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New Golden Age manga site reveals big conspiracy theory

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Ever reliable Love Manga points us to a rather interesting story today, in the form of a new outfit called Golden Age of Manga which hopes to go directly to manga-ka to license older, now unfashionable manga titles and put them on the web, while paying royalties. Here’s their idea in their own words:

JOIN US! HAVE YOU SUBMITTED TO OTHER PUBLISHERS AND RECEIVED REJECTION AFTER REJECTION BECAUSE YOUR WORK WAS NOT “FORMULAâ€? ENOUGH OR YOUR STORY TOO “UNIQUEâ€?? NO PROBLEM. WE DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES! IF A MANGA ROCKS AND THE STORY IS AMAZING, NO MATTER WHAT LANGUAGE IT IS IN….WE WANT YOU!

CHECK OUT OUR SUBMISSIONS PAGE AND SEND US YOUR ORIGINAL WORKS TODAY! WE PAY A HIGHER ROYALTY THAN ANY OTHER USA PUBLISHING COMPANY AND WITH OUR MANGAS PUBLISHED ELECTRONICALLY FIRST, YOUR WORK IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO AVID READERS AND NEW FANS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

THAT MEANS 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK YOUR WORK IS AVAILABLE TO BE BOUGHT AND LOVED BY YOUR FANS!


THE 15TH OF EVERY MONTH WE SEND HALF THE PROFITS FROM EACH DOWNLOAD DIRECTLY TO YOU!

PLUS, WITH TONS AND TONS OF READERS AND DIRECT REVIEWS, YOU KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FANS AND GROW YOUR POPULAR FANBASE QUICKLY.

THEN WHEN THERE ARE ENOUGH READERS HOOKED ON YOUR GORGEOUS ART AND STORIES, WE TAKE THEM TO PRINT SO EVERYONE CAN COLLECT YOUR WORKS (AND BECAUSE AS AVID MANGA FANS WE KNOW THERE IS NOTHING QUITE LIKE HOLDING THE REAL BOOK IN YOUR HANDS)!


Personally, we’re a bit suspicious of any editorial outfit that hasn’t yet discovered how to press the caps lock key, and so is Love Manga’s David, but for other reasons:

To be honest after reading their “about usâ€? page I was a little sceptical about posting this up, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for everyone else to read and discuss it.


Checking out that page is indeed a shock, as not only have they discovered how to turn off the caps, but the still-unnamed owners of the site go off on a Ted Kaczynski-worthy rant about how legit manga publishers have back room deals with scanlation sites:

Because it is a dirty little illegal secret.

The USA publishers who work with scanlators make a back room deal to use the scanlation groups as a tool to increase their profit. In return they give the fansub group cash and other rewards and incentives (such as the hiring of staff in freelance positions, promise of hiring, internships, convention tickets, free book copies, etc.). The U.S. publisher also keeps their silence and do not reporting the illegal scanlation group who is essentially working for them.

Because fansubbing and scanlation is illegal, the USA publishers who use the scanlation groups to advertise and distribute their mangas are knowingly committing crimes also. The USA publishers do not want these illegal activities to get out because they would be in huge, huge trouble. Additionally, these U.S. publishers are also breaking their contracts with the very mangakas and foreign publishers they appear to support–they know their activities might invalidate their English rights licenses and contracts if their involvement with the illegal scanlation groups was to be revealed.

The scanlation groups aren’t allowed to tell anyone about their deals with the U.S. publisher, even if you directly ask (but they do talk if you know them well–keeping a secret among friends on irc is nearly impossible to do!).

Remember, the USA publishers would be in terrible legal trouble if their dealings with the fansub groups were ever found out, so part of their deal with the scanlation groups requires complete secrecy. If scanlation group members were to reveal the contract with the USA publisher, they not only do so at the peril of the scanlation group no longer profitting, but they run the risk of the U.S. publisher turning the scanlation group in for their illegal fansubbing activities!

To make matters worse, not everyone in a scanlation group profits. Very often the poor unwitting staff members who do most of the main work (scanning, translating, editing, etc) have no idea their leaders have pocketed money from a U.S. publisher. They blindly continue to work illegally for free because they think the work they are doing is something beloved and a service to the mangaka.


That’s just an EXCERPT of the “exposé.”

We have no idea if any of this is true, but like David, wanted to throw it open to the Beatsters. Personally, we think the wild-eyed, I-own-a-ham-radio, graying-hair-standing-on-end-at-all-angles mood at the site would send up a big smoke signal to any manga-ka considering working with them…but considering how few manga-ka even speak English, maybe that is a moot point.

  1. Reading past the funny bits….

    If you pay for a scanlation in chapters, is it still a scanlation? Or does it become spec work for the graphic novel?

    BTW the rant part sounds like it may be one person’s experience with one company. It’s unfortunate that all of American publishing has to be tarred in this rambling claim. I don’t think it’s something I would put in an “About Us” page.

  2. Sounds like a load of crap from a scam artist. No intelligent publisher would get into bed with the scanslation parasites unless they were, for some inexplicable reason, desperate for a vigorous reaming. A few years ago the scanslators would actually take down whole series once they were licensed. Now they not only don’t take them down, they claim they have a “right” to keep them up because “the licensed version is edited or censored or they translated ‘red’ as ‘crimson’ in one panel from volume 18” or some similar manufactured fannish outrage. The fact that “narutofan” is still an ongoing site instead of shut down with the perpetrators behind bars remains a source of complete astonishment to me. A scanslation site with half-a-million members and thousands of illegal downloadable manga and anime episodes?!? The mind boggles at the scale of the thievery.
    Personally, if I was pumping out McManga, I’d gleefully loot the scanslations sites and tell them to go pound sand if they complained.

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