Here’s something a little disturbing. Visual novel news site Encubed are reporting that, following in the wake of the numerous cease & desist letters from visual novel publishers, the TLWiki has instituted a block that prevents those with Japanese I.P. addresses from viewing the site.
Furthermore, if a 2ch discussion thread regarding the issue is to be believed, three other companies aside from minori, CUFFS and Gungnir have sent C&D letters to the TLWiki, but as of this post, there has yet to be any visible response from the site. Of course, with no evidence to back up these claims, it’s hard to invest too much in them.
Now, while fan-translations are certainly a worthwhile endeavour, cases like these make you think about where one needs to draw the line. Personally, I believe that when the owner of a property requests that you stop modifying their work, you need to stop — no questions asked. Whatever their reasons — whether they be piracy or copyright infringement or simply a fear of their work being scrutinized by the media — publishers have the right to protect their property.
It’s a little sad to see the TLWiki react this way when the original purpose of fan-translations — just like manga scanlations — was to encourage professional publishers to localize certain projects. Instead, we find fan-translators waging an active war against the same people whose works inspired them in the first place.