Arrogant Scanlators (and Fansubbers)

Arrogant Scanlators (and Fansubbers)

GenshikenYou know, I personally don’t have anything against a fansub group who creates unofficial English translations of anime, nor do I have anything against scanlation groups who create unofficial English translations of manga. I feel that these kinds of groups are a 2-edged sword to the official English language market. Depending on the title, they can generate huge interest and buzz for a title, resulting in said title scoring big in sales when it is officially licensed. However, for other titles, the opposite effect can happen.

We all know that fansubs and scanlations are illegal under our current copyright law system. However, for the most part, fansub groups and scanlation groups have been allowed to continue, with American companies sometimes sending “Cease and Desist” letters to these groups, requesting they stop their unofficial translation works for a specific title. Clearly, American companies see the pluses and minuses of these groups and follow the courses they feel serve them best.

All that said, most groups do their work and distribute it for free without any sort of restrictions, but with a note saying, “support the official version if it comes out and don’t sell this.” Many work very hard at it, producing videos with things that make them look better than the official DVD release, or producing translations that are superior to the official ones in both anime and manga. (I’m looking at you, Viz!) However, on occasion, you get a group who get a little to big for their britches.

I was surfing the web looking for information on a certain manga when I came across a scanlation group who started working on the unofficial English adaptation of this manga. Since I enjoyed the manga-ka’s previous work (and have purchased everything released to date in the U.S.), I thought I’d give the first chapter a look-see, just to get a feel for how the manga-ka’s new story would go. I was surprised by the elitist attitude I found from this group.

“Wanna download our work? You have to register in our forums and post 50 messages. Oh, and not all forums count to the 50-message count. Oh, and no spamming. We reserve the right to delete anything we feel like.”

What? OK, why?

“Because we work ever so hard, and because we can’t ask for money, we’ll make you jump through hoops for our work. We contribute, so you contribute! We are gods, little leechers!”

OK, how are 50 bloviations “contributing” to anything other than your pathetic egos?

“What? How dare you! We worked hard! This is our blood, sweat and tears! We have the right to make any demands we like about our work! Oh, and don’t you dare get the 50 posts and then upload our work elsewhere. That’s stealing!”

Ah! So your taking the manga-ka’s work, and redistributing it in another language without that manga-ka’s permission NOR payment to said manga-ka is OK then, right? How’s that not stealing?

“Well, we don’t mean any harm by our scanlations. We work ever so hard on them and we tell people to support the official versions if it gets licensed. Therefore, even though we are doing something wrong, we aren’t doing something wrong and thus can make demands.”

Yeah. And exactly what are you going to do to me when I upload “your work” to torrent sites, download sites, or for that matter, to my own website?

“We’ll destroy you! You can’t defy us! This is OUR work. We made it. We can make demands. We’ll make sure to crush you!”

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Legally, you can’t do squat. You’re like a crack addict who tried to buy $20 of crack, only to be sold some baking soda. So then you run to the cops to complain on how you’d been robbed of $20 trying to buy crack. Ha!ha!ha!ha!ha!

I laughed as I looked over the message board. There are people posting in every sort of BS topic you can imagine, bloviating to get their 50-message count so they can download. Of course, almost all these people stop posting once they’ve hit the magic 50. Wanna know some “contributing” topics on the board (titles changed to protect the guilty)?

  • “How was school today?”
  • “What color is your hair?”
  • “Your favorite color is…?”
  • “Can you speak a foreign language?”
  • “Coffee vs. Tea”
  • “Do you like animals?”
  • “Do you like {favorite anime here} ?”
  • “Do you like {favorite manga here}?”
  • “Who’s your favorite character in {insert series here}?”
  • Etc.

As you might imagine, these are all “hot topics” as people, desperate to reach that 50-message count, post away in a non-spamming way. *lol*

I’m thinking about joining under a different name and via a proxy, a trick I learned from some trolls. While I won’t troll on the place, I think that should I do this, I’ll make sure to post actual responses to the topics at hand, but somehow manage to get in little digs here and there about the pontificating going on so people can hit the magic 50.

Computer Artist

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9 Responses to “Arrogant Scanlators (and Fansubbers)”

  1. Hughroe says:

    Between the groups you describe and those who sniff disdainfully at those of us who purchase the “inferior” official releases…’tis a whack-job paradise, I’ve stopped reading a few (unauthorized) titles because of those attitudes.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I hear ya. Its ironic that I end up posting two blurbs back-to-back about these kinds of groups. One, who give no hoops for their work, is trying to get Viz to improve their product. The other, well…*_*

  3. AFC Member says:

    “I’m thinking about joining under a different name and via a proxy, a trick I learned from some trolls. While I won’t troll on the place, I think that should I do this, I’ll make sure to post actual responses to the topics at hand, but somehow manage to get in little digs here and there about the pontificating going on so people can hit the magic 50.”

    What the heck? No offense, but as an AFC member I must say that this paragraph makes pretty much everything you’ve recently said about trolls at the forum you moderate sound pretty darn hypocritical. When you’re the moderator you go on about how trolling is awful and how everyone should comply with whatever the mods decide, but at someone else’s forum you feel free to troll because this time you don’t agree with the mods there? Even if what they want people to do is stupid, how about living up to your own rhetoric… These “digs” you mention would be considered trolling at the AFC, wouldn’t they? I hope the AFC troll(s) won’t find this post or things there aren’t going to improve any time soon.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Apparently you missed the “thinking about joining” and “should I do this…” I have no intentions of wasting time on a board to get 50 posts, period and that was part of the point of this rant. This was simply a “if I were smeg head, this is what I’d do.” Kinda like saying, “I’m thinking about keying the bastard’s truck who blocked my garage.” I’d never do it, but the thought does pop into my head.

    As to the trolls, they are huge fans of mine and read both my blogs frequently as well as many boards I participate on. They have an AstroNerdBoy Fanclub. ^_^

  5. AFC Member says:

    Please don’t condescend to me with phrases like “apparently you missed”. Try rereading that paragraph and think about whether it sounds like a pure hypothetical or a plan of action. It doesn’t even matter which one it is. What I was trying to say was that by saying something like that you’re at the very least validating the trolling mindset, because you can’t condemn with strong words what you yourself dream of doing and not look hypocritical. I don’t care if you troll or not, but I think something like this would be perfect material for the AFC trolls to justify their nonsense yet again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You think trolls need justification to troll?

  7. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Anonymous — they don’t.

    @ AFC Member — I apologize for sounding condescending. Trolls have been on AFC for as long as I can remember and I didn’t have a blog then. I understand what you are saying, but they don’t need validation to do what they do because they are going to do it regardless. That’s why we aren’t supposed to feed the trolls. ^_^;

  8. AFC Member says:

    “You think trolls need justification to troll?”

    Not generally, no. It seems to me though that one or more of the AFC trolls believe they know best how to moderate the board and that the AFC mods are hypocrites, so at least for them this would probably add fuel to the fire. Look, I’m not trying to prevent you from expressing your justified opinion on a stupid and arrogant policy you’ve encountered, but I think even saying that you’ve learned something from the trolls is feeding their ego big time. Either way, it’s your blog, to do with as you please. I’m just concerned about how this might affect what’s been going on at AFC. By the way, I appreciated the anti-witchhunt post you just made there.

  9. I gotta agree. Thankfully, I’ve always managed to get what I need without doing that.

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