Thursday, July 22, 2010

Copyright Restrictions

Just a little rant here.  Scroll to the last paragraph for shopping/online surfing woes.

Today I just found out one of the best sites for reading online scanlations of manga (Japanese comics) is going to close down because manga publishers don't want them to affect English readers buying their copies.  I understand that the companies think that this will harm their business, that this is a copyright violation, etc.  But.  Most of the manga on the site isn't even licensed outside their home countries, and thus most readers living outside those countries would have no other way of reading those kinds of manga.  This wouldn't even affect their sales.  Also, American publishers that translate manga are notoriously slow.  Take for instance a certain manga that was licensed last year.  Volume 1 finally came out last December.  However, right now in Japan volume 10 is being sold.  At the depressingly slow rate of the American publishers, volume 10 will be released in quite a few years.  Sales won't be in jeopardy because of the timing, and devoted fans will buy the volumes anyway once it comes out.  What's the point of not letting readers get a glimpse of the material beforehand?  Buying a paper copy (since there is no official digital version *cough*) is different than reading it online.
Also, several weeks ago Daria came out on DVD.  Most of the episodes on Youtube were deleted.  This I understand.  I mean, if you're releasing the complete series of a long-awaited DVD, you'll want to make sure everyone has to buy it from you, right? (Sorry MTV.  Apparently, the new generic music sucks and I don't have that much money.)  That much I agree with.  However, I'm not adverse to tackng things down online.  While I'll usually watch new movies in theathers (Despicable Me was good!)  old movies, like from 9 years ago, if I can find them online...I don't have Netflix or something like that.  Do they even sell 9, 15, or 50 year old movies anymore?  But anyway, the point is that copyright restrictions and legal issues regarding ownership of manga, books, or movies/shows are important.  But sometimes, they can be a bit silly and paranoid.

And yes, I realize scanlations are considered illegal, but remember translators are not making money off of them but they do NOT own the manga.  For legal issues, note that I take a stand in-between.  I do not endorse piracy or violating copyright restrictions.  Another edit:  This is the not-wanting-to-be-arrested edit I must make, in this airbrushed, euphemism using culture.  Thank you very much.

Another thing:  Shopping sites are completely addictive.  I've spent hours browsing shoes and the like on various sites.  Urban Outfitters and 6pm get me every time, but I've already bought four pairs of shoes this year and need new sneakers! 

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