On Fan Translations and their Legal Implications

Top | Preface | Copyright Laws | Monopolization | Industry Problems | Fan Burden | Conclusion


Let me preface this whole essay with a confession: This is going to be some boring, geeky stuff. If you are totally at ease with the idea of copyright infringement, fansubbing, and digital piracy, then you can skip this rant entirely. You’ll probably already agree with most of the points I’m going to make, which is probably how you ended up downloading material at a fansubbing (or as I prefer to call it, a fan translation site, since we do more than make subtitle files) site to begin with. Or maybe you just don’t care how you get your anime/manga fix. Either is fine by me.

Lately I’ve been inundated with comments by fans who are displeased by the fact that I have available online for distribution materials that are now copyrighted by Kodansha Comics USA. Rather than reply to each of these comments individually, I’ve decided to make one end-all essay detailing my opinion on the subject of copyright infringement and the ethical implications of creating fan translations.

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Copyright Laws:

First of all, let me make one thing clear: every single thing available for download at Miss Dream violates copyright law. Materials like the Sera Myu musicals, the Animax specials and miscellaneous staff and cast interviews, CD drama translations, any and all Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (PGSM) materials, plus the entire collection of doujinshi on Miss Dream are all copyrighted materials that I do not own the rights to distribute. The only difference between those materials and the manga and anime materials is that the former violate Japanese copyright law and the latter violate American copyrights. Both are equally illegal offenses and both are subject to fairly similar punishments for the breach of the copyright.

And that’s just the beginning. Downloading these materials in raw format (Japanese language) is illegal for the end user, and these materials are illegal for me to distribute even though I am not a Japanese citizen. A law known as the Berne Convention, in which some 164 countries including the United States and Japan participate, make my distribution of Japanese copyrighted materials illegal even though I am an American citizen. But it gets even more complicated than that.

In order to create a legal, licensed translation of any material, one must obtain a very costly official license to translate from the parent company of the specific franchse. In other words, back in the day when Tokyopop was releasing manga, it had to pay a big fat chunk of change to Kodansha INC, Nakayoshi, Runrun magazine, and probably a few other companies in order to be allowed the legal right to release an English language translation of the Sailor Moon manga, on top of copyright license fees to even print and publish the graphics from the manga itself. In other words, it takes a whole boat load of cash to be allowed to translate manga or anime.

Complicating this further is the fact that only one license is granted per subsidiary company for an official translation. So that means if Kodansha Comics USA has the license to create an official English language version of Sailor Moon, no one else may apply for a license. Any other interested parties in creating an English language version of any of the manga materials must outright buy all of Kodansha Comics USA’s “shares” of the official license. In other words, the license must be transferred in full, with Kodansha Comics USA relinquishing all of its rights to translate into English any Sailor Moon manga materials. The only time that a company has ever let a license go out for transfer s when it goes out of business and the license is “up for grabs”, or as it’s known in the industry, “floating”.

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The way licenses are managed creates a total monopoly on the formation of legal translations. Most of us learned in high school history class why monopolies are undesirable, but to recap: monopolies typically stifle competition, create an unfair market, and often provide a shoddy service at a relatively high cost because of the lack of competition in the market. They are inherently adverse to capitalist ventures and stifle entrepreneurship, which is the driving force of any successful economic market. Most capitalist governments strive to “bust” monopolies because they are so damaging.

The impact of the monopolization of the anime and manga industry in America is apparent. Walk into any Barnes and Noble bookstore and you’ll see what I mean. Let’s say you want to buy a copy of a volume of Bleach manga. You’ll see that no matter which store you go to, every copy of the Bleach manga is published by Viz Media, which owns the rights to the series in America for the distribution and also the official English language license. Now, let’s say you want to buy a copy of an English translation of “The Tale of Genji” by Lady Murasaki. I guarantee you that you will find not only several publishers for that title, but also various English language translations, all of which are legal. The reason that it is possible for “The Tale of Genji” to have so many licensed English versions is because there is no copyright on the volume, and there are no companies who hold a licensed monopoly over the creation of English language translations.

Because there are no restrictions on who can make an English language version of “Tale of Genji”, you can find a multitude of versions, with varied translation qualities, footnotes, translator’s notes, and all kinds of other extras that the translator may feel are worth including. Because of the competition among translators of “Tale of Genji”, often times the final product is of very high quality. The cost of a copy of the book itself also varies in price since there are different publishers who may choose to print on expensive paper and others who may chose cheap paper. What this means, bottom line, is that the consumers of “Tale of Genji” have a lot of options when it comes to purchasing a copy of the work.

Choice is a good thing. Not only does it provide the consumer with a multitude of options, but it forces the producer (in this case, the translator) to create a product good enough to compete well in the market. In the end, the quality of the product that faces serious competition is forced to be much higher than a product that a producer with a monopoly can get away with pumping out. After all, the monopoly doesn’t have to be sensitive to the demands of the consumer, since the consumer is reliant on the company to obtain the product, period.

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Industry Problems:

Nowhere is the shoddiness of products created by a monopoly highlighted more than in the American anime and manga industry. You don’t have to look hard to find complaints about the translations of mega-hit series like Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Pokemon. And it’s no secret that obtaining these series legally on DVD requires the investment of several hundreds, possibly even thousands of dollars. Which is all the more puzzling, especially with the recent allegations that official companies are using fan translations in their products.

The situation gets worse when you consider some of the other things these official companies are doing, like making secret deals with other companies to exploit licensed franchises, manipulate their license audit payments to the parent companies who are owed it, and commit fraud to obtain company kickbacks for personal profit .

To be perfectly blunt, I’m not so sure that the “legal” production companies are really worth financially supporting when you consider their sub-par product and now their recent legal and ethical problems. I don’t believe that they really have the fans in mind; they are businesses out to make money and they view the source material as a product to be pimped out, in an economically efficient way that maximizes profit for them. Their handling of the market leaves fans in an unhappy place of high cost, poor quality, and no other options. If you are an American Bleach fan who wants to legally obtain what’s actually been translated into English of the series, you have no choice but to support Viz Media, even if the books are vastly overpriced and even if the translations suck.

Having been a participant in the world of freelance translation, I know first-hand how poorly the major companies in the anime and manga industry in America compensate their workers, in spite of the strenuous demands they make in terms of deadlines and cost cutting strategies. The pay is pretty low and the hours are long. The fringe benefits workers are offered are pretty terrible. Often times the people who work as freelance translators do so for supplemental income, and they do not make careers of their work. Many edits and changes are made to the translations by localization people without the permission or approval of the original translator. It’s a tough business to put up with and most people only ever do it during transitional periods until they find better work. It’s no wonder the industries are failing in America, and it’s not the fault of fansubbers. We’re just a scapegoat for their internal problems.

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Fan Burden:

Another aspect of the monopoly on anime and manga licenses has to do with the financial burden the consumer must carry to receive the licensed product. Because obtaining licenses for distribution and translation are so costly, often times this cost is passed down to the consumer. In the case of manga in America, it makes a $5 book cost $10. American fans therefore pay double the cost a Japanese fan does to legally read the same material. When you consider that the age groups anime and manga is geared towards in America (ages 12-18), it becomes obvious that the most people within this group cannot possibly afford the hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars it would cost to read or watch an entire series legally. And to remind you, we’re talking about cartoons and comics here. Most parents are not going to give their kids the vast sums of money it takes to provide a young anime or manga fan with all of the materials they are going to want to read. Although many libraries in America are beginning to shelf manga and anime DVDs, the truth of the matter is that many fans are economically barred from being able to watch and read manga legally. Fansubs provide an alternate means for people who fall under this group (as I did as a kid).

A huge problem that the American consumer of anime and manga products faces is the fact that many materials are not available to legally obtain. In the case of Sailor Moon, the last season “Sailor Stars” was never officially licensed or translated by any company for an English release. For fans who want to enjoy the complete Sailor Moon series franchise, they have no alternative but to turn to fansubbing groups. Because fan translators do not possess the network connections in the Japanese anime and manga industries, nor the financial capability of purchasing distribution and translation licenses, all of the work they produce is automatically a violation of international copyright law. Not only are the translators breaking the law, but anybody who downloads fansubber’s translations, which are often the only existing translations available for the product, is also breaking the law as well. A basic economic principle of “supply and demand” applies here; there is demand for translations, and there are going to be people who meet this demand whether the legal subsidiary companies (who aren’t meeting this demand) like it or not.

The other problem with official translations is that they take a long time to be released in America, even after a license is obtained. Many American subsidiary franchises like Bleach and Naruto are several months behind the original Japanese publications. Fans just don’t want to wait that long, and frankly they shouldn’t have to. Although some official companies are now trying to get into the digital media market, they’re late to the game. People who want to read manga on a Kindle or Nook can’t get a legal copy from the American copyright holders because they aren’t providing this service. Fans who want to own digital copies of anime episodes have no legal means to get the episodes. Fansub groups, who don’t have the massive amounts of money and support that corporations do, manage to get entire books translated, typeset, edited, and published online in the space of a week from original Japanese publication. Some groups can even have entire episodes of anime translated just hours after its initial airing. Why can’t companies with way more resources and “skilled” workers keep up with the obvious demands of their industry when a few kids staying up all night on a Saturday with a transport stream and a copy of Aegisub can?

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Ultimately, I think that all fans, translators or not, deserve to have options. Fan translators should have the option to create translations of whatever they want at whim, especially considering they make no financial gain from doing so. Fan translation work is essentially charity volunteer work. Even if a fan translator manages to recoup the cost of running their server, their time translating is unpaid, the time they spend doing technical work is unpaid, and more often than not they spend a lot of their personal resources to keep their translations online. This is not the case with official companies who make millions of dollars off of anime and manga franchises, where the bulk of their profits are derived from merchandising and not translation at all.

Most importantly, fans should have the option to decide which companies they are going to financially support. They should have the option to select the translations they like the best, and have access to translations for franchises that haven’t been released in America yet. Fans should have the option to read something online and decide to buy it or not. Current copyright laws and regulations make it illegal for fans to have options. They make felons of people who often have professional degrees and work in the translation industry who do anime and manga translations as a hobby. They make criminals of young kids who just want to read comics online. I do not support the law as it currently exists, and therefore I break it by releasing fan translations. At the end of the day, I’m a Sailor Moon fan like anybody else, and I want to share what I love about the series with other fans. I’m just bridging a language barrier.

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6 Responses to “On Fan Translations and their Legal Implications”

  1. Jamie

    This was a very informative, well-written essay. This is probably one of the biggest issues circulating among the fandom these days.

    I remember back when I was first really starting to get into manga/anime (at least 15 years ago at this point). The market was so different back then. I remember walking into my local bookstore and seeing manga lumped in with the American comics/graphic novels. They took up no more than one row of one shelf on their own. Not only that, but they carried a pretty hefty price tag (usually 15$+) especially considering that these are black-and-white prints on (usually) fairly cheap paper.

    The situation with anime on VHS or DVD was largely the same. Most tapes or DVDs ranged from 22-25$ per volume and had only 2-3 episodes each! It was arguably even more expensive to be an anime fan back then than it is now (though the selection of official US releases was no more than 10% of what’s available in today’s market).

    Fansubs were a godsend back then. It was the only way I could ever hope to see obscure (at the time) titles like Kodomo no Omocha, Marmalade Boy, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, and many other series that seemed to have zero hope of ever being licensed by American companies. Back then, fansubs served the purpose of opening up the world of manga/anime to those of us who knew there had to be something more outside of Ranma 1/2 and Neon Genesis Evangelion and had neither the time nor the opportunity to learn Japanese.

    The aim was not only to fill a market void, but to create a thriving fanbase that might finally show American companies that “Hey! Americans actually LIKE this crazy Japanese stuff – we want more!” On top of it, although international copyright laws were technically being violated, the general consensus among fansubbers and their followers was that no real financial harm was being done since American fans were highly unlikely to buy the original Japanese product that they couldn’t understand anyway. And on top of it, most fansubbers operated under a code of honor which was simply: when a series is finally licensed, production of fansubs stops.

    And in a lot of ways, the system worked beautifully. Today’s new anime/manga fans can enjoy the vast selection of licensed titles that they do because the fansubbers and their diehard followers finally made it apparent that anime was in fact relevant to the American economy. Hell, Naruto (one of the best selling titles in the US today) developed a huge portion of its fanbase thanks to fansubbers who had already subbed up to episode 80 or so long before it was ever licensed or put on American television.

    All that being said, all of the issues that you brought up with “professional” translations do exist – and with modern technology being what it is – the world today is completely different from the world of 10 years ago, and so too are market demands. That being said, I respect what you’ve written here and your reasoning for continuing to host scanlations of a series that has long since been licensed in the US.

    My problem with today’s scanlations/fansubs though is that I think the mindset of the average anime/manga fan has changed greatly. Whereas before, we read/watched them because it was the only possible means of getting our fix, I feel like the average fan growing up in today’s world pirates manga/anime out of a desire to consume as much as possible while paying as little as possible. I certainly won’t extend that generalization to all fans – but I think younger fans especially (born in the late 90s) who have grown up in a world where pirating media is the norm do operate on this mindset, and therefore the problem is going to get worse before it gets better.

    It’s a problem because it’s not just Viz or Kodansha USA that are getting screwed, it’s the mangaka and the Japanese anime studios too. It’s certainly not their fault that American publishers are seemingly unable to release polished, well-translated/edited products in a timely fashion. It’s a problem too for those fans who wish to “keep their noses clean”. When scanlations and fansubs become a replacement for licensed products, the message sent to American publishers is “it’s a waste of our time to translate/publish this material since it’s inevitably going to be pirated”. That’s what killed the visual novel industry in the US, and given enough time, I think it’s going to kill the manga/anime industry in the US as well.

    So all that being said, what’s the solution? Should we purchase overpriced, underwhelming products from companies like Viz just to support our favorite artists? I suppose not. But the bottom-line is that (avid fan desires aside) artists deserve to be paid for their work. So, I guess in some ways…I’m on the fence about this issue. I can understand the fan perspective (and truly, American fans deserve better treatment than they’re currently getting from American companies), but I can also understand the moral/ethical issue that lies underneath it all.

    Do you remember back when scanlations were rare/non-existent? It was common then to find text translations of Japanese series (I read Please Save My Earth and CLAMP’s X this way back when my Japanese skills weren’t up-to-par to read raw manga). The beauty of these was that if you *really* wanted to follow the story, you were at least forced to purchase the original Japanese tankoubon and follow along with the text. So, the Japanese artist and publisher made their fair profit and it allowed you to get around supporting the American companies who were offering sub-par products.

    I think I’d be more likely to support manga translations like that. At the end of the day, the original artist at least deserves to profit from all of their hard work. I’m not criticizing you at all. As I said, this was a very informed and well-argued essay and I completely see your point of view. I’m just offering another take on things from a long-time manga/anime fan.

    • Stefan

      ^ I agree with the above and will even take it a step further. You make the claim that “Fan translators should have the option to create translations of whatever they want at whim, especially considering they make no financial gain from doing so.”

      The problem has nothing to do with you and other scanlators not profiting from your work, the problem is that you’re depriving the original creators of THEIR potential profit. Why should anyone bother to buy the Sailor Moon manga in any language when they can just come here and read your convenient translations with all of the original artwork intact? Your intentions may be pure, but the end result is essentially stealing right out of Naoko Takeuchi’s pockets. It’s disrespectful to the author to imply that you can upload all of her creations “at whim” thereby discouraging fans from purchase authentic versions of her work.

      If you feel that the American release is lacking and/or that American fans deserve to have more choices, then the proper thing to do would be to offer text-only translations (as the above post suggests) and encourage your readers to purchase the Japanese books (readily available from amazon.jp, kinokuniya, and several other online retaliers).

      • Stefan

        Oh, and one last note:

        You also made the following statement: “In the case of manga in America, it makes a $5 book cost $10. American fans therefore pay double the cost a Japanese fan does to legally read the same material. When you consider that the age groups anime and manga is geared towards in America (ages 12-18), it becomes obvious that the most people within this group cannot possibly afford the hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars it would cost to read or watch an entire series legally.”

        You’re essentially justifying outright theft on the grounds that certain people can’t afford it. That’s a pretty dangerous philosophy, especially since we’re not talking about a starving man stealing food to survive…we’re talking about “cartoons and comics” as you say, hardly essential materials. If a hobbyist can’t afford their hobby, it doesn’t suddenly make theft a more viable or less immoral option. If you wanted to try mountain climbing but couldn’t afford the equipment, would you consider it morally sound to steal it?

        Anyawy, that’s my 2 cents.Thhhhk

        • Elly

          “You’re essentially justifying outright theft on the grounds that certain people can’t afford it. That’s a pretty dangerous philosophy, especially since we’re not talking about a starving man stealing food to survive…we’re talking about “cartoons and comics” as you say, hardly essential materials. If a hobbyist can’t afford their hobby, it doesn’t suddenly make theft a more viable or less immoral option. If you wanted to try mountain climbing but couldn’t afford the equipment, would you consider it morally sound to steal it?”

          This is a comparison of apples and oranges. Grown adults refusing to buy mountain climbing equipment when they have the means to earn income is not the same as a child without any means being precluded from enjoying a hobby.

          While I agree that comics and cartoons are not survival materials, I do think that all people, regardless of income, have an inherent right to joy and happiness. I believe that art is a field one should go into not to make profit, but because you have something to offer the world that improves the human condition. I believe that all humans have an inalienable right to consume art and to be improved by it, regardless of how much money they have in their pockets.

          I realize that this is an incredibly unpopular opinion in America, which seems to think that if you’re on welfare or down on your luck you have no right to any joy found in material goods. That being said, luckily the American government recognizes the need for children to have free, unlimited access to artistic and educational programming that will improve their lot in life and give them joy even when they are in a poverty striken situation. Thank God for Fred Rogers and PBS. :)

          That being said, most children are at the mercy of their parent’s budget and they have no control over the financial ability of their parents pay for little joys like comic books. Anime and manga, like it or not, is targeted towards children. Comparing it to an adult hobby like hiking kind of misses the point; children have no means to financially keep up with the prices the entertainment industry currently charges for anime and manga.

          Perhaps a better solution is to make this content freely available in libraries, but that doesn’t seem to be catching on in America, and besides most libraries have such low budgets that they’re barely scraping by as it is without buying huge collections of DVDs and books – anime and manga is expensive.

          The best solution would be to make this content much cheaper – say, $5 a month for a pass to an unlimited streaming community where you could watch as much anime as you wanted, or make comic books cost 1/10th of the current cost. Pulp paper, ink, and a little PVC glue isn’t so expensive, after all, to justify the current high prices. Or offer ways to make scanlations legal by allowing multiple licenses – I bet groups would be open to including advertisements in their work that generate profit for the creator while being able to distribute their work freely at no charge to the reader.

      • Elly

        “Why should anyone bother to buy the Sailor Moon manga in any language when they can just come here and read your convenient translations with all of the original artwork intact?”

        As I mentioned in my reply to Jamie, digital scanlations and physical books are two separate products, and demand for one does not decrease demand for the other. Although many people seem to think that offering scanlations is going to ruin the demand for physical books, I have yet to see any factual, statistical evidence – from official companies involved in creating licensed translations, publishers, or from the creators themselves – that proves this opinion. Collectors and fans are going to continue to buy physical books regardless of if scanlated version are available online.

        Some translators do offer text-only versions of their works, and that is their choice. However, I think it is very unrealistic to expect the average American preteen to have the language skills and financial ability to special order books they can not read from abroad – especially when the option to download the associated images is there.

    • Elly

      Jamie: Thank you for your thoughtful response! I too remember the days when the best hope you had of watching the latest cartoons on Japanese airwaves was to order a fansub from China, wait 3-4 weeks for your VHS copy to arrive, and hope to god the subtitles made enough sense for you to follow along with the story. The costs associated with shipping and the wait times were astronomical. I am glad it is an era that has largely ended. :)

      I completely agree with you when you say that the mindset of the average anime and manga fan has changed from years past. It is true that the younger generation believes, in their heart of hearts, maybe without realizing it, that entertainment should be free. They’ve got a point – right now the cost of entertainment is at a staggering high and it is unrealistic for preteens to afford to keep up their habits by legal means. It is therefore no wonder that many turn to illegally pirates sources. The obvious solution is for companies to offer streaming media at a low cost – and so far places like Crunchyroll have been extremely successful in having a business model that offers low cost streaming media to the masses. Most of the series Crunchyroll provides are obtained legally by fans who can afford the membership fees. I think Crunchyroll is a big step in the right direction for how Japanese media should be delivered abroad. It’s not a perfect system, but it sure beats trying to pay for hundreds of DVDs if you’re a young anime fiend. :)

      The issue you brought up about the Japanese animation studios and manga artists financially suffering because of piracy is a tricky subject to tackle, but my opinion is that a lot of their financial troubles are brought on by the way profits are made from entertainment. The entire industry of manga and anime (and children’s media in general) is focused on bringing in profit not by means of the series, but through the associated merchandise. Writing the script to Toy Story isn’t going to make you filthy rich; you’re going to get the bulk of your profit from the Buzz Lightyear dolls and Sheriff Woody PJ sets you sell. And you’d make money from selling advertising spots during your TV show run. If anything, the money you spend producing the show is lost investment capital.

      I completely agree that artists deserve to profit from their creations. And they certainly do – but the majority of their money usually comes from advertising income and merchandise sales. Books and DVD sets certainly count as merchandise, but they also have the highest investment costs and slimmest profit margins. It’s difficult to say if purchasing a DVD really makes that much of a difference in the creator’s pocket book. It’s important to keep in mind how many hands are sharing in the profit pie. For manga, you’ve got the cost of the production staff (usually the manga artist and their assistant’s salaries), the costs of printing, the costs associated with publishing, the costs associated with distributors and retailers; everybody takes a slice of the money. What money actually filters up to the original creator is a small fraction of the overall profits generated. Most artists retain royalties for their DVD and manga sales, which is great if the series is wildly successful in their home country. The percentage of royalties earned on international releases when you have to profit share with foreign companies who have purchased licenses and who have produced their own copyrighted translation are slimmer yet. It is difficult to say how much money Naoko Takeuchi personally earns per each copy of Kodansha Comics USA’s sold in America – but I’m willing to gamble and say it isn’t much.

      I have yet to see anybody come forward with factual evidence of scanlations making significant impact on the financial well-being of any company or person involved in the entertainment business. Although official companies like to blame their shrinking profit margins on fansubbers, I think they are using these sites as a scapegoat for their own financial failings. The blunt truth is that in terms of quality, companies are hard pressed to compete against passionate fans who are often as educated as the freelancers hired to create a licensed translation.

      Additionally, the fact is that scanlations and physical books are two separate items, and demand for one does not decrease demand for the other. I know plenty of people who buy physical books (such as Kodansha Comics USA’s Sailor Moon) who still read scanlations of the same series online. And vice versa. The truth is that downloading a scanlation isn’t the same thing as owning a physical copy of a book that you can collect and display on your shelf. And everybody knows that anime and manga fans are some of the fiercest collectors of merchandise in the world. Even though I create digital scanlations, I still have a HUGe collection of Sailor Moon manga; yes, even the bad Tokyopop and Kodansha Comics USA versions. Even the Chix Comics and Mixxzine and Smile magazine versions. Even though the translations are bad and even though I could just download copies online. People who want to collect these items are going to buy them no matter how bad the reviews are or how much better digital versions may be. I think many people discount and underestimate how much people like to own physical books. I don’t think that will ever go away or that digital copies of a story will ever replace a demand for bound books.

      I think if the industry wanted to make sure that artists were compensated fairly for their creations, a few changes would need to happen:

      1) Abolish licensing monopolies. I know that if I were legally able to purchase a license to publish my own translation of Sailor Moon, and profit-share my work with Naoko Takeuchi, I would absolutely do so. I believe that many other scanlation groups also have the best interest of the creator in mind and would love to be able to help them in any way they could through their derivative work. And being able to legally license my translation would also protect my readers; after all, they would no longer be involved in anything illegal. Competition in the marketplace would drive larger companies to produce higher quality translations at a lower cost to the reader; ideally, this is how a capitalist economy should function. Right now, there is no free market when it comes to Japanese media in America and it’s hurting everybody; the readers, the companies, and the artists.

      2) The costs associated with publishing need to decrease. There are some options online to self-publish digitally that are very affordable and ideally, scanlation groups would be able to work with these publishers to spread their own versions legally across the web, and even into print if they so desired. Most large publishing companies encourage creators to accept low royalty returns to avoid paying high upfront investment costs in their publications. They do this to maximize their own profits – AKA, they screw over creators pretty badly in most cases. This is price gouging, and while it’s technically illegal in America it goes on all the time, especially in the entertainment industry.

      Time will tell if anything like that will actually happen. I think that as streaming media and digital copy technologies improve, we’ll either see the complete collapse of the anime and manga industry in America if they refuse to modernize and offer digital versions of the shows to their audiences at low cost, or; we’ll see a proliferation of this genre on a whole new scale we can’t even imagine. We’re at an important turning point and it’ll be interesting to see which way it ends up.


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