After thriving in what was once a localized traditional market, Japanese comics known as ‘manga’ took the world by storm. Publishers and authors could only watch as their work fueled a huge but unlicensed black market.
By offering free localization and distribution services in what was once a chronically underserved overseas market, hobbyist translators and pirate sites made manga more accessible in every way. The problem for manga creators and publishers today is that pirates offer their copyrighted content for free in the same global market.
A new breed of highly-commercialized pirate entities, many of which seem to love money more than manga, only add to what is already a complex problem. And when Japanese rightsholders seek to mitigate infringement in overseas legal processes, new challenges appear around every corner.
Publishers Seek Help From U.S.
In August 2022, Japanese manga publisher Shueisha filed an ex parte application at a California district court seeking…