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  1. #1
    waternymphskuld is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Reasearch paper on scanlations and tazmo

    I am not sure this is in the right place but i thought that to get answers i have to go to the place that I will get answers.
    I am doing a research paper on scanlation copyright and ethics. I will also write about tazmo's dealings that go against copyright law and how his dealings go against scanlaters ethics. I have searched around her for details about tazmo but it kind of seems jumbled around and there really is no definitive answers.
    I want to know, from anyone, what your ethics are about scanlations, if you just read or scanlate. I will also like to know why everyone does not like tazmo, and does your ethics surrounding scanlations take any part in your dislike for him.
    Thank you to everyone in advance! I appreciate anything you come up with! <3

  2. #2
    dizzcity is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    I'm just a reader of scanlations, not belonging to any scanlation team. I was a distributor for a short while, but that website got shut down eventually due to copyright infringement. So I'll just state my thoughts, approaching it from a legal perspective.

    Copyright law is slightly different in each country, but I'll quote the Berne Convention definitions, which are generally recognised worldwide. With regards to scanlations, there are three ways in which the copyright of the original mangaka are violated:

    1) The right of translation (Article : The creator has the sole right to authorise any translations of his or her work, so the translators of scanlation teams violate this right.

    2) The right of reproduction (Article 9): The creator has the sole right to authorise the reproduction (i.e. making of copies) in any way or form. This includes digital copies, as clearly defined in the WCT treaty. Therefore, raw providers violate this right. It can also be further argued that everyone who downloads a copy of a scanlation into their computer's hard drive violates this right, not to mention all the distributors and filehosts who store the thing on their servers. Anime streaming sites or online manga readers are covered through a different approach (temporary copies made for the purpose of communicating a message are allowed, provided the message itself is not a violation of copyright. Which, unfortunately, they usually are).

    3) The right to adaptation/alteration (Article 12): The creator has the sole right to authorise any alteration, adaptations and arrangements made to their work. This applies primarily to editing, cleaning, typesetting and redrawing of things like sound effects, which all can be argued to violate this right.

    (There's also the moral rights of the creator - Article 6bis - which may apply to certain hentai doujinshi of otherwise normal characters, but I won't go into that.)


    So, according to legal definition, the entire process of scanlation is very definitely wrong. However, there are two safeguards for scanlators and the people who read them:

    1) The local government has to decide how to enforce the laws. Some governments take a relaxed stance, some are more proactive. But the advent of digital distribution has thrown most government's copyright-enforcement laws into disarray because of how ineffective trying to regulate it is, so they're still trying to catch up.

    2) The creator has the right to claim infringement or not. This is the largest safeguard to the scanlation process - because of Japan's strong culture of doujinshi and traditionally relaxed stance towards copyright infringement, many authors/publishers choose not to claim infringement. They usually view it as additional publicity. And since the system in Japan tends to breed future manga authors from doujinshi authors, you could even say that they encourage it somewhat.


    So if you look at these carefully, you'll see that in legality, Tazmo only violates one of these rights - reproduction - as opposed to a typical scanlation group. However, the way that he violates it is worse. The most important difference between scanlation groups and Tazmo (or other sites which offer anime/manga downloads for a price) is found in Article 9(2) of the Berne Convention. I'll quote it verbatim:

    (2) It shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to permit the reproduction of such works in certain special cases, provided that such reproduction does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.
    The World Intellectual Property Organization did a comprehensive study of how the different copyright treaties would apply to digital media. You can download a copy of it here: http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_...p?doc_id=16805. It provides a very detailed treatment of the subject, but to simplify, it states that Article 9(2) requires that any digital reproduction should pass through a Three-Step Test:

    1) It must be a "special case" (as clearly defined by government law).
    2) It must not conflict with the "normal exploitation of the work" (interpreted here as commercial sales)
    3) It must not "unreasonably prejudice" the author's "legitimate interests" (vague, but generally interpreted as going against the author's wishes or potential benefits)


    Test 1: So first, everyone fails the first test. Scanlations are not a special case defined by law.

    Test 3: The idea behind it is not to do anything that will harm the creator or rob the creator of any potential benefits. Here is where scanlation ethics come in, especially regarding licensing. A large number of scanlation groups have policies about stopping scanlations once they have been licensed in the country / language they are working in. This is because the original intent of scanlations are to promote the readership of that mangaka's material in languages or countries that do not yet have legitimate access to his/her work. This is in no way harmful to the mangaka, and can even serve to promote him/her. However, once the manga is licensed by a publisher, the author has a legitimate interest in that country or language, and thus continuing scanlations would be a prejudicial act against the author's benefit. The only source of the work should be the one controlled by the author/rights holder.

    That's why many scanlation and fansub groups actually send take-down notices to online distributors / streaming sites asking for their work to be taken down after the series gets licensed. And if you read the credits pages in your downloaded scanlations, a lot of them will say "do not distribute except on <certain places>". That's to make it easier for them to take down later. However, by hosting files of licensed series and making them available for download, Tazmo (and StopTazmo too, for that matter) are acting in a way that take away potential benefits (sales) from the author. (This is arguable, so I'll go into greater depth in the treatment of Test 2) Furthermore, Tazmo has ignored take-down requests from scanlation groups whose works are hosted on his site.

    Test 2: The reproduction must not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work. This is clearly interpreted as sales. Now here's where the differences come into play. Nearly all scanlation groups do their work for free, as volunteers. The scanlation community as a whole generally does not take money for their work. The ethics behind this is to reduce the potential for conflicting with the normal sales of the author's work, by showing that they have no clear economic benefit from the process of scanlation. Tazmo, however, does receive a clear economic benefit - he's taking work that has been done for free and redistributing it to others for profit through sales of subscriptions. Thus, there is a conflict with the normal exploitation of the work.

    There is a further conflict: It can be argued that the audience which reads scanlations / fansubs are the ones who do not have the money to buy the legitimate copies, and thus would not have been part of the legitimate target market anyway. This is tricky, but on the whole it makes sense. The average manga reader tends towards the teenage with little spending power. Therefore, since no sales would have been gotten out of them anyway, it does no harm to the creator to provide free copies of their work (just like libraries do). Scanlator ethics are fixed on this issue. However, the paid subscribers to the sites that Tazmo runs have clearly shown that they DO have money to spend on anime/manga, and that they HAVE spent it. Thus, this was a potential sale of a legitimate work that was taken away from the creator. Very clear conflict of interests. This is what's very upsetting to a lot of scanlation groups, and even other distribution sites (like this one).


    ... That's pretty much all I have to say about the legality of things. The paid subscription sites for anime/manga that Tazmo runs are clearly violating the copyright laws, and furthermore do not have the self-imposed ethics which most scanlation groups try to stick to in order to minimise conflict with the mangaka's legitimate interests. In fact, it's outright piracy (taking of stolen goods to sell for illegal profits).

    Apart from that, I think the other major issues that scanlation groups have with Tazmo - and this is Tazmo's sites specifically, not just paid subscription sites in general - is that he deliberately removes the credits pages from all the downloads he offers. Which means, of course, that scanlation groups don't even get credit for their volunteer work. To put your time and effort into something done out of love - even if it was legally grey - and then see it stolen, stripped of recognition for your work, and sold for another person's profit is pissing many people off. Technically, there is no law against it (since you cannot legislate for illegal acts done to illegal acts), but it outrages ethical conduct.

    -Dizzy-
    Last edited by dizzcity; 11-16-2008 at 05:18 AM.
    Manga Genre Focus: Romance, Comedy, Slice-of-life. Primarily shounen, then seinen and shoujo.
    Currently watching:

  3. #3
    BlueDemon is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzcity View Post
    I

    There is a further conflict: It can be argued that the audience which reads scanlations / fansubs are the ones who do not have the money to buy the legitimate copies, and thus would not have been part of the legitimate target market anyway. This is tricky, but on the whole it makes sense. The average manga reader tends towards the teenage with little spending power. Therefore, since no sales would have been gotten out of them anyway, it does no harm to the creator to provide free copies of their work (just like libraries do). Scanlator ethics are fixed on this issue. However, the paid subscribers to the sites that Tazmo runs have clearly shown that they DO have money to spend on anime/manga, and that they HAVE spent it. Thus, this was a potential sale of a legitimate work that was taken away from the creator. Very clear conflict of interests. This is what's very upsetting to a lot of scanlation groups, and even other distribution sites (like this one).


    -Dizzy-
    And with this I agree (like with everything else what you said).I wouldnīt buy manga even if there werenīt any scanlations -> so actually I couldnīt be blamed for a possible decrease in profits for the authors (but thatīs not what the law would say xD).But if some day Iīll have enough money,I swear Iīll buy all manga series I read

    And thatīs another reason why I donīt download mangas and animes on my PC anymore .Itīs quicker anyway to just read online (it isnīt always like that with animes though -.-")

  4. #4
    HARUKA_ICHIGASHI is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzcity View Post
    I'm just a reader of scanlations, not belonging to any scanlation team. I was a distributor for a short while, but that website got shut down eventually due to copyright infringement. So I'll just state my thoughts, approaching it from a legal perspective.

    Copyright law is slightly different in each country, but I'll quote the Berne Convention definitions, which are generally recognised worldwide. With regards to scanlations, there are three ways in which the copyright of the original mangaka are violated:

    1) The right of translation (Article : The creator has the sole right to authorise any translations of his or her work, so the translators of scanlation teams violate this right.

    2) The right of reproduction (Article 9): The creator has the sole right to authorise the reproduction (i.e. making of copies) in any way or form. This includes digital copies, as clearly defined in the WCT treaty. Therefore, raw providers violate this right. It can also be further argued that everyone who downloads a copy of a scanlation into their computer's hard drive violates this right, not to mention all the distributors and filehosts who store the thing on their servers. Anime streaming sites or online manga readers are covered through a different approach (temporary copies made for the purpose of communicating a message are allowed, provided the message itself is not a violation of copyright. Which, unfortunately, they usually are).

    3) The right to adaptation/alteration (Article 12): The creator has the sole right to authorise any alteration, adaptations and arrangements made to their work. This applies primarily to editing, cleaning, typesetting and redrawing of things like sound effects, which all can be argued to violate this right.

    -Dizzy-

    those rights are for that the work is not (re)publicised(like scanlations) or be seen by the public(like renting or public exhibition) in any form without permission of the creator,the restrictions can be loosened depending on the creator a best example of loosening of the copyright by the author is open-source software.
    Last edited by HARUKA_ICHIGASHI; 01-04-2009 at 09:27 PM.

 

 

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