Shuho Sato, the writer of Burakku Jyakku ni Yoroshiku, which commonly translates to “Say Hello to Black Jack,” is planning to make the award winning, 10 million copy selling manga available for free “second use.”
This means that after 15 September anyone in the world will be free to novelize, televise, create merchandise, or in any way adapt the original work for either commercial or non-commercial purposes without having to pay royalties. This is the latest move in the writer’s quest to find alternatives to the “outdated” model of intellectual property rights.
Earlier this year Sato had severed ties with the original publisher of the Say Hello to Black Jack series and put the works on his own web publishing site MangaonWeb. Details are yet to be confirmed but Sato is saying that he will not relinquish his copyright, but that he will not enforce it for an indefinite time.
“The traditional model of making profit by holding onto a copyright is gradually going stale” he said. “I want to explore the possible benefits to authors beyond this system.” Around the same time from 20 September to 2 October, Sato will put his work on display at the pixiv Zingaro in Tokyo. A copy machine will be on hand for the exhibit for visitors to replicate whatever they want.
This subject matter is nothing new for Sato. “Black Jack” is an homage to Osamu Tezuka’s rogue surgeon who charges people not on their medical needs but on the contents of their characters. Say Hello to Black Jack (better translated to the less popular title, Give My Regards to Black Jack) is a more gritty portrayal of a medical student wrestling with the conflicting ethics and business of being a doctor.
Fan translations are available on the internet and after 15 September they should become much easier to find without the threat of copyright infringement When it does come out in the open I highly recommend it, it’s an excellent story. And please support Shuho Sato in his effort to find a fair system for content users and creators alike.