Don’t you hate it when I do the “I told you so!” thing?

Thirty major scanlation sites are the target of an international coalition of manga publishers which will be “…taking an aggressive interest in combating manga piracy outside of Japan as well as inside the country.”

A spokesperson said that “we are left with no other alternative but to take aggressive action. It is our sincere hope that offending sites will take it upon themselves to immediately cease their activities. Where this is not the case, however, we will seek injunctive relief and statutory damages.” The group is also aggressively reporting violations to the “federal authorities, including the anti-piracy units of the Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and FBI.” While the group has yet to file any lawsuits and has declined to name specific scanlators, sites such as MangaFox and OneManga have long been identified as major scanlation aggregators.

Kurt Hassler of Yen Press makes the claim that the rise of scanlation site traffic coincides with a decrease in manga sales. Many of the sites are for-profit ventures, and are among the most highly trafficked sites on the web.

Previous posts on piracy:

A very long post on criminal copyright violation.

The pirate site is acting as a distributor or publisher. Only they are a distributor or publisher who pays no one but themselves.

We’ve simply gone from a print publishing environment where some gatekeepers used talent and didn’t pay them, to an electronic environment where some gatekeepers use talent and don’t pay them. Only they’ve created an ideological movement to insulate themselves by arguing that the only people hurt by the copyright violations are evil corporations. This enables the content user to feel morally superior about the situation.

Without copyright and the ability to make money on past work, creators cannot afford to create new work. It costs money to live while you are producing new work. That money comes from past work (especially if your publisher is Image Comics which pays no advances.)

Pirates are not performing a public service. Internet piracy isn’t just about wacky online hijinks. The pirates are making a buck.

And since bucks are tight, I fully expect more aggressive prosecution, and more aggressive laws to block content governments and corporations don’t like.

Pirate Website raided by FBI:

I think it is rather lame to suggest that if people read something online, they are more likely to buy it.

I believe unless the person is a collector, or simply must have a good edition of the book, they are LESS likely to buy. They’ve had the experience of reading that book for the first time. That experience can never be repeated.

And remember kids, pirates hurt creators like me by drawing traffic away from advertiser-supported online comics.

If you are reading them over there, the pirate gets paid.

If you are reading it here, I get paid. When I get paid, I can do more comics. If I don’t get paid, I stop doing comics.