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NEWS: U.S., Japanese Publishers Unite Against Manga Scan Sites


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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 2047
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:58 am Reply with quote
mad mac wrote:
It's not feasible (or desirable) for Publishers to print every series at a rate where it can catch up to the Japanese release.


And how is it not? Scanlators have somewhat proven that it is possible to have near-simultaneous translations of the original material and putting it out for reading consumption. Viz managed to "Speed-Up" Naruto and One Piece to a point where it has given itself ample breathing room to have material for a few volumes a/or a way to keep up with the manga releases. Even FUNimation has done near-simultaneous releases of One Piece and other shows (Moyashimon Live Action for example....)

People don't wanna play catchup anymore. The age of being tardy has gone.
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Paploo



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:17 am Reply with quote
All they've proven is that it's really easy to scan something, translate it with little quality control, and put it up on the internet. If they're not paying or involving the artists of the manga in it, they're doing NOTHING innovative or honest. They're just being greed-driven pirates, who trick naive little fans like you into signing up to ANN so you can defend them and make yourselves look stupid.

That's what they've accomplished, nothingelse.
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mad mac



Joined: 04 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:18 am Reply with quote
Quote:
And how is it not? Scanlators have somewhat proven that it is possible to have near-simultaneous translations of the original material and putting it out for reading consumption. Viz managed to "Speed-Up" Naruto and One Piece to a point where it has given itself ample breathing room to have material for a few volumes a/or a way to keep up with the manga releases. Even FUNimation has done near-simultaneous releases of One Piece and other shows (Moyashimon Live Action for example....)


I'm specifically talking print here. Printing costs money. A lot of money. A company would be insane to pay the costs of everything upfront instead of working out a staggered release schedule.

Digital publishing makes quicker releases a little more feasible, but there is still a lot of work (and money) involved. You can't have simultaneous or near simultaneous digital releases without working out a system with Japanese publishers ahead of time.

Official translations can't just be thrown together and put out for public consumption, they have to be approved by the Japanese publishers/artists.

Also, the quick scanlation jobs you're talking about are very crude, leaving sound effects untranslated, among other things. You can't cut corners like that on an official product.

That said, it's possible, as Rin-ne shows. Hopefully we get more series done that way in the near future, but it's not something where Viz can just snap their fingers and make it happen.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:31 am Reply with quote
Sunday Silence wrote:
mad mac wrote:
It's not feasible (or desirable) for Publishers to print every series at a rate where it can catch up to the Japanese release.


And how is it not? Scanlators have somewhat proven that it is possible to have near-simultaneous translations of the original material and putting it out for reading consumption.


If the translators are working either as crowdsource volunteers, as in Wikipedia, or are being paid a percentage of gross revenues, it would be financially possible to translate each title for near simultaneous release. Certainly, given the delays in printing, and the need to distribute in advance of the official publication date, it would be possible to have a translation finished by the official Japanese publication date.

However, for print, mad mac is correct. Each print run has to, on average, cover its full costs, including the cost of tying up the time and resources of the publisher. A lot of those costs are overheads ... and overhead costs need a certain minimum number of issues sold if they are going to be covered. There is no big charitable foundation that is financing the production of manga: manga that is not financially viable on the basis of commercial income streams cannot be brought to market.

So a first printing has to pay back the translation costs, the layout costs, the cost of the print run itself, and the distribution costs for the portion going to bricks and mortar stores (B&M), as well as a share of the overhead costs of the publisher, plus any up-front part of the license fee.

The publisher only gets a fraction of the cover price, and an additional percentage goes as royalties to the Japanese creator or whomever they have contracted their rights out to. The overheads have to be covered out of the fraction of the cover price remaining.

Of course, the "tail" of the sales curve of one volume takes a dip when the next volume is released. If the next volume is released too early, it cuts into the income generated by the previous volume. And at the same time, the volume to volume sales figures tend to be on a sliding scale, so the total income available from volume number 4 is likely to be greater than the total income available from volume number 5.

Quote:
Viz managed to "Speed-Up" Naruto and One Piece to a point where it has given itself ample breathing room to have material for a few volumes a/or a way to keep up with the manga releases.
Now, the more popular the series, the more quickly it earns back its overheads, which makes it an option to speed up releases of very popular series.

In the early part of the last decade, scanlations were far harder to obtain, fewer titles were scanlated, and rips and "preview" scanlations of titles that were licensed were far less common. For the majority of the market, the length of time after the publication date in Japan did not have a major impact on market demand.

However, over the past three years, there has been an explosion of the bootleg manga viewing sites. Downloading titles like any other individual downloader, they can then upload the titles to their site. While their banner advertising only generates a fraction of a cent per page, the bandwidth costs of manga is much, much lower than the bandwidth cost of anime, and other competing media, so they can directly host the content on their site, and go for such high volumes of traffic that a small fraction of a cent per page adds up to thousands of dollars of income per month.

But they do that by sharing nothing back with the industry that brings the content into existence. The people earning an income from the sites do not even put up the content ~ they rely on a group of volunteers to do the actual work. They just provide the framework and collect the ad revenue.

Against that grossly unfair competition, North American publishers are in a new market environment where there is a far more substantial loss of market potential for each week that the most popular licensed series are delayed, since all of the biggest sites have all of the most popular licensed material (that is what makes them the biggest sites ~ a site that focused on just unlicensed material or that region blocked countries where the series was licensed would definitely not be in the top thirty, and so it would not be in the sights of the industry group described in this thread's original article).

So the publishers have been taking titles that are popular enough to make speed up financially feasible, and have been speeding them up. Of course, since a part of the market buys all of the most popular titles, they have to do that in sequence rather than all at once.

But that is just the Naruto, Bleach, One Piece's of the manga world. Under present economies, the more fringe titles are being released about as fast as financially possible. A bigger market for the fringe titles would allow them to speed up, but with the bootleg sites undermining the market for licensed titles, the question is where is a bigger market going to come from.

Quote:
Even FUNimation has done near-simultaneous releases of One Piece and other shows (Moyashimon Live Action for example....)
The topic at hand is manga.

Quote:
People don't wanna play catchup anymore. The age of being tardy has gone.
So there is the dilemma. If the dilemma is not solved, only the big popular titles that can support a publication date reasonably close to Japanese release will get licensed, and our opportunity to support the creators of the work will drop, entirely independent of the "popularity" of bootleg manga.

Just as with anime, the promising business models for first half of this decade seems to be a combined model that spreads the overheads over multiple channels, so that the print run does not have to earn back all of the overheads on its own. There are a couple of varieties of these.

(1) The closest to the bootleg system is ad-supported viewing with crowdsourced translation. Crowdsourcing the translation reduces that as an overhead cost (it introduces the managerial headaches of working with volunteers, so it does not eliminate that overhead), but the print run would still require a professional translation. Ad-supported viewing works best with royalties that are a percent of the gross, so it does not cover the up-front license fee. It only covers a portion of the layout costs ~ there are distinctive elements to print and digital layout ~ but if the system is established to take the original artwork as an input, and add a transparent background graphical translation overlay, much of the layout can be shared.

This system would leave up-front license fees uncovered, so it really only becomes a strong contributer if it is combined with a transition to royalty-only licenses. So this model would seem to be the best fit for digital distribution of works that are not licensed for print publication ... expanding the range of legit titles available so that it is a better competitive match to the range available at para-sites.

OpenManga may evolve in this direction (nothing has been firmed up, of course ... it seems likely they announced earlier than they expected to, because of the move reported in this article).

DMP might be working in this direction as far as the translation goes, but its not clear whether the rest of their business model will be ad-based or pay-per-download.

(2) More effective at sharing the overheads of the traditional publishing would be a ad+subscription system similar to Crunchy's model for anime and K-dramas. A subscriber base provides revenue to cover professional translation, or translation on a fee+percentage basis, and to pay licenses on a fee+royalty basis. If it can cover translation and up-front license fees, and can cover business overheads, it can substantially reduce the size of a print run required to be viable, and allow for more rapid release schedules of more fringe manga.

If this can successfully cover all of the overheads of a title, then would allow more fringe titles to be made available as Print on Demand titles, which has smaller gross return per item and which has less exposure in B&M stores, but which eliminates the overhead of the full print run. A second approach that includes Print on Demand is to commission a relatively small first printing that is expected to sell out, and use Print on Demand to ensure that the title remains in print even after the first printing sells out.

Nothing has been made public yet, but this may be the direction that the Bitway manga system on Crunchyroll will work, with a combination of ad and subscription revenue.

(3) Most effective of all at sharing the overheads of the traditional publishing would be the ebook model, where the printed work is laid out, and release of the digital manga is times with release of the printed manga. That is, however, the farthest from emulating the para-sites, so would have to be considered the business model with the most untested elements to it. As the iTunes analogy shows, getting the right price point and customer ease of use are the two most critical elements.

The biggest enhancement that the download to own system could potentially offer would be embedded panel dimension and sequence data in the graphical images themselves, which would allow an aware app to give panel by panel displays for devices like iTouch, smartphones, internet tablets, and netbooks, as well as cross-platform Flash (or Air) player for online "rentals". Since there is no such information embedded in the legacy of bootleg manga, this would be a competitive advantage for a year or more, given the time that it would take for a large number of unpaid volunteer scanlation groups to upgrade their catalog.
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mad mac



Joined: 04 Jul 2009
Posts: 186
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:46 am Reply with quote
Just a note on OpenManga, they've been releasing more details lately.

http://blog.openmanga.org/2010/07/some-insight-into-openmanga-ideology-exclusive-screenshot/

It's a long read, but it looks like they're shooting for a combination of free and subscription supported viewing with a wide range of subscription types like subscribing to a particular artist or magazine.

Overall, it sounds interesting, but a perhaps a little too fiddly and overdone. I like the simplicity of the Crunchyroll (video) model.
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Sora76Erlic



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:48 am Reply with quote
hello there ~

I know you don't want to read or hear this piece of shit or whatsoever =A= but I need to tell you that many people disagree with this topic

I live in indonesia and in indonesia we just found a little piece of manga ........ we even didn't find good manga like beelzebub or katekyo hitman reborn

the one we can read it from manga scan
we pay our internet so expensive to read manga that we like
you must see from different site . how about otaku that can't read a manga ?
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Dornio-san



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Paploo wrote:
All they've proven is that it's really easy to scan something, translate it with little quality control, and put it up on the internet. If they're not paying or involving the artists of the manga in it, they're doing NOTHING innovative or honest. They're just being greed-driven pirates, who trick naive little fans like you into signing up to ANN so you can defend them and make yourselves look stupid.

That's what they've accomplished, nothingelse.


Do u really know what you are saying. The scanalators do not get get ANY money They do it for free and it takes time and effort to do this. I live in a small country called St.Lucia in the Caribbean. Here u cant get any manga whatsoever so the only place to get manga is on the internet. And we down here almost worship theses scanalators. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:18 pm Reply with quote
Dornio-san wrote:
Paploo wrote:
All they've proven is that it's really easy to scan something, translate it with little quality control, and put it up on the internet. If they're not paying or involving the artists of the manga in it, they're doing NOTHING innovative or honest. They're just being greed-driven pirates, who trick naive little fans like you into signing up to ANN so you can defend them and make yourselves look stupid.

That's what they've accomplished, nothingelse.


Do u really know what you are saying. The scanalators do not get get ANY money They do it for free and it takes time and effort to do this. I live in a small country called St.Lucia in the Caribbean. Here u can't get any manga whatsoever so the only place to get manga is on the internet. And we down here almost worship theses scanalators. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad


What does this topic have to do with scanlations? These manga viewing sites don't do any scanlations themselves - they leech off the scanlators every bit as much as they leech off of everyone else. They are para-sites.
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:20 am Reply with quote
mad mac wrote:
I'm specifically talking print here. Printing costs money. A lot of money. A company would be insane to pay the costs of everything upfront instead of working out a staggered release schedule.

Digital publishing makes quicker releases a little more feasible, but there is still a lot of work (and money) involved. You can't have simultaneous or near simultaneous digital releases without working out a system with Japanese publishers ahead of time.


Wait, how is it stupid to pay for costs upfront when it's just the same deal with licensing a series, only you add a few stipulations and clauses that permit the licensor access to material early and release it in a simultaneous or near simultaneous?

Quote:
Official translations can't just be thrown together and put out for public consumption, they have to be approved by the Japanese publishers/artists.

Also, the quick scanlation jobs you're talking about are very crude, leaving sound effects untranslated, among other things. You can't cut corners like that on an official product.


But it proves that it is possible, if you apply professional work to it. It's up to the companies to apply said concept to their qualities and needs.

agila61 wrote:
Quote:
I live in a small country called St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Here u can't get any manga whatsoever so the only place to get manga is on the internet. And we down here almost worship theses scanalators. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad


What does this topic have to do with scanlations? These manga viewing sites don't do any scanlations themselves - they leech off the scanlators every bit as much as they leech off of everyone else. They are para-sites.


I edited the post to highlight the problem: Location, Location, LOCATION.

Put yourself in this guys shoes: say your out in the middle of Bumfreakingstan, and you want to read your favorite series. Your only options are to pay an enormous price to some scalper to ship the item to you, or illegal downloads, because the company refuses to release a proper translation to your area.

What do you do hotshot?


Last edited by Sunday Silence on Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:30 am Reply with quote
Textwall. Wow. i'll do one bit and work on the rest later.

agila61 wrote:
Economics of translation


So? It's just costs to a business, let them deal with it. If they can't make the numbers work, then they shouldn't be doing it in the first place.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:56 am Reply with quote
Sunday Silence wrote:
Your only options are to pay an enormous price to some scalper to ship the item to you, or illegal downloads, because the company refuses to release a proper translation to your area.


You really think it's viable for companies to specifically produce works aimed at Saint Lucia, a country with a population of 160,000 people? You think they're deliberately ignoring the oh-so-bountiful Saint Lucia market out of malice and incompetence?
Or do you think maybe it's just that print runs of 20 aren't really financially viable?

Besides, if the only people using the scan aggregator sites were from countries with no viable, legal recourse to buy manga, chances are nobody would be worrying about them. Nobody is going to pay to unleash their lawyers because a few thousand kids in Third World countries are reading Japanese comics on the sly.
The people ruining their fun are the millions of Americans and Europeans who do have access to legal alternatives but choose not to use them.
Similarly, if the only content on these sites was obscure stuff with little chance of ever being licensed they'd probably have remained under the radar - your "community" tried to grab too much for too many out of some silly notion that everybody is entitled to everything regardless of whether they're willing or able to pay for it and you're now suffering the consequences.

You have nobody to blame but yourselves.

Quote:
So? It's just costs to a business, let them deal with it. If they can't make the numbers work, then they shouldn't be doing it in the first place.


Businesses should provide exactly what you want, when you want it, regardless of whether it's profitable or practical (or legal) and if it bankrupts them it's their fault?

You don't think that's a wee bit...unreasonable? Not even a little bit? Really?
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:22 am Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:
You have nobody to blame but yourselves.


So, your response to everyone else not lucky enough to have some bookchain stock manga in their part of the world is to "go f*** themselves?"

That's gonna win you friends real fast.

Quote:
Businesses should provide exactly what you want, when you want it, regardless of whether it's profitable or practical (or legal) and if it bankrupts them it's their fault.


*waves some money*

Will these go into your pocket, or will it go into someone else's pocket? Are you willing to provide said service, or are you just gonna tell me, in no unspecific terms, to "take my business elsewhere?"

And don't bring morals or other factors; I want X product, and you and Person A have them. I'm looking at you first. Do you want my money or not, yes or no?
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:53 am Reply with quote
Sunday Silence wrote:
Moomintroll wrote:
You have nobody to blame but yourselves.


So, your response to everyone else not lucky enough to have some bookchain stock manga in their part of the world is to "go f*** themselves?"

That's gonna win you friends real fast.


Way to quote out of context.

What I said is that nobody would notice (or care) if people in St Lucia were reading manga illegally if people in places where they can buy weren't also doing so.
It's not our St Lucian friend who has nobody to blame but himself: it's you.

Quote:
*waves some money*

Will these go into your pocket, or will it go into someone else's pocket?


Why would I want your sweaty $10 if it's going to cost me $20 to give you the product you want, the way you want it and when you want it?

Quote:
Are you willing to provide said service, or are you just gonna tell me, in no unspecific terms, to "take my business elsewhere?"


If my business is making money and your business is consuming media for free then, yeah, sure, please do take your "business" elsewhere. And don't let the door hit you on the way out.
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LordRedhand



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:55 am Reply with quote
Sunday Silence wrote:

*waves some money*

Will these go into your pocket, or will it go into someone else's pocket? Are you willing to provide said service, or are you just gonna tell me, in no unspecific terms, to "take my business elsewhere?"

And don't bring morals or other factors; I want X product, and you and Person A have them. I'm looking at you first. Do you want my money or not, yes or no?


Probably because following the first rule of business: Make Money, that you and others like you cost too much to gain as a contributing customer with too little in return for the effort you are asking them to take on.

In one case it doesn't matter that you, as an individual, are willing to pay X for a product. Simply because a small market is not able to support large demands as easily as say in another area were that market is huge. Because the market is smaller it gets and is able to reasonably support less than perhaps you desire. Think about maybe you and 4,000 of your clo0sest friends all buying a $9.99 book as opposed to you and 4,000 of your closest friend going through a legal, free method. The $9.99 book has more of a return and would in fact strengthen the market vs. the other one were we haven't covered the costs of getting the work yet.

We can also go into the fact that there are frankly some works produced that should never be licensed to darken our doors and eyes. These works have several factors within them that when combined make them less attractive for the market you wish to sell in (and the truly "fail" ones are at all levels in the foreign market you are trying to sell, i.e. getting very few people to make it worth your time, money and, effort to obtain in any method.)

So let's see Business exist to make money, the market is small, and some types of fans have priced themselves so high that it is not reasonable at this time to pay the costs of getting them as the company(ies) involved would stand to lose a lot of money (potentially not existing anymore) by going all out as you propose.
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Sora76Erlic



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:41 am Reply with quote
beside we (indonesian people) read manga in website not for free .... we must spend our precious money and time . because many people have a less money than other country do in here .

at first , why they closing manga web like that ? it's true that almost that manga is licensed .... but is all licensed manga sell in all bookstore ?

they stupid because manga at website it almost like a promotion or a spoiler to somebody who didn't know the manga is .....

but now they close their own opportunities to promote new manga ...... what a shame
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