Plans

Well, there’s bad news and… I don’t think there’s any other news than that.

For starters, I did get in contact with the author of 〈Million Dollar Bill〉 properly and he sincerely thanked me for enjoying his novel, however, he told me that he couldn’t make any decisions himself and directed me towards the editing team of the publisher his novel is under. This part seems to be the section where most other translators seem to face a wall. As you can tell by how I started this post, the publishers basically gave me a solid “no”. Their only reason was that ‘there are copyright issues’. They didn’t even attempt to negotiate anything and just left it as that.

This is actually rather upsetting since I really did want to at least translate volume 1 of 〈Million Dollar Bill〉. If I had just translated the novel without asking for permission first, then I would have probably been fine for a fair amount of time, maybe even indefinitely since Korean publishers don’t usually go out of their way to DMCA things that often. But since I’ve already received a solid “no”, my hands have become tied. They’ve technically ‘warned’ me in a sense now, so if I translate it regardless, then they can skip the warning and strike me straight away.

The only reason I’ve been going out of my way to ask for permission first was due to my good experience coming in contact with the publisher/editor of DD and YaMA. They were completely fine with me translating their novels and actually thanked me for the global popularity that I helped attract to their novels. The second reason is due to the time where I got reported by someone about the Hitler novel and Anna de Balzac. This incident sort of made me more cautious.

I’m really not sure what to do now. Korean companies seem rather closed-minded and not open to the idea of fan translations. If it were a web novel, then I’d only need the author’s permission to translate, but the novels that I’ve been trying to translate are light novels. Novels that are behind publishers. This sort of makes things complicated. There’s an option where I could just translate things first and let the author/publishers find it on their own. At that time, if they want me to take it down, then I will. If they want to negotiate something, then I will. I feel like this might be the best option. This means that I can at least translate a volume and share it with the all of you before leaving it to fate.

In any case, I guess I should hear everyone’s opinion on this. Do you guys have any recommendations or should I just go with my plan of translating things without asking for permission first and leaving things to fate?

All in all, I just wanted to feel more official, but that desire ended up putting a lot more limitations on me.


Here’s a baseball fan version of Barbatos to cheer up the mood a bit.

바르바톻스
(Artist: Jiki | Source: KR Dungeon Defense Fan Cafe) [This cafe cannot be accessed unless you sign up, so apologies to those of you who cannot read Korean]

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58 thoughts on “Plans

  1. well, if you ask me,i thinkthis is the ‘normal’ outcome.. I am surprised that you managed to get permissions before.

    and thanks god, the whole post is about million dollar bill.
    I was chanting ” dont quit, dont quit, dont quit” the whole time..

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wow that’s quite an unlucky situation. Well tbh just the fact that you tried is already quite good, although the close mindedness of these publishers is understandable after all they are a business after all. In my opinion you should chose an LN from the publishers that you had no contact with and hope that they don’t find out, unless another a-hole pops up and reports you.

    Good luck with your new project, as long as it is an LN no matter what it is it will likely be popular.

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  3. This is the cost of legitimacy sadly.

    I doubt the Author has any real say at this point, and the Publisher isn’t willing to take a risk either.

    All you can really do is go find another light novel you enjoy and can get permission for. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I think you should go with the plan of translating things without asking for permission first and leaving things to fate. Might be a bit dick-ish, but this way you’ll at leasts get to upload it for a bit, and it might even get the publishers to see the results and change their mind about getting you to take the whole thing down.
    I hope this helps you in making a decision. 🙂
    Have a great day!

    Greetings from the Netherlands.

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  5. I panicked for a bit thinking you had to stop DD it something. I think you should stick with what you did with DD. Better knowing something can be translated than get into something only to find we’ll forever be left in limbo after getting into it.

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  6. they’re just stupid since you help them get an international standing just for the fun of it… event if it’s a little. Well there’s a bunch of people already fantl-ing things without any concern but i did feel your way a bit more refreshing, you could ask the author to see and put in a word for you ..

    Liked by 2 people

  7. In my oppinion i think it would be better to go the official way, even tho i would like to read your unlimited choices, because some readers might report you to the publishers, and i think its worse to not only drop the series halfways, but also force you to delete all your translations of this project, meaning you wasted all the time. Wasting in the meaning of you can read it anyways, and leaving us with half a story thats likley never beeing translated.
    If you think its probably not found out or you think your readers are awesome and not a**holes you can ofc go with the sneaky atempt and i would support that, but i would be sad if you go in with the mentality “im gonna translate vol 1 and then probably drop it”, because like i said, there is like no way of us getting a we translated continuation of the story.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. The choice is yours. I actually respected how you put the effort to get permission for your translations. If you wish to continue doing thing the hard, but legitimate way, it would be pretty selfish from us to complain.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Split the difference? Keep this site dedicated to things you have permission for, and create a new site and identity for stuff you want to translate “unofficially.” The only potential downside that I see would be generating an audience without officially linking the two sites. Well, and it’s unnecessarily complicated, but I think of that as a feature… 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Maybe the publisher would feel more comfortable if you let them know you have a big button to their site to buy the official release if they like it. The siren song of money might dissuade publishers from worrying about copyright. Have you ever done a poll about how many users have bought the DD book after reading your translation?

    Maybe translate the novels you have permission for first? I know it limits your choice of novel, but there are a lot of novels to choose from (I think).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the notice and info.

    In my options I doubt you can damage the publisher even if you translate it with or without permission in fact you’re getting more sales for the damn publishers….but I will respect your choice getting permission from the publisher first before starting translating the LN,if permission not granted just go and start a new site and goes underground translating.

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  12. Just do whatever feels right for you.
    I’m sure you can somehow find another good novel whose author would give you their permission.

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  13. I think you should keep asking for permission, to give you peace of mind while translating and all – sure, it may be extremely hard to do it (and you have my respect for it) but it can make things easier on the long run – but if you want to start translating first, go for it, it’s not like we won’t like having more things to read~

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Personally if you do translate a few volumes, it got popular, and then it got hijacked by the actual companies and so you have to stop, it’ll suck balls a lot. Like, legit, if we’re all hooked and suddenly a wall appeared that’ll be a huge bummer.
    So please find permission first so you have 1) the peace of mind and 2) stable rope that’ll ensure you can keep on translating the good shits.
    Thank you for your hard work and consideration~

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Serious question, did you consider getting into contact with rainbowturtle and ask her how she is getting the ok from the publishers? It seems to work for her quite well.

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  16. I think on cases like this, as long as they don’t know you’re pretty much fine. Even if they find out, at most it’ll get taken down (still sucks tho, but no fines to my knowledge). But if you have asked for permission and get rejected but proceeded to translate anyway things can get pretty awry. For example look at Overlord LN, after it got licensed some of the fan TL got taken down (If I remember correctly), but the TL still continue on a secret site. Now all the translations are back somehow and the fan translation is still on and waiting for the new volume. (Ssshhhhh, it’s a secret). I respect you for actually asking the author though.

    On second thought, this is different to Overlord since Overlord is getting an official English translation but this is just plain translating. Then isn’t it a good thing for the novel to actually get fan translated since the novel gets more exposure and increase chances of getting licensed which means a lot of money. The publishers missed a good opportunity. But if you translate it then there’s a bigger chance it gets licensed. Now I don’t know what to suggest to you. Maybe make a secret translation site?

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  17. First off, I respect your choice no mater what it is. Secondly, when Overlord or Konosuba got licensed by Yen Press. Translators made “fan fictions” of what they “thought” would be in the novels and posted them on another cite. If someone were to do that to other translations, such as Million Dollar Bill, then a majority of the community here would love to check out that website if you found it for us.

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  18. Well, after read your post above, I say thanks for your will to share your work with readers. I support you no matter your choise is. But first, lets continue update DD … I’m glad if you do this.
    Thanks for your hard work~

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  19. Did Million Dollar Bill start as WN or LN?I have no idea how Korean novels work out but if it started as WN why not try getting the permission to translate the WN since you only to get the author’s permission instead of the publisher’s.

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  20. I’ve always loved when translators manage to get permission to translate works,and I really appreciate the fact that you do go out of your way to speak to the authors.
    Not to mention that as someone who enjoys finishing novels, losing it to a DMCA is always a painful experience, especially when you know deep in your heart that they’re never going to bother localising it anywhere, and while “fanfic” translations can be a satisfying middle finger to companies that license things in languages they are too lazy to translate their works to (look at this couch potato criticise an industry he knows nothing about), I always feel worried it’s all going to blow up.
    But in the end I’m gonna prioritise reccomending a happy translator over a secure novel.
    If asking for permission means that you can’t translate your favourite novels, or can’t move to different works as much as you’d like, then I’d suggest you just translate whatever you want, be careful to mind warnings, and use a cease and desist as an excuse to pick up some other novel that caught your interest/ take a holiday or something.

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  21. Shalvation thank you for your hard work, truth to be spoken when u ask permission from the author to translate their light novel is a very good gesture and well manner but not everyone accept it some are closed minded well. The reason i liked korean novel because u translate it and turn to english in very proper meaning if not one ever know this novel exist in our world except korean cause they can read thier own native language It was fresh and nice to read Dungeon Defense and now become famous in global. i do hope that DD coming out soon but patiently wait for it since most people here cannot translate. I happy that tate no yuusha no nariagari is getting anime and knight & magic as well it worth the wait :3

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    1. lastly on this post, there are many people who can`t wait i truly hope u forgive them for being rude since not everyone is understanding the things u do here. I did comment on Setsuna86 blog when he gone missing for long time, i said to her of course people think u die u didn`t leave any msg to let people know what going on but my comment got delete since i didn`t praise her or anything.

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  22. wait, you actually found a publisher that’s okay with giving permission for you to translate? That’s fairly rare from what I understand. Do they have anything else interesting/worth reading?

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  23. I’d keep this blog official. This is a good tool to have and will open you more doors in the future.
    However, do remember that it is, after all, the Internet. There is literally nothing stopping you from creating an anonymous blog and putting up translations you didn’t get permissions for on that blog.

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  24. Considering how interesting the choice of titles from.this site are, it’s the only one I actually read any update from the translator.
    I really enjoy the novels on this site, too bad for MDB sounded like it would have been worth to read.

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  25. Hello, if you are looking for suggestion, then Its 21st century archmage for me. It was translated up to v2ch3 I think (from 18 volumes) and is on hiatus for several months already. Style is different from DD a YaMA thou (its mostly comedy from what was translated so i dont know if it will fit your tastes).

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  26. …I think you should not publish. I get it ,it is annoying you go all the way to get to ask for permission and get a wall of bricks known as “no”. While you can just ignore all this tiresome process, would you be fine with that? I mean it not like every publisher will go and say no like you saw with DD. It is not like I don’t like reading new and diferent things from translators since they take a eternity or don’t come at all to my region. It is a blummer you got this no but it it not like you got no for all single request you made so fat. At least for now keep what you are doing. If it becomes too much stress, I guess it will be fine to go with plan B. Just recommend to make a another website with the ones you moke likely to get the “no”. So you can take it down when they come.

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  27. You should continue to ask permission before you translate at the moment you have good contact with the DD and YAMA authors and you don’t want to soil the relationship by having negative attention. Just keep trying to get permission and keep up the good work. I love you’re taste in light novels look forward to you’re next post 🙂

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  28. First of all, I would like to say thank you for all the translations you’ve brought to us.

    As to your question, I believe you should choose what you want to do. Whether it becomes underground or official, as long as you feel alright with it, you should do it.

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  29. I’m honestly amazed that you got permission to translate the things you do in the first place; I thought that authors would generally shy away from things that may become legal issues, and the publishers that actually handle the legal issues would definitely give a no.

    In my opinion, one of your biggest plus points for me (apart from your choice in novels) is that you actually get author permission. Been seeing a lot of shit-storms over who should be allowed to translate something or not when both parties were doing it illegally in the first place. Just sort of irks me on the hypocrisy when they make a big deal out of it.

    So yeah, keep getting permission, it’s your style after all (the only other translator I know of who gets author permission is Clown, and as far as I know she’s been MIA for a couple of years doing law school). If you really want to keep going anyways in the future, don’t take it up with the publishers, just stop at the author.

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  30. If you really want to, can’t you do something similar to what skythewood did with Blessings?
    “It’s just a fanfic, I ain’t gotta explain shit”
    I agree with ArKain, you’re a pretty chill person asking for the author’s permission, but that normally is difficult (though I thank the gods since they let you translate DD). Also, it depends on what you want to do.

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  31. I love the honesty. Sure there are consequences, and sometimes being a thief/liar can be more profitable than being honest, but seriously that stuff is for losers. It takes real courage, strength, and character to ask permission first. If they say no, then don’t worry about it. The author doesn’t deserve the popularity if they aren’t willing to let people spread their works.

    I don’t read all of your translations, nor am I a patron, but I do respect you. I really wish I had money to support with, but alas… College doesn’t give out money. It takes more of what you don’t even have yet.

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  32. To be honest, this just feels like the annoyance we are having in Hong Kong as well. The publishers would even try to denied the right for indie development. Saying that it would damage their profit and ruin the industry…….

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  33. I truly respect your honest nature and the fact you wen’t out of your way to try and contact the authors and publishers of their novels before translating.

    On the other hand i’m truly surprised you even managed to get two of them to agree to allow you to do it. Based on my experiences with not just Korean but Chinese, Japanese companies as well. The majority of them are all very closed minded, most of them act as if this is still the 1990’s in terms of how they operate. I guess the ones that edit/publish DD and YaMA are the rare breed of Korean companies that actually understand 21’st publicity international advertisement. Which is basically what you give them for free.

    I personally would just say don’t do it. You already slowly building up a good reputation with them by asking for permission first. You never know when that reputation will be what decides them changing a no to a yes after all. That and the fact you felt compelled to admit you were struggling to decide to translate it anyway or not, just proves your good nature.

    All I can say is be you, do what you think is best for you. We will always be here to read and support you and your translations regardless!

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  34. Well, If I were in your position Shalv. I would always try ask to myself ‘What made me create this blogspot in the first place’. For me, you always wanted to share great novels and translate it so that other non-Korean readers would know enjoy reading it. If you think that this novel (MDB) would be another ‘drug-dosing’ novel which is so ‘addicting’ to it that this will create more addicts? Then, you would know what’s the right thing to do. 🙂

    [P.S. How about we do on your next novel based on what you did for DD (translating before asking permission) because the framework worked in the end though.. But it’s really up to you to decide it’s because you own this site anyways XD]

    [P.P.S. Is it legal if you could rename the name of the LN into like “Bill Dollar Millions or just ‘MDB’ and then create a link for the scanned photos/artworks in the LN? for us to read the novel out of the radar XD]

    [P.P.P.S If you decide the underground translation, just a friendly reminder to delete any evidences left behind like this POST and the COMMENTS section just to be safe XD]

    Happy Translating Shalv!!

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  35. I really love how you go out of your way to get legit permission from the writers/publishers, it definitely sets you a cut above the rest. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to situations like this one. I really wanted to read Million Dollar Bill since your recommendations usually turn out so great. I respect whichever decision you end up taking in the end.

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  36. Have you thought about reaching out to J-Novel Club? Maybe they could work out something with the author/publishers for you.
    It would be great to be able to legally support both you and the authors without going bankrupt due to shipping prices.

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  37. That’s unlucky. However, I do believe it was the right thing you did there. It would be a real pity to find out you popularized a LN to the point the publishers chose to take you down by licensing it and releasing an official English translation. Your work is gorgeously well done, it’d be awful if that happened to you.

    As you refine your translations to the point the output has such a high quality I’d personally prefer you to keep doing this stuff the ‘official’ way just to ensure those money seekers don’t piss us all because of you having freely publicized their copyrighted work to the point that it’d be profitable to license an official english version.

    Keep the good work, we’re all really grateful to your kindness. We may all differ in our manners, but that’s normal: as we’re humans there’re going to be polite and impolite people out of there. So, please, disregard trolly comments as you’re awesome. They’re as appreciative as everyone else, it’s just that they don’t know a better way of expressing it.

    Thanks, dude.

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  38. I’m personally in favour of you staying “legitimate” for now, since you did have some success in the past, and it seems a bit insincere to have asked for those authors’ permission only to turn around and reveal you would’ve gone ahead regardless of said permission.

    That said, I won’t judge or admonish you regardless of what you choose, since I’ve read plenty of translations that didn’t receive permission without complaint. It’s really just the contrast that made this situation different.

    As for the publishers being close-minded, I’m sure they have their own problems to account for. I know that, at least in Europe, translations (for books, movies (both subs and dubs), really anything) are a proper copyright hell, as they pertain both copyright of the original work and of the translation itself. (In that, for example, the company responsible for the translation typically holds the copyright for said translation as an original work, but still requires permission from the copyright holder of the subject they’re translating as though it’s a derivative work.)

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  39. havent been long on the site but i really liked dd so i want to coment..
    i really dont think you should translate w/o permission, the publishers are probably not going to like it and might fine/sue you for it (that what happens in my country). keep on asking permissions first and good luck in finding something new to translate!
    and also thank you for dd, cant wait till vol 5

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  40. Translate until they say you can’t anymore! Least then you don’t get burned out, don’t get fined even if do it since they didn’t say anthing to you yet and we get to read more of your awesome translations! A win win in my eyes ;P

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  41. honestly publishers are ALWAYS like this, ignore them and do a take down if they DO ask. 99% of korean/Japanese LN’s never hit the western market there small publishers are not even factoring fan translations or actively looking into it, yeah it might be a bit shitty for the original writer if he does find out but then you just apologise and tell them why, if it gets past that and they ask you to take it down or inform there publisher who asks you to take it down then do so, Its how anime translation works.

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  42. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, or novels on the shelf as the case may be. If you were to gamble a bit and translate without mention and then were to recieve a DMCA later, that leads to both fan disappointment and the personal realization that all your work this far will be left unfinished and neglected. While it may work out, it also may not, so while regrettable it may be better to just look for another series. Something to also keep in mind is that things translated with documented permission can be used if looking for professional translation work examples, whereas things without permission most absolutely can not.

    Like

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