(This is probably overdue... but better late than never)
Dear readers, fans, contributors, authors and friends,
Through this small letter of mine to you, I hope to let everyone understand what Batoto is all about -- why we exist, what we wish to exist for and why we must exist. Batoto at a glance is just another online comic reader, an aggregate of comics. But we exist for a goal much different than the others. We exist so that the community, the ecology, and the value, the economy, of comics have a place to exist.
I'm sure almost all of you have found your way here to read a scanlation -- a derivative work created by fans for the fans of an original comic. Scanlations exist because there is no other way. Without scanlations much of the world populous would be unable to read your favorite comics, whether it be a manga (Japanese), manhwa (Korean), manhua (Chinese) or any other origin, due to barriers of language and barriers of finances. Ordering a comic that you cannot read from a country far away where shipping will easily out price the comic 3 to 1 is just not possible for many of us. I'm sure you've had moments where you laughed and cried (or you didn't read enough!) as you read them. But the joy that it brought to you is a moment that everyone deserves and a moment that we hope to share. And that is why scanlation exist. As much as many of us wish that all of this can be done for free of charge, free of hassle, that is not possible. There are expenses; you need to pay for your comics, you need to buy equipments to make the process possible, you need to pay for hosting your content, and etc. Then there are those who earn through this process; your hosting company earned, even your electric power company earned, and etc. You see, everything in the world has an intricate active economy no matter what. Sometimes you need to spend more, sometimes less. And when the costs end up being too high, you may have to just stop. And that is why Batoto exists. Batoto hosts not only your comics but also the groups' own ads with them for participating groups. This gives them the chance to recoup their costs through their own advertiser(s) for who need it. This may not be a lot, but through their earnings, it secures their ability to continue and motivate to do more.
Now that is why we exist today, but we want be and do so much more. Primarily we want to be a place where you can publish your own. Next, we also want to truly be part of the economy of comics. Today, there is no place where you can publish your own comics without heavy restrictions or retain your rights to your work except through self publication. But if you were to publish your own web comics on your own website, vast majority will struggle to even get hundreds of views. Numbers like these will not be able to financially help the author. So, just like we make the impact for scanlation, we want to do the same for self published work. A place where they'll retain full rights and immediately be introduced to potentially millions of viewers. Then, perhaps, they can spend their energy in creativity of their work rather than worrying about their next meal. Another wish for Batoto is to be able to be in a position to buy licenses to increase our reaches to more comics in more languages than ever before. This way, our existence benefits the ecology and the economy of the comic world.
Lastly, Batoto must exist. Today, there is a growing trend in the comic world that's quite frightening and making me grumpy. That is: loss of respect. Some of our competitors are doing things that are just wrong. Some are doing things against the wishes of their scanlators, publishers and/or authors. Hosting the content even when requested not to. Frequently even ignoring DMCA notices as the reaches of the law are often powerless in the Internet. Some are even going as far as claiming that the works are their own. What can we do when even the law can't? We can show people that there is a better way. We can educate people to do things the right way. And we want to show that doing right way doesn't even require more effort or cost. Though we may not be able to eliminate those who disrespect others, we hope to diminish their effects and their powers by simply being the better alternative.
Batoto is a publisher that just wants to make things right.
Founder of Batoto, the one who is grumpy about what's wrong.
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