Fitzpatrick, who runs his Totally Not Mark YouTube channel, has over 500,000 subscribers. He makes videos on anime and manga, talking over spliced footage and giving his thoughts on the material.
According to Fitzpatrick, he and his team believed they adhered to fair use and fair dealing. That did not prevent Toei Animation from issuing copyright claims to 150 of his videos, however.
That’s because, as attorney Keiji Sugiyama explained, copyright law in Japan is different.
Japanese copyright law does not contain a general fair use provision. Instead, Japan has moral rights for different types of work. These moral rights allow for parodies and private use.
They also allow for “the right to preserve the integrity of his work and its title against any distortion, mutilation or other modification against his will.”
It’s an important clause, since it would allow copyright holders to contest the way their work is presented. It’s the same reason why it’s difficult to re-release older titles in Japan.
This leaves Fitzpatrick in a tricky position. He can try to contest the claims, but he might not get very far. All the while, 150 of his videos are no longer available to watch or monetize.
“Regardless, I cannot and will not support this company after what they’ve done,” said Fitzpatrick.