So I thought I'd come back and work on some of the back-logged stuff I intended to host on this blog... only to find a few jackass-comments regarding my Macross: The First translation. I had not intended to speak of the matter, as I found the whole ordeal rather unsavory and embarassing (moreso for the other party than myself). But since he(?) chose to be an immature asshole, I'm forced to explain the matter. Here is the full story, exactly as it happened:
If you're not fond of stories of wankery, stupidity and douchebags, go ahead and ignore this. I'm only going to address this issue once--right here, right now--and then never again. I'm an adult. I don't have the time or patience for this shit.
Last December, I happened across a full volume scan for the first volume of Macross: The First. The quality was ~atrocious," but I could make out about 70% of the kanji, and guess at most of the katakana readings for the kanji I couldn't read. So I thought to myself: I'd like to translate this into English for myself.
So I did.
Some time later, when I was maybe 1/4th of the way through the first chapter, I found that another group was translating the manga. My first though: oh, crap--guess I wasted all that time for nothing. They were translating it into Spanish, however, and had much nicer scans than the ones I was working with--of good enough quality for me to use to make an English scanlation, using my own translation. So I took the scans, without asking for permission. My reasoning in this was that THEY were, in effect, stealing the scans, had no ownership to them, and therefore in the ethically dubious realm of scanlating I was not acting wrongly.
Apparently the group took great offense at this, despite the fact that as soon as I started my scanlation efforts I attempted to contact them, asking if they would be so kind as to share their raws with me, as a clearing image of the Japanese text would make my efforts a LOT easier. I was very polite, and in the first few emails we exchanged things were civil, if a bit terse. At this point, I was willing to attribute any apparent rudeness to the language barrier--I do not speak Spanish at any level (beyond, you know, ordering Burritos and Chipotle) so we conversed (briefly) in English.
This Spanish-language scanlation group told me that they could not share the raws with me because they were paying a third party to translate the manga into English, which they then translated into Spanish. I said "okay, that's cool, good luck" in as many words and parted ways, expecting never to hear from them again. This was their first email.
A week or so later they contacted me again. They informed me that the individual they had contracted to translate The First did not have the time or the inclination to scanlate it, and offered to let me use their raws... IF I also used their script. I (very politely) declined, stating as best I could that a large part of my motivation for scanlating lies with the need for practice--my Japanese is not good (if you know Japanese, compare some of the more complicated dialog to my translations: I'm certain you'll fine a fair bit of inaccuracies). To simply regurgitate someone else's translation would, in effect, be meaningless for me.
So, once again, I wished them luck with their efforts and parted ways, expecting never to hear from them again.
A bit of time passed after that, and I recieved some new emails. Crudely written and filled with profanity, this group accused me of insulting them, stealing their scans, and stealing their script. I replied, apologizing for any perceived offense, stated my case once more, pointed out that our scripts would (obviously) be very similar as we were both translating the same material, and blocked the sender. As I said earlier, I'm an adult: I don't have time for bullshit.
I was perfectly content at this point to forget about the foolish, worthless "fansub DRAMA" and move on. I ran out of raws, purchased some books on my own (which just arrived, actually; though it will take me some time to scan), and moved on.
I got busy with life, came back here today to make fill-in some gaps, so to speak, and what do I find in the comment threads of several posts? That group--that one asshole, blithering his vitriol here. Very immature. And so here we are: my hand is forced. I have acted with courtesy to the best of my ability. In the past 3 months as I have entered the "scanlating community," I have spoken with many scanlators and many fans, all of whom have been very kind and supportive, to my unending appreciation. This experience has been quite unpleasant. I intend to put it behind me.
This kind of bullshit is stupid and pointless, and distracts from the necessity of the scanlation effort: this material needs to be translated. Who does the translating or who gets the credit... is immaterial. The COMMUNITY matters, not the twits with scanners.