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Friday, August 06, 2010

Scanslations and copyright

Dear publishing companies,
thank you for taking down the scanslations website so all the readers now will go into web comics, not into paper books!
Duh! If you are thinking they'll switch back to paper I have a bit of information for you: it's called generational gap!
This is the web native generation. They grew up on the net. They don't need to read, they can scan! Their eyes catch images faster than anybody else and paper really doesn't matter to them all the much. They read online!
I have another information for you: Ipad is out. Switch platform FAST!
And copyright? Copyright has to go down and be replaced by attribution.
We are in the Creative Commons Era.
You want to make money with your work? Get clickers, trust me, you'll make more money from clicks than from paper.

Last night this guy came to NYP to talk about his Idea Book and how he made millions with it. To me he got lucky but anyways, at one point he mentioned that lending a book is piracy.
I'm a nice girl and kept silent but I wanted to yell: then Public Libraries are privateers, because they have patents to be pirates.

Is knowledge something you should make money on? Yes it is... but how?

It's funny how he made a success using a book that looks like the Bible and has a cover like it's straight out of the 1800 and he thinks like someone from the 1800: libraries are the Devil they will kill Publishers.

Now, I understand he is self produced and maybe he got lucky cuz he was in the right Country too. You see, in Italy you start a Publishing company and the first mafia you meet are the distributors. It's like you have to court them, bribe them, be exclusively their partner and pay only respect them else it's ostracism... then you still don't do much and end up selling on the web.
This guy, at one point said: I went to a book store and said: I want you to sell my book, would you sell it? And the book store seller said: yes. And then he said something else, I can't remember what and the book owner said he should sell it not for 20 euros but for 30 euros.

I have to say it to my Publisher: Claudia, move to Sweden.

I have gone to something like 12 different bookstore in Rome and everybody said the same shit to me: you have to go through a distributor.

Now you wonder: Deda, why the Hell did you put Balthasar online for free, then?

Because: 1) Balthasar is a good idea and so I believe 2) I can develop it the way I want it without having to deal with marketing people (like I had to do in the past: they think they know what sells, but they only knows what moves around shelves... then where is Innovation in all of this?). 3) It's paperless and saves the trees. 3) I don't have to deal with a printer - and printers in Italy use quark express, I use indesign, they print with plotter, I want a printer printer! 4) I don't have to deal with distribution,I put it out there in 3 different places, whoever finds it finds it, if they like it they'll talk about it, if they don't like it was not good enough. Hey, but it's out there.

Deda, what about copyright?

On the internet? Are you crazy?
The internet is the World's Public Library. You put stuff on the web and it's like donating a book to a Library, would you go back to the librarian and tell them: you know that's my book you cannot put it on shelf A it has to go on shelf B?
That's dumb if you ask me.

You donate, means you share, you want to be seen. You don't want the full thing to go around... you don't put the whole thing.
Ah, but what if people grabs and share? Without your permission?
That's the point permission and attribution should be the foundation of the internet, not distribution and theft.
Okay, now we are going into the realm of scans... aren't we?

Here's how I see it. The moment you put something on the shelf and sell it... it's out there in the World. You have no control over it, you have no control over people. If people wants to give you money for it then it goes and buys it and gives you money... if they don't want to you cannot put a gun to their heads. Now, maybe, one person buys it and lends it... the other person likes it and buys the following one. This is a form of advertising. Chances also are the person will keep the free stuff and enjoy it and not give you money... but then... isn't that also a fact that you did not inspire them enough to pay you?
Your intellectual property though is still yours. Nobody can take that away from you.
Do you know how much an author makes out of his/her book? 5%.
A musician? 2%.
The rest of it goes to the person who invested in the product and put money in it, it will cover the costs and buy him an island.
There are very little people who make a living with a book or a a song, so take that thought out of your head: it's all about luck.
You are not actually paying the intellectual property on the book... you are paying the company.

I did not buy the Idea Book last night, even though the guy was basically throwing it away for 10 bucks (that's 5 euros). I had seen the book that very afternoon... the moment it was set on my table I thought: it looks like a Bible. And left it there to sit for a while... I was not inspired to pick it up... I went to the box to look for the dust jacket!
When I opened it I started reading the games and sentences and I thought: the content it's rather obvious... shows quotes from inspiring people and put exercises on creativity that I already know... Then half of the book is empty. Ah, so it works as a notebook too... mhh... but the paper is too sleek, I would not draw in here.

I must be a very boring, non creative person. When he explained us the concept behind the book I thought: yeah, it works. One should never be judgmental on ideas, that's what I was saying to my co-worker the first day we met and talked about Story class: there's no such thing as a stupid idea, it's the people's perception that makes the idea look good or bad.
Obviously most people think the Idea Book is a good idea and the concept behind it proved the guy right. Stupid ideas make people feel comfortable or uncomfortable but they sure turn authors into island's owner.
To me... he got lucky. If he can replicate his success, though, he'll prove me wrong and he'll get one more island! For sure he thinks outside of the box.
Some of the things he said are stuff I blabber about since ages!

For example: illustrations, movies, comics... right now they all wear the same face and formula, so much that they basically are all the same. I am so bored, recently, cannot find anything truly entertaining or challenging. I fall asleep.
When you go into a book store the same cover shouts at you. I fell like I've been watching the same Pixar movie for 20 years and when I watched the Princess and the Frog, it felt so Pixar that the Prince and the Waitress become buddies and don't fall in love with passion... they just learn to be buddies like Buzz and Woody! XDD
And Roberto Innocenti? His traditional and realistic style is soooo refreshing because nobody is doing realistic anymore! They all go emo or puppety and I'm friggin' tired to stare at dolls like characters.

Now this is how I feel about it, nonetheless I find them very wonderfully done. In a very objective way, they are very well done! I just don't feel for them... am I dying?

Anyways, going back to our copyright issue. There's one thing that freaks me out about copyright, which is that it kind of is the very worst type of pirate patent in the world! XD

You cannot own ideas, cannot copyright them. You have to copyright stories, images and stuff like that. In a way you can only copyright finished product. On that you put your name, say: it's mine. You want to make money out of your cool product because you worked on it.
But still, getting money on something you come up with should not be your choice but the choice of the people who buys.

Harry Potter is cool? I buy it. I think it's dumb! I don't buy it.

A lot of people read Harry Potter from the Public Library... the copy is very tattered and old looking. Were they pirates? Were they stealing? Is the Library a privateer?
No the Library asked permission... distributes attributing the ownership of the work to you and does not make money out of it!


Dear scanslators... you DID deserve what came to you the moment you did not ask for permission and decided to make money out of it.
What scanslations groups had been doing had been overlooked because: 1) they used to drop series when they go licensed! 2) they did not ask for donation NOR had ads banners!

When you switched to the dark side... the real pirate were gone and you became bandits, thief criminals. I stopped reading scans that very moment the moment I saw: DONATE paypal account.

That, the fact I am getting bored easily and work and Balthasar keep me away from scans.
Honestly I am kinda happier now. I feel like I am creative instead of passively absorbing other people's idea - which aren't really much original and fun anymore.

Now that the scanslation's world is collapsing (and it's sad to see that the honest ones, the one who did scan stuff that would never be published because it is not commercial and crappy, were the first ones to shut down)... probably people would move onto webcomic.
This is a world I just discovered and I find it to be populated by very talented people. Self promoting. Self taught.

I wish I had more time to browse it more.

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