Toshiba has announced that they will bring the universe of Japanese manga to the global market with the launch of MangaNovel, an on-line service that allows readers not only to download and read manga in Japanese but to post and offer for sale translations of content in other languages. Apparently the product will be used at MIT to help students study Japanese pop culture and comics.
Manganovel will serve as a distribution source for Japanese publishers, and go beyond that to create a community of readers. In a world-first for the comics industry, members will not only be able to download and read Japanese versions of manga, but, by making full use of the potential offered by Web 2.0, be free to upload and even sell their own translations of the comics. The whole operation will offer secure digital rights management with “MQbic” (Multi-cubic), digital copyright protection technology developed by Toshiba.
The operating security will be guaranteed by “MQbic” (Multi-cubic), Toshiba’s proprietary DRM and operations will run the application on a “server thin client model” developed by Toshiba in collaboration with the Simplicity consortium at the MIT Media Lab. In the future, this system will allow members to view the comics they purchase not only on a PC but also on a mobile phone or portable game player.
While not available for mobile – yet – this will be an interesting one to watch