The manga industry has dealt with piracy for decades now, but one leaker of Shonen Jump is paying for the crime after being sentenced in China. The unnamed defendant hails from Shanghai, and Shueisha confirmed the accused was convicted of administering a Chinese website that would share leaked manga before its official release. Shanghai's Xuhui People's Court handed down the verdict after the defendant was found guilty upon admission.
According to reports by Anime News Network, the defendant has been given a three-years suspended prison ruling. This sentence means the accused will not have to go to jail in person so long as they are not convicted of any other illegal activity in the next three years. The administrator also has to pay 80,000 yuan (or $11,000 USD) in fines.
This cast comes not long after Shueisha announced plans to aggressively prosecute manga pirates around the globe. The last lawsuit the publisher originated in the U.S. as Shueisha filed the lawsuit abroad. The motion was filed to get info on a cloudshare service registered in the U.S., and the case has since been settled.
Over in China, Shueisha is preparing to pursue a different case against the website administered by this sentenced defendant. The publisher has entered a civil case asking for damages, and the admin has already agree to pay up after admitting to the crime.
The defendant's unnamed site likely brought in hefty ad revenue as the Chinese page had 400,000 unique users. After going live in 2013, the site began posting translated manga from Weekly Shonen Jump way ahead of their official release dates, and it is this kind of behavior that Shueisha is working hard to curb. And of course, this publisher is not alone in its crusade. Earlier this year, it was announced Shueisha had teamed up with other Japanese publishers like Kodansha, Kadokawa, and Shogakukan. The companies came together to create a piracy task force, and each publisher has promised to pursue any operations it finds to the extent of the law.
What do you make of this leaker's punishment? Does the sentence do the crime justice? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.