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Man Arrested for Selling Pirated One Piece Figures of Nami

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
25-year-old Chinese national allegedly sold 3 figures for 23,000 yen/US$290

Police in Chiba Prefecture arrested an unemployed male Chinese national from Saitama Prefecture on Tuesday on suspicion of violating Japan's Copyright Act. The suspect is accused of selling unauthorized, custom figures of the character Nami from the popular manga and anime One Piece.

According to police, the 25-year-old sold three figures on an Internet auction site to three men in Tokyo, Aichi, and Saitama Prefectures without first acquiring permission from Toei Animation. He allegedly sold them between last November and this March for approximately 23,000 yen (about US$290) total. Police also believe that the man imported figures worth a total of about 1.8 million yen (US$22,700) from China since last September.

The figures were what fans call "ma-kaizoku figures," which can depict characters as nude, in sexual situations, or in other manners not necessarily approved by the original creators. (Many ma-kaizoku makers simply customize figures readily found on retail store shelves.) The Tokyo Shimbun paper notes that some ma-kaizoku figures have removable clothes, but does not specify if the figures that the suspect sold also have them.

A Japanese couple was arrested in Nara Prefecture on June 14 for allegedly selling custom One Piece figures for a total profit of about 800,000 yen (about US$10,000). Police also searched their home and confiscated approximately 2,000 figures that are thought to have been imported from China.

Last month, a 33-year-old Japanese man was also arrested in Chiba Prefecture for selling ma-kaizoku figures of female One Piece characters for approximately 40,000 yen (about US$506) total. Police are investigating the possibility that the man imported figures that were mass-produced in China.

Source: Tokyo Shimbun

Image © Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Fuji TV, Toei Animation

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