I admit it: I use scanlations.
I will also admit that through scanlations, I have read and discovered more manga than I ever would have otherwise. No, I do not buy every manga book for every manga I read. I'll also admit that a lot of the manga I read online I don't pay for. However, I've also gone out and bought books of the manga arcs I liked best and honestly? I've only read through the books a couple of times, but I don't regret paying for them, simply because it feels good
to own them.
I don't pay enough for manga. That is a fact. But the manga that does impress me, I do pay for, when I have the money, even if I end up never really reading the hard copy.
So, with the recent crackdown on Scanlations, I can appreciate the publishers right to get paid, but I can't help but see far too many similarities to the RIAA VS Napster case several years ago: There is a new medium, people are getting a paid service for free, and the owners are scared of losing their money. And I understand that.
However, many manga fans simply do not have the money to support their manga hobby. There's also the issue of poor official translations and the lag between Japanese releases and Western releases, and then, of course, some of us don't live near bookshops that actually sell
This is why I hope that the OpenManga
project succeeds. In theory, it will allow the mangaka's to post their chapters online, and for hired scanlators to translate them into English and other languages within hours of the Japanese release. The catch is, however, that the money through advertising goes to the publishers and mangaka's of the chapters uploaded: So Shounen Jump and Kubo Tite get paid whenever someone views the adverts on each individual page of Bleach, and so on. The best part is that since the profit is gained through advertising, there is no need for users to pay any membership fees, much like this site.
Unfortunately, there are two main problems with this project: The American publishers get left to hang to dry, except when people wish to purchase hard copies of the manga which, as I've said and you all know, is very common, but the other main block is the physical price
of a manga page. Other than that, it's a matter of putting one's initial greed aside and looking at the bigger picture in order to gain more money.
So, what do you all think? Would you use the OpenManga site? What are your views on this proposed solution? Many of you may already have heard of it through MangaHelpers, but this could easily be news to everyone else. If you don't think this is a good solution, then what are your views?