Jump Manga Suspended for Tracing

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Grand Jump serialised gourmet manga “Dashi Master” is the latest manga to fall victim to the temptations of Google Images, with the publishers suspending its publication after its author was accused of tracing a significant number of images.

As might be expected, it was the mysteriously thorough investigation by online plagiarism police which was the manga’s undoing:

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The editors say the manga’s publication has been indefinitely suspended “whilst the facts are confirmed,” leaving open the possibility of both a return and a humiliating full cancellation.

Online there is the usual wonderment at how anyone finds them out:

“Plagiarism?”

“It’s a trace…”

“You just can’t be this blatant about it.”

“Surely everyone always used to trace ingredients?”

“I don’t get what the problem is here?”

“There is no problem, if you take the photographs yourself. The copyright on those photographs belongs to the people who took them, you can’t just use them in a commercial manga.”

“Never heard of it. This could be good advertising.”

“How did they find this out?”

“Manga reading is serious business to some people.”

“I have to wonder about this. The people who find this stuff out are either dedicated, or connected behind the scenes. And suspending him like that seems strangely harsh.”

“Every time these come up I am left wondering just who finds them out.”

“In the aspiring mangaka threads there are scores of these people. They’re all desperately scrutinising the winners of every award to find traces of foul play.”

“Sounds more like they want to become trace detectives than actual mangaka.”

“That they spend their time doing something like that is the reason they’ll remain ‘aspiring’ the whole of their lives.”

“Why don’t the editors provide these materials for them?”

“It’s not that bad? Do they really have to take them all themselves?”

“Right. All themselves. Otherwise it is a derivative work of the photographer’s. Everyone illustrating operates under these conditions.”

“I bet he thought nobody would every rumble him.”

“How did he find these images?”

“Google Images – if you search for ‘Jinhua ham,’ those pigs are in the first set of results.”

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“Haha. If that’s all he did, he was asking to get busted.”

“Honestly, mangaka are always doing this stuff. Hiroaki Samura said in an interview that ‘as I don’t have a PC, I gather material using image searching from my cell phone.’”

“I doubt the actual readers care about any of this.”


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    Comment by Anonymous
    11:51 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    I mean, I can understand plagiarism claims for say... Tracing other people's characters, designs, and such.

    But this is FOOD.

    Does it fucking matter?

    Comment by Char
    13:54 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    I agree it's just background stuff I don't see why anyone would care.
    Most of it seems to be using real life examples of objects for sake of accuracy.

    Avatar of theandysan
    Comment by theandysan
    14:13 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    That's what I'm thinking too!

    The only real issue is if the pictures are copyrighted. If they used pics that had creative-commons, then I don't see an issue.

    Besides, some manga out there really need to trace some stuff for the sake of accuracy. I'm talking to you, K-On!! Poor Gitah can be such a blobby mess sometimes...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:02 11/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    either way, their tracing is PRO!! I wish I could trace like that too! It's alot harder than people think to simply 'trace'

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:50 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    sorry, hate to be a prude, but when money is involved plagiarism is plagiarism...you have to relie on your own skills. or be good enough to never be caught!

    Avatar of Chris
    Comment by Chris
    00:18 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Scarlet Vampire, using the photo as a model in such a way that it's immediately obvious when compared that you used that photo, means it's a derivative work.

    You still need permission from the original copyright holder to use it commercially.

    Comment by Char
    14:34 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The only one that seems to have been traced for sure it passes the overlay parts and see if they line up in photoshop or gimp test is the building in 017.
    The food in 008 was not traced at all and instead the photo in that case seemed to have been used as a model which is not plagiarism.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:41 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Yeah.

    If anything, tracing may even be the lesser evil compared to outright using PHOTOS.

    I mean, come on.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:10 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    in 004 he USED the pic as background.
    question is: did he pay for the use of that photo?

    Avatar of Erin Bushay
    Comment by Erin Bushay
    14:19 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    My thoughts exactly.

    Avatar of AzureXuchilbara
    Comment by AzureXuchilbara
    14:29 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    These 'Plagiarism Police' are as bored as PETA (accusing Mario of Raccoon fur-coat and slaughter and ignoring the fact that he killed a sh*t-ton of turtles) if they give this much of a harsh punishment for something as background/object/food stock images...

    You know how f*cking hard it is to draw a background/everyday objects especially if you have a dead-line..?

    It is not like the mangaka copied the characters off another anime/manga...If the bastards who did him in consider FOOD and BACKGROUNDS as characters...

    I have read and seen plenty of manga and anime who do the same thing (even in clothing and accessories like bags/shoes/notebooks) and they have not been canned or whatnot...

    These Plagiarism Police...Bunch of bored bastards with nothing to do but this as a means to announce their pitiful existence as a group doing good...Just like PETA right now...

    And yes, I agree with the good fellows above me...

    IT'S A F*CKING FOOD MANGA!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:19 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    We really need a group that protects the rights of 2D foods and backgrounds.The UN should pick up the ball on this.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    16:23 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I must admit, I don't know much about plagiarism law if this is considered plagiarism, but he used it as REFERENCE. Reference is a complete staple for every aspect of commercial art. All concept artists have reference libraries and emulate the images in them. Yes this guy is getting relatively close and is basically copying them, but that's only because he had the skill to copy them well.

    Hell, we're trained to do this as artists. Setting up a still life and drawing it as close as possible is centuries old training for all artists of any skill. Copying an image from a reference photo and drawing from a live model are basically the same thing, just less cost. I'm sure I could be wrong, but couldn't this be considered parody due to the usage of the images? One of my law books actually goes over a scenario like this and I believe that in the example given the person who used it as an addition to an image to form a concept was not in breach. If he just copied the images without any context it would be different. But again, I don't know the nuances.

    Hopefully the mangaka is exonerated. This is kind of bullshit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:07 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    dude, he didn't use it as reference, he fuckin' traced it. it's obvious from the lines and the pose.
    if ever there's a crime in here is this mangaka being too lazy to imagine things up, and getting payed even so.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:05 12/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Perhaps if they used a kind of image bibliography they woldn't get so severly criticized. I doubt it though. (sigh)

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:54 30/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course he was probably getting payed next to nothing, but...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:36 12/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^but you are still using it as reference. Most comic book artist uses a "morgue". Plus most of the pictures doesn't look copyrighted so what's the big deal? It's not like he stole it from another mangaka's work.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Despite what you may think, tracing is a completely valid method to produce this kind of work. Tracing has been used in all fields of graphic arts and illustration as an accepted tool for producing stock imagery of this type. Any professional illustrator or graphic designer will tell you this. It's only been in the last few years that tracing has come under fire, getting a bad name from lazy illustrators who copy the character work of others and try to pass it off as their own. Uneducated (in illustration and graphic design) fans who really, really have no idea how illustrations are created have taken the terms "tracing" and "photo reference" and associated them with cheating, short cut taking and sloppy work, without realizing that these are tools that every illustrator uses.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I have no idea why you got downrated for speaking the truth lol

    It will come to an absurd point one day that when an artist drawns something, if a similar photo is take afterwards, it will be called tracing.

    These people must learn one thing or two about art, because this is bullshit. The photo owners will never be affected for having some parts of their works used as reference for a manga.

    However, in this case, there are some pictures that seem to have been used as the background...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:26 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I third this, seriously who gives a f*** I mean he probably googled pictures and drew them. Nothing wrong with that.

    Avatar of jef
    Comment by jef
    14:38 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    seeing this, it seems it matter for someone.

    i mean if a professional chef said something ( image 015 ) then oke. but this is just someone who realy has no life. then they say otaku are creepy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:44 12/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Plagiarism is plagiarism. The images he went and found are all more than likely copyrighted material.

    The issue isn't the tracing of the objects, or what type of objects, but the actual copyrighted subject matter.

    You can draw whatever the f*@# you want, you just can't trace someone's work other than your own. Go take a picture of it yourself and trace that is the moral of the story.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:19 12/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Trace food i dont care lol its a manga about FOOD
    if he copied the plot thats different lo

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:52 13/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, so what... it could be considered the style. Some of the work is OBVIOUSLY traced/photoshopped. The only REAL issue is copyrights.

    For example, if he took a picture of a city - then converted into a manga style, its his. Taking someone else's photo and doing the conversion... a no-no.

    Using free photos or even paid ones are not a problem. I have a legal collection of about 1 million photos on DVDs that I'm allowed to use for various things. I can search by subject, whatever.

    Avatar of cheese_cake
    Comment by cheese_cake
    04:39 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i think the main complaint is that the mangaka might as well could have cut up pictures from a magazine, pasted them together is some different order & called it his work. or in thesis paper sense, copied entire paragraphs.

    it's one thing to take a idea frm smt & another to completely reproduce it. though normally one would turn a blind eye towards cases such as described in the 'article'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:32 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree there are some "traces" that are legit or even unavoidable (how many ways are there to portray a building? Is there any viewpoint angle of a chicken that hasn't been taken in a photo by someone, somewhere already?)
    #1: Plagiarized: Make clear it's not the same fish in the original photo by scaling parts of the body.
    #2: Acceptable (?): probably traced, but the framing is different enough to make it unclear if the viewpoint is the same as the original.
    #3: Plagiarized, but a tough call: Manufactured objects all look the same, so an exact match for the noodle maker might be OK. But the fall of the noodles matches too.
    ... and so on.

    I think what this proves is that mangaka need to start plagiarizing 3D models so that they can trace objects from different angles. That would provide cover for just about any manufactured object.

    The other point point to consider is that if these objects were traced by an assistant (highly likely as most of these are background objects), the mangaka was probably not even aware of the tracing, or at least not how heavy it was.

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    14:41 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nope, it doesn't. They're totally misunderstanding what plagiarism entails. This is called "reference" and "research," all artists do, especially with backgrounds, food, and other realistic stuff. Even "copying" actual people (naked models) is also reference; many artists will take pictures of poses and draw out of those.

    Plagiarism would be to copy, say, an existing character almost to the T and to claim it as your own; or to trace an existing drawing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:19 14/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm Anon 11:06
    Tracing like this isn't necessarily bad and it is still a common practice, and I don't disagree with artists doing it, but it does reflect poorly on the artist's reputation and that of Jump if his manga only consists of copies of copyrighted work. Also if a complaint is made then he must compensate the owner of the photograph.

    My guess is the suspension has to do with such a complaint or a preemptive action to get all the legal aspects sorted out after the copying was brought forth.

    I'm both an amateur photographer and artist that is good at tracing/transfer, and work in a related industry so I've done my homework on the subject of copyright. I'm also an advocate of creative freedom so I'm not against you in anyway.

    TLDR: Still copyright infringement, but it's only wrong if someone complains about it. The suspension is probably a move to save face by Jump.

    Comment by Anonymous

    No, this is plagiarism. He is copying to the T a copyrighted photo. If he took the photos off a legitimate photo database, either free or paid, then it would not be plagiarism.
    Just googling images and tracing/copying them and using it for your own work without the express permission of those who took the photo is copyright infringement.

    To clarify any photo of anything is always the property of the photographer, unless they have either sold or given away that right. Even wedding photos and the like are still the property of the photographer, they've just given you permission to use them for personal purposes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:11 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    lolol im waiting for them copyrightnazi's to complain when a mangaka decides to draw really weird foods, and then the nazi's be like "OMG THIS SHIT AIN"T LIKE REAL FOOOOD BANNNNN DIIISSS CRAPPPPPP"

    Avatar of amugaba
    Comment by amugaba
    12:28 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Food, cars and buildings... and I probably forget some.

    Comment by Anonymous

    The problem still stands though that he (presumably) violated the IP rights of the photographers by violating whatever licensing they were under without getting permission from the owners.

    And yes, photographs of food really do have value.

    It may not mean much as far as "Does this really make the guy a bad mangaka because he didn't bother to draw his own bowl of curry?", but it's still theft.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:37 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If that is true. Than the problem is between him and the owner of the photograph.

    We, or anyone else has no lawful right to take that case to him on behalf of the owner of the photograph - that is only allowed for crimes that hurt society as a whole - such as murder.

    Avatar of Kaarme
    Comment by Kaarme
    18:23 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What on Earth are you talking about? Even if we ignore the fact the whole law enforcement institution (the police, that is) is about the uninvolved getting between the criminal and the victim, simply reporting a crime is exactly what we are talking about here. If you look out of your window and see some scumbag breaking into your neighbour's car, it's not really your problem, but likely you'd feel like calling the cops (or at least the neighbour) in the hopes your neighbour would do the same if it was your car.

    Anyway, like somebody said, this smells like the work of competitors or nolifers. Unless somebody actually recognized his own photo composition when reading the manga, which is highly unlikely but not impossible.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:05 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You do know all of the images Sankaku uses are done so without permission, right? That channel full of ads? Those article illustrations?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:38 12/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can not violate the IP rights of someone unless it, somehow, creates a problem to the owner of said work. The person whose work was stolen would have to see, verify if said work was indeed stolen, and prove why he would have issues with part of his works being used as reference on a manga.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:29 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    As I mentioned earlier. Theft and copyright infringement are two very different crimes.

    Maybe you live in somewhere, not the United States, where the laws are different.

    Theft is a crime against society.
    Copyright Infringement is a crime against an entity.

    The police can only stop you for crimes against the people (society).
    Therefore, they can not stop you from copyright infringement, unless the victim sues you and has the court order your arrest / etc.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Come on. Those traces just look ugly and out of place. A child's silly crayon drawing would have been better.

    He has the freedom to distribute his comics for free if he felt entitled to trace stuff that everyone else drew.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    15:57 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh the irony when you just copy and pasted your entire statement.

    He didn't trace what other people drew and what he traced can't ever be out of place in a food manga.

    Avatar of Carrot_Glace
    Comment by Carrot_Glace
    11:41 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    This kind of issue is too much, I don't mind if it's traced or not at all.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:46 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    I agree. This is all background stuff. What the fuck does it matter?

    Had it been tracing of the characters and such, well yeah. But just tracing things that are part of the scenery or background? What's the problem? It looks better and he still had to draw it.

    People draw from references all the time and you don't see people booing at that.

    It's not an art gallery either, the traced elements are just part of a bigger total picture.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:04 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It may not be as bad as directly tracing characters or scenes from other Manga, but if you were the photographer of these images, how would you feel about someone using them in a commercial work without paying you anything for them? From the look of it, many of these weren't even traced, but just ran through a Photoshop filter and pasted in. It would be comparable to having a song playing on the radio during a movie scene, and not paying the artist for the rights to use it.

    And seriously, how hard is it to draw some bacon or a bowl of soup on your own? That just seems lazy.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Yeah. I think you are right. I really cant see whats the goddam problem really.

    Hes using just background stuff for reference, people draw from reference all the time.

    I would understand If he were tracing over others people characters drawings or things like that, but this is just ridiculous.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    11:44 10/12/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Its a fucking cooking manga. As along as he doesn't steal his overall design and only uses it for food or background stuff, will anyone really care?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:50 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    apparently they did

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:45 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Copyrights are serious business.

    Whenever you think or ask: "Who cares?" or "will anyone really care?"
    The answer is: Thousands of people care.

    You're just ignorant of them, cause you're a big fish in a small pond. :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:13 11/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The fuck are you saying? People redraw images practically all the time, a lot of people learn to draw at an early age this way. People use references in their work even as professionals. How the fuck can you prove that they have traced any of these pictures? Even if he did, they are simply of food. You can make the same meal 4 times and very well possibly arrange the plate to be identical in every cases. All that was done different here is that it's drawn.

    This was nothing to end a series over. You seem to just be talking for the sake of talking, copyrights, which aren't even clearly disrespected in this situation, have nothing to do with how petty the mentality of the manga needing to be cancelled is.

    Artist use fucking references for accuracy. He isn't ignorant for considering this more than the preferences of the anal few. Stfu.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Most artists either trace from their own pictures they took, or trace other stuffs just for practice (no publishing), so this mangaka's problem is using OTHER people's work as material for a public manga. Had he took the pictures on his own it'd be different.

    Also, tl;dr.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:19 10/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    This case is ridiculous because it is a gourmet manga, where it is necessary to copy the standard / best food that he wants to potray. I think as long as he doesn't fully trace it should be ok.

    But looking back, alot of older gormet mangas have images very similar to those above. I guess Google did not exist in those days and there was no way to completely verify.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Photobooks existed even in the old times.







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