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Piracy Anime, Manga Sites KissAnime, KissManga Shut Down

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Site claim all files were "taken down by copyright owners"

The piracy anime and manga websites KissAnime and KissManga are inaccessible as of Sunday. When accessed, both websites state: "All files are taken down by copyright owners. The site will be closed forever. Thank you for your supports [sic]." A post on the "KissCommunity" Discord channel (which claims it is run by community staff members and not site administrators) also stated, "The sites are gone for good, data deleted, and can not be recovered." The KissAnime and KissManga websites linked to and embedded pirated English-subtitled and English-dubbed anime, and pirated English-translated manga.

New Copyright Law Enacted in Japan

Japan's parliament enacted a proposed revised copyright law in June to expand the law to punish those who knowingly download illegally uploaded or pirated manga, magazines, and academic works. The revised law will go into effect on January 1. The revision also bans "leech sites" that aggregate and provide hyperlinks to pirated media starting on October 1.

A subcommittee of Japan's Agency of Cultural Affairs agreed on a plan in February 2019 to create comprehensive laws banning the practice of knowingly downloading all illegal media from the internet. However, that plan caused concerns as critics argued the tighter regulations would be too broad and hinder the freedom of expression of internet users. The Agency of Cultural Affairs then revealed the draft of a plan, which contained exceptions for screenshots, to a panel of experts on November 27 to discuss the proposed changes. A Japanese cabinet meeting approved the proposed bill on March 10. Previously, the copyright law only formalized punishment for downloads of illegally uploaded music and videos, as well as illegal uploads of all materials.

Mangamura Shuts Down in 2018

The Japanese-language manga piracy site Mangamura became inaccessible in April 2018, after the Japanese government officially asked internet service providers in Japan to block access to three pirated manga websites including Mangamura. Japanese publishers had filed criminal complaints against the website in summer through fall 2017, and Japanese authorities revealed in May 2018 that they were actively investigating Mangamura. The Philippine Bureau of Immigration arrested 27-year-old Romi Hoshino, a.k.a. Zakay Romi, the alleged administrator of Mangamura, in July 2019. Police also arrested three other alleged Mangamura-related individuals in August 2019. Hoshino was then extradited to Japan in September 2019.

Thanks to Ty for the news tip.

Sources: KissAnime, KissManga websites via ComicBook.com (Editor's Note: ANN will not be directly linking to piracy websites in the source attribution line.)

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