People over at the J Novel Club are knock off Yakuza


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    @jnovelaremonsters said in People over at the J Novel Club are knock off Yakuza:

    “We do not control the rights to the web novel and cannot demand that you remove your translations. However, just because the original work is posted for free online does NOT mean that the author has given permission for it to be reposted on other websites, or translated into other languages… and the author could, if they were alerted, request your translation be completely removed (and we could forward a DMCA request on their behalf if necessary).” - Japtem http://japtem.com/removal-of-arifureta/

    I'm going to repeat what I posted earlier.

    and we could forward a DMCA request on their behalf if necessary

    So in other words [what they said was] "The author can use us as a messenger boy to forward their C&D if he wants to exercise his rights"? That's a fairly significant leap away from "We will ask the author to send you a C&D".

    Until I see Raising the Dead receive a C&D for Smartphone from Fuyuhara Patora at the explicit instigation of Sam Pinansky, I don't think WN translators have much to worry about from J-Novel Club.

    [as] Japzone in the comments [of your link says:].

    They didn't make threats. They requested and Japtem complied. All they stated was that Japtem didn't have the author's perimission to host translations and that the Author could submit a DMCA, or request JNC to make one on their behalf, if the author became aware. That's normal legal practice.

    If Japtem wanted to they could've asked for permission from the author, as other fan translations have done, and tried to get permission but they didn't probably because they didn't want to risk the author saying no. Now that an official translation of the LN is out it's even less likely that the author will say yes, and since Japtem is no longer translating the novel anyway there's no point sticking their neck out for it.


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    @jnovelaremonsters Understood about the poor wording.

    Many unofficial translators are amateurs that just start doing it because they want to contribute to the community. They may not understand all the legal repercussions of their actions, and I think a letter stating what you quoted above is meant to make it clear where they stand from a legal perspective. I believe you are asserting that lots of groups probably received a similar notice, and Micro is saying that, they probably have, but many are still translating, so, in retrospect, that statement should not be taken as a threat.

    To be completely honest, I seriously doubt the authors don't already know that their works are being translated into other languages, that's why I really believe that kind of letter is simply a notice and you're overreacting to the implication that it could be construed as a threat.



  • @microdynames "Thats a pretty nice _____ you got there, would be a shame if something happened to it."
    Read in between the lines. You are right, it is not a direct threat and if scrutinized in a literal sense then there is nothing threatening about that response. But it sounds really similar to the knock off gangster quote that I gave as an example.

    And you are again touching on another point I already made, these are individuals versus a company. To actually take it to court would take financial resources unobtainable by an individual to actually fight it. Example when H3H3 productions got hit by a copyright claim on their video and then got sued, they were almost made bankrupt trying to fight that case that they ultimately won. So the mere mention of legal action is enough to destroy people, whether or not they are in the right. That is how big corporations control the masses and apparently so does JNC



  • @myskaros If it wasn't a threat then why bother contacting them at all then? They are putting pressure on individuals. I feel you are not giving those letters and the implications they give enough gravitas.


  • Premium Member

    @jnovelaremonsters Honestly, I'm not certain how you would like them to word the (quite pertinent, as it was Japtem who asked them in the first place if the LN license extends to the WN) information that "The author retains copyright to even a free WN" in such a manner that it can't be in any way construed as a veiled threat. Does any information that is inconvenient for the recipient become a threat in that context?

    The only "reputable" information I can find that J-Novel Club's policy does not include actual DMCA C&D notices is this AMA.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/LightNovels/comments/5uq6fs/im_sam_pinansky_aka_quarkboy_founder_and/ddw1c7v/

    DMCAs are in fact, quite a pain in the butt to do and I'm sure they wouldn't do them if it weren't for pressure from within the company. (...) J-Novel Club's policy is: we ask nicely. And if you refuse, we crush you with our merciless translation quality and speed

    And I'll take that straight-up statement over attempting to infer malicious intent from blunt statements of fact, up until the day that Raising the Dead actually receives a C&D as an actual manifestation of the alleged threat.


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    Now I kind of feel bad that I forgot that was a response to the translator specifically asking about LN vs. WN, not a cold-call notice. Thread could have ended a lot earlier :o


  • Premium Member

    Okay, I read more of this thread and it seems like you're upset about the "tone" of a letter that was sent out by JNC and that web novels and light novel are different pieces of work so web novels shouldn't be affected by the copyright of the light novel? This correct?


  • Premium Member

    @Jnovelaremonsters

    RTD alone gets about 1.5 million visits each month on their website, they have several ads and take donations. They are directly making money off web novel author's work. How much of it are they sending to the original authors? How much does the author himself make off of the web novel? Nada. Only a select few of the web novel translation readers actually buy the original light novel to support the author.

    On the other hand when a work is licensed, the authors get a considerable amount of money from it. I don't know if the author of Smartphone Isekai has made anything public about it, but some other authors I know have.

    Tweet from Eiji Mikage the author of Hakomari:

    It says that he received a considerable amount of money for the licensing. He has tweeted about it several times. And I am sure all the authors including the author of Smartphone Isekai get huge sums of money, they wouldn't otherwise when their work is licensed.

    While most web novel translators deliver crappy machine translations which is a disgrace to the author's work, and even make profit off of it, companies like J-Novel Club offer a legit way of supporting the author. It is by no means wrong to worn those translators and call them out on their wrongful (and illegal) behaviour.


  • Premium Member

    I ... can't help but see this as 'I can no longer get what I want for free! This sucks, you guys suck!'

    I'm fine with fan translating web novels. I'm fine with a donate button as well, as hey, the website costs money and if people want to donate, fine. I'm not fine with patreons, subscriptions, and more. This is just someone getting paid for another person's work. Yes, translating is work, but the novel is /not theirs to profit from/. And 'Hey, it's non-profit' isn't an excuse if the author doesn't want it done, either, I note. Non-profit doesn't get around copyright. I can't go and translate a copyrighted work like say the latest Witcher novel and say "Hey, I'm not charging money so it's fine!" No, it's not. And I bet you to hell I'd get contacted about it, too. :)

    I haven't seen any signs of Sam 'pressuring' WN translators. It'd be pretty silly of him to do so, honestly, and he's pretty cognizant of things, as I believe he was part of a translation group in the past.

    Now, onto LN. If someone is translating a LN and J-Novel Club picks it up? You're damn right they should stop and take it down. That's legality for you. Sometimes it sucks (I'm still sad that one or two things Yen Press picked up got dropped and I have to wait for them to catch up) but /at least LN are being translated officially and money is going to the original authors/. More of that that goes on? More likely that other works that are enjoyed will get official releases.

    Honestly, the only negative is those who want to get the LN's for free.


  • Premium Member

    @jnovelaremonsters said in People over at the J Novel Club are knock off Yakuza:

    tl;dr

    Even assuming what you said is true word by word, your post boils down to "JNC is horrible for acquiring rights to content and moving to take down the flat-out illegal versions of this content".


  • Premium Member

    @anpan it sounds to me like his concern is that J-Novel Club is asking for the (voluntary) removal of a version of the story that J-Novel Club doesn't actually have the specific license to. As to whether this is Yakuza-like behavior, I'm not inclined to agree with him.


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    @microdynames But there is no way for him to even know that, given that he doesn't actually know the licensing agreements with JNC.


  • Premium Member

    @anpan He linked a communique from Sam Pinansky to the translator at japtem, released by japtem, in which, when specifically asked what if any legal right J-Novel Club has to the web novel, Sam stated that he did not control the web novel version's rights, but that the author would be within his rights to request a legal takedown and to use J-Novel Club as a messenger to convey this request.

    From this, we may infer that, in the specific case of Arifureta (which may or may not be extrapolated to other series, to other licensors, or to other localizers), the web novel version does not strictly fall within J-Novel Club's legal territory. Thus, the question then becomes whether J-Novel Club is a monster yakuza for asking for voluntary removal and informing them of the author's rights when asked, because... some people want to read the web novel and not the light novel?

    As to that point, I believe the moral argument is shaky, because it's not as though Japtem was translating with the author's permission, and it's not as though J-Novel Club's request constituted an official cease and desist under the terms of the DMCA either. They don't ask for entire series to be removed at once either, thus allowing the (still illegitimate, mind you) fan translation to serve the purpose of allowing people to read ahead of the light novel if they so choose, and addressing the concern many have expressed with Yen Press's takedowns that it takes years for the official translation to catch up to the fan translation's progress.

    The key here is that, should any translator choose to ignore this request, no action is actually taken, as is seen for example in the case of Smartphone. That is, removal of already-released volumes is a voluntary action to support the author, and not a legally compelled action to avoid a lawsuit under the terms of an official cease and desist notice by any party (whether the author, the Japanese publisher, or the English publisher). By all metrics, this policy is about as lenient as it gets in the industry. The only policy that could be significantly more lenient than this is if they ignored the fan translations completely, merely on the grounds that "the web novel and the light novel are two completely separate products", which, let's face it, is very thin ice.



  • Just another person who feels entitled to everything in the world for free for no Justifiable reason whatsoever.

    @jnovelaremonsters said in People over at the J Novel Club are knock off Yakuza:

    To the few who will actually get to read this,

    You’re topic is still on the site, and the “yakuza” leader running the site has already seen it...but it’s still here, almost like he is okay with you saying whatever stupid nonsense cause he is aware he is doing everything legally.

    I dont have a problem paying for content.

    This is like the international motto of people who hate paying for anything and want everything for free.

    I have already bought the Japanese editions of the >Arifureta light novel.

    Yes I saw you said this, I didn’t overlook a single idiotic thing you said, all I can say is if you enjoy Arifureta so much you would want to show the author as much support as possible by buying the light novel from JNC so the author gets paid for his work. No instead you will come complain that the illegal translation is being taken down

    Not that you would see any of the feedback because it >would be deleted by the mods, but I know that I am >not alone in my thoughts.

    Notice how it hasn’t been deleted, in fact why don’t you look through the forum topics there are a few threads against J-Novel and they are all still here cause in the end J-Novel isn’t doing anything illegal.

    One last statement, this site will do just fine without you, in fact it already has thanks to people who care about official translations and supporting the artist.


  • Member

    Pirates vs Yakuza!

    ... moving on.


  • Member

    I just want to say that I'm happy that JNC actually hire Warnis instead of throwing all his hard work for the past three year to waste.


  • Translators

    @jnovelaremonsters I am highly offended at this post.

    "knock off" Yakuza? Oh yeah? Don't be surprised if you wake up one day and can only count to 9.


  • Premium Member

    @microdynames said in People over at the J Novel Club are knock off Yakuza:

    @anpan He linked a communique from Sam Pinansky to the translator at japtem, released by japtem, in which, when specifically asked what if any legal right J-Novel Club has to the web novel, Sam stated that he did not control the web novel version's rights, but that the author would be within his rights to request a legal takedown and to use J-Novel Club as a messenger to convey this request.

    From this, we may infer that, in the specific case of Arifureta (which may or may not be extrapolated to other series, to other licensors, or to other localizers), the web novel version does not strictly fall within J-Novel Club's legal territory. Thus, the question then becomes whether J-Novel Club is a monster yakuza for asking for voluntary removal and informing them of the author's rights when asked, because... some people want to read the web novel and not the light novel?

    As to that point, I believe the moral argument is shaky, because it's not as though Japtem was translating with the author's permission, and it's not as though J-Novel Club's request constituted an official cease and desist under the terms of the DMCA either. They don't ask for entire series to be removed at once either, thus allowing the (still illegitimate, mind you) fan translation to serve the purpose of allowing people to read ahead of the light novel if they so choose, and addressing the concern many have expressed with Yen Press's takedowns that it takes years for the official translation to catch up to the fan translation's progress.

    The key here is that, should any translator choose to ignore this request, no action is actually taken, as is seen for example in the case of Smartphone. That is, removal of already-released volumes is a voluntary action to support the author, and not a legally compelled action to avoid a lawsuit under the terms of an official cease and desist notice by any party (whether the author, the Japanese publisher, or the English publisher). By all metrics, this policy is about as lenient as it gets in the industry. The only policy that could be significantly more lenient than this is if they ignored the fan translations completely, merely on the grounds that "the web novel and the light novel are two completely separate products", which, let's face it, is very thin ice.

    Just FYI that IIRC the only series Yen Press has actually issued DMCAs for is Danmachi. All other DMCAs including the great Xmass Massacre were issued by Kadokawa themselves.

    Also as mentioned, some translations of JNC series are still on-going despite their licensing. Sam said before that they'll just beat them in terms of speed and quality, and its kind of true. Very shortly after Realist Volume 5 comes out, JNC will have surpassed the WN fan translations. Fan translations aren't going to be able to catch up unless they can hammer out multiple long chapters per week as very few fan translators can complete an entire volume every ~2 months.


  • Premium Member

    @village-idiot

    Just FYI that IIRC the only series Yen Press as actually issued DMCAs for is Danmachi. All other DMCAs including the great Xmass Massacre were issued by Kadokawa themselves.

    I believe the C&Ds for Haruhi and Book Girl and Spice and Wolf came from Yen's parent company Hachette. As to your second point, now that Yen Press is owned by Kadokawa, is there really a huge distinction anymore?


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    @microdynames

    I honestly don't know about Haruhi, Book Girl and Spice & Wolf.

    The Xmass Massacre had occured before Kadokawa bought 51% of YP's shares.


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