Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

View Poll Results: What is your opinion on scanlation?

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  • It's illegal, immoral, and shouldn't happen.

    1 3.45%
  • It's illegal, but I don't think it's a bad thing.

    10 34.48%
  • I have no clue what to think.

    3 10.34%
  • It's basically legal, but kinda immoral.

    2 6.90%
  • I'm perfectly fine with it.

    13 44.83%
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Thread: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

  1. #1
    True Blue Bomber Megaman's Avatar
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    Default Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    I assume that everyone here knows what scanlation is, but in case you don't, let me break it down for you. Scanlation is the practice of scanning untranslated japanese pages of a manga, or "raws", translating them, and then posting them for free on the internet.

    People who argue for scanlation say that it allows authors to reach readers in other countries where their manga might not be avalable. Some scanlators also claim that since they did the translation themselves, and not the publisher, the publisher has no right to accuse them of copyright infringement, since they didn't use the translation the publisher put out. They also claim that they scanlate because they love the author's work so much and want to share it with the world.

    People who call scanlation illegal say it's because the scanlators are putting copyrighted things on the internet for free, damaging the author and publisher. They claim that scanlation hurts the manga buisness and could destroy it altogether. Also, most scalation sites advertise, and because the only reason people visit those sites is to look at someone else's intellectual property, it can be said that those sites are profiting from someone else's work. This is normally called stealing.


    So, what do you think of the issue? Is scanlation illegal, immoral, a fuzzy gray area, or perfectly fine? I'm dying to know.
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  2. #2
    Yes, I am THAT gli. :P Gligar13's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    I'm fine with it, as long as it isn't licensed or if the licensor refuses to release it. See: Pokemon Mangas.
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  3. #3
    I'm finally back! bigv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    Personally, I'm fine with it, as long as the manga isn't released in the language in question already, at which point it would become immoral, as that publisher bought the rights to publish in that language, and the translator didn't. If the publisher never releases or never finishes a manga in a certain language, then I'm all for having the entire series scanlated.

    Bulbagarden isn't exactly the best place to ask a question like this though, considering the status of many of the Pokemon mangas.
    Last edited by bigv; 22nd August 2011 at 11:33 PM.
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    Bulbapedia Editorial Board Zesty Cactus's Avatar Bulbapedia Deputy Editor-in-Chief
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    i have 100% no problem with scanlations as long as they aren't distributed once the title is licensed and is currently available in print. same goes for fansubs. otherwise, if anything, i think it creates positive interest in an unlicensed series.

  5. #5
    追放されたバカ Transfinite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    It's illegal. I also have no problem with it. If publishers are just going to sit on their copyrights and never actually translate series, then fuck them.

  6. #6
    Devil Lobster Man Ranger Jack Walker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    I'm not okay with it. Its piracy no matter how you look at it. Especially on sites dedicated to scanlations which can make money off them.

  7. #7
    SHAYMIN! shayminrules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    It's okay, as long as it's translated into a language that you're never going to be able to get the manga in, because then people can read it who otherwise wouldn't be able to, but if it's translated into a language that already has it avaliable in that language, then it's just taking money away from the official version.

  8. #8
    says "yeah" a lot. Lawnmowergirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    If a manga isn't officially available in a particular language, then I see no problem with people translating themselves and making it available for free. But if it were to be officially released in that language later on, then I think the scanlator would be ethically obliged to take their version down. But as for whether or not it's legal... I simply don't know.

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  9. #9
    Devil Lobster Man Ranger Jack Walker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    Even if the people who translated it don't make money off it, posting it on a site means the site itself does make money. Even if its for free, the sites make money off advertising and it can be said that they are making a profit from stealing someone else's stuff.

  10. #10
    Just so Victoria, just so Mijzelffan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    Illegal is such a subjective term. If you're really worried about them being illegal, just make sure the servers of the site with the scanlation is in some place they're not illegal, and you won't have anything to worry about anymore.

    That said, I have absolutely zero problems with scanlations either way.


  11. #11
    You don't know me. Jack Pschitt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    As long as the scanlator in question doesn't do it for profit, I'm somewhat okay with it. But readers should still support the official release.

  12. #12
    黒い王様 Archaic's Avatar Webmaster
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    It's illegal, and piracy. Having said that, I don't have a big moral problem with it so long as the scanlators do not profit off it (ie. any money which they might get, donations, whatever, is only used to pay for hosting), and so long as they take down all the scans once a series is licensed and is actually being released (ie. I don't mind much if they release a series which is licensed, but which the license holder is sitting on and not actually releasing).

    Now having said that, in the modern world that's almost impossible. We didn't have aggregator reader sites back in the day. These sites make a lot of money off their ads, and all they're doing is reposting the work of scanlators, often for series which most certainly are licensed and are being actively released. These kinds of sites give the honest hobby scanlators a bad name.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    I support scanlations for as long as the series remains unreleased in that language/countries in which they are in significant demand and they are not being created or hosted for profit. Once the owners of the manga request its removal, however, they should be taken down. Put simply, I consider it a legitimate hobby until it is against the expressed wishes of those who own the property, at which point it becomes full-on piracy from my moral perspective.



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  14. #14
    The Creeping Darkness Tsuness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    It is illegal, but I don't have much of an issue with it. In all honesty, I'm surprised authors haven't seen this happening and started to release their own manga online, better yet if they get it translated and posted on their sites so they can profit off of it from all around the world.

    I do like how some translators take their translations offline after an amount of time after the chapter was released.
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  15. #15
    The small giant Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Scanlation: piracy or a harmless hobby?

    I personally don't give a damn whether the manga is licensed on the language I want or not I'll still read, why? because it's free. Yeah call me cheap but I rather not have to go and wait and pay for a volume of a manga once it comes out when I can read the updates once they're ready without having to pay a dime (I don't care about ads don't even click on them) this way I can read as much manga as I want without having to worry about paying sure it's considered wrong but considering the fact that manga isn't actually sold over where I lived and it'll probably be at a price I can't pay (I have no money basically) I rather do this.

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