The Digital Frontier of Manga Part II

By Nicole Nowlin


In my previous article, I discussed the state of the manga industry and the various planned, successful, or failed avenues of digital publishing of manga as they can be seen today. The question remains, though, as to whether digital manga is truly the next generation as seen by those who read it. A blog post highlights an interesting story about just that topic, following a moderated panel at the Asia Arts Festival at the University of Kentucky:

I chatted a bit more with the panelists (one a soon-to-graduate senior, the other a freshman) and the topic somehow swerved to the manga industry, its travails, and its push to make a market for more esoteric, alternative manga (which for all intents and purposes mostly means “not BESM-standard”).

After hearing this, the freshman subsequently asked “So, like, are they trying to make it cool to read print manga?” at which both I and the graduating senior goggled for a moment before going “what the hell are you on about?”

Apparently, in his high school, it was seen as uncool to read print manga. I didn’t find out then why it was particularly considered uncool, although the perpetual-behindness of licensed releases may have been a factor, as well as a certain sense borrowed from underground aesthetics that licensed titles may have “sold out” or were otherwise “too mainstream”. It’s also interesting to note that the act of “reading manga” itself apparently wasn’t considered uncool. Just reading print manga. [1]

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The Digital Frontier of Manga Part I

By Nicole Nowlin


“I’m a believer in digital,” said Kuo-Yu Liang of Diamond Distributors in an article published by Publisher’s Weekly. “I’ve preferred reading an e-book over a ‘real’ book for over 10 years, so I’m excited about every new thing… But, it doesn’t matter what I believe. Look at what’s happening to music, movies, newspapers, magazines, and gaming. The future of reading is in the digital format, get used to it.” [1] The Japanese digital market was estimated at $654.5 million in 2009 and expected to reach $797.3 million in 2010. The 2011 estimate was even higher at $904.4 million. Growth of downloads was expected in multiple formats, with a decreasing growth trend expected, but a steady overall download rate. The industry also estimates that 89% of digital publishing in Japan is manga. [2]

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Scanlations: Copyright Infringement for Literature and Art Fans Brought to You by the Internet Part III

By Nicole Nowlin

Student Fellow, Berglund Center for Internet Studies

This is the last article of a three part series on scanlations. The project as a whole was fascinating and enjoyable, part of my Berglund Student Fellowship project. Part I provided an overview of scanlations and the copyright issues related to them. Part II covered the users of scanlations, and the authors, artists, and publishers harmed by scanlations. Part III reviews the current issues affecting scanlations in 2010 and offers suggestions to publishers.
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Scanlations: Copyright Infringement for Literature and Art Fans Brought to You by the Internet Part II

By Nicole Nowlin

Student Fellow, Berglund Center for Internet Studies

The previous article on scanlations provided an overview of the phenomenon and the copyright issues related to it. Initially, the articles inInterface were intended to be only two parts. However, considering the recent developments on the issue, Part II will now become Parts II and III. Part II of this discussion covers the users of scanlations, and the authors, artists, and publishers harmed by scanlations. Part III will review the current issues and offer suggestions to publishers.
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Scanlations: Copyright Infringement for Literature and Art Fans Brought to You by the Internet

By Nicole Nowlin
Student Fellow, Berglund Center for Internet Studies

We’ve all heard the cries of pain from artists and record labels as dollars are bled from the music industry via illegal downloading and file sharing. We’ve seen the lawsuits [1] and the evolution of Napster [2] and iTunes. We’ve more recently seen the news about the multi-million dollar lawsuit against the four biggest members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association for not paying for the rights to music they used — and from which they profited — on compilation CDs [3].

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