Japan is cracking down on piracy and copyright infringement related to manga, and it’s not limited to sharing actual images anymore. Last week, the Tokyo District Court officially ruled that posting dialogue from manga online without permission is actually considered copyright infringement.
According to Japanese publication NHK (via Anime News Network), a “spoiler website” published almost all the dialogue verbatim from the Kengan Omega manga between January 2019 and May 2020 in which a total of 63 volumes were uploaded. Judge Yoshiaki Shibata stated that all of that constitutes infringement on the copyrights of reproduction and public transmission.
The court is now requesting that the web server’s company reveal the details and information of the uploader. Kengan Omega publisher Shogakukan gave a statement after the court’s ruling, stating:
“The number of websites posting all the details of a manga’s content is increasing one after the other, and this is becoming a major problem.”
They’re not the only publisher who has taken recent action. With the Attack On Titan manga concluding soon (the final manga chapter will be released on 6 April 2021, while the final volume will arrive on 9 June 2021), the manga’s editor posted the following on Twitter:
Regarding illegal upload and pre-release leakage of Attack on Titan.
We’ve begun to take legal actions against several accounts & individuals. We'll take measures against illegal uploads of images & texts regardless of country.
Thank you for choosing our official products!
— 「進撃の巨人」担当編集者バック (@ShingekiKyojin) March 30, 2021