Kevin Shiel June 2009

Kevin Shiel is co-founder and Administrator of StopTazmo, a large forum-based download site created in October 2004 to counter NarutoFan and its owner Tazmo, whom was (and still is) accuse by many scanlation groups of charging money for scanlation.

Please introduce yourself!

Kevin Shiel: Hi. I run StopTazmo and I go by the name Kevin Shiel, basically all that I do is manage the updates along with some of the coding for our site. I do from time to time check out the forum, but most of my time is spent collecting manga/anime.

How did you get involved with scanlation? What was the scene like when you first entered it?

Kevin Shiel: We are not really involved in the scanlation scene. All we do is take the work of each group and group their download by series. Before we started doing this, the only other sites that were like ours were sites you needed to pay for.

Tell us a bit about StopTazmo, what kind of site is it, how did it start and how did it get to where it is today?

Kevin Shiel: StopTazmo is a website where manga fans can come and download manga and now even some anime. We have over 1,500+ manga series and it's growing each month. After we first started, a forum was opened and slowly we expanded with large numbers of series every few months and slowly words spread about us.

What's great about StopTazmo is users do not have to visit IRC or pass through a ton of download links to get what they want. Here they are all on one page. We opened StopTazmo so that we could become the anti-Tazmo site years ago and Tazmo's real name was taken to spite him, which I now use as my forum username. Tazmo was involved in a lot of shady things, and we decided we were going to open a site to counter him and spread the word.

Did StopTazmo encounter any roadblocks along the way? Did you get in trouble with any publishers?

Kevin Shiel: We experienced many problems, such as DDOS/DOS attacks, hackings and even slander by the owner of NarutoFan. We never ran into any real problems with publishers. We were contacted by a few and simply added their site link to the download footer pages.

Tell us about your view of the current scanlation scene, there seems to be many other download and online reading sites, how do StopTazmo feel about these other sites?

Kevin Shiel: There will always be competition and variety; in truth they do not concern me. A lot of the other sites are only open with the goal of profit and I've never really felt the same way. Overall I do feel that there are way too many websites to download and read manga from, and I hope that in time all of these sites become consolidated in some manner.

The conflict between NarutoFan and the free download sites/scanlators is a pretty interesting story in itself; care to give us a brief summary of it from your point of view?

Kevin Shiel: It's not appropriate for others to be profiting from the work of someone else. I could understand if NarutoFan accepted a small amount of money to pay for their time in collecting everything and putting it in one place, but instead they have turned the selling of work done by others into a very profitable business without sharing with the scanlators.

Did StopTazmo have any effect on NarutoFan? Has anything happened between StopTazmo and NarutoFan in the last few years? Any interesting stories?

Kevin Shiel: Everything regarding NarutoFan and Tazmo has come out into the open because of us, and it caused him enough concern to use DDOS attacks against us and even smearing the owner. In the end not much changed, but we were a serious black mark against him that could not be stopped. Nothing much has gone on between ST and NF in the last few years, everything has died down and we've gone our separate ways. There are a number of stories that could span for pages but for those who are interested, they should take a look at our forum for all of the answers.

What does the future hold for StopTazmo?

Kevin Shiel: We've been spending a lot of time working on our new download scripts that should be fully working in a week. We are also planning on putting out anime along with our manga downloads to help increase our traffic. In the end, I don't really know the future of ST. We will simply take things month by month and see how they go and adapt accordingly.

What do you think is the future of scanlation and download sites in general?

Kevin Shiel: From my perspective, it seems that with the way things are heading, there will be a few major players that will offer large amounts of anime/manga downloads either for free or for a small monthly fee, and the smaller sites will die out. There will always be people scanlating and there will always be new series coming out, and hopefully there will be a few good enough that I might even become a follower of.

Thank you very much for the interview! Any last words?

Kevin Shiel: Thank you for your interest in interviewing me.