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Man Arrested on Suspicion of Uploading One Piece Manga to Mangamura Piracy Site

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
37-year-old man allegedly uploaded manga to site illegally in May 2017

Police in Fukuoka arrested Wataru Adachi (37) on Saturday on suspicion of uploading unauthorized images from Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga to the Japanese manga piracy website Mangamura in May 2017.

Police stated a man believed to be Adachi contacted Fukuoka police earlier in August stating he wanted to turn himself in. Police arrested Adachi at Fukuoka airport, after he arrived there from the Philippines via Taiwan. Adachi has not admitted or denied the allegations, but has said he wants to speak with a lawyer.

Fukuoka police and other agencies arrested two people on July 10 for allegedly illegally uploading Chapter 866 of One Piece onto the website around May 29, 2017. The man and woman were reportedly friends of a 28-year-old male named Romi Hoshino, a.k.a. Zakay Romi, the alleged manager of Mangamura. The Philippine Bureau of Immigration took Hoshino into custody on July 7. Authorities have detained Hoshino at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City pending deportation proceedings. Japanese authorities had issued a warrant for Hoshino's arrest, and they plan to arrest him upon his deportation to Japan.

In July, authorities said they also issued a warrant for the arrest of one other Japanese man in relation to the case.

The Mangamura site launched in 2016. Japanese authorities revealed in May 2018 that they were actively investigating Mangamura after Kodansha and other publishers filed criminal complaints with police departments in summer through fall 2017. Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shogakukan, Shueisha, and Square Enix are currently considering civil action to recover damages incurred by the authors and publishers.

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, 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.

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.

Source: The Mainichi

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