Censorship is not the answer
We all know what will mean the ratification of the ACTA. Seeds can be controlled and withheld in the name of patents, generic drugs may be banned. It’s fun – at least we can guess who has reason to push for ratification of the ACTA. Disturbing is the fact that we are talking about prices of food and medicines (including research on them!).
There are also more prosaic examples showing that ACTA aims at pockets of ordinary people. Can you imagine everyday life without replacement auto parts? Or maybe it is a way to solve the global debt crisis? Who knows - if someone came up with this idea and managed to convince the owners of large corporations… but that’s not what we want to write.
I would like to make it clear: we do not condone piracy. As a publisher, we do not want to make our products are made available on the internet without our permission. Unfortunately, ACTA is not a solution. But why?
Scanlations. The Japanese do not like them and it is hardly surprising – after all, someone’s property is made available without permission. But what happens to the matter of popularizing manga in the west? Someone will say that now it does not matter – the manga has already been popularized. That’s right, but gains from the original manga market may be even greater. The market research firm Oricon reported that manga sales totaled 271.71 billion yen (about US$3.533 billion) during the 2011 fiscal year. Around 503.61 million copies of comics sold in Japan last year which was 99.0 percent of the total from 2010. Consider how great may be the proceeds from sales in Europe and the U.S.? Of course, with a proper campaign.
The truth is that people uninterested in the subject will not go to the bookstore. In recent years the popularity of manga and anime outside of Japan have increased. Among the reasons for this situation, we have easy access to the manga – but if a wider group of potential readers can not read the scanlations online, it would not be possible to test the real interest, and the publisher probably would not undertake the risks associated with print. The problem is what happens next.
People need to understand that buying a product that they like should be obvious. They should also remove scanlations of titles issued in their native language. A serious threat is the fact that the mass removal of unlicensed files on the Internet may result in deletion of many information resources. It’s a modern version of witch-hunt … in the end it is always better to act preventively rather than punish. But here the goal of prevention is to find the culprits. Everyone can be guilty, so each individual must be tracked. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?
There are also computers of all those who use them for business purposes. I think anyone who can think logically will be afraid of stealing company secrets. It’s hard to imagine what will happen next…