The freebie ended: In Japan, they began to fight against the illegal spread of manga – pirates face a prison

The Japanese government has passed a new law to tighten control over the illegal distribution of manga, magazines and educational materials. According to the main provisions of the updated bill, the ban on downloading pirated content will come into force already January 1, 2023. And in the fall of that year, starting from 1 October, Internet resources that provide links and access to copyrighted files will be banned.

The central reason the Japanese parliament decided to turn its attention to the issue of distributing content on the Internet was the increased attention of netizens to “free“manga. Mentioned separately resource Mangamurawhich before its closure in April 2018 could collect a huge amount of traffic and according to rough estimates led to fabulous losses in 300 billion yen (2.75 billion dollars).

Moreover, the law implies some reasonable exceptions – no one forbids saving and loading individual frames or even manga pages, as well as a limited number of pages of the original work. Various fakes and “derivatives“works, like fan doujinshi.

Penalties for offenders will be as follows: multiple downloads of illegal content – 2 years in prison and / or a fine of 2 million yen (about 20 thousand dollars). Owners of resources on which pirated content is stored or on which links to similar materials are present risk even more – they can wait a fine before 5 million yen and up to five years in prison.

It is noteworthy that the government of Japan came up with a similar initiative last year, but then the amendments that were proposed to be introduced into the law met with severe criticism, including from publishers and manga authors who were worried that excessively strict restrictions could adversely affect the whole business as a whole.

However, the actual initiative has every chance to significantly affect the Japanese Internet: according to the results of a recent Internet survey, over 90% of Japanese responded that they would not download illegal content if this entailed a reaction from the authorities.

Nevertheless, the owners of pirated resources still have the tools to combat the ongoing changes. Not the harshest wording of certain provisions of the law allows you to find certain “loopholes”. For example, manga can be distributed through streaming video or conditional slide shows – no one can punish for this.

Of course, foreign servers will come to the aid of unscrupulous users as well – in some cases, a variety of content can be downloaded quite freely on them, and searching for the final owner very often turns out to be quite problematic. In this case, the Japanese government hopes for cooperation and support from other countries in the fight against piracy.

Read also: The opening of the anime “Demon Blade” continues to break records: The song “Gurenge” became a real hit.

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