Visual Novel Publisher Minori Object To Project Fan-Translation

By Ishaan . April 23, 2010 . 6:39pm

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Japanese visual novel developer-cum-publisher Minori have voiced their objections against any attempts to fan-translate the company’s projects. Earlier today, an “editing war” of sorts broke out on the TL Wiki page for Eden, one of Minori’s games, between a representative from the publisher and users that wanted to see the translation completed.

 

The Minori representative cleared the translation page in its entirety, returning later to leave a note in place, explaining the move. Translated into English, it read:

 

“minori holds copyright over all the files made available on this webpage. We, minori, have removed the contents of this page because the owner of this page has not received our permission for distribution of these materials. Please understand [the above statements]. Still, if there are objections, etc., please contact Minori, Inc. in Japanese at [email protected]

 

This sparked a drawn-out back-and-forth constant revising of the Eden project page, as fans of the TL Wiki made their indignation heard in the form of insults and scathing comments. Minori defended their position, stating that they preferred games developed by them be rated through the ESRB (or the appropriate equivalent) and be legitimately published overseas.

 

Eventually, all information and assets pertaining to the Eden fan-translation project were rightly removed by a TL Wiki administrator. One may read about the affair in more detail at visual novel news site Encubed.


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  • http://myanimelist.net/animelist/OnyxSyaoran OnyxSyaoran

    Fans are a powerful and scary force sometimes.

    • cowcow

      And Japanese companies are often an enthocentric and Xenophobic and self centered and scary force (scary in the ridiculous sense of why they can’t seem to realize they could profit from actually exporting their merchandise to obvious fans who would buy it)

      Me, I’ve never heard of this game but just sayin’

      • SeventhEvening

        That’s a pretty sweeping generalization and is a bit racist. Most Japanese visual novel companies actually support fan translation and at least one has worked with the fan groups to partner everything up so they could make money and so that the fans could get their game in English. It’s rather rare that fan translations get shut down.

        Really, Square is the only other Japanese company I can think of who shut down a bunch of fan projects, and they didn’t shut down translation groups, but rather groups making entirely new games using their copyrighted materials, which is not xenophobia, but protecting their IP, something that American companies often do as well. In fact, Atlus has acknowledged the fan translations of Persona 2: Innocent Sin and chose to look the other way.

        • Ereek

          I knew the “racist” comment would come up from this.

          He’s right, though, many companies from Japan are ethnocentric in their policies. While the larger companies realize there is money to be made in the west, some still retain a split outlook, for example, SE has even gotten around to splitting up Gamers into “east” and “west.”

          • SeventhEvening

            You knew it would come up because that’s exactly what such a comment is. Some Japanese companies are ethnocentric. I agree with that. However, many American companies are as well. In fact, just as many. You can say that a company is ethnocentric without making harsh and insulting generalizations.

            Additionally, ethnocentric and xenophobic behavior isn’t exclusively Japanese. It’s an attribute many American companies have and an attribute that many people have. SE has mentioned splitting gamers into East and West, but so has Bioware. Some companies have gone so far to say Japan isn’t even relevant to games anymore and has stagnated, which is a far more ethnocentric thing than pointing out different trends between “eastern” and “western” gamers.

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    If they don’t want their stuff fan-translated, then they need to start releasing their stuff in English.

    Hope the project starts up again on a different site.

    • SeventhEvening

      They actually have a very interesting message on their website. They claim that Eroge manufacturers are under attack from foreign politicians who claim Eroge are harming their country. Thus they are hiding all their assets from foreigners until the whole thing blows over.

      Basically, they are protesting against the Rapelay controversy, and that (American) women’s group who wants to force the Japanese government to ban large swaths of Eroge. I kind of don’t blame them. They mention that they want foreigners to contact Japanese politicians to show support for the industry so things can turn around.

      • Aoshi00

        Very true, most eroge would be seen as evil or pedo porn (even if the anime chars just “look” underaged, but many are in fact uniform wearing school girls.) in the US or other Western countries. Jpn has their bizarre sex outlets.. I admit, some of those stuffs are sick, but let’s face it they satisfy the inner devil in us men….

        But yea, now that the women’s groups are demanding the Jpn gov’t to ban this type of games, fans just translating things and making it available to the world w/o permission is not good for the Jpn publishers. But good luck convincing the patriarchal gov’t/culture how to run its country (Jpn might submit to int’l pressure, but where does it end, no more hentai anime/manga, selling worn underwear, etc) On the other hand, you have the French president banning the Muslim veils for women… hard to impose your standard on another country/cutlure you know…

        • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

          I figured Japan already submitted to some pressure because of the bill (that has been delayed recently because of a disagreement in the draft, apparently) that is supposed to regulate “underage characters” who appear in these games.

          The article sums it up:
          http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-04-20/tokyo-2d-child-porn-bill-delayed-to-at-least-fall
          and an analysis of the bill (very interesting points):
          http://www.translativearts.com/nonexist01.html

          While manga seems to be the focus, it does extend to games and a certain game that *keeps being brought up* from the western media as if it wasn’t covered last year already (which it was and possibly earlier) might have started a chain reaction or something ’cause I never read anything like it in the past two years.

      • http://honorless.net honorless

        Oh, it’s definitely not the Rapelay controversy daifukkatsu that got that message put up. Minori specifically has been blocking foreign IPs with that since at least June 23rd, 2009, after the freakout with the EOCS regulations around that time (I don’t really know the details) A lot of other VN producers did the same thing around the same time period.

        Like Aoshi kinda implies, it seemed to me that they were/are trying to get international pressure put on the issue…but I doubt that’s going to work. :/

        • SeventhEvening

          Actually the June 23rd, 2009 date was exactly why I thought it might be related to Rapelay. That controversy started in February of 2009 and the EOCS regulation tightening came partially as a response to that in May of 2009.

          • Pichi

            Also agree that it was around the time the whole Rapelay game was found out by one of the high British officials after hearing about it from Amazon. I remember another a website(I think it might be this one, can’t think of the name) that they started to block foreign IPs from entering their website and wanted you to contact Japanese governments to protect their work. They can’t sell it because they don’t want foreign activists to get to them.

          • Pichi

            Well, well, it IS the same company(Minori) whom I was talking about. Here it is:

            http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-06-25/japanese-companies-react-to-rape-game-ban-fallout

            Once again, Rapelay’s fault for making the company stop the fan translation. Anger needs to be redirected to those activists who want to stop their games. If fans translated their work, no doubt the activists will bring more ammo to the controversy.

      • Guest

        That’s just their justification for the usual NIPPON BANZAI racism that all Japanese are trained in.

        • SeventhEvening

          I can’t believe you would even say something like that. All Japanese are trained racists!? That’s the most ridiculously racist thing I’ve heard in years. I’ve never encountered any kind of anti-foreign sentiment or been mistreated in anyway in the several times I’ve been in Japan. You might have been able to argue a Nippon Banzai racism in Japan 60 years ago, but I haven’t seen it today.

  • mach

    Good for them. It’s their stuff. They have every right to do with it what they want.

  • http://www.youtube.com/B4ULoveShine Tim_at_where

    I do understand Minori’s concerns; however, they should look at the fact that fan translators can do it for them for free (read: non-paying internship).

    • Landiur

      But they don’t profit from fan translated games anyway.

      • http://geekouts.blogspot.com/ miruki

        Well, not if ppl apply the trans patch to a pirated copy.

  • Guest

    I really hope the translation continues elsewhere. Not because I want to play their eroge. I don’t really like eroge. But because I love stickin’ it to the man.

  • Trotmeister

    Goddamn xenophobes.

    I’ve seen more than enough of such crap during my FFXI days.

  • http://geekouts.blogspot.com/ miruki

    “exporting of these games and usage of these games outside Japan is forbidden.”

    Just wondering, can they really do that? Publish a game and make it illegal to import it? I’m just wondering… if one’s going to Japan, does alot of shopping there and doesn’t even know about this, happily taking a copy of Eden back home… and then they can, what, sue him for that?

  • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

    Well as long little buster, kara no shoujo and G senjou no maou project is safe I dont really care about the other projects.

  • Pichi

    Now that I see that its the same company who wanted to protect themselves from the whole Rapelay thing, I’ll have to side with them. I thinks its not a matter of denying fans, its more about stopping the activists from using their games as ammo, which could stop them from making games in the future. Fan translations of their games will make it easier for the activists’ case.

    • Moriken

      However, one should note that eden* has absolutely ZERO erotic content in its standard retail release. You have to get the erotic scenes (which also, obviously, are totally not integral to the story in this case) as a separate add-on, so the entire pr0n-discussion is pretty much void in the case of this title.

      • Pichi

        I don’t think so, as one can pirate it all together, and in the eyes of activists like Equality Now, such details don’t matter to them. The point is that it exists, easy to get through the internet, and thus “harmful” in their eyes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1264335302 facebook-1264335302

    If the fans want it bad enough, they’ll just retranslate it elsewhere.

  • TyeTheCzar

    Remember that during the fallout over Rapelay, Minori blocked off their site to all foreigners. Included was some sort of inevitable Engrish message that I couldn’t remember for the life of me.

  • Kris

    Why is it only poor cowcow who ever gets hit with this bug?

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