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J-Comi: 'Purify' File-Shared Manga with Authorized Ads

posted on by Egan Loo
Negima's Akamatsu unveils plan to legalize unauthorized scans of out-of-print manga

Manga creator Ken Akamatsu (Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Love Hina) proposed on Monday that his manga distribution site J-Comi can "purify" or legalize unauthorized manga scans on file-sharing networks by adding advertising to the existing files — with the creators' permission. The beta version of J-Comi already serves legal, free downloads of manga, but the new proposal will deal directly with illegally distributed files of manga. Akamatsu presented his plan under the title "Illegal (Out-of-Print) Manga File Purification Project."

Akamatsu first asked his readers if they have obtained ZIP-compressed archives of unauthorized manga scans from Winny, Share, and other file-sharing networks. Akamatsu added that "everyone has done this at least once." He then asked his readers if they still have the files, even if keeping the files makes the readers feel guilty, "maybe because they are important to you or are your favorite manga (^^)."

If these files are for out-of-print manga, Akamatsu suggested a way to "completely legalize" them. He noted that Shueisha and other publishers are patrolling the file-sharing networks for current manga such as One Piece, but no one is doing the same for out-of-print manga. Instead, he offered his proposal:

1. First, if readers have "illegal (out-of-print) manga files" or know where such files exist on Winny, Share, or other peer-to-peer networks, Akamatsu wants the readers to submit (upload) the files to J-Comi.
2. J-Comi will keep these files private and contact the original manga creators.
3. If the creators give their permission, J-Comi will "purify" the files (through the process explained below) and repost them. Thus, "atonement" is made for the unauthorized release and distribution.
4. In cases where the out-of-print status of the manga is uncertain, J-Comi and the creators will make the decision.
5. If the creators give their OK, J-Comi will automatically insert advertising into all the pages of the manga and repost them. Akamatsu emphasizes that the creators receive the revenue from the advertising, and J-Comi itself will keep 0% of the revenue.
6. "However, if the creators do not give their OK, the files will be abandoned and the files will continue to drift through hell (Winny). Perhaps forever…."

The "Illegal (Out-of-Print) Manga File Purification Project" will launch on Tuesday, the same day that J-Comi officially launches after being in beta testing since last year.

J-Comi held a beta test with free, advertising-supported downloads of the Love Hina manga last November. 45,000 downloads were made on the first day, and over 1.7 million downloads were made less than two weeks later. Akamatsu had planned to officially launch the site in January, but instead started a second beta test with Shōei Ishioka's Belmonde Le VisiteuR series, Mayu Shinjo's "Hōkago Wedding" (Afterschool Wedding) one-shot manga, and Takashi Kisaki and Kengo Kaji's Kōtsū Jiko Kanteinin Tamaki Rinichirō (Rinichirō Tamaki, Traffic Accident Investigator) series.

Source: Tadashi Sudo

This article has a follow-up: J-Comi Posts 1st User-Submitted, 'Purified' Manga Scans (2011-04-13 11:30)
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