Japan's Government Continues Efforts To Counteract Illegal Manga Downloads

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Japanese government would be going after illegal websites that host pirated manga and now, it's going after the readers of such material.

Back in April, Japan's government revealed that they would be enacting laws to dissuade online pirated manga websites by going after the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for such sites.   Before the law was made official, the Japanese government announced their intentions prematurely, in an effort to make the ISPs voluntarily drop three of the biggest pirate manga rings - Mangamura, AniTube!, and MioMio.  Their tactic worked as two of the sites were dropped by their ISP but the matter quickly went to court.

Now, Japan's government is revealing the penalty illegally pirated manga readers will face if caught.  According to mainichi.jp, offenders would face a maximum of 2 years in jail and a fine of ¥2 million yen ($17,681 USD). They would also be charged with repaying the cost of the manga to the publisher/author.

The Agency of Cultural Affairs plans to present the law before the Diet in 2019.  Currently, reading and downloading pirated manga is not covered by Japan's current Copyright Act.  In the Agency of Cultural Affairs' report, it was estimated that illegal pirated manga websites cost the industry an estimated ¥71 billion yen in 2018 alone $627,566,089.00. 

Efforts to penalize ISPs for illegally pirated manga appear to have stalled within the Diet due to disagreements on the methodology between various committee members. 
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