The following announcement was posted on MangaHelpers. You can read the original here.
Greetings International Manga Community.
You probably know what this news post is going to contain, and it is with a heavy heart that we have to make it. None the less, here goes. A few days ago, Japan's Digital Comic Association announced a historic move by the Manga industry. The short version is: the Publishers will no longer sit idly by and watch the scanlation community spread their work. They have identified some 30 larger websites, and have given a last warning to the scanlation community to voluntarily remove all infringing content, or face legal repercussions.
Yes, we believe MangaHelpers is one of them, despite not being contacted by any legal representatives about this specific announcement at this time.
Since the development and release of the MangaHelpers database, MangaHelpers has grown substantially in both users, fans, and traffic. We have served the market demand for Manga availability internationally where the publishers have failed to provide it. It is not far fetched to claim that, over the years, MangaHelpers and websites like us have greatly served the publishers market reach and franchise exposure. For many of you, we have served as your introduction to the wonderful world of Manga and its' many inspiring titles through providing a centralized service for locating and reading the titles you like in the language of your choice.
Unfortunately, providing this service is no longer an option, and as of effective today, MangaHelpers will undergo the following changes:
- Raw and Scanlation hosting/linking will be disabled for all publishers.
- Raws and Scanlations that were already in our system will be removed and will no longer be available for anyone, except for scanlators - but only for a limited time in order to allow backup of their work.
In plain text: MangaHelpers will no longer be hosting, or linking to, any material that infringes on the publishers' ownership from our database system. Members of scanlation groups that have uploaded files will still be able to access and download/backup their works, but only until July 1st 2010, when all files will be completely removed for everyone. Scanlators that find themselves unable to access their files can send a private message to njt who will resolve their access problems upon request.
Translations, and the textual translation release system will continue to function as normal, and MangaHelpers will continue to be a hub for translators to collaborate, learn and receive feedback on their work and linguistic skills. We are also looking at ways to improve on our translators services, potentially with improved systems for learning and training translation skill.
As far as scanlators support goes, we are looking into improving and focusing more on the learning and teaching aspect, rather than the hosting of their work.
The rest of the MangaHelpers Website (Forums, News, Translations, Art Gallery, etc) will continue to operate as normal.
As a conclusion to all of this, we would like to thank each and every one of you who have contributed to MangaHelpers over the years; whether it be via translations, scanlations, moderation work, or by other means. Your efforts mean a great deal to us, and we assure you that we will be doing everything we can to keep MangaHelpers operational as the helpful, friendly and unique community that it always has been. Just because we are removing a lot of scanlations and raws does not mean we are going away :)
What does it mean for my weekly Bleach fix?
I did a quick scan of OneManga and they have not posted a similar message. In addition, OneManga has been on Viz radar for sometimes and frequently cooperates with Viz. We can draw some comfort from this as Viz hasn't yet tried to shut OneManga down completely. In addition, Ju-Ni, which exclusively does Bleach, is likely to remain safer, longer because they only do one manga title. Mangastream is still new and while it is growing, it is unlikely they are on the "hit list". There is also BleachExile, Bleach7 and other Bleach only sites. So, for the time being, your Bleach fix is safe. However, the long and short of it is that your favourite manga outlets may well get ceases and desist letters in the near future and may well fold as a result.
In related news, you should all be very, very thankful that Crunchyroll has secured Bleach anime rights and support them as much as you can. Just because, thanks to their legal license, we don't have to live in perpetual dread of the anime subs disappearing of the web.
Mangafox takes down Bleach
So Bleach will no longer be available from MangaHelpers and Mangafox. Also, ReadBleach.com hasn't updated since chapter 398. So your Bleach fix is safe, at least for a little while longer.