I’ve been pretty quiet about, as I thought this was going to be all talk and no action, but as the manga coalition has finally taken action, I guess I’ll air my thoughts from an American viewpoint.
I’ve never been a great fan of the idea in the first place. My view from the people I’ve talked to is that those who really care already go out and buy the series to support it, even if they read scanlations and are farther ahead in the series. Those who don’t care enough, if given the choice between no manga and paying for it, would rather go with no manga.
There’s also a great flaw with their plan, I feel. Even if the coalition takes away the scalations, the coalition does not make money appear in our pockets to make buying manga easy. Face it. Before the economy went downhill, manga was an expensive luxury at ten dollars a book, now more these days, and it still is. I understand that printing manga over here, with the translation and everything isn’t cheap, but this understanding doesn’t make the money appear in my pocket. It just isn’t there.
One would hope, and it seems that YenPress is definitely considering the idea, that rather then take down websites and leave it there, these companies will take them down, and then put up sites with their own ‘legal scanlations’ available. If they were willing to offer sites to allow the reading of manga for a small subscription fee, I think it would be a great business venture.
As it is, I don’t see this helping manga companies sales over here in any way.