One of Anime's "Largest" Piracy Sites Shuts Down After 4 Arrests

It looks like anime piracy just took another big hit. In the past five years, the industry has formed dedicated groups to hunt down pirates wherever they may be, and the movement just scored a massive win. After all, 4 arrests were just made in China on behalf of the anime industry, and they have led to the shutdown of a major piracy hub.

The report comes from Comic Natalie as CODA (Japan's Content Overseas Distribution Association) shared the arrests not long ago. The group, which was formed to reduce anime piracy on a global scale, confirmed the Public Security Bureau of China arrested four individuals this week. The group is suspected of operating the website B9GOOD, one of the biggest anime piracy sites that is specifically aimed at Japanese users.

According to the report, Chinese authorities arrested a 33-year-old man back in February in regard to this case. Since then, a 30-year-old woman, a 38-year-old man, and a 34-year-old woman have all been arrested. As of Monday, the popular piracy site was shut down, and Chinese authorities say their first suspect in the case already admitted to operating the page.

Currently, the 33-year-old operator is out of jail on bail, and authorities are continuing their investigation. Officers seized over half a million dollars from the man's home upon search, and they believe the site's operation grossed upwards of $1 million USD. For some context on the site itself, B9GOOD began in 2008, and it grew rapidly in the last two years. From 2021 to 2022, the hub registered more than 300 million visits, and some of anime's top companies lodged removal requests against B9GOOD through CODA. These companies include TV Tokyo, Toei Animation, NHK, Toho, and more.

As you can imagine, this arrest is a blow to anime piracy, and it proves CODA is making roadways well outside of Japan. The organization launched its cross-border project in 2021 as a way to identify anime pirates outside of Japan. This arrest in China was made possible due to supper from the Ministry of Economy as well as international CODA offices like the one in Beijing. And as anime continues to grow in popularity, you can expect anime studios and distributors to push for more investigations across the globe.

What do you think about this latest piracy update? Do you think the anime industry can ever shake these crooks? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.