The only thing worse than taking advice on copyright issues from this forum would be taking advice from those kidsStitchShoppe said:These kids told me that if it has been purchchased/imported to the US for distribution, then it is copyrited. If not it is not.
Trust your instincts on this one.StitchShoppe said:Somehow this does'nt sound right.
Exactly. Original works of anime are copyrighted and protected in the US, regardless of whether they've been imported into the US by a distribution company or not. The protection probably only extends to countries that have signed the various international copyright treaties (you'd need to check with a lawyer), but that covers Japan and any other country likely to be relevant.StitchShoppe said:Afterall we are a nation that respects international copyrite.
It's possible that their (incorrect) ideas developed out of an unofficial moral code: work not freely available is often considered fair game for trade, whereas when a legitimate copy is available for purchase it should be purchased (this is more or less the principle behind abandonware - most people would consider it moral/reasonable, but it's still not legal). Regardless, it's incorrect from a legal viewpoint.