Folks, how would you feel if, when Jump makes this switch, AP makes a push to try and start enforcing "same day as japan" release schedules and better support the official release?
We've discussed this before, on staff and in public, and the logistics have always been a nightmare. The english release was weeks behind the japanese originally, and then when it caught up there was the fact that you have to pay to get it, and lots of our readers are around the world and don't have access to it.
We still can't do anything about the worldwide readers part, but if it's going legit and free there's no reason for us to not try now at least. The bootleg editions will still beat it by a day or two, and that's where the worldwide readers will probably still have to go, but I think the difference between Friday morning and Sunday evening really isn't that huge. If we as a community embraced the change, and as a whole stopped supporting the bootleg scanlation sites while also pushing up Jump's numbers to show them that yes, there is interest in this and that is the way to go, that would only be a positive thing.
Spoiler stuff could still stay in the spoiler section, and anyone that wants to go hunt down the bootlegs can…. but this is probably the best chance we'll ever have to push and endorse the official release and encourage the transition, and add at least a pretense of credibility to everything we do.
Would you guys be up for it if we really tried to make a push and enforce the idea? Or is this just a pipe dream and everyone is going to read the bootleg to get it 30 hours sooner anyway? Would all the traffic just die and go to a different site entirely if we enforced this?
Honest feedback here guys.
I think we should try and stick with the official schedule. I think the spoiler section can remain for those that want to discuss scans before the official release.
Honestly, I'm personally going to be done with looking at spoilers. I usually check spoilers because -for the most part- I'm busy on Fridays and Saturdays and like to take the time to read chapters. And when I DO read the chapters properly, it's the Viz release.
I think us on this forum should at least attempt to try and break this cycle by not posting about chapters until they officially come out.
I mean, you don't see a huge faction of movie fans openly discussing new movies online that have been released in another country a week early because there are shitty cam quality uploads of it. Most people say "Hey, it's a week and I can actually see the movie instead of seeing this bad quality film with people laughing and reacting in the background while this random logo flashes on the screen every few minutes".
The fact that scanlations are still preferred by so many with access to the official is because of
A. The cost of the official
B. Early release
Point A has just been solved.
Point B though is always going to remain as long as this cycle continues of giving incentive to sites to upload them early.
It's 3 days. Those that are in North America really don't have an excuse to read the scans outside of simply wanting to read it sooner. I've actually been debating back and forth with someone on Twitter who keeps insinuating that this is a waste because "Until they release chapters when the scans come out, nobody will wait". His argument boiled down to "Well even though it's a better quality version of the exact same product all around, I like to talk about One Piece with my friends when it comes out". But he just kept repeating "Well, they should release the online chapters on Fridays and release the physical in Japan on mondays".
He really thinks the smart business move to "get his business" is undercut people that pay the cheap amount for the weekly physical copy. You know to undercut the fact that people illegally are posting this product.
I do feel bad for those in countries where this isn't easily accessible though. That's one of the biggest challenges this industry needs to address if they want to fight online piracy. I know it's a tangled mess of licensing and copyright, but it just feels like a problem that gets continually ignored and it gives a direct reason to go to these scans, which in turn incentivize those that are releasing these chapters early, which gives people that HAVE a legal outlet the excuse to not use them and instead read the scans. And the cycle continues.
Scanlation sites are making ad rev from people on their site. People that have the option of the official release, or scanlations and choose the latter do it because the product they want is coming out earlier. And because of this, as long as it's getting their sites traction, the scanlation sites aren't going to do something like hold off on releasing until the mondays. Because any of them know that if they DID do that, the other sites won't and will just take readers from each other.
So the cycle needs to be broken. Again, not even of scans themselves, but the decade-and-a-half pattern of fans used to discussing chapters before they are actually released.
I'm really hoping SJ, Shueisha, and everyone else legally begins a bigger crackdown on those who are getting the chapters uploaded early.
Remember a few years back when they sent Cease and Desists to Mangastream and a few other sites? Shit changed. Mangastream shut down for a few months, but even when it returned they weren't keeping the entire back-catalog of their scanlations. They only have two or three chapters up at any given time.
What needs to happen right now with manga is what happened to fansubs with anime. Both fansubs and scanlations were a necessity at certain points for the majority of fans. However, with the advent of simulcasts, or even episodes being subbed in a day, it made the time and effort put into fansubs not worth it. But the legal outlets to watch these series aren't what killed most fansubs. What did it was that -even though fansubbed shows were available cheap and legally- it was far more convenient for websites to just rip the official subbed episodes and upload them to their own sites. Why have somebody who can translate and make the subtitles when you can just reupload the legal version!
If the gap between scanlations and the official gets any closer, I'm hoping that these sites/translators decide the time and effort of having their inferior product out a day or two earlier than the free superior version just isn't worth it. There has to be some point when they decide it's just easier to steal the official release and upload it for those who can't legally access it.
But the final nail in the coffin is always going to be stopping those in Japan who have access to the magazine early and scan them. I'd assume those people are both the easiest to prosecute(with them being in Japan and all) and the best way to stop this problem. No point in scanlations if that gap disappears. And that gap only exists because of these people.