Shueisha, a major publishing company announced that a major Chinese pirated manga site that had uploaded its manga works from Shonen Jump on the Internet without permission in China was convicted. This site was opened under the name of “Matsue Manga Web” and was open to the public without permission, centered on Shueisha’s works such as “ONE PIECE” from the Weekly Shonen Jump.
According to the announcement, on April 24, 2020, the Shanghai Xuhui District People’s Court convicted and sentenced the Site Admin to three years in prison (three years in suspension) and a fine of 80,000 yuan (about 1.2 million yen).
Aside from the criminal case, Shueisha is also seeking damages in a separate case in civil court. The defendant has admitted to the acts, written a letter of apology, and agreed to pay damages to Shueisha.
The following is an excerpt from the operator’s apology published by Shueisha.
“After all my days in detention, I seriously reflect on it, deeply recognize my mistakes, and apologize for the negative consequences of the infringing act.”
“Matsue Manga Web” opened in 2013 and began posting Chinese-translated scans of manga from Shueisha‘s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, days before the print issues officially shipped in Japan every week. The site earned revenue from ads, and it had 400,000 unique users. The Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau arrested the site’s administrator on October 30, 2019.
Readers of Japanese manga overseas are expected to continue to expand due to the spread of the digital distribution. On the other hand, the damage of digital pirated copies is increasing in many parts of the world.
In recent years, regular distribution efforts to counter pirated editions have become active. Countermeasures against piracy and legal action are also required to guide users to the official version. These moves are likely to continue in the future.
Source: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)