Manga publishers level lawsuit at pirate site

Three large publishers of manga comics in Japan – Shueisha, Kadokawa, and Shogakukan – have filed a joint lawsuit that accuses Mangamura of widespread piracy and is seeking 1.93bn yen ($14m) in damages.

The suit makes reference to 17 specific manga series, including One Piece, Erased, and Rising of the Shield Hero, and claims that Mangamura attracted around 500 million visits between June 2017 and April 2018, the period covered by the complaint.

While directed at one of the largest sites, the lawsuit is barely scratching the surface of manga piracy, given that more than 1,000 are estimated to be making copyrighted content available at any time.

A report in the Japan Times, citing antipiracy organisation ABJ, estimates that the damage from the illegal activity amounted to around 1 trillion yen ($7.5bn) in 2021.

The three publishers said in a statement that one individual has been arrested and convicted of offences in connection with the site's activities. Romi Hishino (29) was sentenced to three years in prison and fined more than $650,000 in June by the Fukuoka District Court.

Mangamura provided access to around 8,200 titles, equivalent to around 73,000 manga comics and magazines, at its height.

Last year, a US court ordered Google and other internet companies to reveal the identity of the owner of another site that is accused of pirating Japanese manga comic books – Manga Bank – that according to the complaint made at least $1.8bn-worth of content to its under from the site launch in late 2019 to October 2020, when it was take offline.

In February, the three publishers and one other called Kodansha filed another suit against US content delivery network provider Cloudflare, seeking an injunction against the public transmission and reproduction of pirated content through nine sites and compensation for damages.

The suit claims Cloudflare provided server space to nine of the top 10 malicious piracy sites in terms of traffic as of December 2021.

Image by ryo taka from Pixabay 

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