Japanese, U.S. Manga Publishers Unite To Fight Scanlations

An international coalition of Japanese and American-based manga publishers have joined together to combat what they call the “rampant and growing problem” of scanlations, the practice of posting scanned and translated editions of Japanese comics online without permission of the copyright holders. The group is threatening legal action against 30 scanlation sites.

The effort brings together the 36 member Japanese Digital Comic Association—which includes such major Japanese houses as Kodansha, Shogakukan and Shueisha—as well as manga publisher Square Enix, the Tuttle-Mori Agency and U.S.-based manga publishers Vertical Inc, Viz Media, Tokyopop and Yen Press, the manga/graphic novel imprint of the Hachette Book Group.

A spokesperson for the coalition said the effort shows that Japanese publishers—who license the majority of manga sold in the U.S.—are taking an aggressive interest in combating manga piracy outside of Japan as well as inside the country. The group charges that the former fan-driven practice of scanlating—begun in the 1970s to scan, translate and post manga online when it was difficult to find manga outside of Japan—has been transformed by “scanlation aggregators,” heavily trafficked, for-profit Web sites that host thousands of pirated manga editions and offer them for free to readers.

According to a spokesperson, these sites are among the most heavily trafficked sites on the web attracting millions of visits each month while earning advertising revenues and even soliciting donations and sometimes charging for memberships. The group also charges that pirated manga is now beginning to turn up on smartphones and other wireless devices through the use of apps developed “solely to link to and republish the content of scanlations sites.”

Read more on: Publishers Weekly

I found this article on one of my friend’s post in LJ. This made me sad. I know piracy is illegal but not all manga titles have been licensed. And even if it’s licensed, not all country has it..:( That’s all for now, I can’t think much since my thoughts are wandering to the number of anime episodes that I need to finish today.. Ja..

Your thoughts?

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