People who read scanlations (for free!) and then go and accuse the people who do the fucking work of being assholes because scanlating is illegal.
Well, you don’t say.
So is posting pictures, videos, music etc that you don’t have the copyright for on this fucking platform called tumblr that you use every day. Somehow that doesn’t stop you from doing it and other people don’t seem to be giving you shit about it.
We scanlators know that scanning and uploading other people’s work is illegal. That’s not all we do though. Just like you artists edit your pictures, videos etc, we clean, translate and letter the manga, dōjinshi, articles etc. before uploading them.
And yes. We do in fact delete the work if the artists ask us to. I can only speak for my scanlation group here, but doing otherwise would be indeed asshole behavior. Which is why we (MxV) deleted one’s artist work and now ask for permission from dōjinshi artists before we scanlate their work. THAT IS NOT HOW IT NORMALLY WORKS FOR SCANLATION GROUPS! Usually, you do the work, post it, and if the artist finds their work and wants it off the internet, you delete it.
And I want to be clear about something: it is very hard to get in touch with some artists, they more often than not don’t answer to messages for whatever reasons unknown to me. It is also impossible for an artist that is being publish officially to allow scanlations of their published work as the copyright often doesn’t lie with them anymore but with the publisher. Meaning: even if the artist doesn’t mind the scanlations, they can hardly say so. So if you scanlate something like say the Sherlock manga, you do it and hope that the publisher doesn’t sue you. The artist - in most cases - won’t. And the publisher probably won’t either because - believe it or not - it helps their sales. The work is being promoted for free and many people go and buy the original product in the end.
Also, as soon as the Sherlock Manga is being picked up from a publisher who wants to translate it officially, we WILL drop the project.
Okay? You may write me about this and tell me your opinion as long as it’s done respectfully. I won’t respond to rude behavior and messages. I saw enough messages on other scanlation group pages and it pissed me off.
Legal matters aside, as I am no expert in addressing these issues.
On the artistic side though, this is a TED talk done by my friend Gwenn Seemel, whose artbook I had the privilege to scanlate. Her view on art ownership/copyright is very unique. You’ll have to watch the whole talk to know what I mean. She didn’t openly talk about where scanlation falls in the conversation, but in private exchanges, she very much acknowledges the meaningfulness of scanlation work. Do note that her views on ownership is not necessarily shared by the majority of artists. But I believe her opinion can help us (scanlator or reader) have a better understanding at what “remaking” art in general says about a certain piece of art.
Probably not related to what Milena is discussing here, but I would always think of this talk whenever this topic comes up.
But yeah, I have been doing scanlations for good 3 years now. Not to give myself any excuse in a legal sense, but I think we do have to keep in mind that the vast majority of manga fandoms LIVE on scanlations that are, almost always, illegal by definition. Without them, a lot of the works will forever be circulated inside their origin country and never gain international popularity. Does anyone seriously think that most fans got into their series by purchasing officially translated manga? And why would any country release a local version of a foreign manga if they don’t already know it has gained attention among fans?
Not to mention scanlators themselves are fans as well. We spend money and time to release a good scanlation, and the consensus among anyone who has done scanlation work is that nobody makes any money off it. Like Milena says, our work ends when we have an official competitor. But before that happens, do remember that this is how most fandoms gain momentum in the first place.
Argh, stupid phone reblogging. Just go to Viv’s blog and read her response to the whole scanlation topic!