Sporadic Sequential
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Waiting For Their Parents' Permission

Based on ICv2's two-part interview (via Dirk Deppey) with Viz Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Dan Marks, it sounds like digital manga downloads are coming — sometime. First, though, Viz needs to do more research on how best to offer digital downloads of manga; and whatever method they decide on, it needs to be something agreeable to their Japanese parent companies. So legally downloading the most recent chapter of Bleach may still be a ways off. Oh well, at least they're working on it.

One of the things I found most interesting about the interview is how delicately Marks skirts around the issue of illegal downloads. He clearly thinks it's illegal and impacting Viz's business, but his attitude still comes across as rather gentle (almost admiring at times) towards the fansubbing and scanlation communities. I can appreciate that Marks doesn't want to offend potential customers, but it's still strange to me to read an interview with a VP who doesn't come out and directly tell pirates "STOP STEALING OUR PRODUCT ALREADY!!" Perhaps his "hate the sin, love the sinner" message will prove more effective than simply shouting at offenders, though: By praising them as eager fans who love the material so much they simply can't wait to get it, you flatter them and build up the work as irresistible; and by repeating the message that they may be angering the original creators, you hopefully appeal to their admiration/respect for the manga-ka to abide by their wishes in how the material is presented and distributed. (An approach which strongly reminds me of Tom Spurgeon's main argument against illegal downloading.)

Labels: , ,