Japanese web portal Gigazine and earlier this week Torrent Freak reported that Shueisha is on the move to take down the huge network of pirate sites.
Shueisha filed an application at a court in the US seeking help from Google and Hurricane Electric to identify alleged copyright infringers.
According to Torrent Freak, it appears that Shueisha’s targets are a number of ‘pirate websites’ (ssl.axax.cloud, ssl.advx.cloud, ssl.akkx.net, ssl.sdox.cc, ssl.standardcdn.net, ssl.lsh.buzz, ssl.appx.buzz, ssl.asiax.cloud, ssl.appsx.cloud) from where an “extensive amount” of its copyrighted works are being distributed without permission.
With help of these URLs they got a lead pointing to Mangabank.org – which appears to operate as a search/indexing site.
The Mangabank website is currently offline, with a message saying that it is closed due to “server maintenance costs.”
According to market data analyzer Similarweb, more than 81 million people access Mangabank monthly, making it the 44th most popular site in Japan.
Before filing the request the publisher attempted to obtain information about the sites’ operators from Cloudflare using a Digital Millennium Copyright Act(DMCA)subpoena. However, the information they got back wasn’t useful in identifying the pirates.
Some IP addresses lead back to China, but it is not possible to ask for IP addresses in China in relation to copyright infringement. Leaving Shueisha stuck in a bit of a bind.
Earlier this year, Twitter had locked numerous accounts and deleted uploaded images in response to copyright claims allegedly under the name of Shueisha.
However, Shueisha told ANN that the copyright takedowns were not from Shueisha, but from a third party using the company’s name without permission.
They also issued a statement on its MANGA Plus website on Thursday, saying that it has been “falsely misrepresented by an individual” sending in copyright claims, and is currently investigating with social media platforms to decide on a course of action.