Date: 2010 June 08 16:47
Posted by Joe
Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition Formed
We've received some very interesting details from VIZ Media about the formation of a Multi-National Manga Anti-Piracy Coalition.It seems that the industry has grown tired of Scanlations - manga scanned into a digital format and distributed without the copyright holders consent. The coalition include the 36 members of Japan's Digital Comic Association, Square Enix, VIZ Media, TOKYOPOP and Yen Press.
Originally scanlations were manga translated by fans into their native language from Japanese. This can be seen as the manga equivalent of anime fansubs. Some scanlation sites branched out to scans of manga that was already official translated and licensed outside of Japan.
This has cost the manga publishing industry significant amounts of money, not just in lost book sales, but lost opportunities in the relatively new market of eBooks and mobile devices.
The coalition intend to target scanlation sites and aggregators of scanlation sites. They've drawn up a list of 30 sites to targeted for action. First they will ask the sites to cease distributing scanlations. If the sites fail to cease distributing further action will be taken depending on the jurisdiction of each site. Actions include legal injunctions against the sites, reporting the sites to governmental anti-piracy units of law enforcement, including the US Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and the FBI.
Fans curious about piracy in the anime and manga industry should read the Pirate Anime FAQ.
This is not the first time the anime and manga industry has attempted to stop piracy in the industry, but this is the biggest and most coordinated international effort so far. With many companies in the industry forced to make cut backs, closing down offices, laying off staff, we wonder if this is the start of a new approach? Will more companies pursue legal options? Are fansubbers next?
Press release as follows:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MULTI-NATIONAL MANGA ANTI-PIRACY COALITION FORMED
San Francisco, CA, June 8, 2010 – Today a coalition of Japanese and U.S. publishers announced a coordinated effort to combat a rampant and growing problem of internet piracy plaguing the manga industry. "Scanlation," as this form of piracy has come to be known, refers to the unauthorized digital scanning and translation of manga material that is subsequently posted to the internet without the consent of copyright holders or their licensees. According to the coalition, the problem has reached a point where "scanlation aggregator" sites now host thousands of pirated titles, earning ad revenue and/or membership dues at creators' expense while simultaneously undermining foreign licensing opportunities and unlawfully cannibalizing legitimate sales. Worse still, this pirated material is already making its way to smartphones and other wireless devices, like the iPhone and iPad, through apps that exist solely to link to and republish the content of scanlation sites.
Participants in the coalition include the 36 members of Japan's Digital Comic Association, Square Enix, VIZ Media, TOKYOPOP, Vertical, Inc., the Tuttle-Mori Agency and Yen Press. Working together, the membership of the coalition will actively seek legal remedies to this intellectual property theft against those sites that fail to voluntarily cease their illegal appropriation of this material.
"It is unfortunate that this action has become necessary," said a spokesperson for the group. "However, to protect the intellectual property rights of our creators and the overall health of our industry, we are left with no other alternative but to take aggressive action. It is our sincere hope that offending sites will take it upon themselves to immediately cease their activities. Where this is not the case, however, we will seek injunctive relief and statutory damages. We will also report offending sites to federal authorities, including the anti-piracy units of the Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and FBI."
The coalition stated that it has currently identified thirty sites targeted for action.
Participant members of the Digital Comic Association include: Akane Shinsha, Akita Shoten, ASCII Media Works, East Press, Ichijinsha, Enterbrain, Okura Shuppan, Ohzora Shuppan, Gakken, Kadokawa Shoten, Gentosha Comics, Kodansha, Jitsugyo No Nihonsha, Shueisha, Junet, Shogakukan, Shogakukan Shueisha Production, Shodensha, Shonen Gahosha, Shinshokan, Shinchosa, Take Shobo, Tatsumi Shuppan, Tokuma Shoten, Nihon Bungeisha, Hakusensha, Fujimi Shobo, Fusosha, Futabasha, France Shoin, Bunkasha, Houbunsha, Magazine House, Media Factory, Leed sha, Libre Shuppan
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including the popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and website at www.VIZ.com.