Japanese publishers are fighting pirate manga sites!
A California district court recently approved Japanese publisher Shueisha’s request for disclosure of evidence to identify and prosecute another party for copyright infringements. In addition to Shueisha, three other Japanese publishers have filed a criminal complaint against the owners and developers of the pirate Japanese manga site Manga Bank. Last week, November 12, 2021, the court approved the request and asked Google and related internet companies to release information.
As of this writing, the Manga Bank website is no longer accessible as of early November.
Shueisha and a San Francisco-based law firm filed a request to allow discovery of information in California District Court on October 27. They requested the following information like operator name, phone number, address, IP address etc. Before proceeding, Shueisha ordered the company Cloudflare to release information using a subpoena under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Cloudflare provided the domains used by Manga Bank. Cloudflare identified that Manga Bank was using a host provided by Hurricane Electric and using services operated by Google, such as AdSense. IP addresses lead to China.
The growth and visits to pirated manga sites have increased massively since the pandemic. NHK said website visits increased from 61 million visits per month to 398 million per month. Pirate sites like Manga Bank have cost Japanese publishers millions of dollars in sales. NHK noted that the financial damage to Japanese publishers from January to October 2021 due to these pirated manga sites is estimated at US $ 6.9 billion.
Popular Shueisha magazine like Weekly Shonen Jump or Shonen Jump is no stranger to manga fans as the magazine has published a popular series like Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, Naruto, Bleach, and A piece. The popularity of these manga titles paved the way for anime adaptations and other forms of media.