Aug 29, 2012
Get your internet (4chan) keyboards ready, an award-winning mangaka is granting everyone a free reign of usage for his works without the hassles of copyright infringement and related laws.
Shuho Sato, author of the manga series “Black Jack ni Yoroshiku!,” has expressed his intention to make the said manga free for “second use.” What does this mean for the rest of the world? For an indefinite time after September 15, all the works of Shuho Sato on Black Jack ni Yoroshiku will be free to all users for any commercial or non-commercial use. Sato has stated that the manga can be adapted in anyway, such as print or visual media (film, TV), without paying for the royalties.
Apparently, this is part of Sato’s mission to find alternative solutions for the current copyright laws, which he claims to be “outdated.” In a translation of Sato’s blog by Rocket News, Sato stated:
“The traditional model of making profit by holding onto a copyright is gradually going stale” he said. “I want to explore the possible benefits to authors beyond this system.”
However, to be clear, Sato is not relinquishing his copyright for his Black Jack work. Instead, he will not be exercising his copyrights to his works for an indefinite time.
From September 20 to October 2, Sato will be holding an exhibit of his “Black Jack ni Yoroshiku” works at the Pixiv Zingaro in Tokyo. A photocopier will be made available in the event for visitors wanting to replicate any and all materials they find at the event.
Around April this year, he ended his work relationship with Blackjack’s then-publisher, Kodansha. He, however, emphasized that his “New Black Jack ni Yoroshiku” will not be affected as it still continues its publication run in a separate publisher, Shogakukan. His exit from Kodansha was the first step in finding alternative sources of income for authors without the risks of exclusivity.
Shuho Sato has won the Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Award for his work on Black Jack ni Yoroshiku. It had its run in Kodansha from 2002-2006 at 13 volumes, with sales reaching up to 10 million copies. The manga has also been adapted into a live-action drama series in 2004.
Synopsis from ANN:
Saito Eijirou is a newly established intern doctor, who is forced to take on a second night job at another, much smaller hospital because of the extremely low pay he receives. As he bounces between the two different hospitals, he is forced to dig deeper and deeper into Japan’s largely corrupted medical society and starts to question even his own initial believes, as he asks himself just what being a doctor means.