It looks like the Japanese government is really stepping up its efforts to fight manga piracy. According to Mainichi Shimbun, they are planning to ask internet providers in Japan to block illegal manga sites. These sites usually upload manga, magazines, books, as well as other forms of print media without the consent of their copyright holders.
The report also stated that the Japanese government will be holding an anti-crime cabinet meeting. After the meeting, they will then make an official announcement sometime next month. In addition, they will also announce the names of three pirate websites, two of which are operated in China and other countries. The government, as well as Japanese internet providers, are already blocking these sites in the country because of strict regulations. However, pirates always find a way to get the Japanese to be able to visit these sites.
However, Mainichi Shimbun’s report did also note that there’s no legal precedent for the government asking internet providers to block illegal sites. It may even prove to be unconstitutional because it might violate the privacy of communication and functioning as censorship. But for the government’s part, their argument is that because these sites harm publishers and content creators, the site-blocking would be allowed thanks to an article in Japan’s penal code.
Mainichi Shimbun’s report also stated that hit counts on the three pirated sites has increased since August of last year. They also noted that sales of digital comics dropped in that same month as well. The government is also considering to make laws against these sites.
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