Manga piracy is apparently becoming a really big deal in Japan. I’ve personally never gotten into manga but I know there is a large number of people who absolutely love it. One of our former writers was very much into manga and his manga 101 guide is still one of the more popular posts on this site. That post was written 4-years ago and manga piracy was something we never discussed.
As reported by the Japan Times, “[a]ccording to the Research Institute for Publications, annual sales of digital comics last year grew 17.2 percent from the previous year to ¥171.1 billion, surpassing sales of their printed brethren for the first time.” As a medium grows in popularity, so does the market for pirated content.
One manga piracy website in Japan saw 174 million visitors in the month of March making it the 25th busiest website in Japan. Contrast that number with the 690,000 visitors that same website had in September and you can see how popular pirated manga content has become.
The rapid growth of piracy websites has prompted publishing houses and the government to campaign against piracy, hoping to protect one of Japan’s famed cultural export items. But so far no silver bullet has been found.
Piracy websites “only care about making money. They don’t care about how they will affect the future of manga creators. They are not manga fans. They are just exploiting it,” the group said in a statement.
Japan’s lawmakers are trying to find a solution to the problem of piracy but have yet to find a solid solution. For now, it is likely that these manga piracy sites will continue to thrive as users continue to flock to them and snatch up free content.
For a more comprehensive look at the entire situation, the Japan Times has a great in-depth write up at the link below. Be sure to check that out.
Last Updated on April 10, 2018.