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Manga Aggregator to Close as OpenManga Plans Launch (Updated)

posted on by Gia Manry
Copyrighted works removed from public view; new site's beta to launch "soon"

The maintainers of MangaHelpers, a site that aggregated unauthorized scans of manga with translations, have announced that they have taken steps to shut down the site. While they expressed their belief that they have served publishers' market reach, the maintainers acknowledged that continuing to operate is no longer an option. Uploading and linking to untranslated manga scans and scanlations have been disabled on the site, and access to the current library is only available to scanlators to allow them to back up their work.

MangaHelpers also announced the pending launch of OpenManga, a new platform to allow manga creators to distribute their work digitally. The program will feature the ability for artists to sell merchandise and accept donations. The new program will also provide ways for users to legally translate and localize these manga. A website with a splash image has already launched. Manganovel Corporation, a online manga company 89% owned by the conglomerate Toshiba Corporation, launched a similar service in 2007, but it is no longer operating.

On Tuesday, a group of American publishers announced that they have joined forces with Japan's 36-member Digital Comics Association to combat unauthorized distribution of manga online. The coalition said it is specifically targeting scanlation aggregators and threatening legal action against them.

[Via Ain't It Cool News Anime]

Update: According to an OpenManga representative, contributing artists will be able to approve or disapprove of specific translations of their work, although it has not yet been decided whether these translations will become available to the public regardless of artist approval. The representative said that the decision will be made after further discussions with contributing artists.

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