Home » Blog » Former Owner of Mangamura to Pay $11 Million in Piracy Case

Former Owner of Mangamura to Pay $11 Million in Piracy Case

by Geek
Romi Hoshino - Mangamura

The Tokyo District Court recently ruled that the former owner of the infamous Japanese manga piracy site Mangamura must compensate Japanese publishers Shogakukan, Shueisha, and Kadokawa with a hefty sum of 1.7 billion yen (about US$11.0 million). This decision marks the largest payout ever ordered by a judge in Japan for damages in a piracy case.

Publishers Seek Damages

The lawsuit, filed by the publishers in July 2022, aimed to recover 1.9 billion yen in damages due to the piracy of 441 volumes from 17 manga titles, including popular series like “One Piece,” “Kingdom,” and “YAWARA!” The publishers accused Romi Hoshino, also known as Zakay Romi, the alleged owner of Mangamura, of profiting from advertising revenue on the site. Hoshino, however, claimed he was not directly involved in running the site but was responsible for system development and management.

Previous Legal Troubles

This legal battle follows a previous ruling by the Fukuoka District Court in June 2021, where Hoshino was found guilty of copyright infringement and concealing criminal proceeds. He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay fines totaling 72 million yen, reflecting the earnings from Mangamura. Despite serving his sentence and being released, Hoshino later petitioned the court in 2023, asserting his innocence and requesting a review of his case.

Rise and Fall of Mangamura

Mangamura rose to notoriety in 2016 for hosting pirated manga content, leading to an investigation by Japanese authorities. In April 2018, the Japanese government asked internet service providers to block access to Mangamura and two other piracy websites. Although access to Mangamura was eventually blocked, the site did not shut down immediately, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

Legal Consequences

In 2019, Hoshino, who was living in the Philippines at the time, was detained by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and extradited to Japan. Other individuals allegedly connected to Mangamura also faced legal repercussions for their involvement in the piracy operation.

Source: Nikkei

You may also like

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.