National / Crime & Legal

Four Japanese publishers sue U.S. 'pirate' manga websites

Kyodo

Four Japanese publishers have filed a damages lawsuit with a court in New York against several U.S.-hosted websites that allow visitors to view manga, alleging “massive” copyright infringement.

The publishers say that the websites, which offer content in Japanese, are successors of the now-shuttered pirate site Manga-Mura.

“This case is about willful and massive infringement of the publishers’ manga,” Shueisha Inc., Kadokawa Corp., Kodansha Ltd. and Shogakukan Inc. said in the suit, filed Sept. 4 with the Federal District Court of New York.

One of the sites hosted more than 93,000 unauthorized copies of the publishers’ manga titles, they allege.

One site, hoshinoromi.org, is apparently named after Manga-Mura’s former operator Romi Hoshino, a Japanese national who was detained in the Philippines in July and for whom Japanese police have obtained an arrest warrant.

The sites named in the suit were no longer accessible as of Monday.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5