Fans trans/scans, upload without knowing, credit to authors. Benefit or Illegal?

This is kind of a debate thread but please remember to be civil.

As we all know, when someone wants to translate or upload your works they MUST ALWAYS ASK OWNER’S PERMISSION OR CHECK COMPANY’S GUIDELINE which is simple and easy, right?

If you’re a Anime or Manga/Webtoon fan then you would know there’s fan scan/translation and upload their works in ‘unofficial’ sites (you know what I mean ‘unofficial’ :smirk:).

What is Fan scan/translation?

A Fan scan/translation is when they take the original raw comic and does translation to English (mostly) or whatever language for free and no cost to read. It’s more than translate though. They do cleaning and all the other stuff to make the chapters look good and sometimes ask for donations but I’m not too much knowledgeable nor explaining everything.

It’s not just comics but they also work on Asian novels as well.

Maybe some of you have also faced someone translating your works without knowing (or have asked your permission) or you’ve seen there’s PDF or some ‘unofficial’ sites that has Harry Potter (and other different published works) online for free.

There are also users uploading the contents not just WP but any site, credit to the original author, not doing for profit but sharing, all without asking or letting author know. (Note: Majority is like that but some do ask and the author permits it so not everyone violates. Just mostly do :frowning: )

The reason I’m posting this is because there’s debate in manga/Asian novel community about benefits vs illegal.

While it is illegal, no, it really is illegal, there’s people who stated they knew these works from the unofficial sites/fans translation first and then buy the real works or consider if it’s worth it. Some also complained that the official companies who translate works are slow and bad that they prefer the fan scan (but ignore that one). All in all, some thinks that without pirating they wouldn’t know the comic/novels in the first place which leads to not supporting or gaining new fans to the author.

Here’s one of the article and comment thread is below (click on ‘Discuss this in the forum’)

Just to be clear, this isn’t about the Asian stuffs. This is about how people uploading and crediting authors but not doing the right and violating way does in someway benefit you (Author/Artist) and your works or it’s wrong all the same and they need to dealt with for breaking copyright law?

tl;dr: Debate is, do people/‘unofficial’ sites uploading Authors/Artists’ work (with translation or not) not for money but to highlight their name and plot is somewhat beneficial or plain wrong?


I’m also writing this 'cause I’m curious to see the response. But no :fire: please

I understand the arguments. It’s still illegal, and I’m one of those boring rule followers.


Plain wrong.

btw, it’s not illegal. But you can be sued for copyright (or sometimes trademark) infringement in a civil court.

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If one of my works showed up as a fan translation, I’d be pretty pissed.

It’s like people who say, you should be grateful for having your art works stolen because it gives you more “exposure”.

Nah, this ain’t right. If they wanna promote their favourite content creators, they can share their tweets, link their websites, their patreons, ko-fi, whatever platform they’re on - or you know… Buy their content.


So far 3 giving the :-1:

Thanks :smiley: Hope there’s more comments here or I just wasted writing my long post XD

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Me constantly sending you links because I can’t find the proof myself probably tells you how I feel about the subject :rofl:

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Do I??? :smirk: :joy: JK

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I’d be massively upset. They are my characters, my world and somebody is riding shotgun on them. Nope. It’s okay for young people to try things out, maybe they start with fandoms. But otherwise? Sorry, for me it is a clear thumbs down.


This could damage the original author if they want to get their work translated or published themselves.
So anyone doing it is not helping them.

They could also be showing their own interpretative services in a bad light if they’ve done it without author input.

A lot of the story nuances may be lost in the unofficial translation. In many instances, dialogue or descriptions can be interpreted literally.

But the success of most stories is due to the author’s use of sarcasm, innuendo, humour or vivid imagery. All of those are extremely difficult to translate into another language without input from the originator to decide what would be the best alternative.

Eg Is a casual or formal address needed here?
What can we use here to replace what doesn’t directly translate from… to… ?

Only the author knows how it should be 'cleaned up, interpreted or distributed.

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I could see how it could be beneficial in the case of manga. If something has an English-speaking audience that’s how mercy gets sold in the US, etc.

Light novels are a different story. Light novels aren’t making all their money off selling merch. (Unless they get adapted into a manga or anime.) on the other hand, light novels are extremely unlikely to be officially translated into English. (I don’t know how likely it is with other genres of Asian novels.)

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