Entertainment | Feb 19

"Early Leak" of Unreleased Manga Raises Legal Concerns

TOKYO, Feb 19 (News On Japan) - The issue of popular serialized manga being leaked online before their official release dates, known as "early leaks," is becoming a significant problem. This phenomenon, often facilitated by platforms like YouTube, deprives both creators and eagerly awaiting readers of the joy of experiencing new releases as intended.

Shueisha, the publisher of Weekly Shonen Jump, recently made a statement condemning these leaks as actions that "steal the joy" of readers anticipating new releases. The statement was prompted by an incident where manga images were illegally translated, colored, and posted on a website.

On February 4th, two individuals, including Takeshi Jumonji, were arrested on suspicion of copyright infringement. They allegedly obtained a copy of a Shonen Jump issue before its release date in March of the previous year and published translated and colored versions of manga like One Piece on an online pirate site. Additionally, there are suspicions that manga was photographed and uploaded five days before its release date last month. The suspects have admitted to photographing the manga but deny posting it online.

Early leaks of popular manga have been confirmed, with some appearing online up to five days before their official release. When asked about this issue, some people expressed concern that it undermines the creators' efforts and diminishes the collective excitement of the release day. There is a persistent demand for such content, which is why these leaks continue to occur.

It is illegal to download pirate versions of publications, even if done knowingly. The damage caused by piracy to the publishing industry is significant, with the estimated cost of piracy reaching 831.1 billion yen from 2019 to 2022.

Violations of copyright law can result in up to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to 10 million yen, or both. Early leaks, in particular, can lead to more severe penalties due to the significant damage they cause to publishers and creators.

In a notable case, the illegal manga site "Manga Village" was ordered to pay 1.9 billion yen in damages. This serves as a reminder of the potential legal and financial consequences of engaging in or supporting piracy.

It is crucial for fans to respect creators and the publishing industry by waiting for official releases and avoiding illegal downloads or sharing spoilers on social media. This respect is essential for the continued production of quality manga and the sustainability of the industry.

Source: KTV NEWS

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