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Why Manga Reader Sites Are Not Okay

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wolfinthesheep
Post #576397 - Reply to (#576385) by mizunosaki
Member

11:32 pm, Nov 8 2012
Posts: 182


Quote from mizunosaki
You're right, that's why I mentioned partial. Perhaps I wasn't being clear. The term copyright is very loosely used these days.This is especially true for adaptive work like doujinshi and fanarts. I mean, in that sense the doujinka and fan artists don't have any right to use the characters and set ...

Well, now that you say it...

Doujinshi and fanarts are copyright infringement. However, the honest truth to Copyright is that a lot of infringement is overlooked or tolerated...so essentially Comiket is a giant black market that is widely acknowledged, and not cracked down on for varying reasons.

However, it should be noted that there are many doujin artists - especially ones making H material - that have received Cease and Desist letters.

Everything from fanart, fanvids, fanfiction, doujins, etc. are all Copyright Infringement under most 1st world Copyright Law. About the only thing that would be considered fair use is a translation. Not scanlation, mind you, because that violates the right to Adaptation and Distribution, but pure text translation (and only if there is no commercial usage involved).


When it comes to Copyright Law, the safest (and most unfortunate) assumption is that you are violating it.

bhui
Post #576402 - Reply to (#576366) by mizunosaki
Member

12:00 am, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 23


Quote from mizunosaki
Recently I started a solo scanlation group. Within 2 months, one of my release get posted in a manga reader site, disregarding my share policy.


Do I own any Rights?
Let's see.

You have no rights to original art / original story / original script / original character design.

Further you don't own any rights to distribution and or rights to copy content.

Therefore even releasing the translated script is out from a legal standpoint.

Releasing an edited version with the script inserted is even more problematic.

You have rights to the edited version, if enough skill was necessary to create the edited version. (Translating via Interpretation, Research, Advanced Photoshop Skills, Redrawing)

But you still have ABSOLUTELY no Distribution Rights or even Rights to copy the Original Work.

You could not even sue the Manga-Reader Sites because you are not the Rights Owner / Licensee.

You could sue the Original Company, if they take your Translation and run with it, probably ONLY IF you did nothing Illegal with the Translation. But they could probably just countersue.
(They will probably not use your Translation, since you are the Rights owner of your Translation. You just can't distribute it, openly. Distribution absolutely in Private could be Okay (From personal Friend to personal Friend). Also: Translations differ from Translator to Translator.)

Fair Use?
Fair Use will not cover Fan Translations because the Translation covers all of the Work. Also Fair Use does not protect from Lawsuits. Even if it were covered by Fair Use.

What is the Problem with releasing Fan Translations / edited Versions?
So you are violating the Distribution Right of the Rights Owner by Distributing an Unauthorized Translation Publically.
To make Matters worse, you are publishing an edited Version of the Chapter with your Translation inserted.
It is still problematic if someone else uses your translation, and they have reasons to believe, that you work in concert with the Editor. Depending on their ability to personally identify you, they could also sue for damages related to the Chapter Release.

What about Scanlation Sites in General?
Scanlation-Group-Releases are problematic, if they can be traced back to a Site. (Official Site-IRC-Channel, Links to Online Reader (with or without ads), Download-Links of any Kind, Group Tags on Circulating Chapters).
Even more Problematic if the Site is commercial in any way. This would even hold, if the Scanlation Group uses a Forum or an IRC-Channel only.

What about Manga-Reader Sites?
Manga-Reader Sites violate the Rights Owners Rights just as much as Scanlation Groups do.

You have NO legal standing to get them to take down the Chapters (For Example: Only Rights Owners / Licensees could send DMCA-Takedown Requests).

Manga-Reader-Sites act way more commercial than Scanlation Groups (unless the Scanlation Group begs for / has a Donation Buttor; or has a Banner) most of the time.

They are a better Target, since they earn more illegitimate Money. Their Presence on the Net also Factors into the Legal Danger they are in. Though I guess they are not as easy to take down, in a concerted Effort.
There is also the Hydra-Problem, with Manga-Reader-Sites, since the Source of their Income is freely available for anyone to copy. Any Takedown would just push the Readers to Sites that are harder to tackle.

What does the Future hold?
It is possible, that Internet-Censorship via Nation States will cover this Problem in the Future and quasi-eradicate Big Manga-Reader Sites from the Internet in affected Nations.

Quote from wolfinthesheep
Doujinshi and fanarts are copyright infringement. However, the honest truth to Copyright is that a lot of infringement is overlooked or tolerated...so essentially Comiket is a giant black market that is widely acknowledged, and not cracked down on for varying reasons.

They have Original Art and Original Story. If they change enough, they could be more in the clear. Japanese Law also Factors into this.

On the Other Hand: Killing off your future Source of Assistants / Mangaka and the Fanatical Fandom that buys expensive Blue Rays and Toys would be a bad decision.

Quote from wolfinthesheep
However, it should be noted that there are many doujin artists - especially ones making H material - that have received Cease and Desist letters..

Trademarks also Factor into this. They don't want to associate with H.

Quote from wolfinthesheep
Everything from fanart, fanvids, fanfiction, doujins, etc. are all Copyright Infringement under most 1st world Copyright Law. About the only thing that would be considered fair use is a translation. Not scanlation, mind you, because that violates the right to Adaptation and Distribution, but pure text translation (and only if there is no commercial usage involved)..


Only if you don't release the Translation. Also Fair Use does not Cover complete Translations.

Fanart could be in the Clear, If the Art-Style is distinct from any original Release, and no Trademarks or Names are involved. Non-Commercial-Fanart even more so. Even clearer if it is a closed Community of Private Persons.

Danger of Mix-Ups also Factors into this.


Quote from wolfinthesheep
When it comes to Copyright Law, the safest (and most unfortunate) assumption is that you are violating it.

If there is enough change, one should be in the clear.

Quote from mizunosaki
I'll make it simple for you.

1. They do make money from ad revenue. In other words, they make money by distributing contents that didn't come from them.


Now, if only the Rights Owner would sue them.

Quote from mizunosaki
2. Resharing it is just like spitting on the scanlator attempt to control distribution (the most common example is if the manga is licensed).

You can only control distribution if it was never public to begin with. E.g. If you sent your private Translation via Email to a Friend.

You have no Distribution Right whatsoever.

Quote from mizunosaki
3. By hosting the manga in multiple sites, it's harder for the scanlator to monitor what people use their scanlation for.

Tough Luck. You violated Copyright Law first by Publishing it.

Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:17 am, Nov 9

Hanen
Post #576409
Member

1:29 am, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 25


It seems that most agree that you're argument for the "rights" of the work is invalid. But I don't think this should in any way discourage you from continuing your "work". Editing and translating is a lot of work, sometimes very difficult. You can consider it as cultural exchanges. Since you can't profit from it, there really is no reason to be upset directly. Just accept the few that are willing to say thank you for giving them the opportunity to view these mangas that mainstream otherwise wouldn't do. If it bothers you, you could contact the owners and try getting it licensed if you wish the control the distribution of your work legally.
And learning a different language, and reinforcing that learning, how could that ever be a bad thing?

wolfinthesheep
Post #576410
Member

1:32 am, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 182


Quote from bhui
They have Original Art and Original Story. If they change enough, they could be more in the clear. Japanese Law also Factors into this.

On the Other Hand: Killing off your future Source of Assistants / Mangaka and the Fanatical Fandom that buys expensive Blue Rays and Toys would be a bad decision.

The amount of Original content is irrelevant to Copyright Law. The characters and the setting are all covered by copyright and trademark. And while I'm not as well read on Japanese law, I do know there are modification rights that are covered.

And yeah, killing off future Mangakas is one of the primary reasons why Doujins aren't stopped. That, and most Mangakas started off making Doujins, and unlike the US, they mostly retain the rights to their works.

Quote
Trademarks also Factor into this. They don't want to associate with H.

To a degree. Once again, it's one of those things that aren't liked, but are tolerated, for the most part.

Quote
Only if you don't release the Translation. Also Fair Use does not Cover complete Translations.

I think it's been allowed in several countries. Of course, unless the courts have officially ruled in your country, arguing and proving it in court is usually not worth it.

Quote
Fanart could be in the Clear, If the Art-Style is distinct from any original Release, and no Trademarks or Names are involved. Non-Commercial-Fanart even more so. Even clearer if it is a closed Community of Private Persons.

Danger of Mix-Ups also Factors into this.

Characters/settings/iconic imagery are all trademarked and covered by copyright. That's why you can't use Superman's name, his iconic S symbol, or even have a character that has his costume design (unless it's parody).

Should be noted that Marvel and DC had several instances of spats because they each had characters clearly based on one another.

Quote
If there is enough change, one should be in the clear.

As said above, the individual pieces of the work are covered as well, not just the work in it's entirety. The amount you'd have to change is essentially making an entirely original work.

For example (and I really hate to use this), 50 Shades of Grey started as a Twilight fanfiction, but the actual book has basically been cleaned of anything related to the Twilight-verse. I think. Not sure if it's still about vampires.

StaticHD
Post #576432
user avatar
Big Bucks
Member

4:17 am, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 185


If you are a scanlator and you see mangareader sites as an unnecessary pain - here is what you may need to do.

1. Create Your own online reader with ads. If you are using a free blog and don't want to spend money on a website, get a free hosting with a free domain. If you don't know how, I'd suggest you contact a scanlation group that does this or FoOlRulez (they provide an online reader script called: FoOlSlider/FoOlReader)

2. Don't only just create a credit page for the chapter you release without explaining who you are and what your circumstances are. Don't create just one credit page. Create 2-3 other pages. The more you plead, the more you'll be heard. Here is an example by PROzess:

User Posted Image

Now, PROzess's mistake was that he didn't put such a page in the middle of a chapter. Imagine a reader, on an online reading site, and is getting engaged on your translated chapter and all of a sudden, after reading 9 pages in, he sees a page like that? You'd think they just ignore it? They would be more likely to read it because they'll still be in that "reading mode" believing that what you have to say may be important information for the chapter they are reading.

3. You need to create ending statements after a chapter release. Here are examples by One Man Army Scans.

User Posted Image | | User Posted Image
User Posted Image | | User Posted Image

Another example from Nihil Sine Nefas:
Click image below to see the pages.

User Posted Image

The point is to not only produce a chapter with translations, but to also have an interaction with your readers. Brief them of what a particular translation means that may be unclear. Let them feel like there is something more that they'll gain when noticing your insights. This will encourage them to visit your site directly. Again on these pages, suggest something new they should know about your site (example: polls, a reader with higher quality, future updates for the same chapter they are reading, recommendations for new projects, colored fan pages, etc). Do this regularly. Make it a habit.

My point is that you have to do your part to reach out to the readers. You CANNOT always assume that all online readers know about MangaUpdates. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY SCANLATION GROUP ON THE PLANET. Readers don't have time to be picky (which is why they usually go to "one source" online readers). Make use of popular online-readers to your own advantage. Later on, you'll realize that online reading sites may just be the necessary tool you need to drag their readers towards you.

4. Dammit, there was more I wanted to say but I forgot. But I think I said enough. What I stated here is pretty much common sense though. laugh

bhui
Post #576455 - Reply to (#576410) by wolfinthesheep
Member

9:27 am, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 23


Quote from wolfinthesheep
The amount of Original content is irrelevant to Copyright Law. The characters and the setting are all covered by copyright and trademark. And while I'm not as well read on Japanese law, I do know there are modification rights that are covered.

No it isn't. 0815-Names or Looks are not covered. It's essentially also about the genericness.

If one takes a part of the Work, how identifieable would this be with the Work.

Also the Artstyle and the Story of the Doujinn count.

Paying Homage is not forbidden.

Quote from wolfinthesheep
And yeah, killing off future Mangakas is one of the primary reasons why Doujins aren't stopped. That, and most Mangakas started off making Doujins, and unlike the US, they mostly retain the rights to their works.

Sueing only works, if it is worth it. These People keep the IP alive for the companies.

Quote from wolfinthesheep
To a degree. Once again, it's one of those things that aren't liked, but are tolerated, for the most part.

First they have to find out about it. Then they have to see if there can be Mix-Ups. Then they decide if it's worth sueing about.

Quote
I think it's been allowed in several countries. Of course, unless the courts have officially ruled in your country, arguing and proving it in court is usually not worth it.


We're talking about the US Fair Use-Doctrine.

Quote
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as


Quote
criticism,

No. (Edit: "Parody")
Quote
comment,

No.
Quote
news reporting,

No.
Quote
teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),

No.
Quote
scholarship,

No.
Quote
or research,

No.
Quote
is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall includeŚ

Quote
(1)the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(Edit: Parody is covered by this.)
Commercial use of IP without License. (Banners/Donate Buttons are already Commercial.)
Quote
(2)the nature of the copyrighted work;

Literature/Art (Comics).
Quote
(3)the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

Whole Chapters.
Quote
(4)the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Chilling Effect on potential Sales.
Quote
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.


---------------------

Quote from wolfinthesheep
Characters/settings/iconic imagery are all trademarked and covered by copyright. That's why you can't use Superman's name, his iconic S symbol, or even have a character that has his costume design (unless it's parody).

Should be noted that Marvel and DC had several instances of spats because they each had characters clearly based on one another.


IF they are trademarked. As mentioned above, the question is, if the original remains identifieable to a Layperson if they know both works. This also covers the Background story.

Basing Characters one each other can work out, if enough is changed, thereby creating an orignal work, that perhaps just pays hommage to the work it was based on.


Quote from wolfinthesheep
As said above, the individual pieces of the work are covered as well, not just the work in it's entirety. The amount you'd have to change is essentially making an entirely original work.


Depending on the Amount, that is changed. As mentioned above.

The Question is: Does it remain identifieable? (The Art Style would probably also factor into this.)

Quote from wolfinthesheep
For example (and I really hate to use this), 50 Shades of Grey started as a Twilight fanfiction, but the actual book has basically been cleaned of anything related to the Twilight-verse. I think. Not sure if it's still about vampires.


Fanfiction would just be a big Trademark violation, if it were commercial.

The Text is an original Work.

So cleaning it up, opened the way to publishing.

(Also I did not know this. But I could have guessed that this was somehow related to Twilight.)


Quote from StaticHD
If you are a scanlator and you see mangareader sites as an unnecessary pain - here is what you may need to do....

Stop releasing Chapters to the Public. The Manga-Reader Sites will get the Chapters sooner or later.

Or you could split the Pages up and only put them together via Javascript in a Online Reader. This will only delay the Manga-Reader-Sites a bit.

Or you could collect evidence against the Online-Reader Sites and turn it over to the Rights Holders. Essentially trying to get them Offline.

Or you could stop scanlating and start trying to form a legal Manga releasing Business. Paying License Fees and starting to Translate the Works for real.

Or you could try to get their ad revenue knocked offline. If the Ad Provider is US-based. For this you would need to be a Rights Holder or related to Rights Holders.



Last edited by blakraven66 at 10:19 am, Nov 9

azoburn
Post #576459
Member

10:49 am, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 13


I think the best way to beat those money making online reader is by:-

1) giving the first priority to the online reader website that u approved. Let that online reader website publish your scanlation first before even releasing the download link in your own website.

2) Heavily promote that manga reader website to your fans and also make sure that online reader give proper credit and links to your website.

3) Watermark your scanlation with your own website and also the online reader website that you approved. Yeah its ugly but everyone have to pay the price to combat this. Maybe release clean version after a week or a month.

4) Treat your fans as a customer and try to provide the best service (in terms of download links, readers, respond channel, newsfeed) to them and in return gain more popularity and hopefully gain more crew to help with scanlation works.

5) Build a better manga online reader. Visit all reader website and find out what makes them popular. Bring those useful function into your approved online reader website.

p/s I wonder why scanlation group never do email distribution for manga? gmail can do 25mb attachment. you will also have enclosed circulation group. I would sure like all the manga that i follow to be emailed to me instead of checking website one by one

p/s IRC and forum are too old school and troublesome. blog, file hosting & online reader are the new way to go

Last edited by azoburn at 10:57 am, Nov 9

CuthienSilmeriel
Post #576463
user avatar
Member

11:54 am, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 814


What is worse is that many of the manga readers are all owned by the same greedy companies which create mulitple sites to get as much back in ad revenues as possible. no Personally, I buy or rent all my manga, or at the very least download it from scanlators. Credit pages and the like are esily ignored, you should put a big disclaimer page in the middle of the chapter, or multiple times in long chapters. It is sad that such measures are neccessary, but there are people out there who aren't part of the manga community because they love manga, but because they see it as easy money. Such is life unfortunately.

I love the pictures btw Mizunosaki!!! biggrin

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XeroxedEchidna
Post #576466
user avatar
Muscle Rider!
Member

12:37 pm, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 89


The fact of the matter is that few consumers (readers) care about morality. What people care about is convenience.

I used to spend about 4 hours a week going to all the scanlators to get the updates to mangas i read. Then, for convenience started using sites that collected all the updates for me. Now i only spend a few minutes finding manga

We can talk all we want about morality, but at the end of the day, people just do what is convenient for them.

If scanlators want to fight back, they need to pool resources and improve accessibility (like batoto)
As much as we hate to admit it, until batoto, the share sites provided superior user friendliness and convenience. As long as they are competitive there, they wont go away.

In terms of morality, i think the pictures are dead on and really like them.

Last edited by XeroxedEchidna at 12:45 pm, Nov 9

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Pikapu
Post #576473
user avatar
 Member

3:25 pm, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 1981


To mizunosaki... your pictures. <3

So on topic....

As I've said in the past...

Mangafox and mangareader users are composed of ignorant pre-teens (and most likely younger people) who don't give a fuck where the series they read come from. Which is why this will remain a problem for years to come.

Love,
Pika.

________________
User Posted Image
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Oddwaffle
Post #576483
Member

5:05 pm, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 86


imo, the problem is not about rights or ownership but about exposure and a share of the pie. Let's face the reality here. Dojins are tolerated because of the fans rather than because there is a rule somewhere that allows it. In fact, you don't see a lot of fan-fic in the US; it's because IP laws allow the owner of the work (not the artists btw) to kill those fan-fic. Japan also have strict IP laws that can kill dojins overnight but because of the fan culture, it's not profitable to do so. Scanslations are like dojin but much less tolerated because it can compete with the actual product (manga books vs scanslations).

What can you do when you scans got uploaded to some online reader? As a scanlator, you actually have no right over anything you scanslated even the translations (look up in the book translations). This means S&D are out the window. You can try to appeal to the fans but any veteran will know that most fans are leechers. As long as they get their manga fix, they won't care too much. You can do the watermarks. The non-intrusive ones will get erased but it takes time and effort to erase those and the intrusive ones will make people hate you but they will not be erased easily.

The way I see it, online manga reader sites are like torrent sites. They feed of the 'illegal' product by earning ads revenue. They are also the 1st target for companies to hit with lawsuits as they actually have money to pay. So the dumbest but probably the most effective method is to provoke the actual owner of the manga to aim their law suits at these sites. Or at least S&D letters at their hosters so they will be closed down for a while. It may sound like shooting yourself in the foot but it will also put those greedy companies in the hot seat.

Sure, this method will certainly hurt a lot of big scanslating groups but those online manga sites will probably hurt more because they are BIG. And everyone knows, it's a lot easier to hit a big target than a tiny 1-page only scanslating group.

If it actually works, scanslating group will have 'poison-pill' as a threat against these online readers. "If you don't stop hosting our scans, we will poison the pool and we'll all die!" then add "PS: we'll come back in a week while you'll be stuck with a lawsuit"

bhui
Post #576502 - Reply to (#576483) by Oddwaffle
Member

10:25 pm, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 23


Quote from Oddwaffle
imo, the problem is not about rights or ownership but about exposure and a share of the pie. Let's face the reality here. Dojins are tolerated because of the fans rather than because there is a rule somewhere that allows it. In fact, you don't see a lot of fan-fic in the US; it's because IP laws allo ...

If you start pushing the Rights Holders enough, maybe they'll try to solve the Problem once and for all.

In a bad way.

You would essentially lobby for constant Takedowns.

Perhaps they'll also join the Internet Censorship effort.

I'll tell you the Reason why Scanlators are pissed at Manga-Reader Sites: The Reader-Sites are already poisoning the Pool, by stretching the Tolerance of the Rights Holders to the Breaking Point.

The only thing that keeps the Rights Holders in Check is the current Resilience of the Internet. Sueing is not Free. Take that away and they can effectively control big Sites and keep them Out of Countries that Implement Internet Blocking.

sculamio
Post #576503
user avatar
Lost Cow
Member

10:33 pm, Nov 9 2012
Posts: 63


I fully agree with this. eyes But is it actually readers uploading scanlations to manga aggregator sites or is it the site owners? confused

bhui
Post #576552 - Reply to (#576503) by sculamio
Member

11:39 am, Nov 10 2012
Posts: 23


Quote from sculamio
I fully agree with this. eyes But is it actually readers uploading scanlations to manga aggregator sites or is it the site owners? confused

This is insubstantial to the Rights Holders.

They will first sue the Aggregator-Site anyway. Then they could sue the Uploaders in order of Most-Prolific- to Least-Prolific-Uploader. If they find out, that the Site owner is the most-prolific Uploader they'll just up their Damages / sue some more.

whitespade
Post #576561
user avatar
Member

2:51 pm, Nov 10 2012
Posts: 448


a leecher here. convenience the key. i seriously dont care how and where the manga come from, as long as i get it. i try to be less self-serving, but only to the extent of going to batoto.

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