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36 Anime Piracy Sites In Brazil Shut Down After CODA’s Intervention

The official website of Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) revealed on April 20, 2023 that between February and March of this year, numerous anime piracy sites, including “goyabu.com” and “animeyabu.com” were shut down based on the accusations put forth by the Japanese watchdog.

These anime piracy sites used to publish content with subtitles in Portuguese without proper authorization from the rights holders.

Brazil Piracy Site Banned

This is the first time CODA has taken action against sites that are strictly operated for overseas audiences. This crackdown on the piracy sites, termed “Operation Animes”, was carried out as a part of Brazilian government’s “Operation 404”, a public-private partnership to combat pirate websites.

A total of 31 sites were taken down as a part of this operation, with 5 more deciding to shut down voluntarily for fear of detection. A total of 83 million people had visited these sites between December 2022 and February 2023.

It all began when Toei Animation and Bandai Namco filed a criminal referral through CODA in November 2022 against four anime piracy sites in Brazil. Upon investigation, it came to light that 2 of these websites were run by the same operator.

Starting Feb 8, 2023, raids and search of premises of the suspected operators/websites were carried out which resulted in the closure of around 13 sites, which included the four reported by Toei and Bandai, and nine other related piracy sites.

Brazil Piracy Site Take Down
Image courtesy of CODA

Following more investigations, the private residences of operators of 9 more piracy sites and their 9 related websites were searched by law enforcement officers (knock-and-talk), which resulted in their closure too. By the end of the investigation, 31 sites were closed because of CODA’s involvement, and 5 sites shut down on their own, bringing the total to 36.

Brazil Piracy Site Take Down
Image courtesy of CODA

Out of these 36 sites, 22 sites gave up their domains to CODA. Negotiations are underway for the other 12 sites to do the same.

As a result of these closures, 12 of the top 20 anime piracy sites in Japan are no longer functioning. Subsequently, the search popularity of the legal sites in Brazil had peaked between Feb 26, 2023 to March 4, 2023. According to a social media firm, the social media chatter on Brazil also pointed multiple mentions of trials on legal anime streaming sites in the region.

Brazil Piracy Site Take Down

“It is difficult for legitimate distributors in the Latin American region who are doing business with legitimate licensed Japanese content to succeed in legitimate business in a situation where pirate sites are prevalent. CODA will continue to take proactive measures overseas to realize a healthy market where authorized operators of Japanese content can conduct business properly and distribute authorized products of Japanese content,” CODA said.

“Operation 404” by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, which is named after the “404 error (page not found),” has so far resulted in the blocking of 1,974 sites, the removal of 783 illegal apps, and 128 raids in 20 states.

Piracy has resulted in the anime and manga industry in Japan losing around 2 trillion yen in 2022 alone. The watchdog also said that they will continue to implement countermeasures and fight copyright infringement overseas to create an environment where legal content from Japan can thrive.

The Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) was established in 2002 and started its activities as a voluntary organization taking countermeasures against piracy.

CODA describes itself as an organization through which contents holders and copyright-related organizations cooperate to reduce piracy around the world, and to actively promote the international distribution of Japanese content, such as music, films, animation, TV programs and video games.

While CODA was formed to counter content piracy, the organization is now expanding its enterprise in cooperation with domestic and international government agencies, industry organizations and content holders.

At the time of writing, CODA has 32 corporate members including manga and anime giants Aniplex, Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, and Toei.

Source: Official website of CODA

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