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Japanese, U.S. Manga Publishers Unite To Fight Scanlations

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.

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Archaic4491d ago

After OneManga landed in the top 1,000 sites on Google, this was only a matter of time in coming, I think. Really, the scanlation community has shot itself in the foot by trying to go more mainstream. Hell, I know MangaFox was running banner ads on for some time. Where the hell are they getting the money? Online readers are very expensive to run in terms of bandwidth, so I imagine that's how they justify their ads and such to their users, but they're evidently making a profit of things here, which is just a big no no. People like Tazmo, who charge outright membership fees for access to downloads that are often scans of the legitimate english releases, are just the scum of the earth.

Scanlation in and of itself is not a bad long as it sticks to the series for which there isn't a license, and scanlation of a series (along with its distribution) ceases following a series being licensed. This is how we all used to operate in the old days. Now, it seems more groups are just in it for the e-peen than anything else. I vaguely remember, after Naruto was dropped by an early scanlator following the original license announcement, about a dozen groups sprung up overnight to release shitty scans of it.

As said in the article itself, there was actually a good relationship between the scanlators and the industry was a good one. So-called fans who've tried to turn this into a business have mucked it up for all of us. I for one won't be mourning the demise of these sites. If scanlation is to continue to do what it did best, identifying good series that could be licensed, and acting as a training ground for future industry translators, then it needs to return to a purer form. If it doesn't, well....then we only have ourselves to blame for being greedy.

rezznik4491d ago

Yah, I have to agree with your statement. I mean, once the scanlators began to upload commercially licensed Manga in order to profit then it was over. I feel the same way in regards to licensed/fan-translated anime. Fan-translated anime should only apply to shows currently airing in Japan, but once they get licensed they should shut down the fansub groups; which in most cases they do.

That said, I'm very interested in seeing if the steps made by companies like FUNimation are enough to help prevent piracy.

Archaic4491d ago

I honestly don't think there's any way to prevent piracy. What can be done though is minimising it. A big factor behind a lot of people's choice to use scanlations/fansubs is convenience. The article itself notes the number of manga readers that have popped up on places like the iPhone app store. Perhaps the companies themselves need to start moving into this area in some fashion. Just like Crunchyroll is doing with anime streaming of current series, perhaps Tokyopop and the others could do that with the most recent manga chapters somehow.

Xof4491d ago

This will likely cut down on the number of large sites/groups, but the smaller stuff will still be around. Until US manga distributors can offer similar speed, quality and accessibility in a similar time-frame, scanlation will never die.

Same holds true for the anime industry--though, to be fair, they're already moving in the right direction, streaming english-subbed episodes within a week of the original airing. That's pretty cool.

Archaic4491d ago

I'm not sure it'd even cut down on the large groups, to be honest. Those who actually properly scanlate, as opposed to just scanning, will probably be left alone, or at least those who don't touch the licensed series will be. Hell, even some of the aggregator sites (those who only catalogue releases instead of offering readers and/or don't offer downloads of licensed series) may be left alone. It's more the OneManga and MangaFox types that are the issue here.