Japanese Government Enforcing Anti-Piracy Law on Anime and Manga, targets about 500 websites



In cooperation with 15 major anime production companies and manga publishers, the Japanese government will next month start a huge extermination operation against 580 foreign sites which have illegally uploaded anime and manga contents on the web without the copyright holders' permission, NHK reported on July 28. While the government has started supporting the genre as one of their important cultural exports, there appears to be no end of illegal uploading of anime and manga via pirate sites, mainly operated by Chinese. The Cultural Affairs Agency estimates the loss caused by the Chinese pirate sites last year was amounted to at least 560 billion yen (about US$ 5.5 billion).

On August 1, the government will start simultaneously sending requests to delete illegal anime and manga contents to the operators of the 580 foreign pirate sites which they have found. In addition, the operation will launch a new site to guide the fans to a legitimate site offering some 250 titles including the latest ones at a cost of several hundred yen.

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Following the scoop by NHK yesterday, Japanese government's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) today officially revealed the details of its "Manga-Anime Guardians Project," the first cross-industry anti-piracy measures for manga and anime. Read their statement below.

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On July 28, 2014, along with launching a web site collecting links of legitimate Japanese Manga and Anime, called “Manga-Anime here” (URL:http://manga-anime-here.com), METI will start to monitor and remove illegally uploaded copies of around 580 works over five months. With a decrease in piracy in the market and through fair reward for legitimate contents, which leads to the creation of new contents, this project aims to generate a positive growth cycle.

Recently the cost of damage from pirate copies of Manga and Anime has been expanding. According to a report in 2013 from the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, in major cities of China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing) the cost of damage to Japanese contents is JPY 560 billion (approximately US$ 5.6 billion) per year. Also a 2014 METI report indicates that the estimated cost of damage from online piracy is as much as JPY 2 trillion (approximately US$ 20 billion).

Taking countermeasures against the serious damage caused by piracy, the Manga-Anime Anti-Piracy Committee was formed in July 2013 in response to a proposal by METI then subsequently launched the Manga-Anime Guardians Project (MAGP) to promote antipiracy activities.

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