Top Japanese and US manga publishers have formed a coalition with the aim of crushing illegal online distribution of their manga, explicitly targeting scanlation.

The alliance comprises a coalition of 36 Japanese publishers, the Digital Comic Association, with major US manga publishers such as Viz, Tokyopop and Yen Press joining them.

The group cites the rise of “scanlation aggregator” sites as the major impetus, charging that non-commcercial scanlation has been transformed into a major money making enterprise by unscrupulous companies with no respect for copyright or the livelihoods of publishers and mangaka.

Thirty sites are said to have been shortlisted for action, with the coalition threatening to set the FBI on sites which do not relent and respect its copyrights.

The publishing boss at Yen Press, the embarrassing company which removed Horo from the covers of its Spice & Wolf books, predictably claims scanlation is the cause of all the industry’s woes:

“Go back 2 years and track these sites and you’ll find an inverse relationship between the rise of traffic on these scanlation sites and the decline in U.S. manga sales.

These sites are run as businesses and include direct scans of licensed English-language manga editions. Some even include our copyright notices. We don’t want to have to do this but publishers are now focused on this problem.”

Whilst he may be grossly oversimplifying for PR purposes, most such sites are run on a purely commercial basis, and are funded by advertising whilst masquerading as “community” sites – the annual running costs of such sites will be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, well beyond the scope of an informal enterprise.

One major anime/manga piracy network is actually run by a Chinese company (whose corporate site was deleted very recently…) behind the scenes, dispelling any notions of legal action by publishers as somehow being an attack on “fans” – rather it is an attempt to eliminate shameless industrial scale piracy and parasitism.

Although an understandable and perfectly reasonable response, the fact that manga publishers have failed to couple an attack on piracy sites with efforts towards the provision of a viable legal alternative for manga fans whose primary means of manga consumption is the Internet is a rather glaring omission.

Indeed, it is rather telling that in the 5 years since its inception Japan’s Digital Comic Association appears to have done nothing to seriously promote online distribution, and in fact looks to have spent more time fretting about copyright infringement than actually promoting digital comics.

Paper publishers are evidently desperate to ignore the technological disruption the Internet imposes on their centuries old business model, but it should be clear now that digital distribution is not going to go away, and the longer publishers refuse to acknowledge there being any alternative to paper manga sales, the more damage they will ultimately do to their industry as technological change leaves them behind.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    05:12 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If anything, this will just piss people enough to make them pirate MORE manga.

    I honestly can't wait for mangaka to team up with scanlators, and publish their own digital stuff.. I'd feel like I'm paying the person who made the manga.

    Moreover, if ad-driven sites are actually making money off this, why can't the publishers steal that as their business model? Talk about braindead.

    Comment by Anonymous

    The mangaka will never team up with a bunch of unprofessional scanlators in order to have their work hacked out and distributed free of charge. Grab a brain! The mangaka in Japan have already released numerous statements begging people to stop reading their work online.
    And you have inadvertently stumbled onto one of the major reasons why scanlation is so bad--you are ripping off the very artists you profess to love. All the excuses in the world cannot change that.
    As for the scanlation pirate sites making money...sure, they make money. They get their material for FREE. How about they pay the mangaka ten cents per download? Whoops, there goes the profit.
    Every fan defending scanlation needs to admit it--they just want their manga free of charge. The rest of their whining is just defensive excuse-making.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:21 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    >! The mangaka in Japan have already released numerous statements begging people to stop reading their work online.

    For free, dumbass.

    Wait, reading the rest of this wide-eyed ignorance, I'm going to have to call troll.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:15 07/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Some manga isn't available here, so scanlation is the only real option (I guess you could claim one should learn Japanese and import, but I don't see this as reasonable) to read the manga. Maybe it is still wrong to steal it, but the sentiment of wanting manga is quite different than the sentiment of wanting it free of charge.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:17 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They can bitch and moan all they want and get nothing done OR they can reduce the price and start translating and publishing everything manga in america without editing and censoring it beyond all reason. Until thy do that, internet ahoy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:29 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Which one would you prefer?

    Option 1:
    Cost: Free
    Delay from Japanese version: Days
    Chance of English translation being canceled while the series goes on in Japan: Variable, depending on popularity. Generally quite low unless it is a niche series.
    Chance of series being canceled before end in Japan: High


    Option 2:
    Cost: High price per volume. Longer series with many volumes can be EXTREMELY expensive.
    Delay from Japanese version: Months to years
    Chance of English translation being canceled while the series goes on in Japan: High unless it is one of the top few most popular manga series.
    Chance of series being canceled before end in Japan: High

    I want to encourage the production of more quality manga as much as the next person, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why so many people pick option 1 instead of option 2. While both options have a high chance of you ending up not being able to read the fully story, the chance is much higher in option 2 and if you get screwed by your favorite manga being canceled before the end, you aren't out any money with option 1.

    I have 10 volumes of a manga series i bought sitting on my shelf where the English publisher decided to stop translating it (when it is finished in Japan) and subbers haven't picked it up because it had an English publisher. Every time i look at them, i don't feel bad at all for reading manga online.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:11 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Just hire the freaking scanlators and get an online Manga business started instead of bitching about it. There's money to be made.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:59 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    When I was in Japan, I bought 7 volumes of Saikano for about $7.50 US used ($30 new). In the US, I could have bought them for about $35 used ($70 new). Tell me: what about manga makes one want to pay $10 for about an hour of reading? That's simply ridiculous. There are a bunch of US children who sit down in the manga aisle of B&N and just read.

    Digital downloads aside, the price is just too high.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:36 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So the Saikano artist didn't make any money off your purchase because you bought them used. I can see why you have no problem with scans.

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    20:59 28/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If they sit down and read they won`t see me with my camera!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:12 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    all I have to say is... "Let go all the censorship in your fucking manga distributions, and we'll buy them for sure". Fuck off!!

    Really, who's gonna buy a manga which has been censored when the characters in it only wears a fucking swimsuits/bikini or in a bathing scenes. Fuck off those publishers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:14 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "Go back 2 years and track these sites and you’ll find an inverse relationship between the rise of traffic on these scanlation sites and the decline in U.S. manga sales."

    Go back 10 years and track thse sites and you find a direct relationship between the rise of traffic on these scanslation sites and the rise in U.S. manga sales.

    If it weren't for scanslations, your U.S. manga sales would never have risen at all, the only reason the western anime and manga market is as big as it (still) is today is because fansubbers and scanslators caused the anime and manga boom by releasing stuff fast and easily accessible.

    Now if you, the companies, can't offer a superior product that your customers can justify buying, that's your problem, and if you don't fix it you will die, no matter if you manage to stop piracy or not.

    Avatar of kamiru
    Comment by kamiru
    18:53 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    i'll just say if i didn't read bleach from scanlation in the 1st place, i would have never touch the damn manga from the bookshelf.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:48 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm not a dumb teenager anymore. I don't go out buying a manga because the front cover has some rad action scene on the front, or a scantily clad buxom babe.

    I wasted enough money when I was younger buying manga that amounted to crap. I want to make sure what I'm buying is worth it if I do. Reading it online is the best way to do this. Wouldn't have bought all of Death Note had I not read it online. The worst thing is when you start buying a series, only to find out it goes down the drain at a certain point. Then it's not even worth having anymore. Or if the creator decides to put the series on an eternal hiatus, or it gets canceled. More wasted money.

    Plus, I prefer it if they sell manga in a collection bundle, rather than paying premium for each volume. Some long running series can be difficult and expensive to collect. I got lucky finding a Death Note collection with all 13 volumes.

    Point is, if I can't preview a series before I buy it, then I'm not going to buy it. There's plenty of other products in the world I can put my money towards.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:22 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Oh capitalism, you never cease to amaze me.
    Money > People.
    In the end, it's all about money. They don't give a rat's ass about the people.

    Hell, if it was up to me, I'd stop publishing manga overseas, and just let the scanlators do their job.
    I mean, if you can't license a product decently, then don't even try. It's like paying 10$ to produce something, and get only 5$ when it sells. It's not worth it. Why? Because they can't bother to do a decent job.
    This is why the world would be a much better place without currency. At least society wouldn't be so divided. But that's another story.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:10 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Save the trees. Read manga online now XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:09 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I entirely stopped buying manga and anime for 3 reasons: A) Ridiculous overpricing. B) Horrendous wait times. It should never take 2-3 months to release a single volume. It takes a scanlation group a day to get up a single chapter hot off the presses. I want to read the newest Bleach as it is released, not half a decade later. C) Several series eithe rnever make it stateside or get neutered in the process. I don't want my profanity, sex, and violence omitted from my shonen manga. And I want loli fan service. You can't get a series like Kodomo no Jikan in the Us outside of piracy.

    If I lost my online sites for manga and anime, I would entirely just not bother with it. It's not like either industry is putting out the kind of quality they were back in the day.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:56 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    Given the exuberant prices of Manga in the States and elsewhere, readers are hardly given a choice.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:10 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    let me tell you why people prefer the internet for their manga needs:

    first better translations

    second, no censoring

    third, we dont have to wait 3 or 6 months for other chapters to be released

    and by the way most people that read it online are people that cant get manga on their countrys, or at least manga they want to read, and i know im not gonna import and pay a fortune just for a couple of chapters

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:40 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You forgot one case in point. That you have to pray to mecha that the one "real" bookstore (not wal-mart or target)near you has the manga in which you seek. If not hope they can order it. If not, get it off the interwebz by purchasing it for 10 dollars + 5 dollars or more for shipping. Fuck that.

    It's not the notion that that 'lolz I doesn't has to pay for n e thingz hurdur.' It's all about availability and quality. I mean come on. Are you really gonna spend MORE money for a LESS quality product that came out 6 months - 2 years after original release; with any cultural references replaced with half-assed substitute jokes because they think they can convince us it didn't originally come from japan. I'm not against spending money. But I am against getting trolled by a fucking corporation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:47 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    All I can say is that Yen Press and Funimation have gotten $$$ from me because of scanlation sites.

    Comment by Anonymous

    how do you mean that ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:57 13/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Try before buy, retard.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:15 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Once again, the fans assume they know more about the business of selling manga than large, and in some cases, multi-national publishing companies.
    Manga on line has been tried here and in Japan. It has failed in both places, for obvious reasons--once the company has kindly translated and placed nice crisp scans on-line, it just saves the pirates time as they download those onto their sites.
    And the howling of fans about how they want their manga fast is ludicrous. Reality alert--Japanese fans wait a year or so before they get their next volume of whatever, Gantz, say. The newsstand distribution system in America makes it IMPOSSIBLE to sell manga like Jump for a quick fix.
    And the fans say they want it cheap. Well, adjusting for the fact that American publishers get 40% of cover, and Japanese publishers get 60% of cover, the American books are cheaper than the Japanese ones.
    In my opinion, there is no solution to this problem. The fans want their manga super-fast, at zero cost, and quality is not a big concern. This is obviously not an acceptable business model for a publisher. This means the publishers will simply have to sell as many books as they can to the fans who are not scanslation junkies and hope for the best.
    Sadly, the value of anything that can be digitized is zero.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:30 15/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    > Manga on line has been tried here and in Japan

    Point taken.

    > Reality alert--Japanese fans wait a year or so before they get their next volume of whatever, Gantz, say.

    And why should the rest of the World wait yet another year after this?

    > The newsstand distribution system in America makes it IMPOSSIBLE to sell manga like Jump for a quick fix.

    Not my problem. They're whining against a working solution that exists, and plan to fight it. I feel fully entitled to call them assholes and I think the law is supposed to be on the functional-driven side here.
    (Actually no. I can accept the only-by-volumes publishing policy, and I can accept a year's delay. I can accept the current price. Business is complicated after all. Still there are other problems with official publishing. If it is not possible to make a good work officially publish manga out of Japan, then I thank them for having demonstrated this, now can they please stop annoying the working solutions.)

    > And the fans say they want it cheap.

    Point taken.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:35 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    God, if I read one more comment on how the translated versions are too expensive I'm going to vomit.
    Tankobon in Japan have different price points, but about from Y600 on the low end for a small format volume with about 180 pages, up to Y1000 for a larger format with over 200 pages.
    Japanese publisheres get back 60% of the cover price from the distributors. They also have unsold books returned. This means they can restock them and send them out in the future when demand picks up. They also print huge numbers, meaning significant printing discounts, and the shipping costs are lower since Japan is so small. Further, they pay minimal production costs for the collections since no translation (and new lettering) is needed.
    American publishers get 40% of the cover price and their remainders are trashed by the bookstores.
    And yet American manga run about Y1100 at current exchange rates. It seems to me they're doing a pretty good job of holding the price down considering the economic problems they face.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    21:28 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So basically they've picked a bad business?

    Sucks to be them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:37 17/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This. Just because you didn't have a business plan is no excuse to whine against people who do know how to bring manga to non-Japanese people as a hobby.

    Avatar of MidnightTide
    Comment by MidnightTide
    06:19 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what, this attempt will eliminate garbage sites like onemanga and mangafox. If people are too lazy to go look for the scanlation website, then just go buy the damn manga, or go without. Things will be much better when scanlators go underground.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:23 11/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)



    Friendly note: this --^ would be bigger if possible.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:40 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pretty much scanlations are at certain places on the internet. And piracy doesn't go down that easy, especially when more ways are found to get under or over the obstacles that are placed in front of them. We know that it's easy to just to a manga online site and read something, but it's also easy to take our money and buy a book. Furthermore, several mangas already been published and released in the US, so if anything that happens to manga sites if they somehow go down, if people still support the illustrators and publishers by buying their book every volume so far, then they are fine, they can read their manga anytime while they're on the shelves. However some manga scanlated in english doens't always end up released in the US. You can find a lot of manga that's been translated into english and you won't find some of these mangas anywhere in the US, especially some hentai.

    For every new thing that's on the rise, there's also going to be somebody out there who will dare to obtain it the easy way and have other people use their way to so they won't have to go pay money for it. Then again, in case of mangas, we've been told various times that we have to support our manga by buying it, and i've done that so far for my favorite mangas though my collection isn't complete.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:13 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    People would stop downloading if we didn't have to buy like 50 damn books. Crap like bleach just never ends damnit and Aizen is annoying as hell now. Fucking hate know it all god like bad guys.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:51 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bye bye Manga! Truth be told, i won't miss you all that much.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:58 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    lets not forget Gene Simmons kid for plagiarism (obviosly traced then tried to sell it off as original, then even gave a poor excuse saying he didn't know what magngo or simular was, well if you knew the word mango then you knew that it was manga)

    the companies have started a war which there ass's can't cash, there's always other publishers who will buy the rights to sell the mangas

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:24 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    On the other hand, if you do buy it legitmately, customs opens it up and you go to prison for transporting obscene materials across state lines. :/

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:34 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Stopped buying because there were few new titles coming out that I had any interest in. Titles that I had been purchasing were trickling down to one release a year, IF that. New titles that I might be interested in have almost zero chance of being released overseas.

    So then. dismal sales are because I don't buy into repetitive bullshit aimed at children?
    Fuck. You.

    That is all.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:31 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ok, now in the country, where bears roam on the streets, playing balalaykas, there are only ten-twenty mangas to buy legally.
    And these manga are years late. Ranma 1/2 or Fushigi Yuugi, anyone?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:38 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    how lame so they make a few less bucks and start crying now creating a war against freedom and free will im glad for scanlations becouse here in the netherlands the only reading they have is 50 years behind the rest of the world those company's need to hire scanlaters they at least get the job done and fast and good or those company's need to close down since they are managed by little kids.
    come on using the fbi for something that dumb no wonder crime rates rises they are to busy looking for manga scanlaters.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:46 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    pic sauce pl0x

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Can't you people read the picture's filename and then type all or part of it into the search box at the top left of every page?

    Avatar of NakkiNyan
    Comment by NakkiNyan
    08:10 15/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why do that when they can play anon and be a complete idiot?

    Avatar of Sukunai
    Comment by Sukunai
    21:00 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I must confess, I have a soft spot for anime and manga.

    But shit, they act like this is a new problem. Welcome to the 21st century.

    If it can be made digital, it will be.

    In the real world, all you can sell, is what you can get sold to people that won't stab you in the back over it.

    Hey' I'd loooooooove to have a retailer that could reliably, and regularly get in ALL the series, and not be just sponsoring a 'see we have manga' shelf. Of course, I live in a small town. Not next to a Chapters.

    I have to special order in my models too. All of my games are easier to buy online. Maybe if the retailers had more online savvy. Just a thought.

    Either way, teens are horrendously cheap cunts. Always crying about lack of funds. They bitch about games too :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:11 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i must confess you are a pathetic little bitch,
    we are having a bit lack of fund,because we want to spend our money for good things that can be used and enjoyed,like condoms,or,vacation with girlfriend/boy friend,not like you old crones you have your money for internet and your dog to suck your sperm out

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:38 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Completely unrelated troll is completely unrelated

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:05 10/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    if i could buy in a way that much faster and cheaper than the scanlation does,I'm gonna start buy manga,but if they couldn't,well they could go fuck their grandpa

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    00:42 14/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As long as they don't go after hentai doujinshi, I don't really care. It is known that hentai doujinshi artists are more than happy to sell their uber-collectible paper comics at Comiket; they also don't work with big publishing houses, and they only print small numbers - this is why they're uber-collectible.

    These people get to sell their wares and also get worldwide recognition and access to markets other than Japan because people scanlate their stuff. Win-win situation.

    On the other hand, anime is good money and so is popular manga. Such a coalition was bound to happen.

    Avatar of molitar
    Comment by molitar
    11:54 27/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Stupid coalition good thing I don't live near any of their offices.. they would probably find their tires flattened, ect.. I hate them.. if they didn't RIP us off by charging $10 for a single manga volume scanlations wouldn't be such a bother to them. Because we all like originals sitting on the shelf but they rip us off.. charge ridiculous cost for a single manga and same for anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:52 12/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This whole thing is bs. And it's not that easy for everyone to buy manga online, because their country may have trade fucking restrictions on sites that do supply the manga they want. So basically, people like me who rely on scanlations because they wouldn't be able to purchase the fucking manga online anyway cause none of the sites that they are able to order from have the damn manga and can't buy elsewhere cause of trade fucking restrictions. I can't even order from fucking ebay. So as usual, the "minority" is left completely forgotten and disregarded while the bigger guys go at it. Fuck em.......

    I just wanna fucking finish pokemon special and read yaoi! *cries*

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:18 12/06/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You'd think that they'd have learned something from the music industry which has been going through the same thing for the past decade, but sadly they're making the exact same mistake.

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