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DMP CEO: New Venture to Launch 1,000+ Manga Online

posted on by Gia Manry
Project will crowdsource scanlators to translate works legally

Digital Manga Publishing (DMP) President and CEO Hikaru Sasahara has confirmed with ANN that DMP intends to establish a new online venture in which fans can provide "scanlations" of manga titles that would be distributed digitally and legally, with the permission of their Japanese owners. As first reported by The Yaoi Review, these translators would be credited with each title, and possibly compensated with a cut of sales.

The program is set to feature over a thousand manga titles or as many as "a few thousand," mostly in the boys love genre, to establish a following before branching out into other genres and possibly novels, Sasahara said. The business model will allow for DMP, the Japanese licensors, and the translators to each receive a cut of digital sales, and additional revenue will come from derivatives such as advertising, and possibly television or other adaptations of manga titles. Titles that perform well online may also go into print.

According to Sasahara, the venture was established as a reaction to the high up-front costs of licensing manga titles, coupled with long production time. He states that he was not aware of the Digital Comics Association's plan to work with U.S. publishers in a coalition against scanlation aggregators. He said that DMP's new program has been in development for over a year, and that "a few" unnamed content providers in Japan have verbally agreed to participate.

Sasahara also indicated that DMP would like to invite translation/lettering groups to the DMP offices at the company's expense for a presentation on the program in the near future.

In August 2008, Digital Manga Publishing established a manga rental site at eManga.com, where it publishes works from its own imprints (DMP, Juné, DokiDoki, 801 Media), works from North American partners Harlequin and Yaoi Press, and original works. Parent company Digital Manga, Inc. has partnerships with Japanese publishers Shinshokan, Taiyoh Tosho, and Oakla. Other initiatives that used or planned to use authorized fan translations include Manganovel and OpenManga.

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