JManga is not quite there yet

June 10th, 2012 by Author

JManga posted an announcement (h/t RT):

We are proud to announce that JManga has made an exciting change to our subscription system. Previously only Premium Members could use points to purchase manga, but now Free JManga Members can, too!

(Please note that Free JManga Members will need to upgrade to a Premium Membership in order to purchase points.)

So how are free members supposed to get points, then? There is only one way: temporarily become a paid member, buy points, then withdraw, coast a few months on the points, become a paid member again, ad infinum. So the point (heh) of this announcement is an effective reduction in the minimum membership dues. It was important for them because of limited selection, as documented by Omo. Same thing happens with Netflix: once I watched everything interesting in their library, why would I continue to pay my monthly dues?

I think I could live with this cycle of membership, but even so, there’s not enough value. I want something that can be used off-line. Ideally, DRM-free (like Amazon MP3). Although “we” (e.g. fans) helped Amazon to break the will of petulant rights holders and force them to provide DRM-free music (including anison and J-pop), manga is going to be a whole another battle. And I am not sure if Jmanga is our friend or foe in this fight.