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An open letter to the translation groups within this genre

Back to Yaoi/Yuri


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havoccc
Post #288612
user avatar
Mad‮‮
Member

8:20 am, May 17 2009
Posts: 225


Why do you feel the need to impose distribution rules on a file on the internet, and how do you think you can enforce them? Most scanlators put their tag on the filenames and put in small watermarks or tags on a few, or in some cases all pages. And they leave it at that, no threats of dropping the series if the file is as much as sighted anywhere else. Most people would be happy to see their work be enjoyed by many people, as long as credit goes where credit is due and usually tags in filenames and pages do that. No matter where I download a chapter from, seldom does it escape me which group did it, and most groups even list all contributors by nickname i.e. translator/scanner/cleaner etc. Sometimes I recognize names and I reminisce.

I do not respect such imposed rules as denying my freedom of copying files. What gives you the right? Because you bough the book? I didn't steal the book. Because you translated it, put your time into it? Put your name on it, if it was good enough I'll come and thank you. Don't you want people to see and appreciate your work? Do not forget that you own no rights to the material which you yourself are distributing.

What was the original point of you even starting a "career" in scanlating? To have people groveling at your feet for your magical Japanese language translating powers? To become some sort of leader of a small exclusive group of rabid creeps? Or did you actually just want to share the joy of reading this series which you discovered but wasn't translated.

Yaoi, BL and shounen-ai scanlators seem to be overwhelmingly the worst at this childish behaviour.

I will now make it my mission, that for every group who threatens of dropping a series if found elsewhere, to spread every single of their series everywhere to be easily downloaded... with tags intact and no pages removed, since I respect that. I respect the final product you put out, and will not alter it, but I can and will spread it... Never claiming it was my work (except for when it was). This is free bandwidth for distributing your projects you are getting, I am not asking you to thank me or even appreciate it because there really is no effort involved. I am pleading for you to see the sillyness of your behaviour though.

Lots of faceless lurkers love what you do, bringing stories to them they could not read until now, and they aren't all as bitchy as yourselves. (although some are)
But I am sick of jumping through imaginary hoops to get them, I might love a series, but I might hate the scanlating group who is translating it... This is what you get.

All that said, thank you for buying, scanning, cleaning, translating and editing some of these great Japanese comics.


P.S. All these warnings of 18+ content, you need to realize you aren't liable for anything since you aren't a commercial business and don't have to comply to such rules. The only thing you are protecting with 18+ warnings are a few innocent eyes and minds... and maybe some work-time lazy browsers. (yesyes I know some hosting companies do not want that on their servers)

Terpsichore
Post #290462
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Sweetly Macabre
Member

10:16 am, May 22 2009
Posts: 1005


Is it not their perogative to have rules regarding the use of their scanlations? After all, these groups put effort into their projects, and if they choose to have distribution rules, I am happy to follow them. No, they do not own the rights to the series, but again, it is their work, in translation and editing, which brings us yaoi we would not be able to read otherwise.

And what right do you have to break those rules, other than the inability of groups to regulate it? If you truly feel the need to break those rules, why bother making a statement about it?

Having said that, I do agree that threatening (and following through) with dropping a series is a bit extreme. I also agree that credit pages should always be left as is: credit where credit is very much due.

I rarely see problems with yaoi scanlation groups having such strict regulations around the distribution of their projects. (If MU allows this) care to name a few groups?



eni
Post #290468
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Moderator

10:26 am, May 22 2009
Posts: 168


You're a little wrong with this letter. Distribution rules ain't limited to BL groups. Actually, as Terpsichore said, I rarely come across a BL group with these kind of rules.

On the other hand, many shoujo groups are very protective on their releases. One of the reasons why my shoujo list is so short is simply that I don't bother with the download requirements some of them out up (post count, community joining, ect). I rather skip on these releases since I have not the time to be active in many mini communities just to get my manga fix. I have my studies and two children after all that need my attention more than some KAWAIII discussions with fangirls.

Though, I download releases when I see them at free sharing sites. I'm very thankful to the scanlators for their work and respect their wishes of not altering their releases. I'm also not a mere leecher (the favorite argument for closed groups), I do my share for the community elsewhere. But I also think that distribution restrictions are relatively useless to begin with. Once a file is out at the internet, it's ways are uncontrollable. Besides, we all rip off the work of someone else without asking in the first place.

Last edited by eni at 10:54 am, May 22

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LunaMay
Post #290473 - Reply to (#290468) by eni
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Desconocida
Member

10:45 am, May 22 2009
Posts: 1139


Quote from eni
You're a little wrong with this letter. Distribution rules ain't limited to BL groups. Actually, as Terpsichore said, I rarely come across a BL group with these kind of rules.

On the other hand, many shoujo groups are very protective on their releases. One of the reasons why my shoujo list is so short is simply that I don't bother with the download requirements some of them out up (post count, community joining, ect). I rather skip on these releases since I have not the time to be active in many mini communities just to get my manga fix. I have my studies and two children after all that need my attention more than some KAWAIII discussions with fangirls.

Couldn't have agreed anymore.

I don't think I've ever come across BL groups that do as you state, and even so they have every right. Only groups that have such demands, I would say are shoujo groups. One of the many reasons I fail to read many of their releases is because of their requirements, either with distribution or demanding a certain number of posts just to download. >_>

And, yes please name some groups. The few BL groups that I have followed don't do any of these. But at the top of my head I can easily name 5 shoujo groups that do. roll eyes

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havoccc
Post #290475
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Mad‮‮
Member

11:05 am, May 22 2009
Posts: 225


I'll address the BL/shoujo group issue now, I'll take the rest when I have more time...

I apologize, it was a straw that broke the camel's back situation that this ended up on the neck of the BL groups. I remember now, that you pointed it out, that indeed shoujo groups have this behaviour in abundance as well if not more. My bad, sorry. smile
These kind of rules are definitively not limited to BL groups, sometimes they just bleed into each-other and become not exclusively one genre groups. This has added up over the years, I usually don't rant like this unless I really am tired of it.

Example BL/yaoi group: Attractive Fascinante

mizuno_youko
Post #290476
Member

11:10 am, May 22 2009
Posts: 32


I was once in the position of talking the head of a BL group out of doing this. This was years ago, and the reason she'd wanted to control distribution was to get more people to come to the group's IRC channel. It took a little convincing (mainly reminding her that we were using the artists' work without their consent, and for much the same reasons as the people distributing the files, so surely she could see where they were coming from), but she came around.

If you honestly want to convince groups that they're in the wrong here, be polite and reasonable. Saying "Nyah, nyah, I'm going to do it anyway, and you can't stop me!" just angers people and may keep them from taking your valid arguments seriously.

A few key points (some of which you made, and some of which you didn't):
-Everyone's goal here is sharing the manga with others. If getting people to their website or IRC channel is taking precedence over that for someone, they are doing this for their own ego and are using the artists' work for their own benefit rather than the greater good. (If they can stand to be that sort of person, I guess that's their call.)
-Scanlators take someone's work without that person's consent, alter it, and spread it online. We're able to undertake this violation because we have compelling reasons to do so, but I think most of us just try not to think about this aspect of it most of the time. Remind them of what they themselves are doing.
-If they think that controlling distribution themselves will stop the spread of their scanlations after a manga is licensed, that's naive (Are the people who share scanlations of licensed manga likely to respect scanlators' wishes either before or after the fact? I find that unlikely). Setting a good example (by stopping the scanlation, pulling it from the site and asking people to stop distributing it--the ones who actually will respect both your wishes and the license--and talking about how you're buying books yourself and why) and convincing people to buy the book will help more with that, IMO.
-If they want to control distribution themselves so that they can fix mistakes in the files more easily, this isn't a compelling argument either. There are going to be people who still share the unfixed version no matter what you do, so I think the best you can really do there is to officially release a second version so people at least know about it.
-If they're worried about the quality of the image files being altered, I think they'd have better luck asking people to distribute unaltered zip files than disallowing distribution altogether.
-Scanlation groups close down all the time, and sites disappear from the Internet all the time. Your best insurance that your scanlations will survive after you're gone is to have them distributed across various sites.


For the record, I do generally follow groups' distribution rules, as a courtesy, but I think they're misguided at best and egocentric at worst. And I don't think they can be defended with the "it's their work" argument--barring any other considerations, it's not fair to allow scanlators to take others' work without their consent and then condemn other people for doing the same.

eni
Post #290480 - Reply to (#290475) by havoccc
user avatar
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11:29 am, May 22 2009
Posts: 168


Quote from havoccc
Example BL/yaoi group: Attractive Fascinante

I think the reason why it doesn't strike me so much with AF is simply that the group itself makes third party distribution obsolete. They have the files openly accessibly with several mirrors, so there's little need to share elsewhere.

@mizuno_youko
What I do not like is the 'closed group to strike down leechers' argument. Above all other reasons to try enforcing distribution rules, this one is the least understandable to me. Who's a leecher? I am one just because I'm not active in the group's community? I'm really sorry but there are a few hundred groups out there and my time is limited and manga ain't the highpoint of my life.

That doesn't mean that I don't do anything for the community at all but I obviously can't split myself onto every group exclusively to keep their little (and surely lovely) community alive.

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VampireBanana
Post #290482
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MangaAddict.1+1=11
Member

11:40 am, May 22 2009
Posts: 844


I think there's another group... whose policies drove me nuts but to be cordial, I refuse to name them since we're just talking about the overall concept, the mentality, right?

Some time ago, I was looking for a certain series. That's where my troubles started:

a) You could not find their releases on Aarinfantasy or another hosting site(open to registration/viewing), no. Except for the first few chapters and even then... they were on Rapidshare which blocks my country.

b) Or else, you'd to get onto irc. Yes, I tried... to get the files from there but you know what? I'm firewalled, my isp likely has a hand in throttling or killing file-sending speeds within irc. So no go either.

c) Finally, I found out their site might likely have their files. But even then, I couldn't find them and by then, I got really tired of trying to find the files. So, screw that. 'Cos their series is probably not that awesome to make me go through some more hoops. dead

Oh, I think many sites and groups want something in return: appreciation, comments, etc. so they try to enforce some sort of rules. But sometimes, it's kinda strict or too strict, in fact. sad 'Cos some manga readers are older people or are basically folks who don't have time to spend 222 hours looking for a release, no way!

I can tell you that having been in and out of a few groups, that I slowly discovered being too harsh and mean can drive the readers away. Or worse, they'll just grab the releases and not thank you 'cos you decided to kick them in the <insert term> just 'cos they refused to thank you. bigrazz

Now I'm back in another group: hotcakes but it was agreed beforehand that we'd put them up somewhere easily accessible and not make you go through "A, B, C, D, E, F, G", etc. just to get at the files. Just knowing that people download and read them is more than enough. smile

Edit: And btw, yeah... some shoujo groups are pretty scary with all their rules and terms. Not that I bother anyways as my interest is more along classical, old-school shoujo than the modern stuff.

And now, I'll cite Storm in Heaven. Their releases are easy to grab, don't require any registration and so on. I'm not sure if other sites are allowed to host their releases but again, the ease of access works in the group's favour. The only problem is if the group falls off or something.

However, I'd like to state that since most groups can't afford direct http hosting, it is better to put your files on filehosting sites like Mediafire, 4share, etc. or let those manga sites like MangaFox take care of your hosting needs. Please... don't kill your readers in their "epic quest to find the files". ;D

Last edited by yuri21 at 11:52 am, May 22

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havoccc
Post #290506 - Reply to (#290476) by mizuno_youko
user avatar
Mad‮‮
Member

3:26 pm, May 22 2009
Posts: 225


Quote from mizuno_youko
If you honestly want to convince groups that they're in the wrong here, be polite and reasonable. Saying "Nyah, nyah, I'm going to do it anyway, and you can't stop me!" just angers people and may keep them from taking your valid arguments seriously.


I get what you're saying, I tried writing in a matter of fact way as possible not taunting, the forces are unstoppable. And not prancing around the issue and apologizing for every negative thing said.

I do not believe I need to explain or correct myself further either, mizuno_youko covered the spots well, and yuri21 pointed out the difficulty or ease of attaining releases from some groups.

But once it is out there, you can't take it back.

Arigatomina
Post #298116
Member

4:39 am, Jun 14 2009
Posts: 32


Late response.

I used to wonder about this, too. Most groups had so many hoops to jump through that you wonder what the point is of scanlating something no one can actually download. Others act as if they're doing something so amazing we *should* grovel and worship them....when in fact anyone with internet access can scanlate anything they want. The only limitation to scanlations is getting the source material (someone must have money and a scanner to acquire that original book). There are plenty of sites that will help you learn Japanese, plenty of freeware and trials for you to get a photo program you like. All you need is time and an internet connection. Anyone could do it. Which is why everyone does it. ;p

The only real reason I can see to limit distribution is to protect the group. The original poster is dead wrong about the distributors not being responsible for the adult content they're distributing. If they live in the US they can go to prison for a minimum of 10 years - just for sharing something with a character who looks under 18. And with yaoi artists, almost every single uke looks like a 15 year old just because that's the style. All it takes is one mother to run across one youtube "doujinshi video" and for her to be disgusted enough to complain to her church group. If a man can be charged with a felony for shipping a yaoi manga from one state to another, what do you think all these yaoi fans would be charged with for openly distributing this stuff to all the minors on the internet? Personally I'd rather not find out.

Careful limited distribution of dangerous material should be common sense. Do you remember Napster? The person who uploaded the original copy gets in the most trouble but it also trickles to everyone who distributed it. That's why torrents have replaced most of the old p2p programs. For those who are sharing their shota on youtube (dear god) and all the google-read sites...why not just print it out and share it with all the little kiddies at your high school? That'll get you prison time just as quickly and it won't punish people who actually do use their common sense.

Be responsible. If you don't want the scanlator sent to prison, don't put this crap on youtube where the entire world is watching to see what will happen with copyright issues. All those eyes, just looking for something to pounce on so they can sue, and you're flashing shota in front of them? Head-meet-desk. This should be common sense. roll eyes

Pediatricia
Post #299000
Member

4:49 pm, Jun 17 2009
Posts: 187


They have no 'rights' in 'protecting' 'their' work. It's not their work. They did not pay for the rights to it, they did not create it, etc. But this is more prevalent with shoujo groups, IMO. I've seen maybe 1 or 2 BL groups do this.

Quote
The only real reason I can see to limit distribution is to protect the group. The original poster is dead wrong about the distributors not being responsible for the adult content they're distributing. If they live in the US they can go to prison for a minimum of 10 years - just for sharing something with a character who looks under 18. And with yaoi artists, almost every single uke looks like a 15 year old just because that's the style. All it takes is one mother to run across one youtube "doujinshi video" and for her to be disgusted enough to complain to her church group. If a man can be charged with a felony for shipping a yaoi manga from one state to another, what do you think all these yaoi fans would be charged with for openly distributing this stuff to all the minors on the internet? Personally I'd rather not find out.


I've heard people say this, but I think I've only seen it inforced in the Dwight Whorely(lol)/Chris Handley cases. DW was importing loli, and he was on probation for possessing actual child porn. CH was importing 'obscene' content, which a lot of people believe were MACHINO Henmaru works, he was just a poor sob who got caught in some serious trouble by a snooping postal worker.

The message they're sending is only further destroying the industry. "Don't import it. You're not supposed to have it...Download? Well, it's illegal, but..."

Of course, I've very rarely hard of this law being enforced. I guess the message is to use common sense when importing/sharing/downloading/buying/whatever.



StarlightDreams
Post #299197
user avatar
Lowly Member
Member

1:55 pm, Jun 18 2009
Posts: 3891


I see it more with the shoujo groups than any other genre. =/
Most of those "strict" rules would be to protect the group from you know...actually being shut down. I can name a few groups who have been shut down with C&D letters because of overexposure of their scanlations. (It's also with fansubbers...)
And agh, I hate online reading sites, I cringe at the quality of it.
One thing I have to say though, if you're going to host the manga, ask permission from the group at least. If you're going to do it like the way you described in your first post, all that will happen is the group being angered.
I haven't seen a group threaten to shut down because of distribution in years though...
Manga is easily accessible if you know where to look. If you can't find something, just ask someone.

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grumble_cakes
Post #299503
user avatar
Member

10:50 pm, Jun 19 2009
Posts: 15


that's funny... I don't even recall BL scanlation groups.

In fact, I was sure your open letter is going to be a rant on how some groups like to hoard titles and never scanlate them. I HATE that because the other groups are too polite to take someone else's project even though it hasn't been updated in 3 years and the result is that some of the best stuff never gets scanlated. no

mumhu
Post #459810
user avatar
Member

11:23 am, Apr 7 2011
Posts: 1


Stating that I am being specific here.

I am shocked that AF decided to be a closed scan group. I've been watching them for almost two years when I went to abstinence (from BL stuffs) because of personal reason. *it's in my head too often, lol* Now, I am so ready to get some BL goodies and I can get any of their stuff. I'm not a member because it was not a requirement before. I was free to choose whatever I want and they have seriously good stuff with quite wide range of authors.

They said I have to thank those people who puts them at risk, those people who made them to be a closed group FOREVER.

What about me? What about other people who have been watching their group and follows their rule. I, for once, NEVER, redistributed any scanlation. I download it for my own. I am so angry, sad, and frustrated. Where should I vent my anger at?

They said they are happy if people download and read their scanslations. Total rubbish! The owner of AF, I hope you are NOT happy because I am not able to download or read any of your scanlations.


For what is worse, all of my previous downloads is gone, because my computer crashed. gone. *cries*

ps: if any of you have a recommendation for BL scans group, feel free to tell me. But I don't do mirc. Not able to do that. I need to find another one.

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Hespia Klarerin
Post #459909
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Member

10:08 pm, Apr 7 2011
Posts: 703


ummm doesn't this apply for all scanlation group??

i guess they do not want another group to post it and say it's their work
or they want to prevent their fanwork from being sold into the market and want to shout "you've been scammed! this is free fanwork"

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