Pirated manga becomes an alternative for people who want to enjoy the Japanese comic without spending money. (Image via The Japan Times)

Joint manga publishers file lawsuit against pirated sites in the US

Japan is not playing around when it comes to piracy. It exalts art and culture high, proven by the arrest of Romi Hoshino (27) in the Philippines last July. Romi was proven guilty of violating the copyright law by illegally distributing pirated Japanese manga through his site, Manga Mura. The site was established in 2016.

The arrest of Romi Hoshino brought the case of manga piracy to light. It led to the arrest of two individuals connected to the Manga Mura’s pirated manga distribution, just three days after Romi’s arrest in Manila.

Kota Fujisaki (26) and Shiho Ito (24) illegally uploaded the 866th chapter of One Piece to the site in 2017, both were arrested in Fukuoka District. Fujisaki pleaded guilty, while Ito did not plead guilty.

Since 2006, the Japanese government has been hunting down pirates and copyright lawbreakers. It was estimated that the Japanese manga industry suffered a US$2.91 billion blow due to piracy.

Although Manga Mura had been shut down, the hunt continues. On 4 September, four top Japanese manga publishers, Shueisha Inc., Kadokawa Corp., Kodansha Ltd., and Shogakukan Inc., filed a joint lawsuit to the Federal District Court of New York.

In the lawsuit, the four giant publishers reported various manga-reading sites for their “willful and massive” copyright infringement. One site even stored around 93,000 copies of pirated manga. One site, hoshinoromi.org, was named after their “hero”. The site was closed on Monday (15/9) last week.

The question that remains is that is this measure effective? Even though these Japanese publishers try their best to catch all the pirated-manga distributors, it is still like a whack-a-mole game, one whacked, more will appear.

Source: https://japantoday.com/category/crime/japanese-manga-publishers-file-lawsuit-in-new-york-against-4-pirate-sites