Lawsuit to be filed against parties who stole manga scripts
Recently, much attention has been given to the issue of stolen manga scripts being put on the market. Following the bankruptcy of manga publisher Sakura Shuppan's last December, over a thousand original drafts by manga artist Yayoi Watanabe were discovered on sale at a Mandarake
anime/manga store earlier this year. A further eight thousand original drafts were found at the store from twenty other manga artists, including Hirokane Kenshi, Ide Chikae, Asuna Hiroshi, Oshima Yasuichi, and others. The number of sheets taken from each person ranged from ten-some to around six hundred.
To battle this problem, the Committee for the Protection of Manga Scripts was set up to spread public awareness of the issue. Chaired by Hirokane Kenshi, the Committee held a press conference on September 8 at Koujimachi Square in Tokyo. The core members of the group are comprised of manga artists and other supporters that are dedicated to finding a solution to this problem. Amongst their goals is trying to help avoid and deal with similar situations in the future.
The committee plans to discuss with publishers how to control original manga drafts in the future. With the support of over 160 people, including manga artists Tetsuya Chiba
and Michiko Satonaka, they will file a lawsuit against the parties at fault. Both Chiba and Satonaka are directors of the prestigious Japan Cartoonist's Association, an affiliation that could prove to be influential in the months to come. With strong manga advocates like Satonaka and Chiba helming the movement, this issue is unlikely to settle down for quite some time.
The press conferece was intended only for the press, but the public is encouraged to express their messages of approval on the committee messageboard at the official committee homepage
More information about the Committee and the stolen manga problem can be read online in Yayoi Watanabe's diary
and also Reiko Kawashima's diary
(both Japanese only).