In a long out battle resulting in an end to his publishing contract with Kodansha, Say Hello to Black Jack manga-ka Shuho Sato has now made his aforementioned series copyright-free. What does this mean exactly? It means that there is no fee involved for using his work for secondary uses such as translating his manga in foreign languages (i.e. anything besides Japanese), make films, anime, goodies, and more. In other words, if you decide to take his manga and publish it in English, you will not have to pay Sato for any royalty fees which is what companies like Viz do now with their line of manga titles.
Sato has also made Say Hello to Black Jack free and available at his website, MangaOnWeb. With that said, all his other works are NOT copyright-free including his Say Hello to Black Jack spin-off series New Say Hello to Black Jack which is currently being published by Shogakukan.