More on this a little later, but: Wow, good news!

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.

– From the article at Publishers Weekly

Well that’s pretty good news, I’d say…! I’ll probably have thoughts on this later.

– Chris

16 thoughts on “More on this a little later, but: Wow, good news!”

  1. I’d love to see more personal responses from mangaka to this sort of stuff. They can’t be blind to it, and it’d stop at least half of the justifications of most online readers- if the manga artists agree.

  2. And for the 30 that go down, 300 more will pop up in their wake, 75% of them will then fail, and then it’ll be back to business as usual. Yay for manga publishers?

    I am curious as to what sites they’re targeting though.

    1. “And for the 30 that go down, 300 more will pop up in their wake, 75% of them will then fail, and then it’ll be back to business as usual. Yay for manga publishers?”

      I kinda love how folks like yourself, in response to this news, are just making shit up OUTRIGHT. “Oh if you shut down 30 sites then 300 more will rise!” like, what? Based on your crystal ball? Your time machine? All those other times pirate manga sites got shut down on mass and then reopened again?

      I do like that you took the time time to just make up the ‘fact’ that 75% of those sites would then fail, that’s like an additional layer of lies that shows effort, so thank you.

  3. Hopefully this will encourage Viz to speed up translating more of Taiyo Matsumoto’s stuff in American English. I can hope, right?

    1. “Yeah, but are they still going to seriously ask me to fork over $500 to catch up in One Piece?”

      If you bought every One Piece available in English the total cost would be under $500, so you’re just making that shit up.

      Further, if you’re “catching up” with One Piece, then you’re catching up from volume… what, 30? Before the speedup happened? So it would cost you $200? Or about $10 a week?

      Don’t try to pretend you can’t afford $10 a week.

  4. Man, if only! I went to Paris a few months back and bought as much Taiyo Matsumoto stuff as I could- I hunted round every comic shop I could find until I had some Ping Pong volumes, bought the next No.5 and also his latest story, Bamboo Samurai (I can’t remember the japanese name).

    Seeing this stuff in print makes such a huge difference, it’s gorgeous. Now I just need to learn french!

  5. You cannot fight kids with free time on their hands who love something and have no money. They’ll always win. This will be a big ‘ol waste of money for these publishers.

  6. Wow, did I hit a nerve there? O.o

    What I’ve said is my own opinions, which I never claimed were based on a study or article. They are based on what I’ve seen happened whenever a file-sharing or direct download site/forum/community goes down-usually a large amount of sites pop up to try and fill the void they left behind, and most of them fail, while a couple stay around.

    Folks like me, huh? What kind of folks would those be? Folks that come to your blog, say a mere two sentences about the failure to effectively stop media pirates, and thus must be mocked and accused of lying?

    Don’t worry though-I have the same respect for your thoughts and opinions as you apparently have for mine :]

  7. I’m of two minds about this.

    Firstly, the illegal scanlation/fansub has gotten beyond a point where it can be considered manga fandoms dirty little secret anymore. It’s too widespread and too many people are stepping on licensed properties for it to even keep up it’s old pretences anymore. It’s always been wrong and arguing otherwise is a little ridiculous.

    On the other hand, there’s something more than a little…let’s call it questionable, about western anime and manga companies embracing this. Given the degree to which they’ve fed on the aforementioned illegal copying to build their market, Naruto being a prime example of this and the way in which anime fandom really took off beyond the fat guy in a sailor moon outfit branch of things when widespread, easy means of moving the illegal copies became available, it comes off a little bit as ‘I am shocked to find that gambling is going on in here’.

  8. Ideally I think Japan should sell digital versions of jump. Those anthologies are a steal with all that content weekly and for a low price. Hell I’d subscribe on my ipad or computer or whatever.

    …But instead of doing things cleanly as such, we’ve got this instead. Wee!

  9. Lasciel>I can’t speak for Chris, but I don’t see how those two sentences of baseless speculation that sort of shit on industry efforts to respond to a very real problem add anything to the conversation beyond your general maliase of, “Pppppht… why BOTHER? Protecting your IP is stupid, Manga Companies.”

    I also like have you’ve resorted to the typical flame-war catalyst of “It’s just my opinion, ASSHOLE!” rather than actually trying to back up your initial post with anything real or worthwhile. There’s room for dissenting opinion in an intelligent conversation (Simon Jones post is a great example of how one SHOULD respond), but all you’re bringing is banal and vapid trolling.

    Burrito>That one sentence indicates to me that you probably don’t buy ONE PIECE anyway. They don’t EXPECT you to buy anything… they’re not forcing it on you. If you like ONE PIECE, and you want to be complete and current, you eventually WILL buy it. One of the most bullshit arguments internet thieves have is “Oh, but the english version is so far behind the Japanese… I’d rather read the current stuff online.” Well, they’re caught up now. No reason to read it online. You’ll get the most current trade every 3-4 months,just like everyone else. Whether you buy the rest of it is up to you. I’ve bought every volume of the ONE PIECE speed up, and it’s cost me less than 50 bucks a month… that’s approximately 1000+ pages of manga for a little more than a 200 page Marvel Hardcover, or a lot less than a 600 page Marvel Omnibus. That seems fair to me, especially given the amount of production that probably had to go into getting 5 books ready to ship on the same day monthly for five months, given that their usually production cycle would be one book every 3 months.

  10. Halliday, it’s less “hey it’s my opinion, deal with it!” and more making it very clear that I am not using figures from a study or scholarly resource. That is, the figures were a rough estimate of what I’ve observed, and not pulled from any polling or surveys.

    “There’s room for dissenting opinion in an intelligent conversation”

    Apparently not. Maybe you missed the post by the author calling me a liar because I had the nerve to be pessimistic about this attempt. Having a dissenting opinion means you’re “making shit up” /unquote

    1. It’s not pessimism, don’t be foolish. You’re making shit up. Go back and read your initial response. You don’t ‘expect’ this to fail, you say it will, and then pull figures out of your ass to cement your point. Not every personal opinion needs to be prefaced with “Well this is just my opinion,” but there’s a point at which you need to be clear that you’re _making shit up_ versus talking from any kind of position of knowledge or authority, and you didn’t do that. I know that shit flies at the anime forums where you can say any ridiculous or stupid thing and then retreat into “It’s just my opinion!” when someone calls you on it, but it doesn’t work out so well on my blog. The author _will_ yell at you. I’m glad you’ve learned a lesson.

  11. Regardless of flamewar tactics, or research, I’m personally of the opinion that this will be ineffective unless a viable legal digital option is provided. It’s notable that neither the SigIKKI titles nor Rin-Ne are popping up on the scanlation sites, as they’re already available through Viz’s portals. Why they haven’t gone that route already with rest of their titles is beyond me.

    You can also color me disappointed that there’s been no legal manga readers offered for iPad and iPhones yet. Personally, I would at least like the OPTION of downloading my comics legally, as that’s how approach my music!

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