The arrest of two individuals in Japan for illegally purchasing and distributing manga images resulted in the closure of major “leak” accounts and illegal manga distribution sites. Fans may have to change the way they consume manga due to piracy and lack of spoilers. The arrests represent a significant step forward in the fight against manga piracy, potentially affecting the entire industry.
Two foreign nationals suspected of violating copyright laws were arrested in Japan on February 4 for illegally purchasing and distributing manga images published on Weekly Shonen Jump days before the official release. This event is causing waves in the manga world, as several websites providing illegal scans of pre-release chapters are shutting down, along with many “leaking” social media accounts.
Kumamoto Prefectural Police arrested two individuals on February 4, charging them with copyright crimes. One of the two, Musa Samir, 36 years old, runs a company called “Japan Deal World LLC” in Kita-ku, Tokyo. According to the investigation and statements of Shueisha, the publishing company that owns Weekly Shonen Jump, these images were acquired by bribing bookstore employees. Stores receive the magazines days before actual releaseand the illegal purchase of footage from the most popular series has flourished in recent years.
While the two suspects have denied charges related to the publication of these images, the practice is sadly known to Shueisha and Japanese authorities, who have recently stepped up efforts to combat them. Copyright infringement. As a result of the arrest, Nearly all major leak and scanning groups have shut down their operations.
Copyright infringement arrests will change the way fans consume manga
Large leak and sweep groups have been shut down
Events in Japan were reported online by manga-related news accounts such as Manga Mogura and sandman. The most immediate consequence is that high-profile leakers – that is, accounts that share images or chapter summaries before they are published – have been directly named in the investigation, including Jujutsu Kaisen leaker @JJK_Mya (account no longer active), as confirmed by an article published in the Japanese newspaper Asahi. Additionally, many groups that scan, clean, and translate illegally obtained “raw” images before publishing online have shut down, including “OP Scans” and “Scanpiea.”
However, the consequences will go further than that. It has become common practice for fans to illegally read chapters of popular series, even if they later read or buy the official version. More than that, Even fans who try to avoid spoilers can sometimes be affected by themas Shueisha pointed out in its statement (translated by @sandmanAP):
The nature of social networking sites is that posts based on the user’s interests will be displayed as “suggestions”, etc. In some cases, users are accidentally forced to read spoilers. This means that there are cases where users are accidentally forced to read the next chapter of the manga.
The publisher went on to claim that in one case, they received more than 1,000 complaints from readers in nearly a week, including threats to cancel their subscriptions.
The entire way fans perceive and consume manga may change as a result of the Japanese government’s crackdown on piracy. Famous “content creators” have always relied on spoilers and illegal scans of their content. For example, Grand Line Review, famous for being the first One Piece content creator to reach one million YouTube subscribers, reports on new chapters of the series days before their official release and is often criticized. cited for using spoilers in page thumbnails. As many of these accounts collect millions of views and impressions, it will be interesting to see how they will react to the – hypothetical – lack of spoilers and early scans since Now.
The fight against manga piracy has taken a big step forward
Shueisha and other manga publishing companies have been trying to combat piracy for years. As Shueisha pointed out, it is difficult to crack down on leakers because these accounts delete images not long after posting and before their accounts can be suspended. However, coupled with the recent closure of giant manga and manhwa pirate website “M,” news of these arrests in Japan will hopefully signal a turning point and the beginning of the end. for an activity that, to quote Shueisha again, “could shake the world.” the very structure of that industry.”
An interesting side note is that the arrests occurred in Kumamoto Prefecture, the birthplace of Eiichiro Oda, the One Piece manga creator who is perhaps most subject to this illegal and immoral practice, which is partly Which is ironic for a manga about pirates.
Source: Shueisha official statement; asahi.com; @MangaMoguraRe; @sandmanAP