It looks like Japan is ready to take another big stand against manga piracy, and it is going to the United States to do so. Recently, Sora News 24 broke down a report from Japan which confirmed a lawsuit has been filed in New York against several illegal manga sharing websites, and the publishers are not backing down.
According to the reports, the publishers Shueisha (Shonen Jump), Kodansha (Shonen Magazine), Shogakkan (Shonen Sunday), and Kadokawa (Shonen Ace) have teamed up to tackle several scanlation websites in the U.S. The lawsuit, which was filed in New York, was jointly filed against four different websites. Each one is being described as a "successor" site to Manga Mura, a famous piracy site which was closed some time ago.
According to the lawsuit, one of the sites mentioned in the lawsuit is Hoshinoromi.org, and the name isn't a random choice. The website is called as such as Romi Hoshino was one of Manga Mura's well-known admins, and their arrest last year with a top priority for Japan.
For fans, they are sending lots of support to each of the publishers during this lawsuit, but they are a bit surprised. This is far from the first time Japan has stood up to manga piracy, but this lawsuit is unique as it was jointly filed by four major publishers in the U.S. After all, each of the websites listed in the lawsuit are hosted in the U.S. even if they do contain raw Japanese manga. As the suit says, the publishers are looking to collect damages for the "willful and massive [copyright] infringement" caused by each site. It also wants the websites to shut down permanently which proves Japanese publishers are keeping tabs on illegal scanlation sites both domestically and abroad.
In fact, these sites are not the only ones to be called out for their illegal share of manga. The well-known site Manga Rocks was publicly called out on Twitter by a Japanese CEO, and the message went viral abroad. The website promised to shutter its catalog in the wake of all the attention, but netizens have voiced doubts on whether or not all services will be closed.
What do you make of this on-going lawsuit? Are you surprised Japan is bringing this case to the U.S.? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!