Has Scanlation Armageddon Finally Come?

I promised a third part to that entry about scanlations, but I wasn’t expecting to write about something like this so soon.

Those who don’t want to bother clicking the link there, this is basically what it says:

Online manga provider One Manga is one of the first big sites to voluntarily shut down operations following a joint statement released by Japanese publishers and their foreign licensees that they aim to stamp out scanlations and the illegal distribution of manga on the internet.

So they’ve started caving, huh? This is just too sad, since a lot of fans depend on these manga reader sites for their updates on the series they follow.

It’s a big loss to the manga reading community, of course. Undeniably, OneManga is the one of the biggest and [arguably] the most user-friendly manga reader online. Many fans prefer it to other manga readers like MangaFox, or to going to the scanlator communities to download releases. OneManga made things easier for all types of fans – from hardcore to hobbyist – and it’s unsettling to see news like this just months after MangaHelpers did the same.

But then again, is the closing of OneManga going to be the end of scanlations?

The end of the scanlation world? Not really…

Again, let me stress the point that actions like these will not solve the real problems behind the proliferation of scanlations in the internet. In fact, upon reading some discussions among fans about this, I have become more convinced of my earlier theories.

It’s not that we want pirated stuff…

The banning of scanlations is not going to put a stop to the desire for faster, cheaper, more accessible, better translated and more fan-oriented releases; ergo, scanlations will continue to exist, no matter how hard the authorities try to put a stop to them. These kinds of measures do not address the root problems, but only really seem to make things even worse. Pretty soon, I fear that the manga industry will be following the footsteps of the music industry – something that it cannot afford to do.

Just like the music industry

It’s your call, manga industry

The fans have laid out all their cards on the table. Now, it becomes a waiting game, a game of who-can-outlast-the-other, a game that favors not the company but the consumer. The ball is in your court, manga industry. What say you?

Just remember: angry fans = bad for business

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  1. what you presented shows that companies REALLY have to take their consumers’ preferences into consideration. companies no longer will survive if they just stick to profit-making strategies without actually meeting the needs of the consumers. the power no longer lies soley in the hands of companies, but also in the hands of the active audience as well.
    if these companies cannot beat the online providers, why don’t they just join them?? haha.. 😀

    • Thanks for the comment! XD Yeah, that would be the ultimate solution… just join them already, corporate! XD

  2. I think that giving out online copies is a good solution; it’s just that the publishers still cannot figure out how to prevent the sharing of legal online copies of their publications.
    But again, these companies should really consider the potential of social media and the internet. Their business would surely crumble if they do not choose to adapt to the changing times.

    • Yeah! I remember a few days after OneManga was officially closed, people were still kind of confused and unsure where to get their weekly fix. But look at the online manga community now – it’s still existent, strong as ever. Maybe even stronger, since now, they’ve taken more measures to protect themselves and “freedom” against corporate. Haha, I wonder when the new “OneManga” and “MangaHelpers” will be forced to close. ‘Cause then, others would surely take their place, and the cycle would go on and on and on… until corporate realizes that, wait, this isn’t working. : |

  3. It is really detrimental for companies to stop distribution of works online. Based on one of our readings on OC152, there are authors who encourage sharing and distribution of works since it will serve as an advertisement and promotion for them. If they don’t do that, people will surely find free copies online, somewhere in the maze of a Web, free downloads are lurking. It will also backfire on them, they weren’t able to stop the distribution plus it doesn’t do good on their reputation that they don’t want to share. They can never stop scanlations as there will ALWAYS be free download sites no matter how rare those are. SHARING boosts reputation and increase more profit than companies think. It’s called INVESTMENT. 🙂

    • Exactly! Isn’t it funny how these supposedly big companies who “know how to reach out to their target niche” can’t even comprehend such a simple concept? Admittedly, the closing of some of the big names in the online scanlation hosting scene has hurt the “free advocates”, but it’s slowly coming a come back. Pretty soon, their going to have another OneManga and another Manga Helpers in the online scene, and even if they get rid of those, lots more are going to come and replace them. It’s sad that they aren’t finding alternatives. They should.

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