More on manga scans

No new news on the arrests of three Tokyo men for putting scanned manga on the web, but there’s an interesting conversation going on on the Anime On DVD forums.

Several posters observed that the publishers seem to be concerned with stopping scanning and posting in Japan. Peter Ahlstrom observes

I wouldn’t compare this to fanscanning…I’d say this is more like those people selling bootlegs on eBay (of which there are tons, and I don’t know why companies don’t go after them a lot more than they do).

The biggest threat to manga right now is probably the cafes and the used bookstores. In Korea, manhwa cafes have decimated the industry–sales today aren’t a tenth of what they were 5 years ago.

This may be true; certainly inter-library loan has saved my family a lot of money. Meanwhile Libertus makes this ominous prediction:

There are technical ways to prevent printed matter being scanned. They are very rarely implemented these days, but I foresee them becoming much more prevalent in the future, especially as companies realise the dollars potentially being lost to the bootlegging market.

Meanwhile, Manga News brings a press release from a store in Finland that is offering free manga to “established scanlators,” no strings attached. One commenter wonders if it might not be a sting.

On a tangentially related subject, Comics Worth Reading has links and commentary on Otakon’s new fan art policy. Johanna summarizes:

Handcrafts are allowed, as are artistic variations on existing characters; buttons and t-shirts featuring character pictures aren’t. Original art is allowed; prints aren’t (unless they’re of your characters). These are sensible guidelines that fit in with the usual understanding of copyright law at conventions.

Which seems fair enough.

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