Japanese publisher fighting comic bootlegs

A Japanese publisher says it will post Japanese manga comics online in English for U.S. residents in order to fight bootlegging.
Shogakukan Inc. said by offering an authorized version of the Japanese language comics online, it hopes to limit the spread of illegal copies of its comic books in Europe and the United States, Japan Today said Sunday.

The appearance of the comic copies online mere days after the published works are released in Japan has become a major problem for Japanese manga publishers.

Full story here.


Pirating exists not because people are all thieves, but because media property owners don't know their audiences. They have product and they don't bother getting it out there.

The Internet figured this out a decade ago, hence Napster and the long national nightmare that Lars Ulrich and the RIAA hath wrought. Piracy is very embedded in the culture now, and it'll be tough to both root it out and convince companies to let go of their iron grip on media that people want in a cost-effective manner.

People had long since been complaining about $18 for a CD with two good songs on it before Napster; otaku have long known that Japan has wonderful manga and anime that only a few companies can deliver to North America; the Internet has long since developed the tentacles (pun intended) needed to distribute media effectively. So hooray for Shogakukan, taking an important step to provide people with a product to sidestep the piracy issues without costing consumers more than they can stand spending.

It's older the that. I could get bootleg anime and manga here in Seattle two decades ago, complete with fan-made subtitles or translations. The internet doesn't have anything on it that fans didn't pirate for their friends years before just to keep hard-to-get media materials alive and in the hands of friends. It just makes transmission faster and easier. That's it.

Time fore a new profit model, fools.

If one of the manga publishers wanted to charge subscription fees to online josei manga I'd pay in a heartbeat. None of the North American publishers seem to realize (or care, more likely) that they're neglecting the adult woman market.

And yeah, I just got rid of some old vhs tapes that I got off of a fansubber 15 years ago. I heard about him online, but the tape exchange was done through the mail.


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