Publishers claimed they lost billions in potential sales because of the Manga Mura website Photo: AFP
crime

Illegal Japanese manga site manager arrested in the Philippines

23 Comments

A man who ran an illegal online manga comic library read by around 100 million people each month has been arrested in Manila, Philippine authorities said Tuesday.

Romi Hoshino, 28, managed "Manga Mura" (Manga village), which shut down on its own in April last year as Japan launched a manhunt for the website's founder for massive violation of copyright.

About 100 million people each month used the popular pirate website, which made around 60,000 manga -- Japanese graphic novels or comics -- available to the public for free immediately after publication.

Manga publishers lost about 320 billion yen ($2.94 billion) in potential revenues over a six-month period to February 2018 alone, Japan's Content Overseas Distribution Association said.

"It's an enormous amount and Manga Mura was a very big issue for manga editors," an official from the anti-piracy group told AFP.

"The Japanese government created a task force just to take measures against Manga Mura," the association official added.

Hoshino, who holds a Japanese passport, was arrested on Sunday at Manila airport after the Japanese embassy in Manila sought help in locating him, immigration commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement, describing him as the Manga Mura manager.

"His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security," and will likely be deported to Japan, Morente said.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments

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He should have gone before...now he will face 30 years of prison since money is involved.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Copyright law is one of humanities more crazy laws....to be able to own ideas, words and images (beyond your own face) to the point you can stop other people making money using them . Its nuts. Its only gotten nuttier when Disney got the U.S. government to extend copyright protections by several decades in some cases. Mickey Mouse should have been in the public domain ages ago but now its set for 2024...until our corporate master Disney steps in again.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security," and will likely be deported to Japan, Morente said.

What a load of crap!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Being an artist I'm always shocked when I find abuses of my own created works. Some write and ask if they can use a picture which I say yes if for personal use. Commercial business also write requesting to freely use a picture. To those I tell them they can if they pay for it.

Then there are the abusers who use a picture for their own personal gains. Usually I'm quite powerless to prevent it.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

A couple of weeks agao I was issued with a DMCA or take down letter, from a company in Spain claiming owership of my work. A website I used blocked that work on their site because of the DMCA.

The procedure to remove it is complicated.

I wrote to the company in Spain who admitted to making a mistake and the website restored my work.

It was all stressful.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Illegal copying, illegal downloading - it all boils down to the same thing, the artist or artists or workers on a project getting nothing for what can be years of work. Too many people have an attitude of feeling that they have a right to get something for nothing. Pay those who've brought the work to you, people, it's the right thing to do.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

A couple of weeks agao I was issued with a DMCA or take down letter, from a company in Spain claiming owership of my work.

Thanks for that. I had not even considered how copyright law could oppress even the real owner! Just another reason to get rid of it in my opinion.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Norman Goodman

A couple of weeks agao I was issued with a DMCA or take down letter, from a company in Spain claiming owership of my work.

Thanks for that. I had not even considered how copyright law could oppress even the real owner! Just another reason to get rid of it in my opinion

so you think its alright that I don't own the work I have spent years and hours creating? How about the company you work for enjoy the fruits of your labor without paying you for it? Same situation.

The law should protect the owner not the abuser. Anyone can issue a DMCA and if done wrongly they should receive punishment for that.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Glad to see the govt. used their resources to launch a worldwide manhunt and pressure the Philippine government on such a menace to society that was stealing the money directly from the poor artists directly, why every single time a random person went to the site that was surely a lost sale of a brand new book! I certainly can't possibly think of a better use of public funds and police time, and I definitely agree with their statement that him living in the Philippines is a risk to the country's security and safety!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

so you think its alright that I don't own the work I have spent years and hours creating?

Nope. You should have never expected anything beyond 1) being recognized as the creator and 2) making all the money off of it up until someone else took the time to copy it. At which point you have to make your money by competing on other merits...just like so many other industries.

Its like if someone could copyright yellow corn. Yellow corn is not natural. It was the product of someone's hard work in selective breeding. That person surely enjoyed some benefits of that work. But then others got the corn and they did better marketing, planting methods, distribution etc and made more money than him, well welcome to capitalism.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Norman Goodman

so you think its alright that I don't own the work I have spent years and hours creating?

Nope. You should have never expected anything beyond 1) being recognized as the creator and 2) making all the money off of it up until someone else took the time to copy it. At which point you have to make your money by competing on other merits...just like so many other industries.

companies usually have patents on their products and another person or companies can't produce them without agreement from the patent owner. Copyright abusers rarely acknowledge the original owner even claiming they are the original creator.

You think you can be so free with my work without responding that you too should be working for nothing.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

well welcome to capitalism.

Well, if that's capitalism then you've just demonstrated everything that's wrong with it. Even in your Yellow Corn scenario if the company your "someone" is working for (a crucial distinction from the independent artist) patents the invention of Yellow Corn then other companies don't have the right to copy it until the terms of that patent/copyright expire. Copyright is the intellectual/artistic/creative equivalent of patent rights, designed to protect the endeavour the creator of that work has put into it and hopefully to enable them to make something like a decent return on it. Your scenario totally removes that protection from them. By mentioning Disney as your main example you're also fostering the impression that it's only big business that benefits from copyright enforcement, but even Disney employs many thousands of workers on its products whose livelihoods are compromised by breaches in copyright law. And as for the small artist/musician/writer, well they're just stuffed.

"Someone else takes the time to copy it"?

That could be overnight. But never mind the months/years/money you put into it, eh?

Here's how it goes in Canada, but it might just serve to enlighten you as to what copyright is all about and why it's a perfectly valid concept.

http://cjam.info/en/difference-copyright-and-patent/

1 ( +6 / -5 )

and hopefully to enable them to make something like a decent return on it.

What is the overhead of creating an image on paper with a pencil?

The cost is in the mass production of magazines and/or setting up servers, hiring staff etc. And you should be able to get enough returns/ profit in the first sales of every new story, character whatever and so should the company you work for. You just have to keep everything secret until release.

it might just serve to enlighten you as to what copyright is all about and why it's a perfectly valid concept.

I think you are confusing being told what to think with enlightenment.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Norman Goodman

What is the overhead of creating an image on paper with a pencil?

It can be many tens of thousands of dollars. You are not someone who creates, judging from your comments. I have been a painter and artist for more than 50 years. Like all other artists I have struggled to arrive at the point I'm at now. On the way I made great sacrifices to achieve my ambitions, went to art uni.

I 'm more of a painter, but anyway, uneducated people will often ask, how long a painting took, and my answer would be 3 days, or whatever, plus 50 years of my life to be able to reach that point. What is the "overhead" of 50 years.

A chef with a lifetime of devotion and dedication to his art and skill does not come up with a new wonderful dish in a single afternoon. It comes from a lifetime of developing the skill to be able to create the new dish. What is the overhead of that?

Prior to the use of computers, companies like Disney, employed thousands of artists each making a single drawing which would go into making the animation. What is the overhead on that?

A musician spends a lifetime developing their skill, practicing many hours every day. The musician makes a performance but according to your comments they don't own the copyright and should be happy with the performance fee and everyone who managed to record it can now freely release the music onto the internet and make cash from the labor of another.

I'm an author and spend one or two years writing a book and getting it published but according to your comments I shouldn't be able to own the copyright and anyone is free to print their own version of it. Even remove my name and put their name instead, claiming to be the original author.

A pharmaceutical company spends $10 billion on researching, developing and testing a new drug before it can be approved for release. The test period is usually about 10 years. On the day they release their new drug you are saying they shouldn't own the copyright/patent so anyone else can copy it and reproduce it.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Norman Goodman:

We're not talking about 'competition' here. We're talking about copying. Simple, straight-out copying of images, or whatever, by a third party who has put nothing into the long and difficult creative process required to put those images, or whatever, out of one human being's imagination and make them accessible to other people. It's the imagination and the artistic endeavour that are the hardest part of the work, not the setting up of servers" etc. There's no "competition" involved in setting up a manga site in the Philippines and using someone else's art to make a profit from it. It's just straight-out theft.

I used your Yellow Corn analogy in my post because that's the one you raised. But really, there's little or no relevance in the Yellow Corn vs Art argument. That you can't see that, or appreciate that the hard work and sacrifice required to bring a creative project to the public needs some protection, i.e. copyright protection, against people or organizations who are just stealing all that hard work, beggars belief.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Zichi

This Norman Goodman is a troll and you're being sealioned. Don't feed the trolls.

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Alfie

yes probably correct, thanks. Sealions on JT.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

You're welcome! Don't waste your time on these jokers - Goodman, Oldman, Gambare, they're all the same guy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Alfie Noakes People yell "troll" awful fast. My opinions may not be main stream but that does not make me a troll.

You want to see some trolling? Here it is: "His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security," that is some righteous trolling right there....fear mongering over copyright violations. Puh-leeze.

As for my opinion on this subject it comes from analyzing concepts of ownership, including how one can be said to own land, how far that ownership goes, and how the state actually owns it over you. But its a lot easier to explain concepts of ownership of physical property than it is an idea. One reason being the list of items to take note of are quite a bit longer with intangible property rights.

We have not even yet gotten into the impracticability of trying to enforce copyright laws internationally, how technology has changed the game for everyone with a photocopier or printer, and what sort of over-reaching anti-freedom laws its going to take to make the system function to the satisfaction of the small-timers. Plus it seems to me that copyright advocates are a lot less interested in having a system that allows content creators to make a living and far more interested in twisting it into something they can leverage to get rich without doing any real work.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Even remove my name and put their name instead, claiming to be the original author.

Earlier I clearly wrote: "You should have never expected anything beyond 1) being recognized as the creator "

Look. If you want to make accusations about stuff I never talked about fine. But don't accuse me of stuff I clearly already took a stance against.

You clearly have personal emotional investments talking for you in this discussion. I don't think I can count on you being objective about this. But I will take up your pharmaceutical example. You are talking about company secrets there. For a company to get that drug off the shelf and recreate it is also going to take a lot of time. By the time they do, the original company should have already profited and can then sell the drug for a lower price that will make them competitive with their new rivals. I suggest you study about how the price of insulin tripled in price in an 11 year period due to a formulation update practice called "evergreening" which keeps patents from expiring which prevents generic drugs being created by rival companies. Three companies control the insulin market in America this way and it appears they are colluding. And its all based on the concept that you can own an idea.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Im guessing the next sites, and there will be many more, will be located in China or Russia servers, then what!?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Downvote Norman all you want - he makes very valid points. The copyright/TM system is highly flawed. The concept started as a way to encourage creativity and development - but it has become so overrun with lawyers that it now actually discourages both.

Popular music is a good example. Until very recently, it was common practice for popular musicians to borrow from one another. Now, even a vague similarity can bring a lawsuit, and musicians have to constantly second guess themselves when they compose. It has a chilling effect on creativity.

Criminalizing what was a civil dispute until very recently is just a draconian way of doubling down on an obsolete system.

These issues need to be addressed honestly. And the major entertainment companies are striving to avoid that. The Disney corporation creates almost nothing of value these days. They simply buy what others have created and exploit it into the ground to make massive profits while squashing creative competition.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

There has to be a balance

It usually costs more time and money to develop something from scratch, than to copy it

It usually takes a lot of R&D and failures and dead-ends (for every failure ya learn something) before resulting to that one product that works - a copier merely has to copy that one product that works, without having to spend the time and money for all the failures along the way. There should be exclusivity dependent on the amount of investment put into developing that product

But at the same time, exclusivity shouldn't be forever or an inordinate amount of time - that's also abuse

Finding the right balance is the tricky part

1 ( +4 / -3 )

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