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Manga U.S. & Japan Bring Down the Banhammer on Pirates

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[font="Tahoma"][color="#000080"]It seems that the U.S. and Japanese manga companies have finally had enough of all the scanlation sites that are floating around.

[url="http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=131141&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15"]ANN coverage[/url]

To sum it up, a coalition of over 40 companies, including, Viz Media, TokyoPop, Shueisha, Kodansha and [i]Square Enix[/i] have banded together to threaten legal action on 30 scanlation sites (that have not been named publicly). I'm guessing the straw that broke the camel's back was finding out that One Manga is in Google's Top 1,000 Sites, not to mention the incident where someone created an iPhone app where users could easily download illegal scanlations to their phones.

Personally, I'm surprised they haven't done something like this earlier. The companies have said for a long time that they're sick and tired of the pirates, but they've been a lot more bark than bite. While this is going to do little in terms of actually stopping scanlations, this is showing that they're willing to break off the chain and take a hunk out of the mailman, so to speak.

What do you think's gonna happen?


[/color][/font]

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[quote name='Kei' date='08 June 2010 - 12:28 PM' timestamp='1276025324' post='694881']
[font="Tahoma"][color="#000080"] Viz Media, TokyoPop
[/color][/font]
[/quote]

[color="#FF0000"]Pffft, they're doomed anyway. Why these two are even trying, I have no idea.

Anyway, I get a bit of a feeling this may do more harm than good. For one thing, with the economy being crap right now, who the heck is going to fork over $10 just to buy one book that they can read in about an hour and probably never read again? I really think this is a bad time to be doing something like this >>

And then there's the unlicensed series. Without these sites that they're trying to bring down, how will they know what's popular and will do well in the U.S., aside from "Oh well it's popular in Japan, let's bring it over."?

It's going to be interesting, for sure.[/color]

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[quote name='RedJ' date='08 June 2010 - 02:54 PM' timestamp='1276026854' post='694883']
[color="#FF0000"]Anyway, I get a bit of a feeling this may do more harm than good. For one thing, with the economy being crap right now, who the heck is going to fork over $10 just to buy one book that they can read in about an hour and probably never read again? I really think this is a bad time to be doing something like this >>[/color]
[/quote]

[color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"]Because [i]they're[/i] losing money, too?

Anyway, I have my doubts as to whether or not this will last long-term, but good for them for stepping up. It's about time, really.[/font][/color] Edited by Vivian

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[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Even though I understand companies attempting something like this as a show of force, I genuinely don't see this as bringing about any huge change in the fan-translation sector. As with anime there's just going to be new groups doing it, hosting it on different sites or in a different manner, the same thing has been attempted for years with comic books and there's never really been any headway.

I actually view this in the same way I view attempts to get rid of illegal fansubs, the easiest way is to provide fans with a cheap, legal, online alternative then there's no excuses like "Well I don't want to have to wait months/years for the official English/Spanish/Jibberish release to keep up with the story" which to be fair I view as not perfectly excusable but certainly having an element of reasonability to it. Given the huge numbers following weekly manga releases outside Japan that would seem the most sensible and likely successful path to pursue.

[b][Edit][/b] Just browsing through the posts on ANN and I must say, it actually rather irks me when people talk as if the only manga fans in existence are American. Trying to get manga legally in Ireland is almost a chore of despair unless you order it online. Just did a quick check on Amazon.co.uk, Volume 1 of Bleach would cost me somewhere around â?¬10 to import, and half of that cost is postage alone. >_<[/size][/font] Edited by Gavin

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While this does affect me because I only read my manga through these sites (I guess the illegal ones) but at the same time it don't really bother me too much. It'll stop me from comparing the manga to the anime :) (in other words it'll stop giving me high hopes lol)

[quote name='Gavin']the same thing has been attempted for years with comic books and there's never really been any headway.[/quote]
Must find site. I've been wanting to read comics online for a while now.

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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][color="#9932cc"] As people have said, I'm surprised it took the morons this long to get their act together.

Record labels and music artists freaking out since Napster was launched should've been a tip off to them, or were they all so narcissistic they thought nobody would ever try to get a hold of their favorite manga scans before the US release date. [Year 3055].

Either way this doesn't affect me personally. My evil law breaking Chinese friends keep a sista hooked up. [/color][/size][/font] Edited by Raiha

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[quote name='OneManga']"There is an end to everything, to good things as well."

It pains me to announce that this is the last week of manga reading on One Manga (!!). Manga publishers have recently changed their stance on manga scanlations and made it clear that they no longer approve of it. We have decided to abide by their wishes, and remove all manga content (regardless of licensing status) from the site. The removal of content will happen gradually (so you can at least finish some of the outstanding reading you have), but we expect all content to be gone by early next week (RIP OM July 2010).

So what next? We're not really sure at this point, but we have some ideas we would like to try out. Until then, the One Manga forums will remain active and we encourage all of you to continue using them. OMF has developed into a great community and it would be a shame to see that disappear.

You can also show us some love in this moment of sadness by 'liking' our brand new Facebook page. It would be nice to see just how many of you came to enjoy our 'better than peanut butter and jelly' invention.[/quote]

And there goes One Manga. That kind of makes me curious about who're the other sites.

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I know this may come off as a little immature but I lul at their reaction to the Pirating.

I mean seriously, they are not the only company to be affected by Pirates. Look at the music industry. Pirates have been fought time and time again but they still continue to do whatever they wish and no matter how much push to shove the industry does they still come out of it.

Movies and tv shows also are being pirated for the people. All because the Internet is not being controlled. Should it be controlled? I should say not. It isn't a tool that only one man or woman or organization should have an monopoly of, it is a collection of freedom of speech from all sides of the globe.

Is Pirating bad? Of course it is. Is there a single person out there that NEVER stole something, (digital or otherwise) I am pretty sure the answer to that is no.

Pretty much I say to these companies: AVAST YE LAND LUBBERS! YE WILL NEVER SLAY THE KRAKEN!
Or something along that extent.

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Well this isnt so good for people like me lol. I like to randomly check out a whole bunch of stuff and then decide what I want to buy based off that. So long as they dont knock down Mangastream though, I'm good. But I doubt they'll bother with them so much; they only keep a 4 week backlog of issues.

If the companies decided to be a little less lazy, I'm sure they could've reached some kinda partially beneficial middleground with these sites. Like perhaps adding a registration requirement which allowed each user a maximum number of free previews per week/month without rollovers, and then a 'BUY VOLUME/ISSUE' button for those volumes available in their set country. And then maybe OneManga (or whatever site this gets incorporated into) would also get a share of any earnings to help with hosting and for the marketing/hype they create via the site and forums etc. The companies could use the forums to monitor and gauge users' interests (hell, they could make contributing after reading new mangas/new issues compulsory to some small degree, like a survey or something) in various countries/markets/demographics etc.

But oh well. Viva piracy! :angry: Edited by AJeh

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I won't deny that this affects me as well but at the same time I'm not really phased at all. While I don't buy manga, this will supposedly keep me from comparing anime to manga (setting myself up for disappointment).

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Even though I can't say I never took advantage of OneManga's services, I think this is the right move. It's encouraging, at least. I mean, I don't think it will stop the scanlators or those that rely solely on scanlations. Heck no. But it's at least something.

I myself have, well, a lot of manga that I'm currently reading. But once I heard the news about the U.S. and Japan gettin' the banhammer ready, I stopped taking on new series. Now all I hope to do is finish off some of these unlicensed manga and then start eventually buying some of my favorites.

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I have mixed feelings on this issue.  I've always prided myself on being a good consumer and purchasing officially licensed anime and manga to support the industry.  The only fansubs I've ever partaken of were the ones that were never released here in the US.  News that OneManga is being shut down doesn't surprise nor truly affect me.

Recently though I've realized that while I support the industry the industry has been either unwilling or unable to support me in return.  Several of my favorite series, be they anime or manga, have been shelved for horrifically long stretches of time or are getting axed altogether.  [b]Hellsing Ultimate[/b] (anime), [b]Elemental Gelade[/b] and [b]Air Gear[/b] (manga), [b]Shakugan No Shana[/b] (anime) are a few examples.  

I'm perfectly willing and able to purchase all of these and yet they're not available for me to purchase.  So what choice do I as an anime/manga fan have but to turn to scanzines and fansubs?  If and when I am forced to finally give in and go that route I'd really like to find said route still available. 

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I don't really care one way or another. It just strikes me as funny that you don't see Hollywood [img]http://statics.plurk.com/318416eab5a856bddb1e106a21ff557a.gif[/img]ing about pirated movies and music and here these people are, a smaller industry compared to Hollywood, trying to track down all their crap. I don't really think much will change.

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Okay, I know it's wrong, but I'm annoyed. I am very guilty of viewing scanslations, but if I enjoy the series, I make sure to buy the manga in order to support the artist and whatnot. Without some of these scanslations sites, I would never have discovered my love for a variety of manga and anime. I think the manga industry might be harming itself more than helping.

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^to Chibi:

It's not wrong, I think that's a perfectly valid opinion and feeling to have on the matter. I fall very much so in line with you and I'm extremely disappointed that these companies/industry couldnt find a better way to attack the problem than using a blunt instrument. I'm no expert or anything, but the random spur-of-the-moment ideas I came up with in my previous post seemed like decent starting points compared to how they've actually gone about resolving things. They may have just potentially killed a thriving community for the sake of a pretty penny when they could've utilised said communities to reap benefits further down the line. Very lazy and potentially stupid solution as far as I'm concerned. Edited by #326

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[quote name='Citric' date='26 July 2010 - 10:19 AM' timestamp='1280153951' post='697933']
It just strikes me as funny that you don't see Hollywood [img]http://statics.plurk.com/318416eab5a856bddb1e106a21ff557a.gif[/img]ing about pirated movies and music and here these people are, a smaller industry compared to Hollywood, trying to track down all their crap.
[/quote]

[font="Tahoma"][color="#000080"]Uh. Actually, the movie and music industry have taken steps against pirates in the past. It's why most DVDs these day come with anti-pirating software built in to them. Not only that, but the RIAA have brought actual lawsuits against some people for pirating and sharing pirated music. So... :V[/color][/font]

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[font="Palatino Linotype"]I'm not very knowledgeable about manga piracy, but it seems obvious that no matter what attempts are made to close down sites and/or individuals who scan copyrighted material, there's also an underlying need to improve the delivery system for manga.

I absolutely can't imagine sitting and reading a full manga or comic on my computer screen, in the same way that I can't imagine reading a novel on my computer. But I'd certainly buy either or both for my iPad, especially if the price is lower (ala iTunes Music Store).

While the adoption of digital platforms is still taking some time even for western publishers, it seems to me that the publishers listed in this topic need to get their heads around this concept. Digital distribution would allow for lower prices [i]and[/i] it would allow publishers to release more material in English than they otherwise might.

Perhaps after a few big attempts at plugging the holes created by pirates, these companies may come to the realisation that a multi-pronged approach is required (including an approach that actually provides a solid compromise between the need to earn revenue and the need for better accessibility on the part of consumers).[/font]

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[quote name='Kei' date='26 July 2010 - 07:59 PM' timestamp='1280199596' post='697967'][font="Tahoma"][color="#000080"]It's why most DVDs these day come with anti-pirating software built in to them.[/color][/font][/quote]
[color=#4B0082]Which gets cracked in a matter of days. lololol

If the companies aren't completely dumb, they'll have realized that they'll never be able to stop scanlations from being produced, and this is simply a measure to stem their mass distribution. And if they're actually smart, they'll be looking into more legal alternatives to scanlation sites, such as Crunchyroll and Funimation are doing for anime streaming. Music, movies, and anime have all shown that fighting casual piracy with only C&Ds and lawsuits is a losing battle, so they're going to need some kind of alternative to go with this if they expect it to have any kind of lasting effect.[/color]

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[quote name='Desbreko' date='27 July 2010 - 02:00 AM' timestamp='1280210439' post='697977']
[color=#4B0082]Which gets cracked in a matter of days. lololol

If the companies aren't completely dumb, they'll have realized that they'll never be able to stop scanlations from being produced, and this is simply a measure to stem their mass distribution. And if they're actually smart, they'll be looking into more legal alternatives to scanlation sites, such as Crunchyroll and Funimation are doing for anime streaming. Music, movies, and anime have all shown that fighting casual piracy with only C&Ds and lawsuits is a losing battle, so they're going to need some kind of alternative to go with this if they expect it to have any kind of lasting effect.[/color]
[/quote]

The only way they would truly STOP pirating is developing a material for their books so that when scanned they would combust (self destruct).It will be otherwise extremely difficult to stop altogether.

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[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Well apparently it's had the desired effect as OneManga have announced their intention to close, I'm still sticking with my belief all this will do is push another fan-translation site into number one position and the only way for the industry to properly combat their problem is legalised downloads/online-readers as CR and other sites do for anime. I'm not going to lie, I'm still going to get my manga fixes each week even with OneManga gone, just going to go somewhere else like most other people.[/size][/font]

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[quote name='Gavin' date='27 July 2010 - 09:43 AM' timestamp='1280238225' post='698010']
[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]I'm not going to lie, I'm still going to get my manga fixes each week even with OneManga gone, just going to go somewhere else like most other people.[/size][/font]
[/quote]
What he said.

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[font="Trebuchet MS"]I don't really use sites like that very often since I don't read a lot of manga. So overall this won't really affect me much. I kind of sympathize with both sides really. People who want to check something out before they buy it and the people who feel that you should pay for it. I hope they figure something out since simply attempting to cut off piracy like that won't suddenly make sales any better. People will just go elsewhere like Gavin has mentioned. [/font]

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[color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"]Y'know, while I sympathize with those that went to the site for unlicensed material, what do you think the [i]majority[/i] of people went there for? They went there for the newest chapters of Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, and Fullmetal Alchemist [when it was running], all of which are licensed, and the first three, if I'm not mistaken, are actually pretty cheap by manga standards [$8-$9 USD, though I dunno if that's changed or not].

I doubt anyone honestly thinks that this will stamp out piracy singlehandedly. If I remember correctly, it's not just the American distributors behind this, but the original Japanese publishers, as well. I don't know how Japanese copyright works [if doujinshi being commonly sold is any indication, then it's probably not very strict], but obviously, they find a problem with it, too. So...take that as you will.

And who says that manga companies [i]aren't[/i] planning something along the lines of Funimation or Crunchyroll? These "morons" could have something planned, and are simply not mentioning it yet. Whether that's a good strategy is up for debate, but until then, give it time.

I'm not gonna lie and say that I haven't used OneManga in the past, I have, but I do think this is the right direction. It won't singlehandedly change things, but it'll certainly help.[/font][/color]

[quote name='Citric' date='26 July 2010 - 09:19 AM' timestamp='1280153951' post='697933']
I don't really care one way or another. It just strikes me as funny that you don't see Hollywood [img]http://statics.plurk.com/318416eab5a856bddb1e106a21ff557a.gif[/img]ing about pirated movies and music and here these people are, [b]a smaller industry compared to Hollywood, [/b]trying to track down all their crap. I don't really think much will change.
[/quote]

[color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"]In addition to what Kei said, don't you think that might be [i]why[/i] they're doing this? They're smaller, and therefore, the risk of losing ton of money is a very real possibility for them.[/font][/color] Edited by Sangome

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I beleive it's a good thing. Honestly, if it IS popular in Japan, odds are, if they dub it into english with GOOD voice actors, then it will probably do well over here too. And even if it doesn't, they'll make enough money off of it to cover the expense of doing so.

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[quote name='Sangome' date='27 July 2010 - 08:30 PM' timestamp='1280259047' post='698029']
[color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"]Y'know, while I sympathize with those that went to the site for unlicensed material, what do you think the [i]majority[/i] of people went there for? They went there for the newest chapters of Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, and Fullmetal Alchemist [when it was running], all of which are licensed, and the first three, if I'm not mistaken, are actually pretty cheap by manga standards [$8-$9 USD, though I dunno if that's changed or not].[/font][/color][/quote]

[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Again I point out that not all manga fans outside of Japan are American, buying a single volume of any popular shounen manga, not to mention some of the seinen ones I read are a minimum of £10/�12.50, which is roughly $15 or so dollars. I don't have any objections to supporting the industry financially, but I refuse to be ripped off doing so. [/size][/font]

[quote name='Sangome' date='27 July 2010 - 08:30 PM' timestamp='1280259047' post='698029'][color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"]I doubt anyone honestly thinks that this will stamp out piracy singlehandedly. If I remember correctly, it's not just the American distributors behind this, but the original Japanese publishers, as well. I don't know how Japanese copyright works [if doujinshi being commonly sold is any indication, then it's probably not very strict], but obviously, they find a problem with it, too. So...take that as you will.

And who says that manga companies [i]aren't[/i] planning something along the lines of Funimation or Crunchyroll? These "morons" could have something planned, and are simply not mentioning it yet. Whether that's a good strategy is up for debate, but until then, give it time.[/font][/color][/quote]

[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Because it's exactly the same as the music industry, they're going to have to be pushed to their very limits by pirates/fansubbers before they acknowledge there are better ways to supply their customers and even then the entertainment industry in inherently lazy and always want someone else to do their distribution for them. This is why fan companies like Crunchyroll have to be the driving force behind acquiring licensed media for broadcast, there seems to be very little interest in the production/distribution companies to try to supply their product otuside their native regions/outside the normal channels. Personally rather than issuing a cease and desist order to OneManga I truly wish one company had had the sense to attempt to go into legal partnership to supply the manga to an obviously very popular site with fans. Even if only a fraction of OM's previous visitors actually start a subscription (as I did with Crunchyroll) it's new income where previously they had none.[/font][/size]

[quote name='Sangome' date='27 July 2010 - 08:30 PM' timestamp='1280259047' post='698029'][color="#9932CC"][font="Microsoft Sans Serif"]In addition to what Kei said, don't you think that might be [i]why[/i] they're doing this? They're smaller, and therefore, the risk of losing ton of money is a very real possibility for them.[/font][/color][/quote]

[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Risk of financial losses does not justify poor business strategy, if anything the modern business environment is specifically structured to destroy companies that refuse to innovate when new markets are available to them. In the same way I had no pity for record companies who failed because they refused to upgrade to digital distribution I will have no pity for manga companies who act in the same manner (and that extends to apply to all media producers).

To qualify that previous statement, the modern supply and demand market extends the entire globe, long gone are the days where companies could sit secure and charge particular prices in particular regions for their goods and customers were pretty much out of luck if their regions price was disproportionately large. Now if a customer in say the U.K. sees that the product he wants is considerably cheaper in the U.S., all he has to do is eBay it, or Amazon it, or any other online producer. Almost the exact same thing happened when Europe switched over the the Euro, with price transparency between member states it became very clear, very quickly whether or not you were getting ripped off for something (overnight video games dropped 20% in Ireland, basically going from say £40 to �40).[/size][/font]

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