Man Accused of Violating Japanese Copyright Law by Posting Manga Replicas Online

Japanese police on Thursday filed a charge against a man and his company for allegedly transcribing lines from a manga series and posting them on a website without permission, in violation of copyright law.

Police sent documents about the 44-year-old Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture resident and the Tokyo-based company that operated the website to prosecutors.

While admitting the act, the man told investigators he believed he was acting within what is permitted, people familiar with the investigation said.

Websites that pirate manga have become a problem in Japan, but it is rare for a website operator to be accused of copying lines.

The man is suspected of having copied texts and images from editions 60 and 62 of the manga series “Kengan Omega” and made them accessible on a website in May 2020.

“Kengan Omega” is available on official manga apps. Its author had claimed that his copyright had been violated, as almost entire lines had been published without permission.

In March last year, the Tokyo District Court admitted the offense and upheld the author’s request that an application server administrator disclose information about the website operator.

The man is believed to have viewed the manga through an app and captured screenshots of its contents. He reportedly earned revenue from advertisements placed on the website. The site has already been closed.

In a separate case on Thursday, Tokyo police filed a charge with prosecutors against a 34-year-old resident of Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, for publishing the cover of a popular manga magazine without permission on a so-called so-called leech site, or a site that directs viewers to websites that violate copyright law.

Last year, three people in Japan were found guilty of downloading so-called fast movies or illegally editing short versions of copyrighted movies without permission.

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