Manga Artists Win 20-Million-Yen Suit versus Uploaders
posted on by Egan Loo
The Tokyo District Court awarded 20.32 million yen (about US$178,000) to 11 manga artists on Thursday in a lawsuit against two homepage maintainers and two Internet companies that uploaded the artists' manga online. The artists included Tetsuya Chiba, Takehiko Inoue, Hiroshi Motomiya, Go Nagai, and Takao Saito. The plaintiffs had originally sought 20.5 million yen (US$180,000) in compensation in the copyright infringement case.
According to the ruling, the two homepage maintainers scanned volumes of 45 titles, including Chiba's Ashita no Joe, Inoue's Slam Dunk, Motomiya's Salaryman Kintaro, Nagai's Devilman, and Saito's Golgo 13, and uploaded them onto the Internet without authorization from September of 2005 to January of 2006.
The ruling calculated the compensation by taking 35% of the average 300-yen (US$2.60) price of the volumes' e-book versions and multiplying that by the number of times the files were browsed for a total of 18.8 million yen (US$165,000). Ten of the plaintiffs were awarded an additional 200,000 yen (US$2,000) each for costs, and the 11th plaintiff was awarded an additional 320,000 yen (US$2,800) for costs.
Nagai said, "This ruling could establish the foundation by which an author's rights are protected."
Image © Takehiko Inoue © Go Nagai