Some of the most popular manga magazines in Japan have now teamed up for a new anti-piracy campaign. Japan’s Shuppan Koho Center (“Publications PR Center”) is leading the campaign together with the several big publishers like Shueisha (Weekly Shounen Jump), Shogakukan (Weekly Shounen Sunday), Kodansha (Weekly Shounen Mahazine), and Kadokawa (Young Ace). They even brought together their most popular characters in one poster for this online campaign.

They’re calling this new campaign as “STOP! Pirated Versions,” and it doesn’t just involve Luffy, Melodias, Conan, and Atsushi Nakajima. Here’s how Jump itself asks readers not to read pirated manga:

“Let’s stop looking at illegal sites of pirated manga! This is a notice for the ‘STOP! Pirated versions’ campaign that many publishing companies are participating in. It’s connected to empowering and protecting manga authors so that they can continue producing new content. We ask for your cooperation.”

Here’s another poster for the campaign, this time featuring even more manga characters like Eren, Golgo 13, and more!

The campaign then launched a website to inform the public of the damage piracy has done. The website presents actual monetary losses on the side of the publishing companies, the following data are backed by several official reports on the subject:

  • Estimated damage within Japan: 50 billion yen (US$448.9 million)
  • Estimated damage within the U.S.: 1.3 trillion yen (US$11.7 billion)
  • Estimated damage from Haruka Yume no Ato, the largest manga pirating ring in Japan: 73.1 billion yen
  • Estimated damage from pirate site Manga Mura: 320 billion yen

The site also states that piracy is affecting the manga creation process as well. They even released a manga regarding the matter:

Panel 1: Manga artists

Sales have decreased due to the proliferation of pirated copies. Manga artists can’t survive. ‘I can’t eat!’ 

Panel 2: Editors

New talent can’t be cultivated in the manga industry full of hopes and dreams. ‘I can’t find any newbies!’

Panel 3: Bookstore staff

Due to declining sales and revenue, the status of bookstores is in trouble. ‘Manga’s really not selling anymore, huh.’

Panel 4: Readers

If the cycle of manga creation is broken, then ultimately the readers are the ones affected. ‘There’s no interesting manga!!!’

Let’s protect the cycle of creation. STOP! Pirated versions”

Six typical methods of illegal distribution with brief descriptions:

  • Online reading sites–There are actually fewer Japanese sites of this nature and more unauthorized English and other translated versions. Internet users can easily access and read manga on their phones, tablets, or computers (Manga Mura is an example). Sites can also be dangerous for the reader because of easily transmitted viruses, automated redirecting to harmful sites, and other scams.
  • Leech sites–The main type of site found in Japan. They house virtually no ads and most of their revenue is generated through affiliated cyberlockers (storage services). The legality here is a bit of a grey area so efforts are being made to made to address them at the moment.
  • Video submission sites–More common in Japan than overseas. Manga chapters are copied into video-sharing services such as YouTube to create a kind of electronic slideshow of pages. It’s harder to detect and prevent pirated manga through this type of distribution than pirated anime.
  • Spoiler sites–These sites often get their hands on new manga chapters before they’re even published in the official magazines, so they tend to attract the type of reader who wants to keep up with stories as soon as possible. Luckily, illegal distributions via this method have relatively leveled off since a large bust back in February 2017.
  • P2P–Stands for “Peer to Peer,” or files shared directly by users/computers in a connected network. Examples in Japan include Winny, Share, PerfectDark, and Cabos; examples overseas include BitTorrent.
  • Swindling sites–A classic credit card scam. These sites advertise free-to-read manga, but then readers still can’t read anything unless they register their credit card. After a time, they’ll probably notice they’ve been unwillingly charged.

Japan is currently stepping up its piracy campaign, and are slowly gaining ground. In fact, several mangaka and light novel authors have reported sales increases after the shutdown of one of the big pirate sites. Japanese police also arrested five Chinese nationals tied to anime and manga piracy.

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source: Sora News 24


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