Japanese manga publishers Shogakukan, Shueisha and Kadokawa revealed in a press conference on July 28, 2022, that they have jointly filed a lawsuit against manga piracy website, Mangamura, seeking a total of over 1.9 billion yen (USD 14.3 million) in damages.
The amount these publishers are seeking represent the estimated damages they suffered due to Mangamura illegally pirating 17 titles owned by the three publishers.
Of the 1.9 billion yen, Kadokawa is claiming over 450 million yen in damages as Mangamura illegally uploaded Overlord, Mushoku Tensei, Hinamatsuri, Rising of the Shield Hero and other works.
Shueisha is claiming over 476 million yen in damages over the piracy of Kingdom and One Piece manga, and Shogakukan is claiming over 1 billion yen in damages for Mangamura uploading Kengan Ashura, Dorohedoro, YAWARA!, Karakuri Circus etc.
The damages were calculated based on the total number of visits to Mangamura website and the total volumes of manga uploaded on the website. A stepwise breakdown of the calculation is given below;
- The total number of accesses to the Mangamura website between June 2017 to April 2018 is estimated to have been 537.81 million.
- Assuming that each accessing user viewed one volume of manga volume, approximately 537.81 million volumes were viewed in the said period.
- Given that the maximum number of volumes posted on Mangamura were 72,577 from approximately 8200 titles, the average number of views per volume is estimated to be 7410.
- The damages for each work was then calculated by multiplying 7410, the average number of views, by the sales price of each volume, and adding them all up for each title (illegally uploaded) posted on Mangamura.
The administrator of Mangamura website, Romi Hoshino a.k.a. Zakay Romi, was sentenced to three years in prison and slapped two fines-one for 10 million yen (USD 91,000) and another for 62 million yen (USD 565,000) earned from the site and deposited to a foreign bank account.
Mangamura launched in 2016 and within two years, it was already under investigation by Japanese authorities after complaints from major manga publishers.
Around 100 million people accessed Mangamura each month and the site made around 60,000 manga available free of charge. The website became inaccessible on April 17, 2018.
Two ad-agencies who were soliciting advertisements on Mangamura too were brought to court, with The Tokyo District Court fining the companies, MM Lab (Yokohama City) and Global Net (Ota-ku, Tokyo), 11 million yen (about USD 96,303) on Dec 21, 2021
Japanese manga publishers have strengthened their stand against manga piracy in the recent years. The Content Overseas Distribution Association’s (CODA), Director of Overseas Copyright Protection, Mr. Masaharu Ina, had told Animehunch that they would continue with their efforts to curb anime and manga piracy worldwide.