Police arrested nine people on suspicion of copyright law violations Tuesday in connection with a website containing links to other sites that give visitors access to pirated comics and books.

The nine, including men in their early 20s, are suspected of uploading pirated comics to a website without consent from the copyright holder and linking the materials to the site they operated in August last year.

The website did not host any pirated publications but the police believe it reduced profits for authors as it enabled visitors to read pirated works for free. The annual loss for the publishing industry was estimated at around ¥73 billion ($643 million).