Robot 6

Manga publishers join forces to fight scanlation sites [Updated]

One Manga

One Manga

A coalition of Japanese and U.S. manga publishers is threatening legal action against 30 scanlation sites, Publishers Weekly reports.

The group is composed of the Japanese Digital Comic Association, whose 36 members includes publishing giants Kodansha, Shogakukan and Shueisha, Square Enix, the Tuttle-Mori Agency and U.S. publishers Vertical Inc., Viz Media, Tokyopop and Yen Press.

According to PW, the publishers contend that although formerly fan-driven, scanlation — scanning, translating and posting manga, traditionally titles that are difficult to find outside of Japan — has become a profitable enterprise for high-traffic aggregation sites that host thousands of titles illegally. Google recently ranked scanlation aggregator One Manga among the world’s 1,000 most-visited websites. It draws 4.2 million unique visitors a month.

The group charges that in addition to attracting millions of visitors and reaping advertising revenue, some sites are soliciting donations and charging for memberships. In addition, iPhone apps are being developed “solely to link to and republish the content of scanlations sites.”

No lawsuits have been filed, and no websites named, but it seems likely that One Manga and Manga Fox will be among those targeted. A spokesperson said in a press release that the publishers group hopes “the offending sites will take it upon themselves to immediately cease their activities. Where this is not the case, however, we will seek injunctive relief and statutory damages. We will also report offending sites to federal authorities, including the anti-piracy units of the Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and FBI.”

News of the effort comes a little more than a month after it was announced a coalition of U.S. comics publishers had worked with the FBI to shut down the piracy website HTMLComics.

News From Our Partners

Comments

37 Comments

Crunchyroll started out as a site full of illegal content, much like these, and later got investors and went legit (over the protests of anime companies). Now it’s an indispensable part of the anime industry. Maybe sites like OneManga should consider doing what they do legally, and publishers should consider helping make that happen. Just a thought!

crap! i use onemanga!!

and crunchyroll too! D:

I’m brazilian and the only way I get to know some manga series is through websites like Onemanga. The truth is that most of the titles are not profitable enough to came here (or the States) so this sites are the only way to read manga or other kinds of comics.
I get really upset when I see initiatives like that. If I were an artist or publisher I would want my work to be known world wide rather then bought for a minority.
Scanlators should be thanked not hunted. This guys ever read Convergence Culture from Henry Jenkins?!

Best news ever :) Glad to see it happening, long overdue.

Dare we hope that the publishers will get their fingers out and translate all these manga for themselves into the languages the scanlation sites make available? No, of course not. Some tiny minority will get an English version and maybe German or French if they are lucky and patient and the rest? No chance. Let’s pick an example I’ve never seen scanlated – Yotsuba&! English volume 8 is now out – yay – my birthday present! – but in Japan Vol 12 has been released I gather. I might see that in 4 years minimum as long as the publisher doesn’t get bored and drop the title. If it shows up I’ll buy it.
So how the publishers can say this is harming their revenue is utterly beyond me. What they MEAN is “someone else is making money via advertising clicks – GRRRR!” but the publishers will never get my clicks until they make the translations themselves.
In the end Manga Fox and OneManga may have to cut them in for some proportion of the ad revenue since that’s what the publishers actually want. In return can they dare to hope for payment for their hard work? Ha . . ha . . ****ing ha. Yes of course.

Wouldn’t matter if all the manga was available in your respective countries. Wouldn’t matter if the translation was completely loyal to the original Japanese instead of our barbarian gaijin tounge. Wouldn’t matter if there were legitimate formats to get it online.

You’d all still steal it. And you’d all say you were helping the industry because of it. Because you’re all terrible people.

OneManga is usually pretty good about taking down scans if the publisher specifically asks for it. I am curious to see how this will impact their content – if it all.

Personally, I don’t think the publishers should be going after sites like OneManga. I come from Russia, where books have been widely avaliable online since the early days of the Internet (in Russia), and many authors post copies of their works in their entirety on their official websites. Because of this, the notion that works posted online are ruining things for publishers and writers always struck me as dubious.

That said, what I think about this doesn’t really matter. Sites like OneManga survived as long as they did because manga publishers allowed them to. If they want to crack down, well, it’s their right, and I (for one) respect that. I may think it’s misguided, but I respect it.

I wish them luck because they will need it.

Happy to see this. I hope that this is a lead into some of these companies starting their own legal digital servies. It won’t cure the piracy problem, but it would take away some of the piracy excuses. The fact that the Japanese companies are invovled as well speaks volumes to me. I hope they are successful in making a dent on the problem.

No, I read the Japanese collected voumes of Yotsuba. Yotsuba is only at volume 9 in Japan. They wait forever to bring out the collected volumes over there, too.

And I’m glad they’re shutting these guys down. Companies need to make money to survive. Same with the artists.

I know there are many sites that do this illegally but there are some like onemanga that have a good reputation that take down mangas and manhwas if asked by publishing companies. I only use manga sites that respect the wishes of publishing companies and am happy that they respect them. If they really wish to shut these sites down then they’ll be hearing a bunch of complaints because there are countries all over the world waiting for translations and these publishing companies don’t reach out for these mangas. i would be happy to buy these books too (i do buy them but there are many that aren’t in reach here). also there are places like borders that let people just sit and read the books like it’s a library which is annoying. anyways, this is going to be great for publishers and it’s only great for publishers. readers all over the word aren’t given the opportunity to read translated mangas because they’re not publishing translated mangas. i have more to say but it seems im having a hard time putting this into words if you’ve read my awkwardly worded response to this article =/

Ok Noah, we could pick another example like GunslingerGirl which was dropped by the English publisher so that it ended at volume 6 while Japan went on to Volume 11 and 12. Now it’s been picked up by Seven Seas in English again it will be (finally) possible to buy legal copies but in the meantime (past two or three years) there has been no legal way for English-reading fans to get hold of it. Do you think dropping a series half-way through helped with marketing and profits or hindered it? I will be delighted to complete my print collection of GunslingerGirl next year but, in the meantime, I’m not allowed to know what happens in the story unless I learn Japanese – or French because up to volume 10 is available in that language.
What the publishers need to do is make English translations available for online reading for a nominal fee (use Crunchyroll or someone like that) and then they can gauge the interest in the market. It’s quite expensive to buy whole books to find out whether you like a series or not and that harms sales too. We need a different, more responsive, commercial model.
Some people will always steal of course – and work quite hard to do so – but the main reason many folks read scanlations is that THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION. Cutting off that ecosystem seems petty and pointless and will likely prove harmful to the publishing market in the longer run by marginalising their potential target audience. As Tohukyo said, if folks want to read a book that is available in their language they can sit in Borders (or their local library) and simply read it. Or would publishers like that banned too?

what ??

any one ..tell me what gone in here??

Ok so let me get this straight. For all of the titles that are not marketed in English I need to take a course on how to read Kanji and then find out how to legally purchase copies from overseas. Thanks that is a big help. Ok end of the sarcasm. Seriously though. I would purchase titles legally if I could find them in English. But choices are sometime very limited and as others have mentioned frequently dropped. Also no offense but I really do hate how they try to change the dialogue to a more English slang. Most of the time that is just cheesy.

I find it rather funny that the same people who are saying that it’s good that these crackdowns are happening, are also the same people who are still visiting sites like OneManga and MangaFox……you guys should be the last ones happy. I use these websites because most of the manga I do read isn’t translated and/or licensed in the states…..I also find out about new manga/authors to check out. If most of what I read online is licensed….chances are I’m buying it. It’s a Win-Lose situation….either these works get licensed and put in book stores/ comic book shops…..or you read it online…either way…it’s gonna get read.

No way. i read online because they are slow to get translated and published were i am. i like to browse and find new authors and artist all the time. and when i can i still buy the Manga in a book store even if i have already read it. its worth owning sometimes. sometimes I will read two volumes in a story a friend recommended realize i don’t like it and move on. as someone who plans on writing and illustrating her own Manga one day. i just want people to read the stories. if they love it i will be over joyed if they don’t o well. i just want to know what they think of the story. that would be enough for me.

i come believe this is happening i meaan i use manga ox, ne manga and crunchroll. Y r they doing this. I’m so sad ):

Let me scratch that

“i can’t believe this is happening i meaan i use both manga fox, one manga and crunchyroll. Y r they doing this. I’m so sad ): Im guessing there will be like a war about this

They trying to start a war or something? Hrmmm..
I mean, it would be reasonable if we had the majority of our titles translated and published here, but we don’t.
And even if they were to take down these sites, it wouldn’t improve their revenue any more than it already has. If they are successful, chances are the end result will be people crowding up in the manga sections at bookstores just to read the latest issues but not purchase. And another reason it wouldn’t make the publishers and more money either way is the price tag on all the manga published here. It costs 10 bucks on average just for one graphic novel. In places like Taiwan, there are actually manga libraries which hold almost all the series that are published there and they let you borrow them at about 2 US dollars a volume. And actual purchase there is equivalent to about 50 cents to a dollar more. The manga market here is simply too overpriced and lacking for us to even purchase anything from them.
And I also want to point out that publishers like Viz have dumbed down alot of the comics from the famous Jump lineups. The first year they started releasing these titles they wouldn’t bother to edit any of the material deemed inappropriate. But now, even with the T, T+ advisory labels, they edit them to the point where it’s presentable to a 9 year old.

Instead of bashing these sites as illegal piracy sites,I understand the sites that make you pay for it… thats just wrong just shut those sites down! Maybe they should use these to there advantage I mean come one the US and other countries are way behind in getting us alot of manga because some of it just doesn’t get published at all in other countries soo yeah we have to rely on the soooo called “pirates” because the “official” People Failed to give us the manga in the first place. So like steve horten was saying why don’t the just do to sites like Onemanga what they did to crunchyroll its just not fair! And I read onemanga an I support it 100%!!!! I hope tis helps! ^_^ XD

This means War!!!!! >< This soooo means war there are going to be soooo many complaints from the veiwers of these great sites that or being shut down on sooo called "piracy" Battle stations!!!

scotty does know

July 22, 2010 at 5:51 am

I respect the companies and it is their right to approve or disapprove of scanlations but the problem is that most of the publishers dont have multiple translations out when a new chapter comes out. If they are willing to make an effort of this make them available to me i would be more than happy to support them. With that said even if they do all of this i would have to order online to get a copy more than likely. Not enough stores in america and even if a few did open a show it wouldnt last long unless you are in a large city. It comes down to money and more than likely this move will be the end of manga in the western world (which is the plan all along). More than likely the good one of the top sites will simply change there serve to a country with out the laws and not part of the UN and the publsihers more likely want be able effect it unless they pay that county a heafty sum of money to shut it down.

This is unfortunate.In the complaint they laid out themselves that these sites receive a huge amount of traffic. Why not work with the sites to make your self more profitable. Have these fools ever heard of a win-win? What can we do so that the folks who visit onemanaga.com still can enjoy the fruits of our labor while making a profit?
I tell you what, I pass by the manga section all the time in the book stores and I never buy anything. You know why? First of all, I’d prefer an electronic format. Second of all, I want the original dialog. Third, they tend to be so far behind the story line it’s a shame!!!!

If this is an attempt on their part to eradicate fan scantillations and distribution of those scantillations, they will have a fight on their hands. They could learn from the RRIA who spends 17 million bucks to recover 300K from pirates. If you give people realistic alternative, you’d be surprised what you can do. I for one would not mind paying a subscription fee to sties where I could get high quality manga in a timely fashion.

This seems fair enough for liscenced manga that intend to be produced else where and translated BUT I live in the UK, so manga is extremely hard to come by, and thats only the popular series (which are always miles behind), whereas those that aren’t so popular (that I tend to like) that would never come to the UK, so the only way I can read them in online. D:

It seems totally unreasonable as many sites aren’t making profits out of it and merely are allowing for people all over the globe to read material they couldn’t find else where.

I don’t know what I would do without my monthly dose of manga updates! D:

International Criminal

July 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm

hope that their market sales will decrease. >:)

International Criminal

July 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm

The anti online manga scans advocacy is a bad move though. Hope that their market sales will decrease. >:))

I read manga like naruto online because i wanna see what happens next, but then i still buy the books aswell in r.l, i see why the companies are doing this though. all it means for me is that i gotta wait 3 months or so for it to come out.

Stores like Borders and Barnes and Noble only carry mainstream stuff like One Piece , Bleach, Naruto. I don’t like any of the mainstream stuff. And If I did order a series I liked. They eventually just got dropped. Good titles that I have actually been interested in have all been dropped. Whats the point of buying manga if the series is going to get dropped. Some titles I could mention include Rure, Junai Tokkou Taichou! , Apothecarius Argentum and a bunch of other titles that where dropped. All most all other titles I read ,have not been published in English. I would buy the manga if it where available in English. But its not and if they are they have a high percentage of being dropped. . I think publishers are hypocrites. They are fighting and demanding manga scanlations to be taken of the internet, but they cant even continue a series they pick up. I get excited when I stumble on a series I actually like, buy it, happily expecting another volume,only to find it it was drooped. Yeah published titles should be taken of the web. Since you could buy it in stores. But what about the rest? I think they should stay. Since where else can we read them? Unfinished series have just left a sour taste in my mouth, and utter disappointment. And considering the publishing company lack of creditability in general , why should I buy a title when the series could just get dropped the next month.

I understand how they feel, but I still think they should keep the site as long as everything’s done legally. I want the translaters since some mangas aren’t available in english here. D:

I do sometimes buy whole manga sets (since I like having the tangible version and art), but it’s also starting to get expensive for me. The only place I can get manga books are at Borders, Suncoast, and Barnes and Nobles (although Suncoast barely counts since they only sell Kitchen Princess, Bleach and Naruto)

I have mixed feelings about this. Waiting takes a long time and some series just get dropped. They’re hard to find and I can’t order them online here. And if you’re going to fight scanalation sites, why not free-reading places while you’re at it? :/

Many people at Barnes & Nobles and Borders read manga while they’re there sipping their coffee, or just plain sitting there/whatever. It’s like a free-reading place slash library. Only time you pay is when you walk out the door with an actual BOOK. If they take off the sites then I’m going to have to search really hard for an actual, completed, GOOD, short series. (since the long ones cost waaay too much, around thirteen dollars a book here.)

I buy manga often but many of the titles I like are one shots or are not translated into English so scantalations are the only way I find them. There are some great series if the us companies would pick them up then yes we would have no need for manga sites but until that happens they are just offending customers like me who read something online then buy something else from the same company since I know they do good work. Also it would make you a true baka to insult people who read online if your not capable of reading the originals themselves. I cannot read japanese, mandarin, cantonese, or korean so reading a manga or manwha in the original is not possible for me. I appreciate the hard work the people do and the fact they ask for no money on those sites mentioned. If they make money from advertising to support the site itself and the traffic then they are still not making a profit off the manga. http://www.onemanga.com has decided to stop carrying ALL manga so no they wont be just removing a few and if I want to read something without paying for it I can go down to Hastings or Barnes & Noble and read it right in the store and put it back on the shelf or I can go to the library. Or should we be shutting down libraries now too? I mean after all a large number of people read the same purchased copy and they make money off it in fees and such.

I’m really sad that OneManga is shutting down. They are completely nonprofit and all the scanlators are volunteers. They always ask you to support the manga artists and buy the real books, which is hard for some of us. I’m in an isolated area, and there is nowhere near that I can go buy the manga. OneManga was an easy way to access the content, and if I got the chance, I would buy the real thing. The way I see it, the scanlators were really trying to help the artists. I wish they would see how sincere they are. Now it will be really hard to find a version available that will explain the japanese terms directly instead of changing it to fit western culture. RIP OneManga, July 2010.

The publishers may also just drop the series that I’m interested in. I’m not interested in One Piece, Bleach, or Naruto. I prefer Faster Than A Kiss, Dengeki Daisy, Crazy Girl Shin Bia (manhwa), Vampire Knight, and Akuma to Love Song, to name a few. I also cannot read any other language than English. I would buy the manga/manhwa for the art, but I want the story, too. Also, sites similar to OneManga give us the real translation, not a dulled version. If anything, I would think that shutting down scan sites would just drive people to go to illegal sites. Please rethink your actions, artists. We want to support you but you are making it very hard.

I live in a country with no book stores or anything of that sort to me the only things we get to read are text books or use online stuff. for me this is going to be terriblee and breaks my heart. :(

danm im trying to find faster than a kiss volume 8 in english and this comes a long no fare I love anime/manga there just loosing there custemers x(

you hate ur americans fan i love reading your boks and since you guys shut onemanga down i can’t read my favorite mangas like faster than a kiss,Watashi ni xx Shinasai!,and so on. Dont do this to me!!! Q~Q

i totally agree with kellis comment, and to add to it id like to say, i fort it was like someone HAS paid for the manga and then hes letting us borrow it, prehaps with someone also lending a translation….ive downloaded manga and still brought the books anyway

Leave a Comment

 


Browse the Robot 6 Archives