Prism* and the free market of creativity

Bad news came up some weeks ago, when for reasons of copyright infringement, mangaka Higashiyama Show had been forced to put Prism, our favorite yuri manga of all time, on hold. This means that the constant rise in popularity the story met will also be put on a hold, so manga readers are going to miss a great opportunity to take a look on a realistic, high quality slice-of-life yuri.

The Beautiful World could not be sadder for Prism, one of the series for which, very soon, we plan to dedicate an exclusive article. Right now we would like to make a more general comment on the issue of copyrights. None of us has knowledge of how national or international law treats the subject. So we cannot take the position of an expert, but rather decide a stance as creative people and willing consumers of this market.

As a graphic designer and amateur illustrator, Neko-kun has had to come across a striking realization; such a thing as originality is non-existent in this world. Any person, even the ones with the most capable and adventurous minds, have to find a ground to build the base of their creations -in other words, they need something to copy and get inspired from.- It would be impossible for Osamu Tezuka to give life to Astroboy had there been no Mickey Mouse. No “The Wall” would had ever been written if “The Who” had not recorded “Tommy.”

This case is not exclusive to works of art. As one of the best modern historians, David Mccullough, suggests, ideas can only be improved and become known worldwide if there is freedom of intellectual exchange -a free market of the mind. This argument has also been supported by the example of economist Milton Friedman, on how no single person, no single country, could, based solely on its own human and material resources, produce a pencil. Ideas, products, inventions, masterpieces, they are all the creation of a continuous exchange and test through a market freer than one’s brain could grasp.

As a person who aspires of being creative, I find myself distrustful towards the halt on Prism’s publication. But as someone who was ready to order his piece of Prism’s first volume (in japanese), as an manga fan who discovered a whole lot of masterpieces through scanlations and unofficial fanart, I find it enraging that the publisher punishes the mangaka for not trying to fool his audience, for using high quality images to perform his best, instead of drawing on his own.

Should Higashiyama Show have given credit to the photographer? Absolutely. Should he also, if necessary, pay the price the photograph is worth? Yes. But none of this makes it reasonable to pause the publication of Prism in order to punish the artist. Rather, it is as if we the fans are being punished. It is as if we, the makers of future works of art, some similar to Prism, are being told that taking reference, and holding onto the tradition of copying and improving previous work, are to be punished too.

This blog wholeheartly supports Prism’s continuation. We claim that, without it, the manga community in general and the yuri community in particular, are much much poorer. We, and many of our thinking, can simply say: we cannot wait to meet you again, Megu-chan and Hikari-chan!


6 thoughts on “Prism* and the free market of creativity

  1. Pingback: YMC #39: Prism | The G-Empire

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