Philippines Arrests Alleged Manager of Mangamura Piracy Site
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Philippine news service ABS-CBN reported on Tuesday that the Philippine Bureau of Immigration arrested a 28-year-old male named Romi Hoshino, a.k.a. Zakay Romi, the alleged manager of Japanese manga piracy website Mangamura.
The Bureau of Immigration stated that the arrest was made based on a request by the Embassy of Japan to the Philippine government. The authorities have detained Hoshino at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City pending deportation proceedings.
BackgroundThe Mangamura site launched in 2016.
The Japanese government officially asked Internet service providers in Japan to block access to three pirated manga websites including Mangamura in April 2018. Mangamura then became inaccessible on April 17, 2018. However, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on the same day that the site did not shut down due to site-blocking from Internet service providers. According to the newspaper's source from a service provider, Mangamura was voluntarily shut down by its administrators. Asahi Shimbun added that the separate server where the site's images were stored was also inaccessible. According to the paper's source, the action could not have been performed by anyone aside from the site's administrators.
The Japanese government's request asked the providers to voluntarily block access, but the government plans to create new legislation in 2019 to expand the scope of site-blocking. Currently, the site-blocking law is only applicable to child pornography.
Japanese authorities revealed in May 2018 that they were actively investigating Mangamura after Kodansha and three other publishers filed criminal complaints with the police departments in summer through fall 2017.
According to Japan's Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA), between September 2017 and February 2018, users accessed Mangamura about 620 million times. The association estimated that this caused 319.2 billion yen (about US$2.92 billion) worth of damage to copyright holders in Japan during that time.
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