Nature vs Nurture
The scanlation debate continues this week. The first salvo fired was by Kate Dacey of the Manga Critic blog. Spurred by a tweet that pointed to a link to a review of a Chrome plug-in for OneManga, she explains why a aggregator site like Onemanga is illegal. Johanna Draper Carlson replies with a post that readers of scanlations know perfectly well what they’re doing is illegal, and just don’t care. So is it the nature of the net, or a learned behavior? I think it’s a combination of the two, since a lot of kids are either hearing about the sites from their friends, or searching Google, and the aggregator sites always come up on top. And it’s going to take more than a “Just Say No” campaign to change things. Most teens, who are probably the majority of online readers, either don’t know or don’t care about copyright. Knowing is only half the battle, but as long as the illegal sites come up first in search engines like Google, behavior isn’t going to change. If publishers don’t try to take down these sites or offer legal alternatives, then readers are going to think they think it’s okay. Simon Jones of Icarus Publishing (NSFW) pretty much makes this point.