Top Japanese Publishers Reach Settlement with U.S. Company Over Manga Piracy

Manga and piracy have gone together for a long time, and it isn't all because of One Piece. The medium has grown exponentially in the last ten years and so have the ways to read manga legally. Still, pockets of the Internet continued to illegally share manga to reach fans who were either accustomed to freebies or had no official translations to put money down on. Now, it seems several of Japan's top publishers are ready to push back against the threat of piracy, and they took home a major victory not long ago.

As reported by Anime News Network, an announcement went live last week from Shuppan Koho Center about an ongoing lawsuit served by several publishers in Japan. Shueisha, Kodansha, Kadokawa, and Shogakukan filed a complaint against Cloudflare last summer when the U.S. company was discovered to be housing pirated content on its servers. Now, it seems Cloudflare has agreed to stop hosting any such material.

The report confirms a settlement was reached between the publishers and Cloudflare after lengthy discussions. Cloudflare will "stop caching content on its Japanese servers from specified piracy websites" should Tokyo's District Court issue a copyright infringement ruling on any piece of content.

This is a solid win for the publishers and their ongoing fight against piracy. Back in 2018, the publisher began motions to halt Cloudflare from hosting pirated content as it backed up several scan sites including Hoshi no Romi, an alleged successor to Mangamura. Now, it seems the growing cast has come to a settlement.

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Sadly, this case isn't the only one Cloudflare is having to fight. The company has been served a lawsuit by the publisher Takeshobo and one of its creators. The lawsuit, which was filed with the Tokyo District Court, alleges Cloudflare has infringed on the parties' copyrights by hosting servers for piracy sites. According to the plaintiffs, they assert Cloudflare continues to service piracy websites despite knowing their illegal acts, and Takeshobo wants to stand up for its creations must like Shueisha and others did.

Are you glad to see this agreement come through? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!