In an interview posted on the ActiveAnime Website Arthur Smith, President of GDH International, the parent company of Gonzo (Samurai Seven, Red Garden, Witchblade), fingered Internet piracy as 'the single biggest global threat to the anime industry,' noting that 'fansubbing is at the heart of the problem.' Smith compared watching a fan sub to 'smashing the window of a Mac Store and taking an iPhone the day before it is released.'
Smith indicated that sales of anime DVDs in the
Smith, who told Active Anime that he was the instigator of such Gonzo projects as Afro Samurai and Witchblade, noted ironically that fans who illegally download fansubbed anime whether via BitTorrent sites or as fee-paying members of Usenet newsgroups, are hurting the very creators they admire. Writers, directors, animators and voice actors working in the anime industry are 'not paid like
GDH is preparing to take legal action against newsgroup sites that are selling its content without permission and without paying royalties. Smith, who indicated that Gonzo was working on ways to shorten the window between when anime series are broadcast in Japan and released in the U.S., hopes that mounting a vigorous, well-publicized campaign against Internet anime piracy will dissuade casual anime downloaders and reduce the need to target individuals with legal action.