Umizaru's Sato Launches Manga With Relaxed Copyright Restrictions

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Shuho Sato releases Kakuo manga through DWANGO's blog magazine service

Manga creator Shuho Sato (Umizaru, The Isle of TOKKOU) launched a new web series titled Kakuo on Tuesday. The series has relatively relaxed copyright restrictions; others can freely adapt it for commercial or noncommercial purposes (including animation and parody) without prior consent, as long as they credit the original manga's title and creator.

Sato already offers his earlier manga Say Hello to Black Jack (released in English as Give My Regards to Black Jack) under similar conditions. Unlike in the United States, the Copyright Law in Japan does not have a fair-use clause to protect parodies and similar uses, unless the original creator allows them.

Sato is offering the new series as part of Shonen Sato Shuho, a "magazine" distributed through DWANGO's Blomaga blog/e-mail magazine service. The series consists of three to five panels a week. The magazine costs 525 yen per month (about US$5.77), although people can sample it for the first five days for free. In addition to the manga, the magazine includes news and updates about Sato and his work.

Sato is also launching an official channel on Niconico that he will update intermittently with interviews, reports, and live broadcasts.

Sato has been pursuing online manga publication since 2009, and launched his manga publishing website in 2010. Sato has also been vocal on the topic of manga creators' financial situations, making detailed posts about his magazine income versus his costs.

The author pulled his contracts with his former Say Hello to Black Jack publisher, Kodansha, and Fuji TV last year. Sato claimed that that Kodansha was "making light of him" and expressed his dissatisfaction with the company. He cut ties with Fuji TV six months later when Sato claimed the company flooded his agency with sudden interviews without an appointment and sold Umizaru film-related books without a contract.

Say Hello to Black Jack continues to be available online for free in Japanese on Sato's website.

Source: IT Media News

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