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Police Arrest Man for Illegally Selling Ushijima the Loan Shark Manga Digitally

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Man allegedly sold manga under username "Mangamura Shuppansho"

Police arrested a 20-year-old man on Tuesday for allegedly selling illegal digital copies of Shohei Manabe's Ushijima the Loan Shark manga through a marketplace app.

The suspect, who lives in Tokyo, has the username "Mangamura Shuppansho" (Mangamura Branch Office) and allegedly sold the manga to at least three people last December. A Twitter user with the same name was offering digital copies of manga for 80 yen (about US$0.75) for one volume in December.

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 from summer through fall of 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: Bengoshi Dot Com News via Hachima Kikō

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