Sean Pavone /
28 July 2014Copyright

Japan confirms manga protection plans

The Japanese government is set to roll out new copyright laws aimed at protecting the country’s renowned manga comic strips.

Starting from next week, the government will send takedown style notices to more than 500 suspected infringers who have uploaded manga strips online without permission from right holders.

The campaign, which starts on Friday (August 1), will see the government team up along businesses, including anime production companies and publishers, according to The Japan Times website.

Many of the suspected infringements are from Chinese websites, the Times said.

Earlier this year, WIPR reported that Manga, a style of comic book first developed in the late 19th century and hugely popular in Japanese culture, had been targeted by illegal uploads online.

In recent times it has branched out into films and TV shows but is traditionally published in a weekly serial format in magazines.

But some strips have allegedly been posted on unofficial websites before they are published.

According to the Japan Book Publishers Association, comic book sales in North America, where manga is especially popular, dropped by ¥150 billion ($1.5 billion) to ¥300 billion ($2.9 billion) between 2007 and 2011 because of illegal releases.

The joint campaign will also launch a website that leads internet users to official versions of the violated works.

“We want to create a scheme that allows overseas fans to enjoy Japanese works legally and without worries (for violation) and enables profits from them to be paid to anime production companies and publishers,” a Japanese ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI) official, which outlined the scheme, was quoted as saying.

The METI did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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