It looks like the time for battle draws nigh, as US and Japanese manga publishers are banding together in an attempt to deal a mighty blow against their greatest adversary: scanlations.
On the Japan side of things, The Japanese Digital Comic Association—whose 36 members include big dogs like Kodansha, Shueisha and Shogakukan—is joining forces with Square Enix and the Tuttle-Mori Agency. They will all be working in concert with US manga publishers Vertical Inc., Viz Media, Tokyopop and Yen Press to bring legal action to a slew of scanlation sites.
One of the greatest contributors to the growth of the war against scanlations are the many aggregate sites that present free scanlated material while remaining profitable thanks to ad revenue, donations, and in some cases user memberships. These sites attract tons of manga fans, casual and otherwise, often showing up at the top of site traffic lists worldwide. With so much exposure to this material, it’s no wonder the battle against it is heating up on both sides of the ocean.
Even as I was typing this news post up, Viz Media released a press release of their very own. Time will tell if this united front can help stave off piracy and what effect, if any, it may have overall on the current state of the manga industry.