Question Piracy

Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by llian, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. llian

    llian Member

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    I’ve been posting free translations on the internet since 2005, with a much larger readership back when I also did English to Chinese, and this is really the first time this sort of thing has ever happened. Maybe it’s not about “big money”, but they’re certainly attracted to the idea of it.

    I’m aware removing anything won’t do me any good at this point. Readers have been linking my stuff long before Novel Updates and the scene around it existed, and it never occurred to me this might end up encouraging theft, since everything was already free and easily accessible. Idk how to make aggregators any more unnecessary.

    I know how much traffic my stuff actually gets. They’re all wasting their time, which is why I found the situation downright surreal. Anyhow, thanks for all the tips & advice.
     
  2. Westeller

    Westeller Meatbun Panda Staff Member

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    It's about volume. Your translation alone doesn't have enough in the way of readership, sure -- though it looks like a good five hundred people have your translation on their reading list here on Novel Updates, to keep track of new releases from you -- but it's just one novel. There are about five thousand different novels being translated that are currently listed on Novel Updates. Some of which have thousands of chapters on their own. The amount of content is staggering, and continues to grow every day.

    Aggregators can profit by gathering all of these novels in one place, so readers don't have to go to individual translator sites to read them, and by introducing them to readers who would never have discovered them otherwise. ... Novel Updates works much the same, but by providing direct links back to the translator. This site does a good bit to make aggregators less necessary, but they still have a lot of advantages. Standardized chapter formatting, mobile support, being entirely free, great SEO, etc.

    There's a lot of potential for parasites here. The larger translation sites measure their daily traffic in the millions, and have for a couple of years now. Even when pretty much everything was completely free.
     
  3. HnM_Pete

    HnM_Pete Well-Known Member

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    Westeller. Pls.

    The only thing that can possibly make an aggregator unattractive is a bigger aggregator. No translator group can do it alone, because they are hopelessly outclassed in the amount of content. No "legal" aggregator ( or quasi-aggregator ) can do that either, these have to play by them pesky rules while thieves can ignore all that.

    Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. We will just end up like the manga scene, where everyone pretended batoto and mangadex are doing something good while aggregator sites had 80% of the actual traffic. Traffic which is big enough to start attracting attention of the authorities.

    And like it or not, removing your new releases from NU does help. All the big pirates depend on your new release RSS feed for updates and discovery of new titles. After all, it is so much easier than having to track the hundreds of separate and ever-changing translator blogs.
     
  4. xiazixin

    xiazixin Well-Known Member

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    Just make a hub like some Manga site, it resolved the needs of those website and text server required little resources compare to the mass image server. And are generally harder to ddosed.
     
  5. Westeller

    Westeller Meatbun Panda Staff Member

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    Like it or not, aggregators have chapters we do not track. Yes, they often find new novels through Novel Updates and scrape us for releases, but it's insane to even pretend Novel Updates is the sole source of their release tracking, or that removing a novel from Novel Updates will prevent them from tracking it themselves -- for many novels, they already do that.

    You might get away with it if, as I said, you have a translation literally no one wants to read. Because that's what has to happen for any type of anti-aggregator gimmick, including removal from Novel Updates, to work. It has to be completely overlooked. Because no one is reading it and no one notices it's broken. Trying to trick them, and expecting it to work, is acknowledging you have an incredibly unpopular translation. All it takes is one reader from an aggregator to report a problem.

    I'm also not expecting people to ignore them completely. I'm saying straight that translators need to make every effort to fight them properly. That means fostering loyalty among your readers, ensuring your site is up to snuff and offering the most common conveniences, not making readers jump through hoops to read legitimately or making it a pain to do so, and embracing platforms for reader interaction -- discord, forums, comment sections. Engage with your readers.

    If you want to top if off with small tricks to frustrate aggregators temporarily, that's fine. Great, even. But it's important to keep priorities straight. Don't make things difficult for your legitimate readers. Don't obsess over doing everything possible to make your site obscure, inaccessible, or untouchable to aggregators. Don't push your readers to aggregators while trying to "fight" them. Don't go out of your way to make people want to read on an aggregator.

    Don't strangle your own readers while spouting vitriol about people stealing from you.

    And you're right. Aggregators will never go anywhere, and they're always going to have a certain level of popularity. You can't "kill" them. And a "bigger aggregator" won't even do that. It might fight them for traffic, but they aren't going anywhere in the end.

    No, that's all anyone can do: fight them for traffic. And that's what we should be focusing on. We should make them as irrelevant as possible. They're always going to exist, but they don't have to be the largest sites around. They don't have to be community hubs or the place everyone and anyone goes to read.

    ... and say what you want about legal, quasi-aggregators not being enough, but making things harder for them just makes regular aggregators all the more attractive to readers. We can remove translations. But if aggregators keep tracking them anyway, readers that used this platform to read your translation are going to them instead. Readers are not going to track your site themselves. Not most of them, anyway. And the more novels not tracked here, the less relevant this site is overall.

    At that point, you're just helping them, not harming them.
     
  6. llian

    llian Member

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    Ha, you guys need an Archive of Your Own

    All joking aside, a translator-controlled meta aggregator would actually solve the problem. But its not going to happen because 1. the genre is already commercial, so there's zero incentive for translators to use the service unless it springs to life with full features and pays well. 2. translators would have to actually acquire foreign language rights, sometimes from giant media conglomerates.

    AO3 had done so well that its basically made everything else irrelevant. Non-profit, volunteer-ran, open sourced, with a solid legal team. It's hard for me to see anything like that happening here.
     
  7. kenar

    kenar ヽ(`・ω・´)ゝ

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    so basically NU and NUF combined. got it.