WN license



  • Hi I would like to ask a question does j-novel club hold the license to both LN and WN or it’s just LN because another translation group is translating a light novel which what i read in (novelupdates.com) it says that you guys are the English publisher and you do have it licensed the light novel is (Seirei Gensouki ~Konna Sekai de Deaeta Kimi ni~)


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    @yellow-emperor They only license LNs but I don't know if their licenses cover the WNs. As for Seirei Gensouki you can find the LN here: https://j-novel.club/s/seirei-gensouki-spirit-chronicles/

    The first part of each volume is freely readable by everyone, for the other parts (which are on catchup) you need to purchase a paid subscription to read them (the lowest is $4.95 for 1 month). Do note that usually only the last volume currently being translated can be read with a subscription, but since Seirei is currently on catchup for this month all parts are available until the end of May.

    Or you can separately purchase the first 4 volumes already which contain also color illustrations (and more fixed typos/errors compared to the individual parts here on the site). If you purchase the premium version here it also comes with a few more benefits: DRM-free epub and bonus short stories. You can find a list of all the premium contents in each series' volumes here: https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/305/premium-e-book-bonus-contents-list/1.

    ===

    P.S.: I haven't read the WN but I heard that the LN starts to diverge from it around volume 3-4(?).


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    Not a JNC employee. I'm pretty sure JNC has "licensed the LN," but they may or may not have a legal right or obligation to try to take down unsanctioned WN translations (in addition to LN ones).

    The person who "owns" the WN is likely the author, or possibly the JP publisher if the author transferred rights to the publisher when signing to turn it into an LN.

    When a publisher licenses out a property internationally, there is sometimes a clause giving the international licensee the legal right to enforce the copyright on behalf of the author/publisher (occasionally the contract may even stipulate there is an obligation to actively enforce/police it). If that were the case, there would be a clear legal right to JNC requesting the take down of unauthorized WN translations.

    I don't know the details of JNC contracts, and it would be bad business manners to share the details of a contract, so I doubt JNC will say whether that applies in this case or not.

    If this is part of the debate of whether it is okay to translate the WN if there is an English license of the LN, then the answer is that there is no legal difference in that status of the WN translation before and after an LN license; the rights holder could request it be taken down before, and they can still do it now. The main difference is that now there is someone with a little more financial motivation to take it down if they think the WN fan translation is cutting into LN sales. That someone could be the JP publisher/author even if it's not the English one. (The other possible difference is the fan translator's moral(?) question of continuing an unauthorized fan translation if it is directly hurting the rights holder by reducing sales.)


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    I may be wrong - but I've never heard of a (Japanese) web novel being licensed in English. I know of several works that were Web novels prior to being published (and typically edited/amended- the WN became the LN) Is there a place when WN's are officially/legally translated/licensed- or is it just a case of commons / fair use (fan translations, like Baka-Tsuki, until requested by license holder to take down?)


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    @jon-mitchell I believe Cross Infinite World has licensed some Japanese WNs directly and published them as books in English.

    And as you likely already know given you specified "Japanese", there are many Chinese WNs that are officially licensed and translated online, though I don't follow area so am not sure of the full details.

    Edit: Also, "fair use" doesn't really apply to fan translations online (the act translating itself is fine, but the sharing with many people disqualifies it from fair use), even if it's a fan translation of the WN.


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    @hatguy12

    thanks for that.

    • Does anyone know of someplace like one of the many fan-translation sites that actually licenses the webnovels?
    • does anyone know of a WN that got published IN ADDITION to the LN (it seems to me that generally once the author lands a publishing deal, the LN gets licensed and the WN if not taken down, is used for promoting the LN)
    • would some of the short stories/side stores that were in a WN but got cut when creating the LN become bonus content?


  • @hatguy12 in (novelupdates.com) if you look it says that The ENGLISH PUBLISHER is (JNC) and they have LICENSED the novel but it didn’t mention the LN or WN and i was curious because a translation group is translating this light novel and some other works(Chinese and Korean) and i asked if they had the licenses to translate and upload these WN they said some have license and some don’t but it’s “in the process”



  • @yellow-emperor said in WN license:

    Hi I would like to ask a question does j-novel club hold the license to both LN and WN or it’s just LN because another translation group is translating a light novel which what i read in (novelupdates.com) it says that you guys are the English publisher and you do have it licensed the light novel is (Seirei Gensouki ~Konna Sekai de Deaeta Kimi ni~)

    The Japanese publisher typically gains control of the WN when they pick up an author for LN publication. The JP publisher then licenses out the English-language translation and publication rights to JNC/whoever. If JNC determines that a fan translation could hurt their business (which could in turn hurt royalties that go to the JP publisher), they can act as a go-between for the JP publisher to send a DMCA to the fan translation group. Either way, it's copyrighted material and the fan translation group usually does not have permission from the rights holders to post a translation of that material, let alone solicit money for it the way Roxism/wordexcerpt does.

    @Jon-Mitchell You can consider a WN the unedited draft of a book. It's the author writing stuff and publishing it on the web on her/his own. The process of turning it into a LN brings in an editor and changes to make the story fit more into a traditional retail style of releases, i.e. discrete books with beginnings, middles, and ends. That's why you don't see WNs get licensed, generally. FYI, translations don't fall under fair use, they're typically considered derivative works, which require permission from the copyright holder to publish.


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    @yellow-emperor If anyone has told you that they are authorized to translate either the WN or LN of Seirei Gensouki in English, they are boldfaced lying to you. Only J-Novel Club has the license in English. And as @hatguy12 said, while JNC only holds the license to the LN, they do have an obligation and the authority to warn fan-TL groups to stop translating the WN, as that can affect sales.
    On top of that, for any LN/WN (except Chinese in origin I believe), if a translation group is allowing unlimited, free access to a translation, it is most definitely unauthorized and illegal.


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    @myskaros said in WN license:

    FYI, translations don't fall under fair use, they're typically considered derivative works, which require permission from the copyright holder to publish.

    And quite officially so at that:

    https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf

    A derivative work is a work based on or derived from one or more already existing works. Common derivative works include translations, musical arrangements, motion picture versions of literary material or plays, art reproductions, abridgments, and condensations of preexisting works. [...] Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, an adaptation of that work.


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    @myskaros

    Thanks all - It's as I believed, fan translations are not 'legit' and in the vast majority of cases WNs don't get licensed per se (The LN is a version of the same work, and holds the copyright, including derivative works i.e the web edition/ WN or whatever, and fan translations are technically in violation of the copyright)

    for example: seirei-gensouki-spirit-chronicles, JNC obtained rights to publish electronic/physical version of this work in English. They paid the creator/publisher of the work to do so under license. The Web novel of the same name is a version of the same work (regardless of how much we discuss how they diverge, story wise) IANAL but I think that fan translations of the web novel version of this work being posted/distributed on line would be in violation of copyright law - who enforces the copyright? I don't know. JNC licensed the work but doesn't 'own' it- but if there were a lawsuit, JNC could claim standing/damages for lost revenue

    I'll get off my soap box now - don't support pirates



  • @jon-mitchell said in WN license:

    who enforces the copyright?

    The holder of the copyright can take action against a violating work by sending a DMCA, presuming the site is hosted in the United States. I presume there's a similar action that can be taken for sites hosted in other countries, aside from countries that explicitly have no copyright law.



  • @legitpancake well the WN I’m talking about is being translated by [REDACTED by RB] and they translated like 149 chapters which i don’t know how many volumes is that and they didn’t mentioned it and being some one who reads a shit ton of WN i was curious about the whole translating process and most importantly the licensing and some day if they ask for money to read this WN then can i tell JNC about this and will they ask the group to delete the entire WN?


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    @yellow-emperor They are already asking for money, the newer chapters are all locked under Patreon. I believe this is the same group behind the WN translation of The Unwanted Undead Adventurer and Sam already "fought" with them about it in the past. (At least I remember reading something about that in the past.)



  • @yellow-emperor I have edited your post, please do not link to illegal fan translations.


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    yellow-emperor said in WN license:

    and some day if they ask for money to read this WN then can i tell JNC about this and will they ask the group to delete the entire WN?

    You can tell JNC whenever. But Sam might decide it's not worth the effort to try to take down (or he might try, it's up to him).



  • @rahul-balaggan i apologize i didn’t mean to do that