3 Arrested for Posting One Piece Manga Scans Before Publication

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Police: suspects scanned manga, earned money from website ads

Japanese police arrested three people on Wednesday for allegedly violating the Copyright Act by uploading Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga from Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine online, before the manga's chapters were scheduled to be published.

The police arrested Yō Uehara, a 30-year-old self-employed male from Chatan, Okinawa Prefecture, and Shizuka Nagaya, a 23-year-old freelance female writer from Tottori, Tottori Prefecture. The police also arrested Ryōji Hottai, a 31-year-old web designer from Akita, Akita Prefecture.

According to police, Uehara and Nagaya had been acquiring copies of Weekly Shonen Jump from stores that sell copies early, and using a scanner to copy chapters of the manga and upload them online. The police allege that the pair had been doing this for a year as of July. The police also claim that the pair had earned up to 75 million yen (about US$687,150) through website ads from the scans.

In addition, the police allege that Hottai had been copying the scans and uploading them to his own website. The police claim that Hottai may have earned up to 305 million yen (about US$2.80 million) from this site over three years.

Uehara has allegedly accepted the charges, while Nagaya has partially denied them, claiming that she had not been involved since last year. According to the police, Hottai has accepted the charges, claiming that he launched the website to "earn money for expenses."

Shueisha commented on the arrests, saying that it "expresses indignation that a work that the creator worked hard and poured his heart into would be distributed in such a way to illegally earn profits." The comment then notes that the company "continues to hope that this recent arrest and that further efforts against piracy and unauthorized use will serve as a warning."

Source: NHK News Web

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