Raw Paradise was closed… R.I.P.
Today, Raw Paradise, the best raw manga provider, closed its doors for ever as Shueisha (publisher of Weekly Shonen Jump and other mags) asked them to remove the DL-links. According to the publisher, they’d hurt the industry and the way the mangaka wants the people to read their works.
Although RP is gone now, I don’t think that the WSJ scanlation will be affected in any way as there are enough scanlation groups out there which get their scans privately. I’m really troubled about the other manga chapters which were only available on RP (like Koe de Oshigoto or Let’s Lagoon).
If Shueisha really worries about damaging the industry, I got a real great solution (you might also look at this article for more ways).
The idea I got is to use available technologies and services to distribute mangas, rather creating new ones. A great way to reach many people all over the world is iTunes. Recently Apple has been starting to offer e-books trough it. So my question is “why not manga?”
The publishers have everything they need to do this. They just have to translate and typeset the pages and it’s almost 100% done. They don’t even need to clean and edit the pages as they have the original manga manuscripts right from the mangakas (on top of that, they already scan the manga pages in order to typeset them in Japanese for the printed magazines).
Just hire 2 or 3 people and within a week, all the Shueisha mags are completely scnalated, then put them up on iTunes for 5 USD each magazine or 1 USD for a chapter and make tens of trillions of Yen. To prevent sharing the scans, just simply set up a DRM-system and after or 2 months make them DRM free.
When you think about it, the manga industry’s is similar to the music industry’s case:
The publishers missed the digital age. The international market is huge and asks for more mangas. But if the publishers don’t get their things done, it’s no surprise that a large community of manga-pirates could build up. They can’t only blame us, they have to blame themselves, too and learn from their mistakes… dammit.
PS: When I’m in Japan, I’m paying them a visit to suggest my idea hahaha