Manga Publishers Sue Manga Pirate Website For 14.2 Million Dollars

Published on July 31st, 2022

Japanese manga publishers Shueisha, Kodakawa, and Shogakukan, have filed a lawsuit against the former manga pirate site, Mangamura for 1.9 billion yen ($14.2 million US). The estimated damages are only from 14 mangas including, One Piece, Kingdom, Overlord, Mushoku Tensei, and Kengan Ashura.

manga piracy lawsuit mangamura

The manga piracy site, Mangamura launched in 2016. According to Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA), the website received 620 million visitors between September 2017 and February 2018, causing about US$2.92 billion worth of damage to copyright holders. Mangamura website was shut down in April 2018 after the Japanese Government asked the internet service providers to block access to the pirate site.

The creator of the Mangamura website, Hoshino, was residing in the Philippines. The Philippine Bureau of Immigration arrested him in July 2019 and handed him over to Japanese authorities.

The District Court of Fukuoka (Japan) declared the 29-year-old website owner guilty of copyright infringement charges in June 2021. Hoshino was fined 10 million yen (about US$91,100) and sentenced to 3 years in prison. He was also ordered to give back all the revenue he earned from running the website, which was about US$565,000.

Police also arrested 2 associates of Hoshina, a 26-year-old male named Kōta Fujisaki and a 24-year-old female named Shiho Itō.

MM Lab and Global Net, two companies advertised on the piracy website, were also fined US$96,303 by the Tokyo district court. Love Hina manga creator Ken Akamatsu filed a lawsuit against both companies, claiming that his work was illegally posted on Mangamura. This is the first time an advertising agency has been held liable for advertising on a piracy website. The court found that the manga sales of Ken Akamatsu’s work had decreased because of piracy and ordered the companies to pay compensation.

Despite shutting down Mangamura, manga piracy continues to increase. A Japanese blog interviewed Shuiehsa’s representative, Atsushi, who is responsible for taking down piracy sites. He revealed that “things are even worse.” “There are more than 700 manga piracy sites, and the ten most visited receive 240 million views per month. Mangamura was getting as much as 100 million views a month”. He further said that there is no silver bullet, and all we can do is continue doing what we can to stop them.

What are your thoughts on manga publishers’ strict action against Mangamura, considering that the website is already taken down, and all the profit that was generated from the website has been taken back from the owner? Let us know your opinion in the comment section.

Sources: ANN, Oricon

8 thoughts on “Manga Publishers Sue Manga Pirate Website For 14.2 Million Dollars

  1. The thought is them worldwide in to every corner of the world.Then we won’t go to piracy websites. I reside in India and in my city i can’t get a manga nor i have a pvr cinema(where anime are released). So that is why we go to piracy website and watch movie and read manga.

    1. There any many websites where you can buy physical or e-manga and for anime you can take Crunchyroll subscription

  2. The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates. -Gabe Newell

  3. Pay to use or rather in this case pay to read model is long dead. I’ve read the webtoon called Unordinary on the official website for free without spending a single dime. Then after getting invested in the series I’ve spent coins to read new chapters before they release for free users. The author is earning a decent amount of money from what I’ve heard. This is the way manga artists can avoid piracy. I will never spend money on something I don’t care about and I don’t think anyone should. This is why the most popular games on steam are free to play games. But those devolpers are earning massive sums or money, even more than buy and pay game devs. I mean take genshin impact, completely free to play game but the devs earned back the development cost within the first few weeks of release. Like I said, the pay to use model is dead.

    1. Wow !! Justified in every word you said…
      But i think the difference is culture, webtoons were on “the web” from really beginning… While manga are hand drawn and distributed locally.. though royal fans would love to collect the chapters they love but not all people would like to spend money…
      Also i am using webtoons for 3 years now, but i haven’t spend a single penny on the app.
      The harsh reality is- no company can actually tackle piracy in any way because piracy is actually wanted by public itself and not pay per read…
      Crunchyroll is still not available to many countries….
      Now if you launch anime on Netflix, the audience would be much wider …..
      I personally still wouldn’t pay on crunchyroll cause again piracy, but i am already using Netflix so watching anime there isn’t a problem

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