An international organization to prevent manga and anime piracy is expected to launch this month. Members of the International Anti-Piracy Organization will include copyright protection groups and government agencies from 13 countries, including Japan, the United States, South Korea and the Philippines. Groups based in China and Europe have also expressed interest in joining.
The organization will search for illegal sites. It will provide its findings to the authorities of the countries concerned or urge them to open investigations.
Pirate site operators usually establish their bases outside the countries where the copyright holders are based to avoid investigation. Therefore, links between authorities of different nations are essential.
The Content Overseas Distribution Association of Japan will manage the new organization for the time being.
Goto Takero, representative director of the Content Overseas Distribution Association, says each country has its own copyright laws, but how each country applies the law to pirated products varies widely. He says it is necessary to intensify international cooperation.
A Japanese publishing industry group claims that the financial damage resulting from comic book piracy far exceeds the size of the legal market. Manga and cartoons are often targeted, as they enjoy great international popularity.