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Translations: Gintama 507 (2)
Found some interest news on manga publisher against piracy
Apparently no lessons were learned from the Napster/RIAA debacle. Offer a legitimate means to purchase manga first, THEN go after these sites. I'd happily pay a reasonable subscription fee to read official translations of current releases of Japanese manga. I refuse to be months behind on current series because of faulty business models.
It can't possibly be difficult or expensive. Collect the files directly from respective mangaka, translate, upload to some proprietary iTunes-style software (or a browser-based / password-protected system; or hell, even iTunes itself). The low cost of server upkeep and minimal labor would be far outweighed by the profit, particularly considering that this is a completely untapped market. Release new digital chapters internationally the same day the magazines hit store shelves in Japan, either on a per-chapter purchase or subscription basis, and everyone's happy.
Before anyone argues that providing digital copies makes it easier for pirates to pirate, please remember that piracy will always exist. The key is for businesses to seek out and invest in alternative revenue streams. Even before all this nonsense came about (and previously, with the Shueisha/Raw-Paradise issue), I couldn't believe companies weren't making their product available directly from the source. I respect publishers' intent to protect their product, particularly from individuals who make a personal profit through others' works (cease & desist orders and lawsuits should have been filed against narutofan.com and associated websites years ago), but these companies must learn from the recording industry's failures; don't make yourself an enemy to the audience who wants to pay you.
The manga industry is set to walk down a dark and dirty road. This was tried with fansubs and was a colossal failure. After all the cease and desist orders, after Crunchyroll went legit, there are still fansubs but the legitimate anime market completely bottomed out. What the industry does not understand is the they are fighting tradition; fansubs pre-date the world wide web. VHS fansubs were sold and circulated for a long, long time before the first sub went up on the net. Scanlations are a bit more modern but still have over a decade of history. Unlike music/game/movie bootlegging the scanlation community came into existence to fill a hole in the market. At one point scanlations weren't a matter of getting the latest chapters but of getting any manga at all. Until the 21st century almost none was licensed. Because of the long history, and the void they filled, scanlations are a tradition and part of the fan experience. Publishers may think they are simply fighting an economic ill, they are not. They are trying to reshape the fan experience and community that has arisen around manga, one that pre-dates their wiliness to provide any legitimate material.
I do not believe for a second that scanlations are now the cause of all the ills in the manga industry. Don't Blame the massive amount of manga published in Japan vs. the limited amount released internationally. Don't blame the lag between Japan and the rest of the world. Why are manga sales down 30% in the last two years? The worst economic crisis since the great depression, which happened to have started two years ago, could be the reason. The book industry has been in trouble most of that time, Borders (who I work for) has been struggling to stay in business. This is a recipe for declining sales. Blaming scanlators, who were viewed as a reliable advance teams two years ago, when retail sales of all products have been in steep decline do to macro-economic trends, is just cynical.
Removing aggregation sites won't affect the scanlation community as a whole. Sure, those who post at these sites will lose a lot. But there will always be scanlation groups and they will always be a google search away. Those who rely on online readers will make the transition. And sales will continue to fall until the economy improves. Maybe, without the easy exchange of new titles that the current online scene provides, it may never recover.
I read online and buy manga. As my money is limited I only buy series that are licensed but not available online, a surprisingly high number of titles these days. But the business community must never forget, anything that can be turned into data will be free. Find a way to profit from the upgrade. I can't remember ever seeing the manga industry ever promote their product. Before attacking the online community maybe they should try advertising in more places then just manga/anime oriented publications.
Posted at ANN, reupped here.
I just wonder what'll happen to unofficial translators after the dust from this has settled..? I like translating as a hobby, and it just so happens that said translations make people happy. For me I guess it's a win-win (or it was anyway.) As for learning Japanese, I'm not going to repeat what some people have said in this thread, as learning a new language should be a choice that one makes rather than a means to an end for entertainment. Though, I only started learning so that I could play imported games before they came out, and eventually fell in love with the culture and language. So you never know what you'll find when you try something new.
As for the situation at hand, I'm all for a pay for view service as long as it's resonably priced and easy to navagate. I probably wouldn't use it much; as I buy my manga raw, but it would be nice to support the system when I do feel the need to read something in English.
Though in all honesty, I'm begining to get the idea that the publishers both here and abroad like having scantlators as scapegoats for when their lackluster products don't sell. If everyone were to turn to legal means of getting their manga, that would mean they'd have to *gasp* take responsiblity for making crappy manga, and that's just....bad At least that would explain why they continuously try the same thing over and over again, just to get the same result.
I'll keep buying my raws, (Except for Viz's Gintama of course.) and if the guys in black tell me to knock off translating, I guess I'll keep it to myself and close friends. Though the only way that anything is going to occur is if officals stop with this notion that giving an inch is the same as giving a mile.
Japanese, U.S. Manga Publishers Unite To Fight Scanlations
By Calvin Reid
Jun 08, 2010
An international coalition of Japanese and American-based manga publishers have joined together to combat what they call the “rampant and growing problem” of scanlations, the practice of posting scanned and translated editions of Japanese comics online without permission of the copyright holders. The group is threatening legal action against 30 scanlation sites.
The effort brings together the 36 member Japanese Digital Comic Association—which includes such major Japanese houses as Kodansha, Shogakukan and Shueisha—as well as manga publisher Square Enix, the Tuttle-Mori Agency and U.S.-based manga publishers Vertical Inc, Viz Media, Tokyopop and Yen Press, the manga/graphic novel imprint of the Hachette Book Group.
A spokesperson for the coalition said the effort shows that Japanese publishers—who license the majority of manga sold in the U.S.—are taking an aggressive interest in combating manga piracy outside of Japan as well as inside the country. The group charges that the former fan-driven practice of scanlating—begun in the 1970s to scan, translate and post manga online when it was difficult to find manga outside of Japan—has been transformed by “scanlation aggregators,” heavily trafficked, for-profit Web sites that host thousands of pirated manga editions and offer them for free to readers.
According to a spokesperson, these sites are among the most heavily trafficked sites on the web attracting millions of visits each month while earning advertising revenues and even soliciting donations and sometimes charging for memberships. The group also charges that pirated manga is now beginning to turn up on smartphones and other wireless devices through the use of apps developed “solely to link to and republish the content of scanlations sites.”
A spokesperson said that “we are left with no other alternative but to take aggressive action. It is our sincere hope that offending sites will take it upon themselves to immediately cease their activities. Where this is not the case, however, we will seek injunctive relief and statutory damages.” The group is also aggressively reporting violations to the “federal authorities, including the anti-piracy units of the Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and FBI.” While the group has yet to file any lawsuits and has declined to name specific scanlators, sites such as MangaFox and OneManga have long been identified as major scanlation aggregators.
After several years of booming manga sales in the U.S. that drove the popularity of comics and graphic novels in the traditional book market, sales of manga in the U.S. have declined more than 30% from a high of $210 million in 2007 to $140 million in sales in 2009, according to pop culture news site ICv2.com. Many manga publishers and retailers who used to believe that scanlations actually attracted new readers, now blame the sales decline on the rise of giant for-profit scanlation sites that have allowed a new generation of fans to grow up reading manga for free online.
“Go back 2 years and track these sites and you’ll find an inverse relationship between the rise of traffic on these scanlation sites and the decline in U.S. manga sales,” said Kurt Hassler, publishing director of Yen Press and a former graphic novel and manga buyer for Borders Books and Music. Hassler points out that early fan-driven scanlation sites were aimed at making manga available overseas at a time when English translations of manga were rare. Indeed these fan scanlators would remove their online translations when the books were licensed for the English-language market.
That’s no longer the case, said Hassler. “These sites are run as businesses and include direct scans of licensed English-language manga editions. Some even include our copyright notices. We don’t want to have to do this but publishers are now focused on this problem.”
I don´t know if this is the right forum to create this thread but this is an article at publishersweekly.com from June 8th.
The mentioned onemanga and mangafox as the biggest scanlations website. Does that affect MH too?
My biggest issue is that they are trying to go after 30 sites. That's too many. Is it in their right? Sure. But, they only need to set a handful of examples. Like 5 at first.
Here's the problem with 30. First, they will send C&D orders. Let's say 15 of them follow it. Fine. Then they proceed on with legal actions (ISP information gather, .etc), another 10 go down. That leaves 5. At least one, if not two of them will stick through it. Why? Their website becomes the most popular one on the internet. Blogs will follow the story, ANN, here, everywhere, to see what happens. Traffic will huge, they they think it will be worth it. Maybe it might be, who knows. Legally, they would still be in the wrong, but maybe it doesn't matter to them.
But then, the next problem hits. What if they can't shut them down? Then this entire group is basically powerless. Then if they send future C&D, maybe less people will listen. This could lead to a worse scenario than doing nothing at all.
So, I wish them the best of luck, but I bet that's what's going to happen.
I found this in another forum:
Hell, this guy is right!Quote:
International Scanlator are only some scapegoats due to the global crisis that afflicts EVEN the comics/manga sector...
Last edited by Sensei 12; June 09, 2010 at 12:55 PM.
If they got their ass out of their heads and developed a new business model for the 21st century they wouldn't have this problem.
bad news for us online readers :
The 36 publishers in Japan's Digital Comic Association and several American publishers are forming a coalition to combat the "rampant and growing problem" of scanlations — illicit digital copies of manga either translated by fans or scanned directly from legitimate English releases.
get more news here
and even more bad news....Mangatraders is unavailable since (atleast in my place it is) damn
well this is stupid for once i ll buy manga if its available here but in my country we get old marvel or Dc comics the best ..no jumps or manga magazines ..so what abt the south east asian fans? What if we to do if this happens...idk downloading the mangas from the torrents might be the best choice left...that is if they dont find another way to shut them as well...
If they could make the jumps available then no prob or should i say no dire prob ..but i see no advancement there as in this country we feel breaking the copy right law is our birth right ....so i guess some of us may just become devoid of mangas any further