdrawing the FC-member fans only services away (though it’s already assumed that an FC-member fan is the culprit for spreading that video around the net in the first place)— maybe be a bit more lenient with the requirements and regulations with joining the FC, perhaps? As for the FC-member fans, be happy that you’re receiving these special services for being a member alone. Don’t take it for granted and think you can get away with everything, violating JE’s restrictions behind their back. It may take awhile for JE to realize that rules have been broken, but eventually they will find out.
全く残念だ。What a shame indeed.