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Former illegal manga site operator gets 3 years in jail

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Good.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Japan has few original ‘cultural’ sources for their own stories, without borrowing ideas from abroad so, they see a need to control their IP’s:

“the risk of fundamentally destroying the profit structure of copyrighted works and hindering the development of culture." -

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

which is believed to have caused the manga industry losses of over 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion)

While I don't justify the crime, if the average manga costs 500 yen, this would amount to 600 million downloads.

His site got that much traffic?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I am absolutely against piracy in any form, but now is a good time to remember that Nobuhiro Watsuki, the author of Rurouni Kenshin, was only fined a measly ¥200,000 after being convicted for possession of child pronography (and not the "manga" kind, real movies).

So this is the state of the japanese judicial system:

The guy who writes Rurouni Kenshin owns actual child porn: a small fine.

The guy who scans Rurouni Kenshin and puts it online: 3 years in jail.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

JsapcToday 08:11 am JST

I am absolutely against piracy in any form, but now is a good time to remember that Nobuhiro Watsuki, the author of Rurouni Kenshin, was only fined a measly ¥200,000 after being convicted for possession of child pronography (and not the "manga" kind, real movies).

So this is the state of the japanese judicial system:

The guy who writes Rurouni Kenshin owns actual child porn: a small fine.

The guy who scans Rurouni Kenshin and puts it online: 3 years in jail.

It's grotesque and deeply offensive, but is anyone really surprised?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Court rulings are generally more draconian for people who offend a company, Very soft on those who victimise actuall children, It's a very bizarre system of justice.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Great call @Jsapc 8:11am with some extra details:

- “A guy who writes [manga] owns actual child porn: a small fine.

And NO jail time.

- “A guy who scans [manga] and puts it online: 3 years in jail.”

plus, a fine of 10 million yen and the confiscation of some 62 million yen in criminal concealed in overseas bank accounts.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Agreed @ANoakesm8:18am

- “It's grotesque and deeply offensive, but is anyone really surprised?” -

Japan obviously doesn’t acknowledge the tenet “Equal justice under law” - Pericles.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Cricky, i think it had to do more with resources available. Companies has law firms and private investigators working 24/7 for them and do not mind pouring cash to have them go after you with everything they got. They can keep it going for years if they had too.

While others crimes is usually just small time police having flimsy evidence against the accuse that lawyers can pick apart easily while the victims has no cash to keep their case going for a long time. If you got money, then hire a very decent lawyer. Lawyers can always find loopholes to knock down the sentence to less or drag the case out for years till the victim give up.

This is why you don't mess with big companies unless you are extremely confident you can win your case. Companies don't joke around once they get their legal team after you.

A very good example is Nintendo who is infamous for cracking down on piracy that benefit their ip's. Their legal teams are legendary.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This man gets more time than sex offenders. Pedophiles and sex offenders often receive a slap on the wrist or very little time. This man got three years in jail. Drug offenders also don't get that much time. The priorities of the legal system is disappointing.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

These ridiculous laws all about the little things. geez that sucks man,

6 ( +7 / -1 )

""If a work that authors have put their heart and soul into can be freely accessed by the public, this would harm the environment in creating interesting works," he said in a press conference following the ruling.""

I Agree,

but i also believe that there should be a time limit, many people can't afford to buy these manga's and by putting a time limit like 5 or 10 years publishers could still make money from who ever uploads by agreement but at a much lower rate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so what happens when these sites pop up in Russia, China, what happens when people surf them using a VPN. US went through this during the illegal MP3 downloads of 15yrs ago. they sued everybody and anybody.

when that failed they decided to offer music for paid download, theyve been making a killing ever since.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Hiro so justice is based on wealth? Think the lady holding the scales of justice might need a peek out of her impartiality?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Hiro very very good point, it's about wealth not justice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Quite obviously the guy is being made an example, but he put himself in that position by getting greedy and refusing to stop after it was clear the publishers were out for him.

Still, it is unlikely this will change the proliferation of illegal sites, a much stronger effect comes from making the manga available in countless services so people no longer have the excuse of poor distribution.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Doesnt say if he was making any money from ads or affiliates

well lesson learned just move your server to another country : ^

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A very good example is Nintendo who is infamous for cracking down on piracy that benefit their ip's. Their legal teams are legendary.

Back in the days when home computer meant either Commodore Amiga or Atari ST, Japanese companies including Nintendo, Capcom, and Sega had little understanding of the Western concept of "home computer". Much like today, Nintendo guarded its IP in an iron fist and games were restricted to Nindendo hardware, which actually doesn't seem to bad when you consider that Capcom and Sega were more than willing to license their games to Western software houses, but nevertheless refused to provide the source code. The developers of Street Fighter II (U.S. Gold?) had to reverse-engineer the game based on how it played on the consoles!

Things have moved on and there is a whole new generation of gamers these days, but for veterans of the 16 bit era, our relationship with Japanese games was soured.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are we still in 1995? People who won't pay, will never pay.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The creator of 2-chan was being sued every day of the week.

He ended up becoming a pro on court settlements.

Now he has a Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMcPUQ32zjHF_pkfn_24LkQ

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm no manga fan, but I'm aware that those who create them work very hard for little pay. This is a good warning to those slimy that they cannot steal from the artist.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I doubt that people who read the manga for free online would be willing to pay for the manga in the first place, so I don't believe the manga industry lost any money. If those people really wanted to read the manga, they'd go to the stores and stand in the aisles reading it for free like I see all the time here.

It's a different story when people pirate movies, because they wouldn't have a way of watching it for free otherwise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

if he wasn’t so brazen and didn’t charge for his pirated manga service, he might still be free.

The publishers are definitely not losing money, piracy doesn’t equate to a lose in revenue and never has. People who tend to pirate wouldn’t be tempted to buy the goods in the first place.

and for the trigger happy mod, this is on topic…stop deleting users’ post.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Absolutely ridiculous. All he did was share the manga he had already bought. No different to anyone else who buys a manga and then passes it round to his friends in hard copy form. Is that illegal? Of course not! So of course you should be able to share things for free on the internet. That's one of its main attractions! This conviction is completely wrong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JsapcJune 3  08:11 am JST

I am absolutely against piracy in any form, but now is a good time to remember that Nobuhiro Watsuki, the author of Rurouni Kenshin, was only fined a measly ¥200,000 after being convicted for possession of child pronography (and not the "manga" kind, real movies).

So this is the state of the japanese judicial system:

The guy who writes Rurouni Kenshin owns actual child porn: a small fine.

The guy who scans Rurouni Kenshin and puts it online: 3 years in jail.

In all fairness, that's because you're comparing apples and oranges between the two crimes which shouldn't be equated in terms of sentence lengths. Unfortunately, the typical not-so-bright posters (not you) have already commented based on these false comparatives showing their lack of critical thinking skills.

The defendant profited massively off of copyrighted materials and transferred huge sums of money out of the country and into an offshore account. This shows clear intent to break the law (profit off of these manga illegally) and then to further evade wrongdoing by transferring the funds out of the country (which can also be an attempt to evade taxes). Look up how Al Capone finally got arrested (it wasn't the killings). Finally, the fact that he left Japan to the Philippines to escape authorities completely negates any possible mitigation of remorse or inadvertent wrongdoing for a lighter sentencing.

If you want to compare this case with the author of Kenshin, it would be closer if: the author posted the child porn on to a website for others to get access, receive HUGE amounts of money for running his site, stash that profit in an offshore account, and then leave when he finds out that the police is out to get him. If you want to argue about the sentencing (a small fine), I completely agree with that. BUT, was that sentencing within the parameters of the sentencing guideline? If so, then it would be the legilature that needs to be criticized since the judiciary did not violate any provisions and acted within its course.

*After reading the article, I also noticed that he also conspired with other individuals to violate the law which adds another count to charges so he got off quite light. He must have cooperated with the prosecutors and struck a plea deal.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

When blockchain technology and smart contracts become mainstream, the manga author will have his artistic work as a smart contract on the etherium, or cardano or tron, etc blockchain. The customers will download it directly for a small fee. No big companies to exploit the public, no pirates, no .... Just wait a bit more.

Jacobo

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Yumster100

Don't these statements contradict each other?

n all fairness, that's because you're comparing apples and oranges between the two crimes which shouldn't be equated in terms of sentence lengths. Unfortunately, the typical not-so-bright posters (not you) have already commented based on these false comparatives showing their lack of critical thinking skills.

and

The defendant profited massively off of copyrighted materials and transferred huge sums of money out of the country and into an offshore account. This shows clear intent to break the law (profit off of these manga illegally) and then to further evade wrongdoing by transferring the funds out of the country (which can also be an attempt to evade taxes). Look up how Al Capone finally got arrested (it wasn't the killings).

These two cases have nothing in common thus you become guilty of the same thing that you are being critical of other posters of doing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Yumster

comparing apples and oranges 

When it comes to comparing the different cases it is not a comparing two unlike situations. Because what people are comparing are sentencing patterns where the more severe crimes to public saftey are sentenced more on the minimum side and the blue collar crimes are sentenced more on the maximum.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JJ JetplaneToday  10:38 am JST

@Yumster100

Don't these statements contradict each other?

n all fairness, that's because you're comparing apples and oranges between the two crimes which shouldn't be equated in terms of sentence lengths. Unfortunately, the typical not-so-bright posters (not you) have already commented based on these false comparatives showing their lack of critical thinking skills.

and

The defendant profited massively off of copyrighted materials and transferred huge sums of money out of the country and into an offshore account. This shows clear intent to break the law (profit off of these manga illegally) and then to further evade wrongdoing by transferring the funds out of the country (which can also be an attempt to evade taxes). Look up how Al Capone finally got arrested (it wasn't the killings).

These two cases have nothing in common thus you become guilty of the same thing that you are being critical of other posters of doing.

@JJ,

Thank you for responding and just to make things clear, I didn't consider you as part of the posters I'm criticizing. The statements you posted is exactly what I meant when the sentencing length cannot be compared if the crimes are completely different. Each crime has different setencing length but there are many factors that involves when it comes to sentencing. Sentencing of 1st degree murder can sometimes be much shorter than fraud if the amout of money defrauded is substantial (ex. Madoff case). In that case, one can argue that a life is worth less than people losing money when taking a glance at the surface only.

The reason I commented wanted to point this out because one poster commented the situation like this:

So this is the state of the japanese judicial system:

The guy who writes Rurouni Kenshin owns actual child porn: a small fine.

The guy who scans Rurouni Kenshin and puts it online: 3 years in jail.

The first case is about "mere" possession. This case is about profiting off of copyrighted materials and other factors I mentioned that adds various counts to the charges which can easily add up the time in sentencing. That's why I brought up an example that if they author went to the lengths of what this guy did, you will definitely see a difference in the sentencing.

JJ JetplaneToday  10:40 am JST

@Yumster

comparing apples and oranges 

When it comes to comparing the different cases it is not a comparing two unlike situations. Because what people are comparing are sentencing patterns where the more severe crimes to public saftey are sentenced more on the minimum side and the blue collar crimes are sentenced more on the maximum.

People on this site just willynilly throw out "oh the justice system here...." without even knowing the fundamentals of the justice system. Many just comment just to spite and think they know it enough since they've watched so many law and order series. The truth is, it is more complicated than that and sometimes the occasional oddball case will make it through the news while all the mundane court cases will be processed as always. People then react on a kneejerk reaction based on emotions rather than logic all the while feigning "competence" on knowing the justice system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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