When this landed on me, I was surprised too!
Pop Media Holdings, which owns Tokyopop, has a mobile app, POP Comics. It’s basically an app where manga/comic creators can publish their work for app users to read. Their website seems to love the words ‘interact’, ‘monetize’ and ‘awesome’…plus it’s free to read as ads incorporate the app. All sounds cool, right? I mean it’s a decent enough sounding platform for indie artists to show off their work to the public. They get paid, the public see something new, and Stu Levy is more chuffed with himself.
Well not everyone reads the small print…
Putting in a nutshell, POP Comics can do whatever they want with their app without informing the user (or the creator who is publishing their work) beforehand. They can pretty much revoke your “creator-owned” status without telling you first, and if you have a problem with that, then you’d have to go through Hong Kong law instead of your own home country’s one. Also, if you have a problem or dispute with using the app (eg. a creator has issues with POP Comics showing certain stuff), you don’t have the right to actually file a lawsuit; something what is known as arbitration is used instead. Arbitration is favoured by companies because it doesn’t necessarily involve a real judge, and is much much cheaper for the company.
First we have a lot of people doubting whether Tokyopop is even worth its resurrection, then its issue of ‘raising awareness’ of shows by uploading whole episodes onto Youtube without the licensor’s permission, and now this? Sure having these dodgy-looking terms and conditions in a mobile app is something people are going to jump up and down about…besides there are better way for creators to show off their work.
Pixiv / Deviantart / pretty much any image-based social media platform
At this rate, I may end up writing more shit-hurling posts about Tokyopop (complaining how they should have stayed dead), and turn me into one great big SJW. Perhaps I should quit using WordPress and turn straight to Tumblr instead……I’d be able to both be chummy with other SJWs and at the same time have shit hurled in my face for no apparent reason.
Love goes to Bunnycartoon for finding this out and influencing me to write this. She haz teh conneketionz!!