By Megan Peters
It is a tale as old as time, it seems. When it comes to manga, pirates cannot ignore the siren’s call. The industry has been plagued with piracy for decades at this point, and technology has made it easier than ever to distribute illegal scans across the world. However, that tech has also given publishers more power to stop pirates, and one legal case just made history as it ended with a major Chinese pirate in prison.
The case, as shared by Torrent Freak, began when four of manga’s biggest publishing houses began a joint initiative to tackle pirates. Last fall, this task force filed an application in California to gain information on several piracy domains on Shueisha’s radar. One of these was MangaBank which at its heyday brought in 81 million visits a month illegally.
After the application went through, MangaBank was shut down before long, and things have been quiet at the domain since. That is, until a report from China revealed the case is still ongoing within its borders. It turns out the People’s Government of Wanzhou District, which oversees the region MangaBank’s operator lives in, has taken legal action against the man. The operator was found guilty of violating an article of the Regulations on the Protection of the Right to Disseminate Information on an Information Network.
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As such, the operate has been given a final of nearly $4,500 and had part of their illegal gains confiscated. At this time, MangaBank is still offline and shows no signs of returning. And as Japan’s publishers continue to hunt down pirates, this legal case acts as a warning. Legal action will be brought to any operators who infringe on these publishers’ IPs whether they’re in Japan, China, or elsewhere around the world.
What do you make of this latest legal situation? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.
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By Megan Peters