Author Serious questions about this blow-up (the other thread is eploding too much to be useful)
First, here:

Alright, at this point the entire Mangadex staff has claimed that the evidence in the initial post has been tampered with through a combination of cherry-picking and actual editing, either explicitly or implicitly. Which basically means Mangadex is calling OP a liar to a certain extent.

OP is making a broad sweeping claim that Mangadex is trying to kill off scanlation groups. The only evidence provided by this is screenshots of quotes where Holo talks about eventually going legit. Which explains nothing to a random reader with limited scanlation experience like me.

Would either side (or some random reader who looks at this) like to provide what is basically a layman's explanation that is 75% data / 25% other instead of 10% data / 20% rambling / 70% vitriol?

Two questions, specifically: what is the actual contention that sparked this mess, and what aspect of "going legit" is considered such an abomination to some folks?
I don't blame you for wanting a TL;DR. As someone that doesn't agree with the scanlators side of the argument, let me start by saying I'm not gonna be neutral, I'm very opinionated.

Scanlators are basically saying "we the scanlators built up MD to how popular it is today, and upon hearing that MD would go legit if the opportunity presents itself, is a slap in the face to us, cause they'll make money off our popularity when legitness happens" (please keep in mind, MD would not be able to keep all this user uploaded content if they do indeed go legit, they'd have to dump it all like crunchyroll did when they went legit.)

MD is all like "Hey bruh, we don't force you to post here, but thanks for slandering us and taking things out of context to present to users that don't know anything about this, lol bai. Also it's been no secret we'd like to go legit if we get an opportunity, we've been very transparent about this."

Then people are either hopping on the bandwagon or laughing at the scanlators leaving (I'm the latter).

Please keep in mind all the scanlators publicly leaving and signing the open letter are ones that make money off ads, patreons, and/or donations for doing something that is basically illegal. So, they too are making money off this whole scanlation thing.

If you want a real world example, Crunchyroll did this many years ago. They were originally a fansub aggregate site, then when the opportunity presented itself, they said "hey, maybe it's a good idea to turn this thing we like doing into a job where we can actually make money while providing legitimate licensed content for our watchers." The people that liked this move stayed with crunchyroll, and the ones that just want their free animu pirated it. Same thing would happen here if MD ever does go legit.
Can someone explain the situation in an objective manner please?
don't kid yourself, this is a highly personal thing for the involved parties - nothing objective about this


Two questions, specifically: what is the actual contention that sparked this mess, and what aspect of "going legit" is considered such an abomination to some folks?

As far as I gather, the first question is consequential to the second --
So, "going legit" would mean that unlicensed (e.g. fan translations, what this site is based on) would have to be removed and unlisted, because the website would now be involved in hosting licensed content for $, and having unlicensed content would be a liability.
The argument, then, is that by the admins of MD considering "going legit", they'd be seeking to profit from the hard work of scanlator groups by establishing their reputation on said work.

Examples people are using regarding this situation are Fakku and Crunchyroll. I'm sure you could find history on the matter if you google it.

Honestly, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as a reader, because the groups have far more control over their content than other leech aggregate sites and minimal advertising diverting away from the individual group in a manga title. They have methods of getting people onto their sites and -- seemingly -- the groups involved also run their own patreons/donation pages, so it's not like they're losing money by staying around right now.

Should they be concerned if the admins do decide on "going legit", earnestly? Sure, but based on the current outlook, that isn't happening now, so it's more reactionary than anything.
Well it's hard to be objective because it's a rather hot issue but their main point is in their Wikipedia point being the main focus with all of the drama cut out.

1. Some Scanlators feel like their group is just being used to boost the popularity of the site, or in other words market share of Mangadex, to the point where they have some leverage to somehow get licenses to translate "Legit" being the main worry point it seems.

2. Then there's the accusations of Mangadex leveraging it's popularity to bully groups into posting onto the site, the cropped discord quote of Holo being their showcase example.

3. Then there's an accusation of the mangadex users being toxic. . . it's the internet, what do you expect?

TL:DR might as well be "The user base is funding the infrastructure expansion of Mangadex because of the content provided for free by Scanlators. So that in the future when/if Mangadex goes legit the only ones who profit off of all of the hard work is Holo and whoever he considers is a 'good scanlator'." So basically they're accusing Holo of creating a startup, with the goal of getting big enough where he can go "Legit" without actually being a startup.

My beliefs aside, I believe that is their points with the bullshit cut back a notch.
So this is the story. Since day 1, we have often joked about how big MangaDex could grow, and if one day going legit could be a possibility. It's pretty much a meme on Discord.

My exact view on this is that if the opportunity presented itself, and we were able to keep the majority of content on the site through licensing/sublicensing, then there is no reason to not consider it. I even suggested that we would hire good scanlators to work on titles legally. I don't see why that's controversial at all. But I also said that this was very unlikely, maybe almost impossible.

Today someone photoshopped a bunch of things I said a year ago (either in a public discord or maybe even a private chat, I can't remember) and made a non-story into a story. If we look at what those groups have in common, it's not difficult to figure out why they're doing this. Which is ironic because I actually agree that scanlators should get some money to pay for servers and raws.
Personally in every capacity, I think this is a retarded decision by the Scanlators if those were their only points. They don't need the burden of creating an image server and hosting all of those costs. It's also bad on a visibility level, because a lot of people who would've never seen them, have because of places like Batoto/MD. Now they'll just go back and fade into obscurity and only get some traffic from aggregate sites that actively try to remove their credit pages.

Like, everyone loses in this situation, it's fucking stupid. Even if they make their own join manga-reader it'd have to be pretty damn good for me to even look at it. Because it's just a fucking hassle to deal with multiple sites.
It would be nice to get one of the signature scanlators over here to make their case, but if they've already run off to the wild blue yonder I suppose that's not happening.

Unless someone presents a decent counterpoint (which they certainly haven't done in the source thread), this looks distinctly like the signature scanlators being douchenuggets. Especially the bit about the potential financial ramifications of going legit, if that ever happens. Why would you complain about getting a much more steady and potentially greater revenue stream to do what you're already doing if the terms of the arrangement are approximately equal to what you already had? Is there some kind of group politics going on here that nobody's mentioned?

Guess I'll have to fire up my adblock / noscript / greasemonkey trio again.
Personally, this whole thing can be narrowed down to trust.
We have our reasons, sure Mangadex seems like a great place to post your scanlations, but we want nothing to do with it anymore.

(We in this context is NinjaScans)
@Ganoush Trust in what? Pardon the french, but from the moment I started paying attention to this not a single fucking scanlator has bothered to explain what the hell you're worried about. Everything I've learned about your side of things has been through personal observation and reading between the lines. You have a great deal to say about how vile and untrustworthy Mangadex is, but you won't stop spewing vitriol and vague platitudes long enough to give a simple, concise explanation for what you want and why.

This is just getting preposterously silly; I started an entirely separate thread explicitly to give a fresh start unencumbered by the screaming shitstorm that is the originating thread, and I thought my questions were rather clear.
Does anyone know the fastest way to tell what mangas you're following will no longer show up here? I know I obviously could go and check all the scanlation groups' webpages individually but gotta feel like there's something much faster. MDList needs a new sort option of "most recently had a chapter removed" lmao
@ninjadork I'll try to explain it in the most neutral ground for you, excuse me if my English's stupid

MangaDex and certain "big" scanlators have been relying on each other in a win-win scenario: MD gets traffic + donations help to keep up the server, scanlators get exposures + building up viewer bases + put delay on chapters to drive traffic. The readers benefit the most, as the site is ad-free, has links to official raw/English license, and convenient links to find favorite scanlators they like.

All of this began crumbling down as the site grows and certain dramas occurred (I'll save you the trouble by not explaining it here), and the scanlators don't like that MD is not taking their side (since they're "big" they expect to be treated specially). This led to them pulling their chapters in an attempt to force MD to look at things their way, and to an extend MD did give in and openly discuss with the communities on what's best to do in their case. But the scanlators is still not pleased.

The entire drama thread lies on the fact that MD "plans to go legit and steal off scanlators' work to profit off it". This has been disproved, and basically any sane person would see it's just a pipe dream that can never come true. Basically it was just an excuse to pull off MD and force readers to choose another site to read release on, preferably scanlator's own website so they can profit from ad revenue.
Well in the end of the day the most affected ones are the readers.

That's fine. We respect your wishes to do so.
Both sides are hypocrites from what I've seen.

MD: supposedly has no plans of going legit to make money but launches mousepad merch the very same day scanlators accuse MD of being money grubbers.
Scanlators: accuse MD of being money grubbers while having Patreons.

Both sides need to climb down from their ego perch and get themselves a healthy dose of humble tea.
Honestly, running a server and a community incurs a metric ton of costs. I don't see why adding a few bits of merchandise can be construed in a negative way. If you don't want to support the community, don't buy it. Same with the scanlators patreons, if you don't like their work, don't support them.
TL;DR some of the scanlators prefer ad infested aggregator sites which rip their credit pages to mangadex which provides an info page for them to edit

But also this
Average user will not find those scanlators' sites, so they will read their translations in an aggregator site without even knowing who translated it because that aggregator site removed the scanlator's credits page. Thus the scanlator will receive less money

But if they stay on MD and MD increases its rank. Average user will start reading their manga on MD. They will know who translated it. They will find a link to scanlator's website. Then the scanlator will receive more money

That is all

And some conspiracy theory
Last night I got this crazy idea:
What if (I told you) this whole thing is backed by Kiss?
I know it is crazy but only party which would benefit from this is Kiss (and the ones that got paid by Kiss, if paid)
god who fucking cares
After running a podcast last night on this very subject, and having an MD PR on as a guest, the groups that left because of the "potential to go legit" have no idea what MD's actual plan is to get to legitness. I didn't even know until hearing from Ply last night in the cast.

If they had even once reached out to Holo or anyone on the mangadex team, they would have learned that MD only plans to go legit if they can get licenses for the vast majority of titles already on the site and to pay the translators/teams for their work.
The amount of money that would cost is insane. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what you would call a Pipe Dream, and as awesome as it would be to see that dream come to fruition, it's never gonna happen, since their baseline for going legit is the license for the majority of titles already on the site, they won't settle for less than that.

Most people are afraid of a Fakku or Cruncnhyroll where the site dumps all the user content to go legit, but after seeing those sites do that, MD decided that to go legit, they would do everything possible to avoid that scenario. The titles that are already licensed by other companies would have to go, obviously (though Ply said they'd try to get digital reading rights for those too, good luck), but everything else currently unlicensed is the only goal. If they can't have it their way, they won't go legit. That's it.

If you want to hear the full conversation, just check out the broadcast archive: