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A couple of days ago when the Demonlord should have been industriously studying for his final exams, he was happily skipping through the internet and found himself on one of the large manga aggregate sites. You can imagine his shock and fury to find one of our most recent releases splashed up on their website, all our credit pages, recruitment pages and art contest winner pages heartlessly stripped away. It’s taken Kinoko, Rexenik and Tsukiko days to clean the Cave up after the Demonlord’s rampage.

He has vowed that all releases, with the exception of Under Prin, will henceforth be released in flash format with a delayed release on Batoto.net.

What’s the Demonlord blowing a gasket about now? Flash releases? Is he crazy? Why should you care? Let me take a moment of your time and explain it to you. You should care.

Manga aggregate sites, particularly those owned by NOEZ make huge amounts of money off the mangakas, the publishers and the free labour of the scanlators through very unethical, unprofessional and dishonorable business practises. NOEZ uses bots to rip fresh manga releases that scores of people have spent weeks and months working on without regard for honouring delay periods, without abiding by scanlator requests to pull manga titles that publishers have purchased licenses for or even simply asking for scanlators’ permission for the releases first. The loving attention to detail and quality the mangkas and scanlators pour into their work is destroyed in mere moments when the manga aggregate sites start reducing image quality and slapping their watermarks willy-nilly all over the place as if they owned the work. NOEZ sites have even gone so far as to under-handedly promote themselves as the translators/scanlators in social media sites and engaging in DDoS with those who attempt to publicly express their discontent with NOEZ’s questionable ethics. Nice way to make a couple of bucks, right?

If you’re like me, you’re beginning to think: “Yeah, this is a crappy way to do business. But how are they getting away with it?” This where the uninformed, manga-hungry readers come in. There are millions of us – using their sites, purchasing their stuff and clicking through on their advertising. It all generates income into their pockets – not the mangakas, not the publishers and definitely not the scanlators. If manga aggregate sites are allowed to continue this way, the future of online, translated manga looks pretty grim. If you, the reader, don’t know about what NOEZ is doing, then you won’t know to make a change will you?

Hey! I’m not being melodramatic here – think about it a sec. If manga aggregate sites continue to treat the scanlators callously by ignoring tiny delay periods or ripping out our credit pages and recruitment page, scanlators will feel as if their work isn’t being appreciated and will cease operation. Already, scanlation teams have been having difficulty recruiting fresh team members and you have been noticing (and commenting) that the time between chapter releases is getting longer and longer. Which means you will have to wait until the publishers purchase licenses to distribute them in your country, and with the volume of manga I read that becomes an exceedingly expensive hobby.  I’d likely not make as many purchases which will, in turn, impact the mangakas too. Not to mention, you can kiss your less-than-mainstream titles good bye in foreign markets.

Let’s not forget the scanlators are playing in a grey zone here legally too. If the manga aggregate sites piss off the publishers by refusing to remove legally licensed titles, there may be legal repercussions to the scanlators that would likely involve the dissolution of the team. Not cool.

Okay, so you want to help but, like me, you’re lazy and you don’t want to put a whole lot of time or effort into your show of support. It’s okay – I get it and completely understand. Start off by never going back to the manga aggregate websites – please! I could send you all over the internet in search of your favourite titles at different scanlating websites, but I remember that you are lazy like me. You can find all of your favourite titles available for easy reading at the scanlator-friendly site batoto.net. Tell all your other manga-addicted junkies about NOEZ and batoto. Why do I like batoto.net so much that I promote it over Cave Scans online reader? Because they have just about every manga title all in one, handy-dandy location, they display the manga as the scanlator uploaded it without adding or removing anything and has a stellar reputation of respecting the scanlator’s wishes. By all means, when you have a moment, visit your favourite scanlators’ web pages and say “Thanks” or even “Hi!” – that’ll give them the moral boost they need to keep going. Lastly, I know it’ll be hard, but try not to complain when the scanlator’s have to resort to releasing their titles in alternative formats. They aren’t doing it to piss their loyal readers off, but to save their work from the hell of NOEZ and maybe even the future of online manga!!

Thanks!

*climbing off the soap box now*

Wanna read more?  Check out:

http://japanzai.com/index.php?topic=1619.0

http://foolrulez.org/blog/2011/06/mangafox-sucks-readers-say-scanlators-are-greedy/

http://www.mangaupdates.com/showtopic.php?page=1&tid=40846

http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Love-Anime-And-Manga/2166469

http://omaris-sister.blogspot.de/2011/09/please-boycott-mangafox.html

http://cavescans.hcpsgc.info/blog/?p=399

http://cavescans.hcpsgc.info/blog/?p=1003

http://www.batoto.net/forums/topic/5527-mangafox-co-how-noez-does-business/

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