Firstly I'm going to request that this remains a spoiler free thread given the release of Chapter 731.
Now, I'd like to think that AP is generally more educated on the relationship between "Scanlations" and the Official release of the Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine, but just incase I'll run it down for everyone.
Shonen Jump magazine gets released on Mondays officially in Japan. Viz's Weekly Shonen Jump release is usually simultaneous with the Japanese release (but they don't adjust for Japanese holidays).
Scanlators get their scans whenever a retailer in Japan puts the magazine on the shelf early and someone uploads it online. Magazines generally get delivered to stores about 5 days early, but they aren't supposed to sell it until the official date (usually every Monday). Over the christmas holidays and whenever there is a Monday break(holiday), the magazine would be have a street date on a Saturday prior so that means that scanlations will come out even earlier in the following weeks (possibly Monday or Tuesday) before the 2 week hiatus in January.
This week's leaked scanlation of Chapter 731 has really been a game-changer in my opinion towards those who read scanlations. Personally I've taken a 180 on my stance to this issue and I think that Viz should go after scanlators in a more aggressive manner in a similar fashion to February 2012 and the MangaStream. Particularly MangaPanda who have no regard for any morals and ethics since they've pretty much rip off other scanlating groups for the revenue they make from that ad-ridden site of theirs.
Upon gazing Twitter for the last few days I've seen countless Japanese fans (and thats just the few that know English) along with Viz readers agonise over spoilers thanks to the leaks of the chapter by scanlators. I think Greg and The One Piece Podcast can vouch for this as well. On a related note, I'm a moderator of /r/OnePiece and we had to start clamping down on spoilers from 12 hours prior to the release and the I personally spent 36 hours (and cans of Mother's and Redbull) making sure spoilers didn't impact readers of the Official release as well as the readers of the simultaneous magazine. As of right now we've deleted over 80 threads and countless comments trying to prevent spoilers.
To prevent these situations occurring in the future what do you think is the middle ground on this scenario. In my opinion, I think the middle ground is having Viz force scanlators to follow their release schedule or face the threat of being shut down. As such this will allow both aspects of the fandom to experience the release in a timely fashion without the issue of spoilers.
Now, I'd like to ask you on your opinion on the issue of scanlations and spoilers, and if it is available to you in your country do you still support Viz's WSJ even regardless of whether or not you read scanlations. Also what do you think would be the best compromise to pervent situations like this week's spoilerfest.
Edit: If you may want a full explanation on the full scanlation leaks and how they work I'll edit this in, as a request by someone who just learnt about the 'business'
I'll explain it in full for Mangastream(who have a Japanese RAW provider) and MangaPanda (Chinese RAW Provider). Take for example Ch. 731 as a reference. Officially it came out Monday this week in both America (albeit the 24hr time zone difference) and Japan. Now that chapter came out the Wednesday of last week through scanlations. How scanlations come out before the official release is that Shueisha (the head company of WSJ) has to print the magazine and send it to all the convenience store all around Japan before the public release date. When dealing with the entirety of Japan they have to give themselves a leeway or gap so that they can manage that, so usually 1 week before the release date most retailers have a copy but aren't allowed to sell it. Scanlators work by taking advantage of the 1 week leeway given to retailers and do their work on the chapters by translating, cleaning, redrawing, typesetting e.t.c to post online. By the time its ready the official release is at least 5 days away.
The majority of this applies to MangaPanda but they source their chapter from the Chinese/Taiwanese simulcast of the physical magazine. They plays a crucial role/difference in when chapters get scanlated on Japanese holidays. Since the Chinese (and American FYI) release get delayed during Japanese holidays like Golden Week and Obon Holiday we end up seeing leaks of the Chinese magazine up to 10 days before the release date. MangaPanda who have a Chinese RAW provider are able to then translate the chapters super early through Chinese -> English translations. MangaStream tend to avoid having to do the Chinese -> Japanese -> English release because supposedly it affects their quality by providing shitty quality translations and scans, so those don't get released until the usual 5 days before release. For example, Chapter 732 came out 2 days ago from scanlations on Tuesday. Usually chapters are expected on Wednesday 5 days earlier but when the Japanese have a holiday on the Monday when the Official release is supposed to come out they have a Saturday release (which the American release doesn't adjust for) which then means scanlations can come out up to 7 days from the official release date.
Most of this took close to a year to piece together and understand for me by relying on sources both in Japan and outside of Japan. I hope I was clear enough for you all to understand the processes behind how the 'scanlating business' works.