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Watermarks in Scanlations

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What are your feelings towards water marks placed on scanlations?
Hate them
They're annoying, but bearable
Don't care either way
Like them
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Post #221343
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PKR Translator
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2:47 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 79


So, I've noticed recently on another forum that I'm on the topic of watermarks on scanlations got brought up. I was just curious to know what everyone thought on this subject.

For me, watermarks don't usually bother me unless they are huge and obstructing. As long as they are just off in the corner, only covering an important part of a picture, I think it's okay. I used to not use watermarks for Project Kurai Ryu, but with the addition of Urd-chan as an editor, she specifically asked that all of the scans she provides for be watermarked with our group's logo on it. For her though, she was part of AdInuyasha prior to this, and there was a lot of theft and reusage of the Inuyasha scans without permission or credit given. There was also the whole "taking scans and reusing them in foreign languages" (which she doesn't mind if they have permission, but she doesn't want them to just take the scans). I can understand her views, but sometimes I think she's almost too paranoid, ha ha.

Anyways, I've had no complaints from our readers yet, but I'm kind of curious to know the whole manga fanbase thinks as a whole. Just because someone hasn't said something, doesn't meant he problem isn't there.

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Post #221347
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Prinny Puncher
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2:55 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 120


I don't really mind them too much, since they make sure the group gets credited or at least prevents people form claiming them as their own work

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Post #221348
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RIP
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2:57 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 4917


This would be better off in the manga general section, so..

Moved.

on topic, i don't like the watermarks but i guess i can see how it'd be useful for the groups.

Post #221354
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SnoopyCool.com
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3:05 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 204


I think there's a huge double standard involved in the whole credit thing to begin with. If people would just be open and let everyone else use their scans, then there wouldn't be any need for any of the political bullshit and we could all get on with our lives. If you've scanned it, then why can't a foreign group use your scans without permission? Do you actually think that some guy in France reading something translated using your scans will see your name and say "wow, this was scanned in by HumptyDumpty, I'm gonna go give this guy a car for scanning in this manga for me!"? No one even bothers reading the credit pages in English, for crying out loud. Hell, other scanslators don't even read them, and they could actually benefit from the information.

I know everyone's like "This is MY WORK. I don't want some jerk taking credit for MY WORK and getting paid for it!", but he will anyway. Watermarks aren't going to stop him. And the people who read it on his site will have already paid, so the watermark didn't stop them either. It's like copy protection on games, guys. You're just making all of the people who don't care laugh at you and annoying the people who get your stuff legitimately.


As for the watermarks themselves, the few I've seen don't bother me... But I would never desecrate the sanctity of a manga with anything of the sort.

Post #221356 - Reply to (#221354) by SnoopyCool
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3:11 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 1027


I don't really mind them all that much and i understand how people that scanlate feel about their work, but if given choice i will read scanlations by groups that don't put watermarks.

Quote from SnoopyCool
As for the watermarks themselves, the few I've seen don't bother me... But I would never desecrate the sanctity of a manga with anything of the sort.


and i like what SnoopyCool said.


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Post #221395
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PKR Translator
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5:38 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 79


I know alot of groups just use text as their watermarks, or even put their watermark just on just a couple of pages. I'm probably one of those weird people who does occasionally read credits, but I have certain translators I prefer when reading certain series by certain groups, so it's more like just to make sure that's the case (so many translations get butchered, I'm allowed to be picky!).

I definitely agree with on SnoopyCool on how ridiculous it gets though...I personally don't think that people will really go to the trouble to steal scans, anyways...but there are those paranoid people...I guess I just work in fandoms that are so obscure we don't have any problems with things like that though, lol.

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Post #221397
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Radical Dreamer
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5:43 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 42


I tolerate watermarks, and respect the group's choice to use them. Even so I don't think they will do much good. If someone is going to take credit for your work then a watermark won't stop them.

The one thing I'll say in favor of marking is that it provides a verifiable identification of the group on their work That is something of value to those of us who care about the quality of our scanslations. However, AFAIK, no manga groups even bother to use CRCs with their releases. Therefore, knowing the identity of the original group is of little value if there's no way to verify whether the original release has been tampered with or corrupted. roll

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Post #221407
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SnoopyCool.com
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6:20 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 204


If you worry about which group is translating what you're reading, then the easiest solution is to make sure that you download the chapter(s) from that specific group.

The question that should be running through the minds of scanners is 'does it actually do any good' and the short answer is a resounding no. It probably stops foreign groups, but what good does that do you? And on the other hand, what harm is it for them to use your scans? We do this so that people can read the manga, right? Shouldn't having your scans read by other languages make you HAPPY?

Credit pages... I used to not read any translations at all, then I started working and I'm like 'ooooooh god, boooooooored' and started killing time with places like onemanga in my downtime. I immediately realized just how bad some translators are and started crossing off groups that I'd never read ever again, but most of those are speed groups that use MangaHelper translations (which should totally be banned, guys, seriously, one year of college Japanese isn't enough, please stop). I have one translator that I follow... which would be Stephen, actually, along with the other guys at MS. I have a lot of respect for a handful of other translators, but the majority are somewhere in the middle.

As for stealing, it's an issue, I'll admit. We've had some scans that magically found themselves in other groups' releases and it pisses you off, no doubt. Now, had I put a giant watermark on every other page that said 'scanned by snoopycool for snoopycool, get your own scanner n00b' would they have still used them? Yes. They were people who thought that they could join the group, run off with the scans and then release things faster and better than we can, and since they're that stupid to begin with, of course they'd be stupid enough to plaster my name all over their releases.

Putting all the cards on the table here. The only use of a watermark is to make yourself feel better or to keep legit foreign groups from using your scans. The ironic part is that legit groups are the ones that ask permission first, so you can actually scratch that second part off. It's only to make yourself feel better. If you need some sort of safe deposit box for your scans because they're so incredibly valuable to you that you can't stand anyone else using them, then you have some security issues, my friends. Not to be overly critical, but everyone needs to stop taking the internet so seriously. no

Post #221408
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KYOKUGEN !!!
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6:22 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 878


Yup... Snoopy already pretty much owned this topic.

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Post #221425 - Reply to (#221407) by SnoopyCool
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Radical Dreamer
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7:28 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 42


Quote from SnoopyCool
If you worry about which group is translating what you're reading, then the easiest solution is to make sure that you download the chapter(s) from that specific group.


Yes, I agree completely. The ideal way to obtain releases is going to the original group's web, channel, forum, or tracker. I do use these methods whenever possible, even eschewing the DDL links offered here on MU whenever I can go to the group themselves. *

Unfortunately there are people who have disappeared, who don't keep archives, or who don't keep records of past releases. Many times this will happen when looking for old, obscure titles that cannot even be bought. In these cases, the fan's only choice for obtaining the release is to lurk on the darker side of the net.

Sorry if that's a bit off topic for this thread, but I'll say nothing more about it here.

Quote from SnoopyCool
The question that should be running through the minds of scanners is 'does it actually do any good' and the short answer is a resounding no. It probably stops foreign groups, but what good does that do you? And on the other hand, what harm is it for them to use your scans? We do this so that people can read the manga, right? Shouldn't having your scans read by other languages make you HAPPY?


Agreed on all points, but with a caveat. There's nothing to stop these, um, re-releasers from reprocessing the scans with lossy compression, and producing a release of degraded quality (the dummies). That takes us back to your assertion at the top. Plus, it'd be nice if they'd just simply mention the source of the scans.

Quote from SnoopyCool
Credit pages...


I read 'em. Doesn't everyone? roll eyes

* EDIT: Fixed formatting

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Post #221426
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PKR Translator
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7:29 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 79


Ahaha, yeah, he did. But, now, thanks to this, maybe I can convince Urd-chan that making me watermark all of our pages isn't as much of a necessity as she thinks it is. I spend more time finishing up the projects than I do translating or scanning the ones I do scan >.>

The only problem with relying on one group for translations on a certain project is that there will be occasionally have a switch of translator. It's not usual, but it has happened. Then again, about 9/10 translators out there are just like SnoopyCool said, these kids with one year of Japanese in either highschool level or even college level. Foreign languages are NOT learned that quickly, no matter what people think. I hate to admit it, but the first time I translated for a scanlation group, I wasn't much better. Fortunately, all of that evidence has been pretty much erased from existance, haha.

But, when it comes to anything posted on the internet, people are always paranoid about having things stolen from them, even if in the case of scanlations, it's not like we really own it in the first place...^^; I understand it alot more for art and even written things or photographs, whereas for this it just comes down to being petty...

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Post #221433
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SnoopyCool.com
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8:09 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 204


I'll touch on what Talen mentioned, but it is off topic, so only a little. wink
Usually when something's really old (like, say, something from Dual Translations circa 2002), no one else was working on it. Only in very rare circumstances were multiple groups translating the same project (which actually includes myself and Flame of Recca for like 8 volumes, but still... rare circumstances *cough*). I guess if you're looking for something that fell off the planet but was made around 2005, then you may have some issues, but even then, I think that it's probably going to be impossible to stay consistent if you're traveling back that far in time.

For the foreign groups screwing up the scans, I don't think many of us would even know, let alone really honestly care. Even in the early days when foreign groups rarely asked for permission and I was searching sites left and right looking for my scans just like all of the other witch-hunters (I come from there, so I understand the perspective, but this was 7 years ago and the community should have grown up by now), I never found any scans that were screwier than before the Frenchies got to them. And that wasn't so much an issue as just the very idea that they would take things without permission.

You read credit pages? I read translation notes when appropriate, but I certainly don't read anything else. Now. If there's a nice titty picture on there, I'll linger and maybe read a few names in passing.


And yeah, I was too early when I started translating, too. My saving grace was a graduate student at school that loved manga as much as me and agreed to check over my translations for me... although they were still pretty bad compared to what I consider to be acceptable right now.
Translating can be a very good exercise in language learning, but it requires that the student be watched like a hawk and corrected where necessary. People can think they're translating things correctly and making assumptions and getting so far off the mark that it's laughable.
We do this for a few great people that aren't quite up to the standards on their own but have the right attitude, but a lot of people work for groups run by an editor or scanner that don't know the language, and they don't get any quality control at all, resulting in really... REALLY poor accuracy numbers.

Post #221447
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9:01 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 3888


I don't care as long as it's not insanely huge.
They're a pain to edit out when they're raw scans though.
I understand why groups put watermarks on their scans, they don't want them to be misused or be put somewhere where they don't want it, they want to show clearly that they did the work and not someone else, and they don't want their scans being used by foreign groups. What I don't understand is why people hate them, they're already leeching off a scan group who's doing it for free, if they want to put their watermark on it, let them, they did the work, not the people reading it, so there shouldn't be any complaints on it.
I also don't really like it when foreign groups ask if they can re-translate it into another language. I get really mad when that happens because they'll just be taking the scans that I spend hours/days on editing and cleaning while they just steal my hard work and use the scans. That's why I don't like groups asking to re-translate, they're just taking all the time I put into it, I always tell them that if they want to translate it if they're willing to clean and edit the manga themselves and that I don't mind giving them the raws, but when they re-translate using the scans that we release, they screw it up, the quality goes down.
But I usually just cool off and let them...
Although I'm a scanlator too, I don't plan to put watermarks on my scans because I don't like to see the manga get covered by it.

Last edited by StarlightDreams at 9:06 pm, Oct 27

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Post #221448
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Centurion
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9:01 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 193


Ehh. Doesn't bother me as long as it doesn't block anything important.

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Post #221451
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Pomegranate
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9:11 pm, Oct 27 2008
Posts: 2596


Er.. i saw this chapter from esthetique and literally, almost every single page, there is this HUGE word "esthetique" right across the page. Seriously, it just ruined the whole manga that the mangaka worked on... :/ Even if they don't want other ppl to steal their scans, they shouldn't resort down to that...

In any case, it's annoying, but it's bearable.. Like shoujomagic's stuff.. I'm quite fine with that..

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