(This was originally typed on Microsoft Word)
Due to OneManga’s recent takedown, a lot of manga fans are very concerned. OM was a website where various parties posted translated scanlations, or English versions of manga pages, to allow anyone to read. However, these sites are usually more up-to-date than America and therefore hardcore American fans usually read whatever Japanese chapter comes out weekly.
The problem many internet sites encounter is the publisher basically orders the site admin to take down the content under threat of a lawsuit. The logic of that is that the free content may take away from the publisher’s business. After all, if their consumers are getting the product for free then they’re not going to buy the product from the publishers.
The same problem exists on video sharing sites like Youtube (torrents are another matter entirely). Not just anime, but other shows get taken down under copyright infringement, when technically it’s completely legal. Basically if you’re not profiting from something you have the right to put it on the internet. But the same logic in the above paragraph applies.
When this becomes a problem is when you live where I live. The only place to buy anime is Best Buy or online, and when a tankoban edition of a manga costs ten bucks a pop it’s pretty understandable you would want to read it online to make sure you like it first. Then there are fifty-volume series like NARUTO, and you wouldn’t want to pay almost $500 for a series that is still going strong.
Sure, there are other scanlation sites out there, but if manga publishers really have changed their policy on posting pages then how long will those last? We may end up doing what others do: downloading content from seedy places, circulating whatever volumes you do have, etc.