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    Ultimate Yaoi Expert cruciatus's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
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    Mikazuki Munechika Kogitsunemaru Victor and Yuri Victor & Yuri

    Lightbulb Beware: DON'T PAY FOR SCANLATION!

    Since I'm not aware how many YO members are active on Tumblr or Twitter, I thought I'd make a post here about something scanlation-related I came across several days ago. This is my [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] on Tumblr.

    A ?scanlator? leaks their releases on manga-reading sites. Then makes her projects private and imposes the condition that interested readers must make a ?donation? to gain access to their translation.

    Scanlation has always been considered a ?grey area?, and the only way scanlators justify their actions is by claiming that they personally make no profit from it.

    I can totally get behind groups not providing DL links or setting up their own readers. I can understand asking for donations when scanlators need to buy raws (which often involves costly shipping charges) and to meet web hosting fees. But this person, in my humble opinion, is cheating both the artist and the readers.

    This person is not being commissioned for translations. What she?s doing is to take someone else?s intellectual property, modify it and then essentially selling it. What?s more, the projects she picks up - most of those mangas are actively being worked on by other groups - she just translates the extra chapter (omake). Welp, you?re free to work on whatever you want and I don?t really get the logic of doing only the extra chapter, but I thought I?d mention it anyway coz it struck me as weird. Maybe she doesn?t want to disrespect the original scanlator working on that manga, but then why touch that project in the first place?

    But I digress. I know for a fact that this person lives in Japan and holds a job, so it?s not like she?s a poor student living in some distant or backward land where raws are hard to come by. I won?t take names because I?d rather she doesn?t get any more publicity or get harassed. Suffice to say that she used to be on the scanlation scene some time back, before quitting, and now she?s popped up again under a different name.

    If you?re an artist or, in this case, a translator, it?s only fair to ask to be paid for your own work. But this person (or pirate I?d say) is not a licensed publisher, nor has she asked the mangaka?s permission to translate into English. What makes her think it?s fair to demand money for something that the original creator will get no benefit from?

    Are we witnessing the birth of a new Tazmo?

    Whatever the case here may be, it can?t be denied that her tactics are classic bait-and-switch: first lure in readers then put up a pay wall for substandard work. Readers shouldn?t fall for such dishonest methods, but since it?s their money, it?s up to them how they choose to spend it. If you?re still reading this post, I?d advise: don?t get coerced into paying for half-assed translations that in no way support the mangaka. Either wait for the manga to get licensed or a scanlation with no hidden terms and conditions.

    tl;dr if someone?s demanding that you pay for stuff that they have no right on, give them the finger & walk off.
    Eventually, this "scanlator's" cover was blown when some other scan groups publicly named and shamed her, so I don't see the point of not mentioning her name here. She was going by the name "Walking Honyaku BL" and had a tumblr & wordpress press which has now been deleted. Her Ko-Fi page name was "Hanamaru", now changed to "mayo". Her defence was that she buys a ton of BL mangas and drama CDs, so she is supporting the artist. (The [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] has since disappeared since she deleted her tumblr & wordpress) Here's why you should not fall for such excuses.

    First of all, why should complete strangers have to pay to support your hobby/interest?

    Second, I know of scanlators who?re in school, who have a family to support, who have massive medical bills, who live in abusive households, who don?t even have money to buy new shoes. None of them has asked for money, they?re all doing it for free.

    Third, nobody accused you of not buying your raws or getting them from host sites (which, imo, is fine as long as the scanlator is not hypocritical about it). Then again, just because you?re buying your own raws and decide to scanlate them doesn?t entitle you to demand to be paid for it. If you?re that desperate to make a buck from something that?s completely voluntary in the first place, how about applying to work for a manga publisher? I?m sure they?ll pay you for your er? services.

    Don?t insult scanlators with your lame and facile defence. Not to mention the disrespect to the mangaka. The ?good deed? you do by buying their works got instantly nullified when you put a price tag on your translation and started to line your own pockets.
    The comment thread from my original tumblr post is quite illuminating, so I'd recommend you to check that out. This is a testimony by [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], who'd "donated" to Walking Honyaku BL once.

    I recently donated to a scanlator?don?t know if it?s the same one you mention above or not?under the guise that I was donating one time to support them?like for things such as costs of raws or hosting. However, a couple weeks after donating, I was no longer allowed access to new releases unless I donated again?and minimum donation is $5. Now new releases state you can only have access if you?ve donated in the last 30 days. So, now I?m thinking, ?What? Does that mean I will have to donate every month?? As this processed in my brain, I realized that they are asking me to pay them monthly for scanlations while the mangaka and legal publisher get no percentage of these funds this scanlator is bringing in. I have a huge problem with that. Some might argue that this is just like renting or paying to have access to the material without receiving a physical or personal digital copy. I hate that as well?not getting my own copy?but at least I take comfort in knowing that the mangaka and publisher are getting a percentage of the profits and that there is a legal agreement between the parties involved to offer their titles. I have a serious problem with paying a potential monthly fee (under the guise of donations) for works that are not even the property of the scanlator, and there?s no legal agreement with or money going to the true owners of the titles. Additionally, I normally pay about $10-$15 for a US published volume of manga (a paperback of roughly 175-200 pages). If I compare that and the amount I?d end up paying for the equivalent in scanlations released by this scanlator, I?d be paying way more to this scanlator?and not a penny would be received by the mangaka. I have a SERIOUS issue with that. I am willing to and do spend hundreds of dollars on manga each year, all to support the mangaka who work so hard to bring us such wonderful stories and beautiful art. I read scanlations mainly because so many titles will never see the shelves of US bookstores. But I am quite seriously committed to supporting all of the mangaka of the titles I?ve read as scanlations as soon as they are licensed in the US. I have since decided to no longer ?support? this scanlator and forego reading any of the titles they share. I can only hope these titles will be offered by different scanlators or get US publication. Lastly, I encourage other scanlation readers NOT support these types of scanlators and potentially be exploited. It could verily be considered a scam, if I may be so bold. Please be wary and choose respectfully.
    So peeps, don't fall for this kind of extortion. If you come across the same person or anyone else asking money for scanlation, make a commotion so others also become aware. We can't take any action against such pirates but we can certainly boycott them.

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