Japan’s fight against anime and manga piracy goes even deeper, as the Japanese Police, on Feb 2, 2024, arrested two foreign nationals on suspicion of breaching the Copyright Act for leaking images of a Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine issue before its official release.
The arrested suspects include Musa Samir, 36, a self-proclaimed foreign national who runs Japan Deal World LLC in Kita-ku, Tokyo, a company employee (34) from Mukogaoka 1-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo and 1 other, all of them foreign nationals. The police suspect other individuals to be involved too and are conducting a thorough investigation.
According to them, the two suspects were found violating the Copyright Act for illegally posting images of chapters of a popular manga serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine prior to its March release last year, and for photographing and reproducing magazine images with a mobile phone last month.
According to previous investigations, the suspects had purchased the magazines at a shop in Tokyo before their release date.
Based on the statement, the two individuals are suspected of engaging in a conspiracy to:
- Upload the most recent installment of a manga serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump to an online platform prior to the publication date of the magazine, which is approximately 15 March 2023
- Photograph and reproduce the same work on a smartphone around 11.30 a.m. on January 31 of this year, a few days prior to the publication date, thereby violating the copyright of the author.
The suspects denied the 1st allegation but confessed to the 2nd.
In addition, the prefectural police have confirmed that popular works currently being serialized, such as “One Piece” and “Jujutsu Kaisen”, were published on several other websites before the weekly magazines went on sale, and are investigating whether the two suspects were involved.
Because of these developments, online leakers of popular manga like Jujutsu Kaisen and One Piece are no longer posting leaks on Wednesdays and shifting them to Thursdays. Morever, some scanlation websites, like Scanpiea Scanlations, have closed their Twitter account.
About Weekly Shonen Jump:
Weekly Shōnen Jump is a weekly shōnen manga anthology published in Japan by Shueisha under the Jump line of magazines. The manga series within the magazine consist of many action scenes and a fair amount of comedy. Chapters of the series that run in Weekly Shōnen Jump are collected and published in tankōbon volumes under the Jump Comics imprint every two to three months. It is one of the longest-running manga magazines, with the first issue being released with a cover date of August 1, 1968.
The magazine has sold over 7.5 billion copies since 1968, making it the best-selling comic/manga magazine, ahead of competitors such as Weekly Shōnen Magazine and Weekly Shōnen Sunday.
Source: NHK News