The Operator Of The Mangamura Manga Pirating Website Was Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison

While the Japanese manga industry ranks in hundreds of millions each year, it's undoubtedly true that the industry misses out on a fairly sizable amount of revenue thanks to piracy.

Manga is an important industry in Japan and abraod. In recent years the Japanese government has sought to crack down on illegal manga pirating websites.  We covered these efforts nearly three years ago, when the Japanese government decided to go after the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for such sites.  

It's taken a while but it seems attention has now turned to the operators of the illegal manga websites. It's been reported that  29-year-old Romi Hoshino, a.k.a. Zakay Romi, who was the administrator of Mangamura, has been sentenced to three years in prison and fined a grand total of  ¥72 million ($656k USD). 

It's thought that between Mangamura's launch in 2016, and its government takedown in April 2018, that Hoshino was able to amass about ¥62 million yen ($565k USD) in revenue. Hoshino was actually hiding out in the Phillipines in 2019 after the government crackdown but was eventually extradited to Japan in September of the same year.

A representative from Shuiesha commented on the sentencing, stating, "if the works that those who have given their all to create are given away for free, it damages the foundation for the creation of interesting works."

 Japan's Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) estimates that between September 2017 and February 2018, Mangamura alone accounted for roughly ¥319.2 billion yen ($2.92 billion USD) of lost revenue for the manga industry. 

Manga piracy is still a problem in Japan and a study in January of this year estimated that the practice cost 41.4 billion yen ($400 million USD) alone, though it's thought that the effects of COVID-19 (everyone staying at home during Japan's state of emergency) may have inflated these numbers.

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