The Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered the operator of a now-defunct manga piracy website to pay ¥1.7 billion in compensation to three major Japanese publishers.

Presiding Judge Masaki Sugiura recognized that the site operator and his associates had uploaded the manga for people to read for free, without approval from the publishers, thereby inflicting financial damage.

The plaintiffs — Kadokawa, Shueisha and Shogakukan — said the ¥1.7 billion sum was most likely the highest ever granted by the court among other similar cases, and they hoped the lawsuit would help deter other manga piracy site operators from uploading content illegally.