Sword Art Online author Reki Kawahara was contacted by an individual claiming that they were the original author of the popular isekai series.
Just a few days ago, renowned anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara, known for his work on iconic series like “Revolutionary Girl Utena” and “Penguindrum,” took legal action against a mysterious woman who had issued a copyright strike against him.
In the wake of this event, Reki Kawahara, the mastermind behind the blockbuster light novel series “Sword Art Online,” came forward to share a similar experience and called for effective measures to combat such harassment.
On October 10, 2023, the Mainichi Shimbun website broke the news that Kunihiko Ikuhara had initiated a lawsuit against this unidentified woman.
She had contacted the director via Twitter, accusing him of plagiarizing her work without her consent.
The impact of this episode was significant, leading to the cancellation of a concert by one of Ikuhara’s colleagues.
Consequently, Ikuhara took proactive steps, filing a lawsuit for an initial amount of 3.3 million yen, which was later raised to 4.4 million yen, against the woman for tarnishing his public reputation.
Interestingly, this elusive woman identified herself as both a voice actress and an illustrator.
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Reki Kawahara’s Response to the Incident
On the same day, Reki Kawahara, celebrated for creating the immensely popular fantasy series “Sword Art Online,” revealed that he had faced a similar issue in the past.
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He made various tweets describing a mysterious account that claimed to be the author of his work “Sword Art Online.” He demanded an explanation for why it was plagiarized under Reki-sensei’s name.
The author expressed his confusion over this dilemma as he didn’t know how to respond. The author later explained the copyright registration system in Japan.
The Agency for Cultural Affairs registers copyrights under individual names but doesn’t officially designate them as copyright holders. This loophole makes it easy for such conflicts to arise.
While Kawahara can effortlessly prove his authorship of “Sword Art Online,” having published it on his website since as far back as 2002, the process is time-consuming.
Therefore, he urged the establishment of a more robust patent or copyright system, predicting that such issues are likely to escalate in the future.
No One Can Copy Sword Art Online
A newcomer light novel author “Takahiro Tsuzuki” commented on Reki Kawahara’s post on X:
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In this comment, he explained that he had also thought of a story similar to “Sword Art Online.”
But he also explained that no one could write such a detailed story at that time (Sword Art Online started publishing in 2009) when technology wasn’t that advanced.
There is a reason this series has such a widespread fandom around the world, thus proving that one author’s work is unique and undisputed from any other one!
What’s your take on this? Do you concur that a foolproof copyright system needs to be put in place to shield authors from such vexations? Share your thoughts in the comments below.