There have been a few issues with copyrights and scanlations this week, so for your reference here is our definitive policy on these matters. It supersedes anything that you may have heard in the past.
Digital Manga, Inc. does not condone any unauthorized reproductions or unauthorized translations (scanlations) of titles we have licensed. As a small company, piracy has a major impact on our business, and though we recognize many "scanlators" have good intentions, we cannot tolerate any theft of our intellectual property if we expect to survive in this economic climate. However, Digital Manga Guild localizers are not officially employees of Digital Manga, Inc., and are not authorized to send "cease and desist" notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on our behalf. However, (as we covered in our webcast Protect Your Work!)that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do if you find the rights to a manga you worked on are being infringed.
If you do find your work being reproduced without DMI's permission or if you find a "scanlation" of a manga you are working on, here is what you should do:
- Find the contact information for the scanlator or site in question and send a copy of the polite form letter below, requesting the work be taken down. This is not a legal "cease and desist" notice (there are legal criteria such a notice must fulfill), but it often is enough to get people to stop an infringement.
- If you do not think a polite note will work (i.e. you're dealing with a manga aggregator), or if the infringement continues even after you have sent the form letter, please e-mail email@example.com with "C&D request" in the subject line. I will take it from there.
- If you receive a hostile reply to the form letter, DO NOT reply, and NEVER make any legal threats. Simply pass the matter on to us. This is to protect you as well as us.
To whom it may concern,
My name is [YOUR NAME], a localizer for the Digital Manga Guild. Digital Manga Guild licenses and produces manga for digital publication in English worldwide. I am working/worked on the authorized version of [TITLE NAME], which I believe is reproduced or linked without permission on your Web site.
The license to this work is held by Digital Manga, Inc., and the official version will make money for the artists, editors and designers whose work went into it. Therefore, I request that you take down any infringing material that may be on your site.
This is not a legal threat or a cease and desist letter - just a friendly request from one manga fan to another. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.