Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New rule! New rule! (Updated13/11/09)

It's okay, you can upload to Mangafox if you want. It's not worth my getting worked up about.

Original Post
From the next chapter onwards (which should be out before the weekend), please don't upload my chapters to Mangafox any more. I've never had a problem with my chapters being there in the past and never imposed any restrictions, but their "new policy" (now modified) towards scanslators pisses me off.

Yes, we scanslators are pirates, and yes it's the original author who "owns" the work, but we still put a great amount of time and effort into scanning, translating and editing the manga Mangafox blithely puts up, and I don't need any stupid site that contributes nothing to my effort taking a holier-than-thou attitude on me! Sure I want fans to read the manga, which is why I had nothing against such sites in the past. But if they're going to upload the scanslations people worked so hard on while waving a giant middle finger to those very people if they object, then I have to take a stance.

Obviously I can't force you not to upload there, which is why I'm asking you very nicely not to do so. What I can do is control my response. For every release that shows up there, I'll delay the next chapter by a month. "But wait, that sounds like an excuse to cut way back on releases!" you say. No, I'll play nice if you play nice. I'll put this message in subsequent releases, and if you choose to ignore it and upload it anyway, well, so be it. It's your decision. [I'm not going to do this any more, don't worry]

Thanks for the messages of support. The original policy was really quite insulting, including lines about scanslators wanting to be "gods" to the fans and stuff. To say I was pissed off is an understatement. However they have since revised the policy to be less hostile, and made it clear that they're only reacting to hostility from a few groups. To be honest this doesn't make me feel much better, but a mod from Mangafox messaged me and was very nice about the whole thing, so there's no point holding a grudge about it.

So I've had a change of heart. Mainly it's because manga scanslation is just a hobby and not worth getting so worked up about. I'm doing this because it's fun, not because I want to get involved in internet drama. Quite a number of people read Umishi at MF, and that's a good thing.

More importantly, withholding releases because of MF would be childish and unfair to the fans, "OMG I'm going to hold chapter 100 back for one month because someone uploaded chapter 60!" I think I'm a little too old for that kind of temper tantrum.

As for the terrible quality Mangafox compresses the scans into, I'm told most fans read it anyway and don't care. I'd feel bad if I was one of those people who spends hundreds of dollars importing and scanning manga at high quality, but luckily(?) I'm not. Long ago I used to read MS Paint scanslations and beg for more, so I know firsthand that bad scans can't keep a good manga down (but fix it anyway, MF!!!).

On to chapter 57, in a few hours! I hope...