ADV v. ARM Court Docs Reveal Anime License Prices

Mike Ferreira (Editor) — February 3rd, 2012 — 02:58
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The District Clerk of Harris County, Texas recently posted a number of documents in regards to several cases with ADV Films. The most relevant of these cases involves the 2008 case, A.D. Vision v. ARM Corporation. In the document, a complete licensing agreement between ADV, Aniplex, and ARM as well as a total of thirty-one titles with their licensing costs are listed as evidence.

The case revolved around an alleged breach of contract by ARM, as ADV filed a complaint and a request for temporary restraining order. ADV alleged that three Sojitz/ARM employees, Kozo Mizushima, Nario Hada, and Shinji Ueda, were placed into prominent positions within the company shortly after the two companies entered into a strategic alliance. The three allegedly assumed control of the company from within, and worked with ARM to pay higher than market prices for a number of properties, thus ensuring higher fees and more leverage within the company. According to ADV's complaint, ARM attempted to forge deals with a third party, when ADV stated that they were unable to keep up with the fees. They were allegedly required to sign term sheets which would grant Sojitz/ARM total control in deals being made, under the threat of reduced funding.

The titles mentioned in the lawsuit are as follows (prices in US Dollars):

Title Date of
Guyver 6/1/2006 $746,665
Comic Party Revolution 6/10/2006 $30,336
Jinki:Extend 6/10/2006 $91,000
Pani Poni Dash! 6/30/2006 $138,666
Utawarerumono 8/1/2006 $109,201
Moeyo Ken 9/25/2006 $43,335
Coyote Ragtime Show 9/25/2006 $224,000
UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie 9/25/2006 $21,335
Air Gear 10/20/2006 $780,000
Ghost Train/Synesthesia 10/24/2006 $58,668
Le Chevalier D'Eon 10/24/2006 $440,000
Nerima Daikon Brothers 10/25/2006 $124,800
Sgt. Frog 11/10/2006 $408,000
Kurau: Phantom Memory 12/4/2006 $960,000
009-1 12/21/2006 $325,000
Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy 2/7/2007 $516,000
Magikano 3/31/2007 $65,000
Pumpkin Scissors 3/31/2007 $780,000
Red Garden 3/31/2007 $660,000
Welcome to the NHK 3/31/2007 $240,000
Innocent Venus 4/12/2007 $120,000
Xenosaga 4/12/2007 120,000
Project Blue Earth SOS 5/1/2007 $180,000
Tokyo Majin 5/1/2007 $780,000
The Wallflower (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge) 6/11/2007 $500,000
Air TV Series 6/27/2007 $145,000
Moonlight Mile 6/27/2007 $156,000
Air: The Movie 7/4/2007 $20,000
King of Bandit Jing in Seventh Heaven 7/26/2007 $50,000
Shin Angyo Onshi 7/26/2007 $130,000

ARM argued that the companies entered into a loan agreement that granted ADV ¥974,185,000 in credit. Transactions would need to be approved by ARM, and paid for in monthly payments. The first of these payments would come six months after a title was licensed. Due to their agreement, ARM argued that they would be held liable for any title licensed by ADV, and therefore insisted on the maximum royalty to avoid potential problems down the line. They stated that ADV could not move product at a favorable rate, which lowered returns to ADV, and ensured that ADV would be unable to pay in a cash settlement. The company instead entered a Security Agreement, which gave ARM a stake in any assets that arose from license sales.