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Author Topic: What do you think of scanlations & fansubs?  (Read 7655 times)

Chara

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What do you think of scanlations & fansubs?
« on: July 24, 2008, 02:37:34 AM »

Scanning manga for distribution and recording anime for distribution are both violating copyrights. Translating anime or manga and distributing your translation is also violating copyrights, whether the work is licensed in the language you are translating to or not. Put two and two together and you have scanlation and fansubbing.

I am assuming that most people here care about the well-being of the animanga industry in Japan, and would not want to see their favourite mangaka/animation studios being paid less than they deserve for the time, effort, and creativity they put into their brand of storytelling. I love CLAMP as much as JK Rowling and I would NEVER consider bootlegging JKR, regardless of how rich she is. Yet I do for CLAMP.

If you're here, you're clearly reading scanlations. What is your personal 'fair use rationale' for breaking these people's copyrights? Have you ever thought about it?



I'm here and I consider myself to be contributing to the online-English-language animanga community. Originally my 'fair use rationale' for fansubs was the difference in translation quality, but this is not always the case anymore. Speed-subs/speed-scans are nothing more than bootlegs, but yes, I do download them depending on the series. For TRC/HOLiC, I download raws and read trans on LJ, which I think is a lot better than downloading speed-scanlations.

Licensed manga and anime have improved a fair bit over the years, but it is still not up to par. Buying licensed manga means paying three times as much as the Japanese pay, half-assed designed book covers/logos, unprofessional typesetting, lower quality ink and paper (MUCH lower if TokyoPop), and often mediocre translations with noticeably bad re-drawing and cloning on the artwork. And this would come months, months after the Japanese publishing.

So my 'fair use rationale', or my beef with the current licensing industry is
1. Time
2. Quality
3. Professionalism
4. Cost

When they get these things straight, as it looks like they will for the 2009 CLAMP/Dark Horse Mangettes, I will unquestioningly buy licensed English-language manga. Scanlation sometimes gets those things better than the licensed versions- the only problem is that they're by-fans-for-fans and not authorized by the copyright holder.


So. I am not paying 3x more, for so so so much less.
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Casusby

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Re: What do you think of scanlations & fansubs?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2008, 02:59:51 PM »

I certainly agree on those points especially with Tokyopop (Grrr, Kino novels). I try to buy as much manga as I can afford and like. Mainly it's the stuff by Seven Seas they licensed that we originally scanlated. I find the quality to be on the better side of things. Infinity Studios did an amazing job on Iono the Fanatics, with nice glossy quality paper and a dustcover with the volume. It's too bad the chances of them releasing the second (and final) volume in print is dying with each passing day  :cry:

But for the most part, I'm happy to support a good company, but Tokyopop is not one I would support. (Licensed Bakuten? Pfft, forget them) I really don't think that the original authors will be made or broken by how their North American returns are.
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Waterlily

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Re: What do you think of scanlations & fansubs?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 05:08:37 AM »

You're right about the half-assed cover designs and bad translations, scanlator teams at least show you what the original looked like! But even so, I always buy the licensed versions of the scanlated manga I read if they're available in my area, simply cause that's the objective of most scanlator teams - promoting a fandom for the manga they translate.
Also, I like the feel of paper in my hand. Though I must say, the fact that a normal computer screen is usually larger than an open volume of manga usually allows me to appreciate artwork better than I do in the actual book (and this is particularly important in the case of mangaka like CLAMP, whose reputations are partly based on beautiful art).
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 02:10:58 PM by Waterlily »
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Chara

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Re: What do you think of scanlations & fansubs?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 12:41:56 PM »

Initially, I had a preference for printed manga as well. I suspect from the long hours I've read reading original and fan fiction on the web, and realizing that there were some fics in there that were better than some published books I've read, and all the time I've spent looking at digital scans of manga has nullified that preference. For me, if its print, its got to be printed quality on the level of the Japanese.

If I were to 'get serious,' I know that I could get better results printing my own scanlations from my own printer than reading off the paper TokyoPop publishes in. :) but there's no need to digitally publish scanlation optimized to such an extent now.
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Waterlily

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Re: What do you think of scanlations & fansubs?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 02:44:27 PM »

I agree- one of the reasons I turned to scanlations was because I didn't like not being able to see artwork that was spread across two pages (I've gone stupid and can't find the right words for that just now) because the spines of the book would just refuse to open far enough. I really appreciate all the careful redrawing editors do to bring us those seamless double pages, now.
That said, my conscience would seriously bother me if I didn't attempt to buy books if they became available in my area- supporting the mangaka has something to do with it, even if I prefer reading the scanlation.
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