Digital manga site JManga to shut down, take all customers’ purchases with it
March 19, 2013 | 9:15 pm
DRM opponents should be sending love letters to the Japanese Digital Comics Association. As of March 26th, its “streaming manga” website JManga (which I covered here before) will stop selling new manga—and as of the end of May, manga already purchased will become unavailable to view. And there is no way to download and back up manga files that have been purchased from this site—they can only be read online.
At the end of May, loyal customers can kiss goodbye all the money they have ever spent at the site. Unused purchase points will be refunded as Amazon gift cards, but anything that’s been purchased will be gone for good. The irony is, JManga was originally founded as a way to fight the online manga piracy of unauthorized “scanlation” sites. What it has ended up doing is proving that xkcd was right: if you want a media collection you can count on not to go away when someone else pulls the plug, piracy is often the only way to go.
Regardless, JManga has handed a great victory to both pirates and DRM fighters by going out of business and taking with it all the manga that anyone ever paid it for. Anyone who ever bought manga from JManga and didn’t understand the terrible price that comes with DRM lockdown surely will now.