Username/Email: Password:

New Poll - Scanlation Ethics

Pages (6) [ 1 2 3 4 Last ] Next
You must be registered to post!
From User
Message Body
user avatar

1:32 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 10367

One of our site admins, Toto, suggested this poll. It's a question of whether you think it's morally or ethically wrong to scanlate. This isn't about the legitimacy of scanlations.

On another note (this will probably never be a poll question) but is it morally/ethically wrong to pirate music, movies, games, and/or software? Even if the said thing you are pirating is not sold in your country and/or is not in your native language? Where would you draw that moral line?

You can submit poll ideas here (and try to keep them manga/anime-related):

Previous Poll Results:
Question: How do you like your manga?
Hot and steamy - votes: 2233 (20.8%)
Cold, salty, and/or teary - votes: 469 (4.4%)
Spicy and exciting - votes: 2924 (27.2%)
Medium with a bittersweet aftertaste - votes: 1185 (11%)
Chewy and necessary to ponder over - votes: 1156 (10.7%)
Sweet and heartfelt - votes: 1977 (18.4%)
Quick like a sugar rush - votes: 207 (1.9%)
Hard and blunt - votes: 464 (4.3%)
Bland and typical - votes: 139 (1.3%)
There were 10754 total votes.
The poll ended: September 8th 2012

I dislike spicy foods. Tongue can't handle it. (And that comment has nothing to do with the poll results)

A just ruler amongst tyrants
Post #569205
user avatar

1:45 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 18

I voted "no", but I would like to add the caveat, "as long as it isn't for profit".

As for reading and downloading and pirating stuff, I'd say it isn't wrong if there isn't any other option. Like, if I don't have the option of obtaining something legally (and for a sensible price - that goes for out of print books, for example) I don't think it's morally/ ethically wrong if I pirate it. The condition I set for myself, at least, is that as soon as it does become available I do have to obtain it. (Although whether I do or not does depend on whether I like it - I won't buy every manga I've read the scanlation of, obviously. But in that case I'll only have read the manga once and for me that's like having borrowed the book from a friend. If I like it, I buy it.)

If I download something instead of paying for it - even though I could pay for it - it's stealing. Which is morally and ethically wrong, in my opinion. Although I would like to add that I'm not so deluded as to believe that every download equals a lost sale.

user avatar

2:25 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 146

This poll topic is undoubtedly going to be a hot topic!

I vote "no" but it isn't really a stern "no" but a soft "no." When it comes to series like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece (or most any popular SJ work for that matter) where high quality and relatively affordable copies are easily available, I don't think that scanlators are essentially in the clear.

Other cases like with Emma (Mori Kaoru) where the only way to get the series is by paying 30-50$ for a volume, it is just crazy to expect fans to pay for that. For me, it all depends on the series I guess...

- Certified Grammar Nazi -
... and apparently Comedy Nazi according to my family.

3:05 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 55

Definitely yes. I think scanlating a chapter of a manga is definitely morally wrong, assuming:
1. The chapter that is being scanlated has already been published.
2. It is still available (i.e. not out of print or something like that).

Note that I am talking about chapters. Stuff like the popular WSJ manga do not satisfy the assumptions above and I do not think it is morally wrong to scanlate them, considering how long the publishers had time to establish a business model which publishes the weekly chapters at the same time as in Japan, yet failed to do so.
I do think that the scanlated chapters should be removed once the volume is out though.

Post #569215

3:11 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 144

Absolutely "no" - as long as you don't take money for it. Spreading the joy of something you liked (otherwise, why waste the effort?) is good for both author (he has a chance to get new fans that might buy that published material) and society. Otherwise, we might as well close all public libraries that have that "published material".


3:26 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 68

Most difficult poll/topic ever.

I voted no, but I don't think it applies to all scanlations.
Things like one piece, naruto, bleach, etc. are all widely available in many different languages.
However, for me, the delay is not acceptable.
If I had a way to get a physical copy of a (for example) translated WSJ in less than a week after it hits japan, I'd buy it. I wouldn't even be picky about the language, it can be german, english, french or spanish, I'd be fine with all of them.

There are a lot of mangas I've read that will never see the light of day outside of japan, so scanlations are needed for them.

About the pirating: People who pirate stuff wouldn't buy it in the first place, anyways. If anything, it increases sales from people who want to buy it after pirating.

Post #569221
user avatar

3:58 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 82

Absolutely no, in the case of manga, because it's 99% of the time leading to the author making, rather than losing money. It's different from say movies or music. We are the most devoted of viewers, and I am of an age to buy what I read or watch, if it's available in English. It's not available until translated at all, so it's a separate market requiring extra work. Most mangakas never expected to have overseas fans, or to be published in other languages. If I was an author I'd be happy to see my work getting exposure. Technology is changing so fast, that things like language barriers and publishing hardcopy limitations will someday disappear, hopefully. How we receive manga may change in amazing ways, (and how it's created). I believe there are companies attempting to bring the online scanlating talents into their businesses.

I know that younger readers will be happy to buy their favorite mangas when they become members of the working world. Manga isn't something you grow out of. I buy ALL the mangas I read that are even halfway decent and available, and I bet a lot of other people do too. Sometimes it's like one cent for the book and 3.99 for shipping, so it's an affordable hobby to start. Manga lovers love the book and the umm.. digital manifestation. I wouldn't have purchased any of my ten foot long filled bookshelf, if I hadn't read them first online. (Sometimes I take a chance and buy a manga I haven't already read and it only occasionally works out.) So thank you scanlaters. I love and adore you. I've dropped a load of money on this hobby and would buy ten times more if the things I wanted were available. If I hadn't found it first on the internet, I wouldn't have had any idea manga even ever existed. Sorry for being so enthusiastic about this. (jeez, I sound like such a nerd, but I'm a heartfelt nerd...) The shocking cost of Kindle books and the inability to read manga on Kindle are another issue.

P.S. Now that the public is getting tired of super-hero movies, it's only a matter of time till Naruto, DeathNote or FMA becomes a Hollywood blockbuster... Then they will make their money back in spades. Plus, I am excited to try some of the pay-to-read manga sites. I've heard about them but haven't found a good one yet.

P.P.S. The most I ever paid for a paperback manga was 65 dollars plus shipping. But I HAD to have it. There are a couple mangas I would pay 150 dollars to own, if I could ever get them, but can't. How long will the book and magazine, as we knew them, even be with us before technology renders it obsolete? How long before translation engines become sophisticated enough to instantly translate manga? Scanlating is so cumbersome but it could all be done instantly in the sci-fi future!

Last edited by nowyat at 5:05 pm, Sep 21 2012

Post #569225

5:42 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 66

I vote for "no",as long as it's not for money

Reason i consume pirated stuff:

Most of the manga I read here is not avaiable in my country,most of manga/novel that has "fanservice" /mature content is not allowed. many of newer manga at least has fanservice.... that say a lot of manga is not published in my country,like: ubel blatt , dance in vampire bund, etc.
*insert rude word* all those fanatic religion follower who will throw a massive protest to almost about anything that offend their religion, sadly that's the majority of the people living in my country

I have very limited budget for luxury things such as games,manga,books (novel), so I am not likely to buy things I don't really really like, the publisher gain/lose nothing from people such as me, who often not buying whether I like or not due to budget. If there is a pirated version, then that's fortunate and I thank them, but if not well, it's not like I will buy them either...

I DO BUY occasionally when I have save up the money for manga that I truly love and would want to keep. I will buy more when I do earn my own money.


5:45 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 53

I would have voted both, since I would vote "no", since there are people who cant get there hands on the manga to buy it or even order it. And "yes" to the people who live not to far from the next comic store that has the series they read for sale!

Post #569227 - Reply to (#569226) by Wargumm1i
user avatar

6:23 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 141

the question is about distributing and scanlating not the readers. personally i think it is not immoral or ethically wrong despite being illegal. If the companies that obtained the licences had half a brain they could either shutdown scanlation on a massive scale and force scanlators back to IRC and other hard to find places. so if they're too lazy to even make an effort to shut down scanlation then they really must not be that affected by it enough anyways.

Post #569230

7:25 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 5

Morally, no. Legally, yes.

Post #569232 - Reply to (#569230) by julia36

7:41 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 2


Post #569233 - Reply to (#569230) by julia36

7:44 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 26

This, in my opinion is a bad question.

As the true answer depends on multiple different variables:

Is it for money? Is it currently being Translated to <insert your language here>? How far behind are the official (if any) translations? As well as others I am missing.

In the case of manga/manwha/light novels/what have you, being scanlated and distributed for money, then it is definitely wrong regardless of any other answers.

In the case of manga/manwha/light novels/what have you, that have not been translated and published to <insert your language here> and likely never will, I would say, no.

In the case of manga/manwha/light novels/what have you, that have been translated and published partially to <insert your language here> and likely never will be completely, I would say again, no.

In the case of manga/manwha/light novels/what have you, that have been translated and published paritally to <insert your language here> and will likely be completed, however are vastly behind the untranslated version, Yes and No. Yes: If you scanlate/distribute material already translated and published. No: If you scanlate/distribute material that hasn't been translated and published, and likely won't be for months.

In the case of manga/manwha/light novels/what have you, that have been translated and published in their entirety to <insert your language here> already, then again, Yes and No. Yes if it was scanlated and distributed after it was translated and published. No if what was scanlated and distributed was done before the official translation was published.

I'm sure I missed cases. Regarding reading scanlated material. . . Assuming it's not for profit, and you buy official translations when (if) they come out and you have the money, I see no problems with it.

EDIT: I almost never use these forums so I couldn't find a button to reply, and just hit reply wherever I did. Expected one at the bottom of the thread. Oops.

Post #569234

7:45 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 2

Culture should be freely accessible to those that want to access it and scanlations make this possible.

Piracy is a political stance against the unethical industry practices and immoral aspects of contract / copyright law. There's abundant information at EFF, Ars Technica, Torrentfreak etc.

If the manga/anime industry does not take the same path as RIAA and IFPI, it has a strong chance of achieving success. However, if they pursue aggressive methods, they stand to lose, because the number of people involved in scanlations is significantly larger than the number of people in publishing groups. Furthermore, there are vast amount of uncensored, unlicensed and fan translated content, which are already very popular and more is made available every day. Emerging markets such as webcomics remain untapped by English distributors and the current paper based distribution model has limited capabilities. Hence, distributors that are unwilling to change their economic, distribution model will lose in the free market where supply and choices offered by scanlation groups and volunteer individuals serve consumer demands better than publishers. This site's popularity and the growing debts throughout the world should be a testament.

Last edited by figjam at 8:26 am, Sep 8 2012

Post #569235 - Reply to (#569204) by lambchopsil

8:00 am, Sep 8 2012
Posts: 20

When I look at my closet full of manga and the boxes of it under my bed I can't think of scanlations as morally wrong. I would not have given hundreds of dollars to American and Japanese publishers if I hadn't fallen in love with the stories first when I read the scanlations.

Also it's hard to be a published only BL fan when most of it is out of print. No I'm not buying a used copy for $50 thank you very much.

Pages (6) [ 1 2 3 4 Last ] Next
You must be registered to post!