I'm going to try to ask this as nicely as possible - but I'm also going to be pretty forward. Please understand that I'm not a troll nor am I attempting to completely overhaul the status quo. I just don't think I understand why this policy is in place and if I am correct in understanding it I suppose I genuinely disagree with it.
Why are we forbidden from using the Chinese scans for scanlations?
The only rule I see which bars the use of Chinese scans is the "No Stealing" Rule: "Using other people's work without proper permission and/or properly crediting them, or posting someone else's work as your own, (this includes translations and scanlations), will not be tolerated whatsoever."
From what I can tell, the group putting out the Chinese scans must not have given Mangahelpers its permission. However, I have two problems with how this No Stealing provision has been applied:
1) The fact that the provision bars any stealing is a misnomer considering what Mangahelpers does. I have not seen any express or implied permission given to Mangahelpers to use Naruto or any other copyrighted comics. Thus, ANY copyrighted manga which has been scanlated without the publisher's permission is a per se violation of the the No Stealing Rule.
2) Obviously then the No Stealing Rule must refer to any groups other than the original publisher. I suppose a better title would be an "Honor Among Thieves" Rule because that's what it appears to be. The Chinese group has asked that others not use their material, yet they have no right to ask this of anyone. They have no property interest in Naruto and the Scanlations they put out - while the fruit of their labor - does not convert their version of Naruto into something they have right vested in.
(If you want to review Scanlators rights please see a post I made a while back in NarutoForums as TLF: http://forums.narutofan.com/showthread.php?t=62117; warning, it's lengthy)
It's plain to see what rule has been in effect: we only use whatever has been expressly allowed for use that does not involve the original publisher's rights. We've all been ignoring the publisher's rights and I honestly think the publisher does not care. However, I fail to see how honoring the Chinese group's request is benefitting this community, especially given the lateness of the most recent chapter. While I don't fault the mods at all for enforcing the rules (that's what they're here to do), I'd like to see the rule changed. I think any cleaned up Chinese scans should be up for use for scanlations, but the Chinese RAWs should be kept off the site.
If you can argue that the Chinese group has some right to control the use of their scanlations just by the mere fact that they have added Chinese text then I think the same principle should apply to Scanlations in other languages: by modifying any RAW to a translator's choice, the translator may control subsequent use.
I don't think the Rule needs to be changed as it is read. The rule - literally - only prevents unauthorized use of scanlations and translations, but bears no mentions of unauthorized use of scans. Notice the difference between scanlations and scans. A scanlation is a scanned version of Naruto combined with translated text. A scan is the raw Japanese version of Naruto put to a picture image. Technically, the rule doesn't apply to scans.
I can understand in protecting scanlations - it protects substantial work done to the Naruto manga. However, I cannot understand protecting scans - it is protecting something that is barely different from the original product and it hurts the fans waiting for a quick scanlation release. Hence, Chinese scans should be up for grabs (notice the difference between scans and scanlations), but we may still honor the request to forgo using the Chinese scanlations.
Again, sorry if I've ruffled any feathers - I'm not disagreeing just to start an argument. I just can't stop scratching my head at this one.
Last edited by Shiroi; June 30, 2007 at 01:53 AM.
(Moved the thread to a more appropriate location. It's not just about Naruto you know, heh.)
Well, we could, but that's not exactly how we want to handle everything.
Let me respond to your whole post with this. We see Chinese scanlations as just that, scanlations. They aren't scans, they aren't RAWs. They are something that they have invested time in to do and bring to other Chinese fans. It's basically the same thing that we do, except they have easier and better access to RAWs. So to us, using a Chinese scanlation to clean, typeset, and release on is the same as someone taking one of Japflap's (to give an example group) scanlations and slapping some of your own text on it and releasing it as your own work.
As to the original publisher's rights, we're well aware of the "legality" of what it is that is done here. It's not, to put it bluntly. But that doesn't mean we can't have some "honor amonst thieves", as you put it. The original publishers tolerate scanlators for the most part because it makes their product more popular, and as a result, more marketable. Or so we're led to believe as scanlations haven't had much legal attention, if any.
But does that mean we should just kind of drop any ethics we may have? We want to try and keep everything polite here to all scanlators, and enforce their wishes to the best of our abilities. If they don't want their scanlations to be used by someone else, we try our best to discourage that behavior. If we said, "Oh sure, you can use Chinese scanlations to do your scanlations," then it would slowly creep over to all scanlations not in English being allowed for use. That's not what we want to foster here. It hurts our image to be fair to English scanlators, and not care about people who have done hard work in another language.
I don't know how to make my point any clearer than to say that the Chinese are scanlators as well, and we'd like to honor their wishes as we would anyone else's work.
(Also, as a small aside, the only reason this week is late is because our scanner took the day off to have some fun of her own. It's not like there's really going to be that long of a wait.)
Last edited by zindryr; June 30, 2007 at 02:38 AM.
Thanks for the response, I can see where I misinterpreted the situation. I was under the impression that the Chinese group had a system similar to our own: a RAW is scanned (the "scan"), and scanlators get to work creating adding translations (the "scanlation"). But if I'm to understand you correctly, the only releases which we ever see from the Chinese groupo are the actual fully-done scanlations; they never upload an actual Japanese RAW scan.
If that's the case then I agree with how the rule is being enforced. The facts would suggest that only Chinese scanlations are available and that's what's being protected. The rule says no unauthorized use of scanlations or translations, and that's precisely what's being done here.
I suppose my final question would be what would happen if there were Chinese scans floating out there? Of course by "Chinese scan" I mean a RAW file in Japanese that happened to be scanned by a member of the Chinese group. I'm not sure if these are even discoverable. But, hypothetically, if there was a www.ChineseMangahelpers.com and they had the same system as we did (i.e., every week a RAW is released, followed by translations, and finally scanlations), would we be permitted to work with the RAWs (the "scans")? Technically they aren't scanlations, just an image file of the original Japanese manga.
Of course this could all be moot in the event that the Chinese don't release their RAWs, but just wanted a clarification.
Basically, if it's a raw (meaning: unchanged japanese image) it is allowed for use.
As zindryr already explained so good, we only prohibit the use of chinese scanlations for further scanlations and thus make no r/t/s thread out of it, because of past experiences.
The only exception to the "if it's a raw, of course you can use it" rule:
JoJoHot Raws are available for scanlations, but while they are real raws they have two factors that lead us to handling them like spoiler material: The first being overly huge logos pasted over the pages and the second being the tiny pagesize that those raws have.
Due to those two factors we do not make an r/t/s out of it as making even an lq scanlation is nearly impossible with it. Although we do take a look at them and see if they have a usable quality when they pop up.
Just a further reminder:
Some groups may put up their cleans without the text in the bubbles - those are usually only single pics, but if a complete chapter pops up like that we handle it as a scanlation until we got word from the scanlating group that those are free for use.
So all in all, it really just boils down to the usability of the raw for scanlations if the chinese scanlation groups release their raws (which they usually don't).
Some visual aid seems appropriate in this thread to help people notice the difference between a scan they can use and a scan they cannot.
(dont click if you haven't read naruto 360)
Added the sfx part (important!). Thanks for the overview ^_^ ~eni
Last edited by eni; July 02, 2007 at 04:50 AM.