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NEWS: Libre Publishing Comments on Termination of Agreement With Digital Manga Inc.


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kiminobokuwa



Joined: 18 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:38 am Reply with quote
And this is the EXACT reason why I don't buy digital manga.
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Peebs



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:38 am Reply with quote
Hahahaha, I knew it! I hope this means either SuBLime gets all their titles from now on or there's a new publisher/imprint in the works. That is one monopoly I'm looking forward to supporting.
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buffywrestling



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:06 am Reply with quote
What exactly has this to do with digital ebooks??
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crosswithyou



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:31 am Reply with quote
Yup, so DMI was just being a baby about it. They were the ones who breached contract yet they attempted to paint Libre as the bad guys to gain support. Even if it was Libre's fault (which it is not), the tone and manner in which DMI made their announcement was very unprofessional.
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:58 am Reply with quote
Good luck to DMI convincing anyone to license to them after that.

kiminobokuwa wrote:
And this is the EXACT reason why I don't buy digital manga.


Digital Manga is the name of the company, and like every other manga publisher, they release dead-tree and digital versions of their series. What happened here isn't peculiar to the digital format -- other publishers have lost rights to series halfway through, though not in such a humiliating way. If you purchased a digital copy from Amazon or B&N, you're going to be able to keep it and even redownload it if you ever have need to.
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Aisama



Joined: 16 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:02 am Reply with quote
DMI thought that if they cried foul that they would to gain support from fans, but it backfired because of their track record of inconsistency and inability to deliver for the past years. And now that it's been revealed that they're the one who breached the contract, their rep just got worst.

I'm pretty sure that Sublime will be the one getting these series. I see no one else other than them.
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Peebs



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:08 am Reply with quote
crosswithyou wrote:
Yup, so DMI was just being a baby about it. They were the ones who breached contract yet they attempted to paint Libre as the bad guys to gain support. Even if it was Libre's fault (which it is not), the tone and manner in which DMI made their announcement was very unprofessional.


You could tell in the way they put all the blame on Libre, specially with that comment about scanlations. The man is a fool, the publisher I mean, by mentioning scanlations. They've never gone away. Only the hardcore DMI fujoshi groupies will side with them. I abandoned DMI ages ago, back when 801 ceased to exist and they laid off a bunch of good people.

I feel like the cat that ate the canary with this story. Meow meow!

Edit: Something occurred to me right now. Libre was watching for DMI's reaction and/or they read ANN. I'm all for both.
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Thread_Alchemist



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:17 am Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
Good luck to DMI convincing anyone to license to them after that.

kiminobokuwa wrote:
And this is the EXACT reason why I don't buy digital manga.


Digital Manga is the name of the company, and like every other manga publisher, they release dead-tree and digital versions of their series. What happened here isn't peculiar to the digital format -- other publishers have lost rights to series halfway through, though not in such a humiliating way. If you purchased a digital copy from Amazon or B&N, you're going to be able to keep it and even redownload it if you ever have need to.


DMI allows digital buyers to download their purchase as a PDF but I don't think any of Libre's materials were available for digital purchase anyway. They tend to keep their most popular titles in physical format only. (This might just be coincidence though.)
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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:18 pm Reply with quote
Peebs wrote:
crosswithyou wrote:
Yup, so DMI was just being a baby about it. They were the ones who breached contract yet they attempted to paint Libre as the bad guys to gain support. Even if it was Libre's fault (which it is not), the tone and manner in which DMI made their announcement was very unprofessional.


You could tell in the way they put all the blame on Libre, specially with that comment about scanlations. The man is a fool, the publisher I mean, by mentioning scanlations. They've never gone away. Only the hardcore DMI fujoshi groupies will side with them. I abandoned DMI ages ago, back when 801 ceased to exist and they laid off a bunch of good people.

I feel like the cat that ate the canary with this story. Meow meow!

Edit: Something occurred to me right now. Libre was watching for DMI's reaction and/or they read ANN. I'm all for both.


I've lost a lot of goodwill towards DMI lately. Their business practices are worrisome (Kickstarters for everything!), and that one comment they made against critics of their KnJ kickstarter was just a slap to the face. Like, if you want people to support the rest of your stuff, maybe don't insult people who don't agree with one of your works? Tokyopop didn't feel the need to insult people who didn't like Princess Ai.

The whole thing with Libre sounded fishy from the start, I'm glad Libre cleared the room. Best wishes to them.
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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
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Location: Indianapolis
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Well I cant wait for Libre's books to find a new home as hopefully whoever gets them will not keep them locked in some pricy exclusive online only store or give their own store weeks to month exclusive time for stocking them and giving other retailers few or no copies at all.

Please just let viz/sublime handle the rest and also exercise more quality control and get ones people actually want to buy.

Whoever runs DMI should really consider the right thing to say and do for contracts. They only brought it on themselves.
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st_owly
He started itHe started it


Joined: 20 May 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Levitz9 wrote:


I've lost a lot of goodwill towards DMI lately. Their business practices are worrisome (Kickstarters for everything!), and that one comment they made against critics of their KnJ kickstarter was just a slap to the face. Like, if you want people to support the rest of your stuff, maybe don't insult people who don't agree with one of your works? Tokyopop didn't feel the need to insult people who didn't like Princess Ai.

The whole thing with Libre sounded fishy from the start, I'm glad Libre cleared the room. Best wishes to them.


Yeah. When they did their first couple of KS to help bring things back to market (Swallowing the Earth), I thought it was a really good idea and was glad to support them. But I will not support a business that is basically forcing you to use KS as the only way to get a product. It's basically sticking 2 fingers up at people who can't afford to shell out for an entire manga series on one arbitrary date. That and their international shipping from Akadot is absolutely extortionate.
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Peebs



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:35 pm Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:

Yeah. When they did their first couple of KS to help bring things back to market (Swallowing the Earth), I thought it was a really good idea and was glad to support them. But I will not support a business that is basically forcing you to use KS as the only way to get a product. It's basically sticking 2 fingers up at people who can't afford to shell out for an entire manga series on one arbitrary date. That and their international shipping from Akadot is absolutely extortionate.


I went to look at June's Twitter feed and they're selling volume 4 of Border for the international fans on eBay for $20. If that doesn't smell like rip-off, I don't know what does. Amazon is selling it for $12.42. I do wonder what will happen to rest of that series. K2 is one of my favorite mangaka.

International shipping is always so expensive. I used to buy yaoi from Amazon JP and the shipping was always more than the book. It was insane.

I had no idea they made a nasty comment about that. Their KS were getting out of hand. There were still suckers going for them, though. For their sake I hope this Libre break up doesn't impact them, specially the Finder KS people.
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archyteckie08



Joined: 11 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:41 pm Reply with quote
Aisama wrote:
DMI thought that if they cried foul that they would to gain support from fans, but it backfired because of their track record of inconsistency and inability to deliver for the past years. And now that it's been revealed that they're the one who breached the contract, their rep just got worst.

I'm pretty sure that Sublime will be the one getting these series. I see no one else other than them.


"Breach of contract" is a blanket term that can mean thing. I'm pretty sure there are no "innocent" sides in this party. For one, DMI could have been in "breach" by doing a kickstarter. Many license holders do not like using their properties in a Kickstarter. Many major Japanese companies, like Libre (who is owned by Animate, the biggest anime retailer in Japan) , do not like their brands to associated by Kickstarter (or even licensed to a company that uses Kickstarter). In Japan, Kickstarters sites are for housewives who want to start a business, old family run companies who can no longer get bank loans, a independent manga artist trying to stay indie, and companies who create gimmicky electronics. No company with a brand like "Finders" (which had 100,000 copies circulated at one time in Japan) would dare to list on https://www.makuake.com/ or https://camp-fire.jp/.

DMI mentioned in their press release that "they were trying to whatever it takes to get manga in English fans hands." Perhaps, what DMI wanted to do didn't line up with the image that Libre or Animate wanted. Perhaps there were other things they didn't see "eye to eye" on. Libre is run by Japanese (who has only lived in Japan and have the typical corporate mentality) while DMI is run by a Japanese person who lives in the USA (he's been living here since the 70s & he's dad ran a small anime studio in Japan & seems very independent minded, http://liheliso.com/Interviews/HikaruSasaharaInterview2007.html, seems to wish for less restrictive manga practices;https://vimeo.com/13465710, & at one time paid for fan-translations (don't believe the site is active anymore): http://www.digitalmangaguild.com/ ). So there could have been a cultural issue between the two. A no longer native residing Japanese person feels he understand the US market better than the limited exposed Japanese person (who has no real world experience with anyone who isn't Japanese). However the native bound Japanese person, insists that the overseas Japanese still run his company like he is in Japan.The overseas Japanese person refuses. Thus, conflict ensures. Hence contract was ended. This happens all the time between native Japanese/overseas Japanese (sometimes within the same companies, between their international divisions) and isn't something limited to DMI.

I like DMI's manga format the best. Years ago, I picked up "Antique Bakery" just because the high quality of the manga printing and binding. I then read "Worst" another DMI work. But after that, future releases were mostly yaoi and I'm not really a fan of any romance manga/shows/movies/comics/books regardless of the genders involved); "Antique Bakery" is as yaoi as I'd go. So I didn't buy any more DMI works. Although I commend them for attempting to think out of the box to reach Americans.

I like Animate as well. I buy cool stuff from their Japanese stores (right now its all about Bungo Stray Dogs' stuff) all the time and used to buy from their American store. It's a shame that they were unable to profit from the American market (which has so much online anime fandom but so many who make a point to only buy from Japan and use scanlations). It would have been interesting to see what they would have done with Animate TV, limited edition exclusive goods, and cafe concept done the States.

The truth is, the manga/anime market thrives off manga and merchandise sales. If Americans aren't willing to buy plushes, artbooks, mirrors, keychains, figurines, professionally translated media (manga, dvds, & audio dramas), and stuff like that from official American distributors, then I don't think America will ever be seen as a major market for anything that's not Naruto or DBZ. What's funny is that hardcore Chinese anime fans are more likely to buy official goods than American fans are (I speak Chinese, Japanese, & English is my native language; so I follow the fandom in all languages). If there really was a BL audience in the US that was willing no only to buy 30,000+ copies of Finders manga, show up at manga artist's American meetups, and buy merch from the Animate American store, I don't doubt DMP & Libre couldn't have found a reasonable agreement in spite of their difference.

However in this current environment, it's no wonder that non-action manga titles are regulated to "digital only" affairs, companies needing to go to Kickstarter for cash & press, and non-action anime getting simulcast subbing rush jobs (with little to none getting official bluray or dvd releases; stuff on crunchyroll can disappear wants the contract is up, cable companies charging more for those who use more data, and anime pirated streams can be shut down from time to time).
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Loveless100



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 74
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:36 pm Reply with quote
Minor note on Animate from the last posters post:

Animate USA closed due to particular circumstances and for now they are purely a A to B business, with their goods primarily sold in Kinokuniya stores or at the Kinokuniya booth at conventions. They're not entirely out of the US but due to what I mentioned they closed their online shop. My personal opinion is that in time they will be ramping back up as a retailer but for now they're going strictly A to B.

(oh, sorry, A to B means distributor to retailer, so Animate going A to B means that they aren't selling directly to individual shoppers but rather wholesale to retailers.)

I also liked June's original format but the quality went down while the price was the same. It was a rather unfortunate situation for DMP. You never really want to see a company who manages a genre you read crash and burn as it is, but I suppose that this situation gives other publishers opportunities to grow. Frankly I do not know how big the BL manga buying market is but I hope that someday there is a decent selection of physical manga available to purchase.

In regards to the statement by Libre, completely professional and expected. One can wonder what the "breach of contract" is but in general if they see no ROI or there's another vendor knocking on the door with a pile of cash, of course they'll move. And also to note, Viz was housing Animate USA's staff in their office for a small stint when they were starting up. That relationship wasn't built overnight.
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kiminobokuwa



Joined: 18 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:06 pm Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
Good luck to DMI convincing anyone to license to them after that.

kiminobokuwa wrote:
And this is the EXACT reason why I don't buy digital manga.


Digital Manga is the name of the company, and like every other manga publisher, they release dead-tree and digital versions of their series. What happened here isn't peculiar to the digital format -- other publishers have lost rights to series halfway through, though not in such a humiliating way. If you purchased a digital copy from Amazon or B&N, you're going to be able to keep it and even redownload it if you ever have need to.


That's sad.. Sad I hope they continue some series though through other publishers.
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