Scanlation Site to VIZ: Let's Be Pals

Topic started by gia on Sept. 24, 2009. Last post by paploo 5 years, 5 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

 ...And i will become GOD of a NEW MANGA WORLD!
 ...And i will become GOD of a NEW MANGA WORLD!
Remember a little while ago when Kodansha sent out a C&D to MangaHelpers, a translation/scanlation site, and they took down all their Kodansha stuff? It seems like the site has found an...interesting method to try and preempt similar future C&Ds. It went and contacted VIZ Media directly in a letter (found via MangaBlog).

While I'm a bit iffy on MangaHelpers' statements on being a legal "grey area," they make the very valid point: it may indeed behoove VIZ, which has been trying to find a foothold in the online manga world, to work with an already-established and popular online manga site. I'm sure the thinking at MH is "well, it worked for Crunchyroll."

Unfortunately, I'm not sure VIZ is the best choice for this aim (though I have no idea if the site also reached out to other companies). VIZ already has a program that they're developing, with VIZ Ikki and Takahashi's Rin-ne simul-release. VIZ also seems less inclined to go the extra mile with fan sites in comparison to other companies in anime, although that may be less true with manga. Assuming Del Rey, with their Kodansha titles, was out of the question, I'm wondering if innovative Yen Press or Media Blasters might not be better targets-- especially Media Blasters, whose online presence is practically nil in comparison to others (plus they do adult manga, too!).

Anyway, that's my speculation on the matter. It would certainly be interesting if VIZ actually went with it, although I wonder how many people would hold grudges against MangaHelpers for having hosted scanlations in the same way that some hold grudges against Crunchyroll?

What do you think?
Post by DJTyrant (118 posts) See mini bio Level 2
This is pretty retarded. Did they really think they'd get anywhere? THEY DON'T BUY VIZ's GOODS SO WHY THE FUCK WOULD THEY WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM?
Post by Karasu (76 posts) See mini bio Level 1
I can get behind sites' attempts to go legit, but I also like to try to irritate people who are outspokenly anti-scanlation.  Actually, I just I just like to irritate people who are outspoken.  OK, I've wandered off topic.
If they're trying to go legit, good for them. And good luck with that. It sounds to me like someone sees the writing on the wall that their days are numbered, and are using legitimacy to try and stay alive.
Post by paploo (48 posts) See mini bio Level 2

John Sirabella's posts on AonDVD regarding  Crunchy Roll give me the feeling that MB would not be the company for "grey area" entrepreneurs to pursue. Manga companies are better off targeting people who actually buy books. I'd say putting up  short, partial previews on news sites [which is what comic companies do]  like AnimeVIce, Newsarama, ComicBookResources or ANN would probably get them more sales then teaming up with a scanlation site. Likewise, printing up preview books to give out at comic shops, cons and bookstores [CMX has had a great sampler program]. There's better ways to use their resources. 
I think companies might be watching Udon's sales of 1520, though it really doesn't look like they're doing much with that...... I remember TP reported they had great sales on some of the titles like Loveless that they previewed online, though that's something that they can do on their own, and with better brand recognition reinforcement. It's easier to clue fans into buying your books when there's ads and publication information everywhere [something TP's site has had issues with]. VIZ is probably better served by hosting the books themselves, maintaining a small archive of material that they can swap for newer stuff as they go along, and reinforce their content and brand.  
Post by AgentJ (1,545 posts) See mini bio Level 13
I hope that VIZ does more with the online stuff, whether it's their own program or not. I don't just buy Manga i've never read before, and the ones I read online are also the ones I buy in english on day one. Some people will take advantage of the system, but I have to think that overall such an approach would increase their audience and profits. 
Post by paploo (48 posts) See mini bio Level 2

Well, I don't know if it'd really help. Scanlations rise in popularity is coninciding with a period where publishers are lowering output, increasing prices and getting less shelf space, while some are even apparently going out of business like Dr. Master [who in their previous incarnation of ComicsOne was among the first to ever offer manga digitally via pay-per-view PDF downloads]. 
How is Crunchy Roll really doing? Gonzo started off as one of their bigger name partners, but now we've seen them in really bad financial trouble in Japan. All this stuff just reminds me of the big internet bubble crash of the late 90's/early 00's when everyone thought there'd be all kinds of money in the internet, only to find out that gosh, there isn't. And Online Ads paid a lot more back then. Sooooooo many Flash Animation cartoon websites went under back then. I think a lot of the current generation of anime fans are too young to remember that though. 
While certainly illegal, it's a hassle to attempt to sue a lot of the bootleggers, which is why many anime.manga companies haven't gone after them [often small businesses, whose profits tend to go towards keeping things running as-is]. It seems like they're really getting the bad-end of the deal for putting up with fandom nonsense. 
Edit- and bleah, reading the comments [sample- " Licensing editors are our (the groups) enemy... after all.... they're trying to stop our scanlations cuz they would lose money because of them and what we & the leechers want is FREE manga "] are all of these "fans" such giant douchbags? I hope someday CLAMP collectively kicks them in the balls at a convention. People don't make a living off half-assed adoration.  
Post by SimonJones (24 posts) See mini bio Level 1
The real people Manga Helpers want to work with are the Japanese companies such as Shueisha and Shogakukan, Viz is merely an easier conduit to work through.  There's no point in trying to work with smaller licensees like Media Blasters.  They don't have enough licenses to sustain the user base Manga Helpers is desperate to keep, or even the ability to grant those rights.  And unless all illegal (please, there is no grey area.  Any Japanese company with the wherewithal to see through a civil case would win) scanlations are removed, any legit company officially partnering with Manga Helpers will simply open themselves up to lawsuits from their competitors for copyright infringement and unfair competition.  Google might have enough money to settle these kinds of issues.  US manga licensees do not.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@paploo: Is DrMaster going out of business? I hadn't heard anything on the grapevine, but they're (relatively) so quiet to begin with. As for Crunchyroll, they at least seem to think they're doing pretty well, and the few numbers that they have given out are impressive...but there's no way to tell for sure from the outside.
@SimonJones: Points well taken.
Post by paploo (48 posts) See mini bio Level 2  I'd read a couple rumours Though newer posts make it sound as if it's moreso that they've slowed down production.  Though I think the decreased outputs of them, Go Comi, Aurora and other smaller presses speaks a lot about the current market 
I think working with a japanese company is more or less a pipedream given Kodansha and RandomHouse are connected business-wise, and Shuiesha and Shogakukan are VIZ's parent companies. Why work with them if they already have such wide markets? Everythignelse would be slim pickings, and smaller publishers are more likely to align with small, legit companies without any illegal baggage, like NetComics. Without those big three companies, most readers would probably ignore the site on top of it.
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