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Interesting...

June 9th, 2010 (05:07 am)
awake
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current mood: awake

Link ganked from umadoshi's post: "Japanese, U.S. Manga Publishers Unite To Fight Scanlations". Will post my thoughts later, but in many ways, I can't say I'm all that surprised. It'll be interesting to see exactly how they go about this and what (if anything) they'll do to address the core issue.

Comments

Posted by: Because loving ONE Seki-sama isn't good enough! (sekitx2)
Posted at: June 9th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Allen ponder

SIGH. Big sites with everything and anything up are bad and do make profits. And too many readers wouldn't buy the books as well... but industry also looking for a scapegoat (same as that pres that said fansubs destroying dub version).

Hope smaller groups survive at least that are doing series that no way in hell will have an English release (Golden Days eg).

I still buy JP version over English more often than not because it's cheaper and nicer and comes out a lot faster even though my JP skills haven't improved at all in years. SDKyo got dropped then picked up and still waiting for last volume. Years and year and years of waiting and waiting on Get Backers and ooh, Tokyo Pop, dropped it. VIZ hasn't even finished Inu Yasha yet!!! D. Gray one of the few that's close to where JP is that I am reading. Natsume and Pandora Hearts will take years to get close to JP volume # though with the release dates I've seen. And then you spend money on a title you do want and the translation fails big time (hello several volumes of Ghost Hunt), or what I can't stand, adapting to make it easy for Americans to swallow (why I will never have Conan or Initial D in English).

Publishers have to get digital (but better not be just for cellphones or iPad or Kindle because not everyone owns those devices). Much rather be able to read (or buy and DL) before buying an actual book of a series don't know about.

Posted by: LKK (lkk)
Posted at: June 9th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
cooking

Years and year and years of waiting and waiting on Get Backers and ooh, Tokyo Pop, dropped it.
I understand your frustration about GB. I'm waiting on it too. But technically speaking TP didn't drop GB. It was taken away from them by Kodansha. TP was actually going to fasttrack GB with its relauch as GB: Inifinity Fortress. Then they lost the rights to all of Kodansha titles including GB.

Posted by: Because loving ONE Seki-sama isn't good enough! (sekitx2)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
LaviClueless

Right, forgot about that. :/ But still, if they'd released a little quicker it would have been done. Hope Kodansha reconsiders or picks a new company... but doesn't seem too likely.

Posted by: Kakurenbo (akinarei)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 04:27 am (UTC)

But I don't think OneManga is making a profit.

Posted by: Because loving ONE Seki-sama isn't good enough! (sekitx2)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
H5Leaves1

I didn't mention any site by name. There's ones with subscriptions have to pay for in order to DL chapters. One Manga and others, there's ads on every single page that go next to (click through rates) so it's not like they aren't trying to...

Posted by: Kakurenbo (akinarei)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)

I think someone else who replied and mentioned names.

But is that a profit, or not paying so much for the rates of the site?

Posted by: Because loving ONE Seki-sama isn't good enough! (sekitx2)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
H5Leaves1

If get 1 cent per page X 1000s of pages X thousand's of views it adds up... no longer just a fan group doing something for fans :/

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)

The thing that's bothered me the most about the big aggregates is that they also have scans of licensed manga. There used to be a strong hands off licensed material concept either upon licensing or upon official release, and all scanlations would then be removed from circulation; much like how fansubbing used to be. These days though, just about everything is available including scans of official licensed material. So, yeah. I can definitely see that hurting the publishers' bottom line.

At the same time, I can understand the fans' desire for more faster. As you mentioned, some titles are very slow at coming out and if you've been following raws, the time it'd take for the official releases to catch up... Ouch.

Publishers have to get digital (but better not be just for cellphones or iPad or Kindle because not everyone owns those devices). Much rather be able to read (or buy and DL) before buying an actual book of a series don't know about.

I agree. Publishers need to learn to work with technology and take advantage of the demand for stuff very close to the original J release - much like what's been happening with some anime. I think, given the option, most people would rather go with official material provided that it's not outrageously priced or treated horribly.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)

Agreed. Just cracking down on the sites isn't really going to solve the actual problem. But if they do have the J publishers on their side as well... Ysa mentioned on her blog that the US publishers had always had their hands tied because the J publishers wouldn't go for more online publishing, but if they are on board now... Personally, I would like to see a greater move towards like what the anime industry has been trying out with the official E version of some titles being available online so soon after the original J version.

Posted by: LKK (lkk)
Posted at: June 9th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
gh_read fist

Right now, I'm taking a wait and see approach. I don't read scanlations as much as I used to. I go to One Manga several times a day, but it's more out of habit than a reading crave. I think the first phase of the legal focus will be on the aggregator sites like OM. While I would miss it a little, it wouldn't be that big a deal for me if it went away.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)

I have to admit, I don't read many titles at all any more. (I'll visit them maybe a handful of times a month now.) Like you, I expect the first step will be against the aggregates. It's what they do after that that will really count. Will they do something that allows them to address the issues that drove so many people to the aggregates in the first place, or will they continue to drag their feet about modernizing and adapting to the digital era?

Posted by: Kakurenbo (akinarei)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)

...this is going to hurt the manga/anime industry.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC)

It has the potential to be bad, but I think it has the potential to be good for everyone as well. It really depends on what, if anything, they do after going after the aggregates.

Posted by: LKK (lkk)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
gh_read fist

I'm not sure this move will hurt the industry as it current is. People who are already buying books will still buy. I doubt any book-buyers will stop as a result of this. Nearly all of the book-buyers' online comments I've read have been in support of this move. Some of the non-buyers might start buying books. I agree not everyone will start buying. Most probably won't. But any new sales above current sales will be an improvement for the manga industry.

The real issue that needs to still be addressed is how to generate sales among the book buyers when the title / mangaka isn't already known by the buying public. I've bought many a book because I read some part of it scanlated. I'm sure I'm not the only book-buyer who's done that. That advanced advertising needs to continue somehow. Few people are inclined to buy blind unless the manga is from a mangaka they really like. This is the part of the equation that I'm most curious to see addressed.

Posted by: dchan (ryuu_no_hime)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
galatea watching

The real issue that needs to still be addressed is how to generate sales among the book buyers when the title / mangaka isn't already known by the buying public.

This. I miss the days when the manga companies would hand out sample books with the first chapters of new manga that they were releasing at cons. I understand that they're expensive, and with money being tight in the recession and all, but...

Also, they need to promote titles that are actually new. At the latest con I went to (Fanime) they handed out a little booklet with a chapter of Vampire Knight in the con bag. The first book of Vampire Knight came out in English back in 2007. I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of people who would be interested in buying Vampire Knight have heard of it already by now.

I can think of several instances that I've been browsing in a bookstore and I notice a title that I've been reading on OneManga or some other manga aggregator site that has gotten and English release and even has a couple volumes out and I haven't even heard about it getting picked up.

Also, those figures they give us are very misleading. 2007 was before the recession started, so of course sales figures are going to be higher. And in 2009 the recession was in full swing; and you can bet that non-essentials like manga are going to be one of the first things that would be cut out of a family's budget if the family's income was adversely affected. By the end of 2009 the unemployment rate in the US was 10%. And that's not even counting the people who had given up looking for work and had dropped out of the labor force. A lot of families just didn't have the money. Scanlators are not the sole cause of the problem here.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: June 11th, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)

Given the current situation, I don't know if things could get all that much worse, I'll give you that. Who is it that's the latest victim? CMX? It's bad enough when a company has to downsize, but closing a line entirely is definitely not good.

The way I can see the industry doing itself more harm than good with this move though would be by alienating the "entitled" crowd (those who expect anything and everything to be available to them and for it all to be free since that's how it's always been vis a vis the aggregates) while not giving a viable legal alternative. Alienation is never a good thing. They need to entice the non-buyers into seeing why they should be buying things and supporting the industry. But...

As you said and I agree, very few people these days will be unwilling to buy blind anymore. I'll admit, I used to buy blind way back when with books and anime tapes (<- this resulted in more than one H title accidentally being bought. ^^; ), but these days, books especially have become a lot more expensive. And since manga are often serials, they can take up a lot of space too. I'm not particularly keen on increasing the number of dust collectors here anymore. Digitizing I think, is one area that needs to be looked into by the publishers. Possibly to the extent of creating a central 'library' of legit online manga that is either free (older titles for ex.) or charges a nominal fee. The ideal world would see this not only for English, but for (in this case) E and J both. I know Japan has had some material online for some time (ex. sokuyomi - titles from Shogakukan, Kodansha, Akita Shoten), but checking it out, I don't know about the way they went about it. You can read a volume online for Y300 for 180 days. By the looks of it, I'm suspecting it might be older titles since GH (for example) only goes up to Vol 8 (2003 release). And for comparison's sake, Vol 8 brand new is Y410. I don't know how this compares to ebooks, but I was under the impression that most ebooks here allow unlimited access for titles you buy. A different approach taken by the author of Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica on the other hand, puts the latest chapter on yahoo comics for free for 2 or 4 weeks. After that, there's a nominal fee to read back issues (don't know what sort of limits might exist on viewing) and the comic is also compiled into tankoubon form. The problem with this site though is that it's IE only. I avoid IE like the plague. >.<

Otherwise, it'll definitely be interesting to see what they do to try to get new titles on fans radars. I do think publishers need to open works up a bit more for reading/previewing online. I checked out DelRey's and TokyoPop's sites for the first time in years today, but previewing was either non-existent or so tiny I couldn't even read the print. Quite frankly, they not only didn't pique my interest, they turned me off the respective sites. >.>

Posted by: cemplon (cheeca)
Posted at: June 10th, 2010 10:50 am (UTC)

well, that's bad news ...LoL, it can't be helped when scanlation is preferable when the publisher not publish the book at the same time in all over the world. It's not because we don't want to buy them, it's because we want the same update as the original.

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