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Poupee girl referral | Scanlation piracy > copying art 
Monday, 1 March 2010 | 04:29 pm
couch potato
Thank you to the individual who joined Poupee Girl from the dress-up image on my LJ. I got 10 ribbons as a reward thanks to you. I hope you find PG as big a time-waster as I do. You've actually joined at a good time, because there are some adorable goth lolita and candy decora dresses for sale. Better start saving those ribbons now!



Revelations that a comic by Nick Simmons traced art from Bleach, Hellsing and other manga has morphed into a finger-pointing exercise at fans who read/release scanlations thanks to Deb Aoki@aboutcom. She does also take aim at fanartists, but her insensitivity to the deception involved in copying without attribution is too cringeworthy to discuss further. I can only guess she's never been involved in fandom, and its slew of derivative fanworks. Simon@IcarusComics has a nice explanation of the difference between fanart and passing off someone's art as your own for those who are ignorant.

Scanlations are a hot button topic for licensors. They can't look the other way any longer, not when online viewing sites like Mangafox makes scanlations so easily accessible. So they are resorting to a blog/twitter campaign to educate and persuade - and occasionally denigrate. (They can't be bothered with LJ, since that's where all the leechers are.) They want to change the mindset of those who download but have the means to pay. But conflating the issues of plagiarism and copyright infringement? It's a surefire way to put fans offside.

Other posts about the same topic:
- Manga Bookshelf Confessions of a former scan junkie: saw the error of her ways when she began interacting with publishers and getting complimentary copies for review.
- Comics 212 Oh, Nick Simmons: argues copyright infringement is more financially damaging than art tracing.
- Manga Worth Reading Plagiarism, Scanlation and Copies: nice post about guilt not being a good motivator for a consumer.
- Manga Widget Fast Track Misconceptions: Argues that licensors should not compete with scanlation 'pirates' but focus on the needs of their paying customers.
- Dave Merrill Neglected: another post explaining the difference between copyright infringement and artistic plagiarism.
- Anime Diet Great Artists Steal: explores where derivative art (theft) strays into the murky area of copying.
Comments 
Monday, 1 March 2010 | 05:38 am (UTC)
Wow. Plagiarism seems to be the hot button topic of the day doesn't it? We had a rather spirited discussion on my LJ about fan vidding and fan fiction plagiarism only today!
Monday, 1 March 2010 | 10:50 am (UTC)
Ooh, let me take a look at your post!
Monday, 1 March 2010 | 09:46 am (UTC)
Sounds like everything's all mixed up and people throwing accusations left and right.
Monday, 1 March 2010 | 11:28 am (UTC)
Yeah. It's weird how these 'industry' people have so easily mixed up creating a fanwork with plagiarism. I'd even forgotten that there are fans out there who look down on the creators and consumers of such fanworks (hello again, Matt Thorn!).

It's like an entire parallel universe.
Monday, 1 March 2010 | 01:34 pm (UTC)
Those people never miss a chance throwing accusations on scanlator (and fansubber), don't they ?
I stopped reading when the discussion headed to that direction.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010 | 12:52 am (UTC)
It's true. The "Manga Worth Reading" post was the only exception - that individual was musing about a possible solution instead of simply hurling insults at fans. That poster recognised something the others do not - many online fans simply aren't interested in licensed stuff alone.

These 'industry' supporters only want fans to be passive consumers, confining themselves to reading/watching English-licensed material alone. But that horse bolted years ago.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010 | 12:37 pm (UTC)
Did you ever read some comments in Animenewsnetwork regarding this matter ? Some of those people even blame scanlator and fansubber for dropping sales and advertising revenue in Japan *rolls eyes*
Wednesday, 3 March 2010 | 12:17 am (UTC)
Yeah. It's a bit much. Any Japanese fan with bittorrent access would surely know how to find raws without those annoying foreign language subtitles. I think some people are way too eager to blame fansubbers and scanlators for the decline of the industry worldwide >__>
Monday, 8 March 2010 | 07:31 am (UTC) - LOL
oh my god i love you! i post on animenewsnetwork and know ehat youre talking about! LOL i hate those morons!
Monday, 1 March 2010 | 03:11 pm (UTC)
The sad thing about these side commentaries, I doubt that many people's minds are being changed, (re;Plagarism vs FanArt) in particular it goads me that 'professional' artists can create fan art of say, DC characters and sell prints, but if an 'amatuer' artist does the same, it's not homage but rip-off.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010 | 01:02 am (UTC)
I was bemused by the criticism of fanart. I noticed that slashy fanart got a big serve too in some comments >__> It's weird how some feel so threatened by fanworks in the first place.

Like you said, there is definitely a double standard at work here.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010 | 09:13 am (UTC)
We make fanworks cause we admire some artists' works, and we don't publish them as original arts. How come someone cannot tell the difference? :(
Wednesday, 3 March 2010 | 12:28 am (UTC)
I don't get it either - it's obvious to me there's a big difference. And even if a fan wanted to sell their fanwork e.g. an art print or a paper copy of a fanfic, then I don't see the problem as long as they admit upfront it's a fanwork. The deception involved in copying art for an original manga WITHOUT attribution is entirely different - at least to paying consumers.

I think some of the industry people have forgotten the poor ethics involved in cheating the consumer, and would rather cast blame at fans for everything :(
Wednesday, 3 March 2010 | 01:00 am (UTC)
If only they kmew CLAMP's history. They began as a doujinshi circle and made Star Wars doujinshi.
Even if fans sell doujinshis at Comiket, it's not done for profit.
Saturday, 6 March 2010 | 04:26 am (UTC)
Interesting. I don't think that it was intended as a matter of necessarily equating the two, but rather of "stirring the pot" by adding another hot-button issue to the mix. That's a pretty common tactic on Twitter. I can see how it might look like people jumped at the chance to take pot shots at fan artists, though.

My own take on the matter, for what it's worth, is that the line is not easy to draw and that supposing things are 100% "original" to start with may not be valid. Thus, I propose a different look at the issue.
Saturday, 6 March 2010 | 11:23 am (UTC)
Ugh. Just linking the two was a deliberately provocative move, and it seemed to illustrate the difference in thinking between fans and those associated with the manga/comics industry over copying and copyright.

As an occasional consumer, I never assume that any creative pro work is 100% original. Variations on a theme is fine. Riffing off another work in terms of ideas and recreating the odd scene is acceptable - 'stealing' as you call it. But like you said in your post, line tracing of SEVERAL scenes without attribution strays into the realm of 'copying.' It cheats the consumer and creates distrust. Back when yaoi artist Youka Nitta was caught photo-manipulating and tracing numerous fashion ads a few years back, I for one felt betrayed and disappointed.

All right, copyright infringement is wrong and illegal. But the tracing of line artwork is hardly defensible either. The way some tweeters sought to throw blame around over the Incarnate fiasco didn't do their case any favours <__< Your post is a useful one - I'll add it to my links.
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