There have been some rumblings in Japan for the past few months when it comes to copyright law and the illegal distribution of anime and manga titles. On Friday of last week, the Japanese government compiled a report calling for an emergency measure to would end up resulting in the blocking of access to anime and manga pirate sites.
The report has named three specific websites that they are targeting in this action. Those websites are Mangamura, Anitube, and Miomio. As of Tuesday, Mangamura has been inaccessible and there is talk that the site had been permanently been taken offline. That site alone had 174 million visitors in the month of March and was heralded as one of the biggest manga piracy sites in Japan. It was so popular, that it ranked as the 25th busiest website in the country.
While Japan did succeed in striking down the website, less than 24 hours later a copycat site has already been launched. The Japanese government regards these moves as temporary measures until it can establish a law to end piracy once and for all. Current Japanese copyright law bans the uploading of illegal copies and anime and mange but leech sites often cite that they are not in violation of the copyright laws because they, themselves, do not upload the file nor do they store illegal copies on their own web servers.
The government will also seek to develop a legal basis in 2019 to restrict access to piracy websites. Critics have expressed concern that blocking certain websites violates Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution, which states: “No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.”
The ICSA (Internet Content Safety Association) agrees that piracy sites should be blocked rather than targeted. They have already worked together with Japan’s ISPs to block their customers from accessing child pornography sites starting back in 2011.
Recent estimates state that the three aforementioned targeted sites have amassed 938 million visitors combined between September 2017 and February 2018 and the amount of money lost to piracy totals to 400 billion yen ($3,684,479,600). Now you know why Fate/Zero was $500 for a Blu-ray box set that only contained half a season!