Manga piracy increased during the pandemic and got worse

Pictured is a series of One Piece manga.

The Japanese manga publishing industry is fighting the kings of piracy.
Photo: Joel Saget / AFP (Getty Images)

During the pandemic, people practiced in a variety of ways, from baking sourdough bread to exercising. Manga piracy seems to be too one of them.

An organization called ABJ (Authorized Books of Japan) was created to raise awareness of manga piracy. In accordance with Jiji PressThe group compiled a list of 400 or so pirate sites, and their web traffic has skyrocketed over the past year. In January 2020, traffic from the top three sites was 12.5 million, but in October 2021 that number rose to 326 million.

Since these are pirate sites, the financial damage they cause has increased significantly as well. According to ABJ estimates, the financial damage caused by these sites increased from 210 billion ($ 1.8 billion) throughout 2020 to 780 billion ($ 6.7 billion) between January and October 2021.

“The image quality of pirated versions seen recently is very high and almost comparable to the image quality of e-books, and unauthorized works of some manga comics can be found on the Internet on the very dates when their official versions go on sale,” the artist said. manga. Ken Akamatsu (Love hina and Negima! Master Negi Magi) quoted as they say.

There is a demand for pirated manga, so even after taking legal risks into account, sites continue to offer illegal content.

As Kotaku previously reportedIn 2019, there was a global hunt for the Manga-Mura piracy site manager. The manager was arrested was found guilty, convicted and fined. However, a new site called Manga Bank has risen to fill the void. In November 2021 Kotaku reported that four major publishers of the manga, including Shueisha of One piece and Naruto fame, accuse Manga Bank of copyright infringement. The site was shut down a month earlier.

“There is no silver bullet and all we can do is continue to do everything in our power to stop them,” said Atsushi Ito, head of anti-piracy tactics at Shueisha and also working for ABJ. this summer. “If you give up, the game is over.”

“The situation is even worse now than it was when Manga-Mura was at its peak,” he added. “This could be due to the fact that during the coronavirus pandemic, I was sitting at home.

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