Today, I am going to post about something very, VERY serious to me, it may not concern many of you, but it is important enough to me and maybe the scanlating community. It has been a long time since I have written a somewhat formal response; please bear with the utter mess of gibberish which makes sense and weird sentences. :D Can’t be too serious, can I?
The latest topic right now in the manga community is that there has been a leak of a draft proposal written by Mangahelpers, an international online hosting community, to Viz, a licensing company dealing with manga. Before I start ranting or anything, here’s the proof of the email written by the owner of the site, which led us to the knowledge of a business proposal, courtesy of FoOlRulez. Actually, head over to FoOlRulez and read the article. Whether you believe this is a great step taken my MH or not, well, everybody is entitled to their own opinion.
What I do know; the best way to counter this problem with “scanlation abuse” is for the sales of manga by legal publishing to go up. And for them to get more profit and whine less about their lost of profit, thanks to scanlation is to upgrade their crappy work of over leveling, bad translating (not that they can help it, Jap publisher says this, they have to do it D:), and zero typesetting to something that at least looks presentable and does not hurt our eyes. Invest in fonts please! Just one “Anime-ace” look alike font does not make a page look pretty at all, heck, hire a proper typesetter who know typography to lead the team of typesetters!
And we, “fans” should help them out too. Buy the crappy manga if you cannot read in the title’s native language. Note, the word “fan”, if you like the series so much, please, I beg you, support the mangaka, publisher and everyone behind the scene to come up with that volume of beauty. BUY THE BOOKS! If you do so, scanlating would have fulfilled its meaning, to promote a manga and create “fandoms”. I know I am being stereotypical here, but learn from the “otaku”. Spend your money on the goodness of the community. :D
Maybe one day, scanlators may co-exist peacefully with the manga industry, just maybe…
“The numerous online manga readers such as OneManga, MangaFox and MangaHut serve as a great testament to this fact, despite their main focal point of English language manga. I am also sure that I do not need to go into detail about the ‘grey-area’ legality of such websites, and how this is currently a market share which, to the best of my knowledge – correct me if I’m wrong, Viz holds very little control and monetisation over.” – Quote from the email paragraph 4, line2.
This line got me thinking, and the response from manga-updates too.
Are online reading sites making profit out of scanlator’s work? There are many ways I know of you can reap some money out of this. And the most common would be advertising.
But first, let’s talk about scanlation. Scanlations are free, you are not required to pay to get them, most scanlators rather you spend the money buying the actual legally published manga. The aim of scanlating is to let you know about wonderful titles which many people don’t know of. Personally I do not support “donations” to a scanlation group. I think I agree with my sister about her ideals, “If you want to donate, come in form of raws or web host or space.” It seems more logical since I do not know the exact amount it would cost to run the site. You’ll never know where the money will end up to… But if you trust the people running the site, feel free to do so.
Back to advertising, yes, I know it cost a bomb to run sites as big as MangaFox and stuff. So, it is understandable that they need another way to get money to pay for it. But seriously, do they need to overload their server so much that they are actually advertising themselves too? How much visitor counts you think they need to get the certain amount of money companies are paying to advertise in their site?
More visitor count = More money coming in. The fact that MF is advertising itself smells fishy to me.
Another way, the Tazmo way. :D Make your site seen legal, claiming you did the work and get innocent yet ignorant leechers to pay for free scans. Clever.
“MangaHelpers as a website is considered by many as _the_ greatest and most notable manga community in the world. We reach millions of visitors worldwide, and from there the happenings and activities of our members spread to virtually every manga fan site on the net which deals in online manga. Yes, even OneManga, MangaFox and MangaHut retrieve both volunteers/staff and member submissions from our community. We would like to think that over the years, we have served an integral yet unofficial role in making Manga brands known and appreciated on a global basis.” – Quote from the email paragraph 9.
Why that sounds like he scanlators in MH does has already agreed to it? I am pretty sure from the response a lot of scanlators will pull out and well, I guess some people will support the idea… I suppose. But the last time made me laugh so much (sarcasm). Dude, the people who made the “manga brand known” is the fans. You will have to beat sites like OneManga or MangaFox for that, heck I do not even know of Mangahelper’s existence till this year, when one of the scanlation group I follow used that site up host their releases.
I know some scanlators host their work on MF (MangaFox) but most of the releases inside are uploaded by the user themselves. WE, the scanlators don’t put them there most of the time. I frown upon the freedom MF gave its users. And the users do not even respect the scanlators sometime…
This reminds me of an incident last year? As many people may know, usually to release a manga you need to go through several stages. Scanning the raw manga from the native language, translating the raw to another language, proofreading to make sure the text makes sense and flows, editing the raws which consist of cleaning away the text, cloning and redrawing, typesetting the translations in, and finally, quality check. Properly done releases are usually like that. So anyway, someone, really clever and impatient, found a file of an unreleased chapter of a manga title on a hosted site. It was edited but hasn’t been quality checked yet.
Then, this happy-go-lucky user uploaded that file on MangaFox. So, what is the scanlator going to do about it? Talk to Mangafox to take it down of course. Which MF refused to.
Now, do you call this respect? Think again.
Conclusion, there is nothing we can do about this but to support the mangaka and the publishers themselves. :And that cheezy is a MangaFox hater and does not support the ideas of it ‘cause of advertising and some of the users in there. D: Boohoo. If I see OneManga advertising its own site, or if you have seen them, tell me, I will stop going there. Thanks for taking your precious time to read my seriously long rant. Now I think about it, I went of topic… I need to go back to writing school.