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Japan's CODA, Companies From 12 Other Countries to Form International Anti-Piracy Organization Focusing on Manga, Anime

posted on by Adriana Hazra
New organization including U.S.'s Motion Picture Association to launch in April

Nikkei Asia reported on January 1 that companies and organizations from over 13 countries are cooperating to form the International Anti-Piracy Organization (IAPO), which will launch in April.

Japan's Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) is at the center of the new organization. CODA includes 32 Japanese companies such as Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Aniplex, Kadokawa, Sunrise, Studio Ghibli, Bandai Namco Arts, Pony Canyon, Toei Animation, and more. IAPO will also include The Motion Picture Association of the United States (which has six members including Sony Pictures and Netflix), and approximately 450 members of the Copyright Society of China. Companies and copyright protection groups from South Korea and Vietnam are also expected to participate in the coalition.

IAPO will work to curb the piracy of manga and anime and also assist law enforcement with criminal investigations in the field, especially when those criminal investigations require cooperation from law enforcement in multiple countries. The director of CODA Masaharu Ina stated to TorrentFreak that CODA planned the foundation of the coalition last year.

According to Nikkei Asia, piracy cost the manga industry approximately 800 billion yen (US$6.92 billion) in Japan alone from January-October 2021. Nikkei Asia stated that number exceeds the amount of the entire market for authorized publications, which it estimated at 600 billion yen (about US$5.19 billion) yearly.

In a previous case of Japan requesting help from other countries in combatting piracy, a California District Court approved Shueisha's legal application in November to disclose evidence to identify and prosecute another party for copyright infringement. Four publishers including Shueisha are preparing to file a criminal complaint against the operators of the Japanese-language pirate website Manga Bank.

Japan's parliament enacted a proposed revised copyright law in June 2020 to expand the law to punish those who knowingly download illegally uploaded or pirated manga, magazines, and academic works. The revised law went into effect in January 2021. The revision also banned "leech sites" that aggregate and provide hyperlinks to pirated media starting in October 2020.

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. The Fukuoka District Court handed down a guilty verdict on June 30 to Romi Hoshino, a.k.a. Zakay Romi, the alleged administrator of Mangamura, on charges of copyright infringement and hiding criminal proceeds.

Sources: Nikkei Asia (Akinobu Iwasawa), TorrentFreak (Andy Maxwell)

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