Japan’s largest piracy website, “13DL” (13dl.to), which boasted the highest traffic as a platform for pirated publications, including manga, was shut down in May 2023, thanks to the efforts of CODA (Content Overseas Distribution Organization).
13DL operated as a platform for pirated content by hosting a vast number of links to illegally uploaded manga and other materials on an online storage service called the “cyber locker.” By doing so, the website facilitated access to pirated content, directing users towards unauthorized copies of manga and other copyrighted materials.
The piracy website was targeted towards users in Japan.
Furthermore, users of these cyber lockers were required to become premium members or pay fees in order to download the works. It is suspected that 13DL received compensation from these cyber lockers and gained profits, which in turn indicated a high level of malicious intent on their side.
As mentioned above, catalyst for the closure of the website was the investigation and actions carried out by CODA. However, this was initiated after publishing companies such as KADOKAWA, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, and Square Enix had raised concerns and requested intervention in this issue.
On May 3, 2023, CODA sent a takedown request to Cloudflare, the cloud service provider for 13DL and the cyber lockers, alleging copyright infringement. Additionally, on May 10, CODA filed a motion with a U.S. court seeking disclosure of the sender’s information, which was subsequently granted on May 12, resulting in an order for disclosure.
In response to these actions, around May 15, 13DL ceased posting links on its website. The site now displays a message stating, “13DL is closed. Thank you for your support.”
Cloudflare is also expected to disclose information regarding the subscribers of 13DL and the cyber lockers in June 2023.
Furthermore, future efforts will be made to identify the operators through a local law firm in the Nordic region, which is believed to be the operating base for the cyber lockers in question.
After the crackdown and closure of ‘Haruka Yume no Yochi’, which was the largest piracy platform at the time in 2017, 13DL stood out as the largest in terms of attracting Japanese visitors. The recent case marks a significant achievement in combating the persistent issue of online piracy of manga and publications, highlighting the ongoing efforts to address this serious problem.
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: Animation Business Journal