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NEWS: Creators/Publishers Issue Letter to Shops That Digitize Manga


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zalas



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 100
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:52 pm Reply with quote
It would be interesting to see how this pans out. Personally, I do like the idea of being able to digitize some book I own in one step, since that way I can just digitize my collection and have easy access to everything without all the books taking up space, especially things like paperbacks...
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:10 pm Reply with quote
zalas wrote:
It would be interesting to see how this pans out.

No, it won't. There's only one direction this is going to go and it sure as hell isn't in favor to the person who legally bought their manga and wish to have it digitized for their use.

It'll be "But they're a pirate! Stop them!"

It's stunning how far behind the times these businesses and artists are.

Next, they're going to blame Oda for stealing, too.
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Annf



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:28 pm Reply with quote
This isn't a particularly controversial position. They're not saying you can't digitize it yourself at home, merely that commercial entities shouldn't be making a profit off making copies of it for you without permission--that's what copyright is for, after all.
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relentlessflame



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 186
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:01 pm Reply with quote
What I'd be sort of curious about is let's say the shop gets multiple requests for the same book. Do they actually de-bind and scan it separately for each request, or do they keep an archive of previous scans and just send them a copy? There wouldn't really be any way to tell, and the end-result is basically the same at significantly less work to the shop for the subsequent requests (although they can charge the same price for the work -- "do work once, get paid many times over" is the dream of any entrepreneur). If it's the former, then it's ultimately just paying for a service like any other (the person still bought the original book after all), but if they do the latter, things get pretty interesting.

This reminds me of the "long-wire PVR" issues that have been discussed in the States. At first some companies had repositories of all the shows, and would let people timeshift it as they please assuming they would have had access to it when it aired. But when that didn't go over well, they changed it so that, in effect, it was like each person had a physical PVR at the regional office, and they were connecting to it via a "long cable". Users still had to record the shows, and a unique individual copy was (apparently) stored, despite this being less efficient.

Also similar are the various cloud music "locker" services. Places like Amazon make you upload all your tracks, even though it's obvious that they could just recognize that it's the same as a track already in their database and save you all the bandwidth of having to upload all your files (as other past but now-mostly-eliminated music services have done).

All of this is basically the relics of "physical" laws in a "digital" age, based on the old understanding that a copy is physical and unique and it can only be one place at a time.


Annf wrote:
This isn't a particularly controversial position. They're not saying you can't digitize it yourself at home, merely that commercial entities shouldn't be making a profit off making copies of it for you without permission--that's what copyright is for, after all.

Not really. Let's say a book store has a photocopier available for customer use with a per-page fee. This pretty common practice (though maybe not right in book stores). Then let's say they also offer a service that says "we'll operate the photocopier for you" for an additional fee. Print shops already provide this service (among others). And then let's say that they're using a modern photocopier that rather than just make copies to physical paper, also has an option to scan to PDF and E-mail it to you. (Pretty much all new photocopiers have this feature, by the way.) So now if they provide a service to scan a book and give the digital copy to the customer, that's basically what we have here.

And to forward my point above, let's say the modern photocopier also had an option that stored a cache/archive of recently scanned works and allowed you to "re-send" (incidentally, a lot of them have this option too). If someone else came to you and asked you to scan the same book you just scanned for the previous customer, you could either do the same work all over again, or just press that "re-send" button and charge the second customer the same thing (or a bit less to give them a "deal").

In all these cases, the customer did purchase the physical book, and in many countries there are laws (exemptions?) that permit personal copies and "format shifting". The issue is: does it matter who actually does the copying (so long as it only goes to the person who bought the work), and does it really matter that each digital copy is unique when they're just bytes anyway (so long as each recipient does actually own the original). In all cases, these shops are only providing services that make it easier for the customer to exert their own "rights" (in countries that allow this) that the customers wouldn't need to permission to enact. Why exactly do the shops need permission (even though there's a perception that maybe they "should")?
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Annf wrote:
This isn't a particularly controversial position. They're not saying you can't digitize it yourself at home, merely that commercial entities shouldn't be making a profit off making copies of it for you without permission--that's what copyright is for, after all.

.. but they aren't distributing copies of it so it shouldn't concern copyright. They're just making scans of the book you own. Like you would do yourself, not just at home but at many service stores that offer photocopiers and scanners (e.g. Fedex/Kinkos)
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:06 pm Reply with quote
And here I wait in the good olde USA, waiting for months for a legit english translation, cash in hand. And I want it NOW.

It's like the Japanese don't want my money.
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GhostShell



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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Location: Richmond, B.C., Canada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:49 pm Reply with quote
Just curious. The manga and books that I have that were published in North America have something similar to the following wording on the copyright page:

"No portion of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission from the copyright holders."

Do books and manga published in Japan not have something like that as well?
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Paploo



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:42 pm Reply with quote
GhostShell wrote:
Just curious. The manga and books that I have that were published in North America have something similar to the following wording on the copyright page:

"No portion of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission from the copyright holders."

Do books and manga published in Japan not have something like that as well?


I assume they do. My english ed. of Golgo 13 from 1986 that was printed in Japan includes that warning.

The amount one can copy from a text is controlled in most universities- and even then they often have licensing agreements in place that pay royalties to the publisher and writer when the copy is made.

So basically, these people are selling people a 2nd copy of the book for a price that's two to ten times the actual cost of the book. That's pretty sketchy, and what sort of legal action can be take probably depends on Japanese copyright laws.


Last edited by Paploo on Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Paploo



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:48 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
Annf wrote:
This isn't a particularly controversial position. They're not saying you can't digitize it yourself at home, merely that commercial entities shouldn't be making a profit off making copies of it for you without permission--that's what copyright is for, after all.

.. but they aren't distributing copies of it so it shouldn't concern copyright. They're just making scans of the book you own. Like you would do yourself, not just at home but at many service stores that offer photocopiers and scanners (e.g. Fedex/Kinkos)


But how do we know someone whose distributing digital copies isn't using them to do it?

Too many unanswered questions. Most copy places won't let you photocopy an entire book. I imagine paying for the service might be the thing that gets them in trouble.

Anyhoo, just putting in my view on this, and that you should take the creator's livelihood into consideration when considering these things. While some might want to trash artists, just thought I'd get in a different view on these things.

http://www.copyhype.com/2011/09/the-copyright-infringement-isnt-theft-trope/
Other then that, getting tired of this trope 0_o
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:10 pm Reply with quote
Paploo wrote:
Too many unanswered questions. Most copy places won't let you photocopy an entire book.

I recall problems getting a stationers to copy books at all - and that's just one page of music so I don't have to turn over.
OTOH, I think I still have photocopied library books somewhere that my dad ran off in work when I was a kid.
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grooven



Joined: 16 Aug 2006
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:50 pm Reply with quote
Dear god people taking apart their books >.< that is horrid. I could never do that to my collection.
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Lightning Leo



Joined: 04 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:10 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
Annf wrote:
This isn't a particularly controversial position. They're not saying you can't digitize it yourself at home, merely that commercial entities shouldn't be making a profit off making copies of it for you without permission--that's what copyright is for, after all.

.. but they aren't distributing copies of it so it shouldn't concern copyright. They're just making scans of the book you own. Like you would do yourself, not just at home but at many service stores that offer photocopiers and scanners (e.g. Fedex/Kinkos)


Copyright infringement isn't limited to illegal distributors and sellers, it covers anyone who makes copies of copyrighted material without owner permission. Technically, it's illegal to make copies of any copyrighted works, even for personal use.

Also, many copy shops have policies forbidding the copying of copyrighted material. Staples, for example, won't make copies of copyrighted material unless it's for educational purposes (but even then, only up to 10% of the material). Fedex/Kinko's, which you mentioned, has similar guidelines, stating that customers must receive written permission from the owner before reproducing any copyrighted material. Kinko's has even been litigated and held liable for such infringement, despite the material falling under "fair use" for being of an educational nature. Many institutions, like libraries and universities, have similar policies.

The right to produce copies of a work is granted solely to the copyright owner of the work, and those to whom the owner has granted permission. By making copies, we take that right away from the creator to control reproduction of their works, and give it to ourselves. Chances of litigation are small, but I have seen people caught, fined and fired from their jobs for personal use copyright infringement.
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la_contessa



Joined: 20 Apr 2007
Posts: 200
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:26 pm Reply with quote
Lightning Leo wrote:
configspace wrote:

.. but they aren't distributing copies of it so it shouldn't concern copyright. They're just making scans of the book you own. Like you would do yourself, not just at home but at many service stores that offer photocopiers and scanners (e.g. Fedex/Kinkos)


Copyright infringement isn't limited to illegal distributors and sellers, it covers anyone who makes copies of copyrighted material without owner permission. Technically, it's illegal to make copies of any copyrighted works, even for personal use.


This is exactly right--there are more things than distribution that violate the letter of the law. In fact, Article 21 of the Japanese Copyright Act clearly states, "The author shall have the exclusive right to reproduce his work" ("著作者は、その著作物を複製する権利を専有する"). Therefore, if any reproduction is made without the author's permission, it violates the law. Other rights include display and performance, but they aren't really relevant here.

No, I don't think it's evil theft to digitize your own book that you bought for your own private use (say, you don't want to carry 30 books with you on vacation, although the idea of ripping up my books to scan them is HORRIFYING to me). Most likely illegal, but not morally wrong (other than the damage to an innocent book) and it will probably not get you sued. But a store charging people to make copies without the author's permission? That is seriously shady, and I can't see how it's not illegal. (the issue here is not online file sharing, so I am assuming everyone is only making copies for personal use, which I doubt is really the case)

And before someone gets on Wikipedia to cite the first sale doctrine, it only applies to the physical book itself, not the copyright that goes with it. The author retains the exclusive right to authorize copies--the buyer of an individual book does not obtain that right along with the physical copy s/he purchases. [Does anyone know if Japan even recognizes the first sale doctrine? Do you have a citation? I haven't read through the whole Copyright Act in a while]
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:59 am Reply with quote
Shiroi Hane wrote:
Paploo wrote:
Too many unanswered questions. Most copy places won't let you photocopy an entire book.

I recall problems getting a stationers to copy books at all - and that's just one page of music so I don't have to turn over.
OTOH, I think I still have photocopied library books somewhere that my dad ran off in work when I was a kid.
Correct. Try to get the professionals at fedex/kinkos to copy a commercially-produced book, and they'll respectfully decline (though you could probably get away with doing so on your own on their coin-operated copiers.)

Also, look at any roleplaying-game book. My D&D player's handbook has character sheets in the back, and those pages specifically say "permission granted to photocopy for personal use only."
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13682
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:27 am Reply with quote
la_contessa wrote:

And before someone gets on Wikipedia to cite the first sale doctrine, it only applies to the physical book itself, not the copyright that goes with it. The author retains the exclusive right to authorize copies--the buyer of an individual book does not obtain that right along with the physical copy s/he purchases. [Does anyone know if Japan even recognizes the first sale doctrine? Do you have a citation? I haven't read through the whole Copyright Act in a while]


Because of the growing popularity of second-hand bookshops in their stagnant economy, Japanese publishers are even pushing to control that and get a cut of the second-hand pie.
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