Mangabank is a massive manga piracy website that was shutdown in 2021. The person operating the website has been sentenced after a criminal process in China. Japanese publishers Shueisha, Kadowaka, Kodansha, and Shogakukan filed the complaints.
What is Mangabank?
A US court has received a request from Tokyo-based manga publisher Shueisha for Google and Hurricane Electric’s assistance in finding alleged copyright violators. The lawsuit is around Mangabank, a big pirated manga platform that receives about 80 million visitors a month. The website at the time ranked 44th in terms of popularity in Japan.
Mangabank.org, which appears to be targeted towards Japanese language viewers, is written in Japanese and enables users to search for pirated material by titles, authors, and other keywords. In order to lessen traffic on the main infringing website and increase accessibility, the infringing websites (those mentioned above) were probably used to store the infringing copies, according to Shueisha.
The crackdown on MangaBank?
There were hints that MangaBank’s operator might have had ties to China as early as March 2021. Telecommunications businesses and access providers cannot be forced to reveal the identifying information of internet service users under the nation’s e-commerce legislation. That didn’t stop the publishers from ultimately hitting their intended audience.
Shueisha, Kodansha, Shogakukan, and Kadokawa declared in November 2021 that they were getting ready to file an official inquiry against the owner of MangaBank for illegal activity. The Fukuoka Prefectural Police, who had previously worked on the notorious Mangamura case, also provided help to the publishers.
A request to the Japanese anti-piracy organization CODA to use its office in China to take action and the discovery of MangaBank’s operator in Chongqing, China, were the results of the inquiry.
Soon after this, MangaBank went offline. “The site’s operator informed TorrentFreak that his platform had previously been subjected to a continuous ~50Gbps/s DDoS attack from an AS in Japan. MangaBank utilized Cloudflare at the time but the unknown attackers knew the IP address of the site’s backend server. Mangabank never came back online.”
MangaBank is now still unavailable and doesn’t seem to be coming back. The legal case also serves as a cautionary tale for publishers in Japan who are still after pirates. Any operators who violate the intellectual property of these publications, whether they are in China, Japan, or somewhere else in the world, will be subject to legal action.
There are still loopholes and Japan can only do so much themselves on this matter. These laws should be enacted internationally to cause significant deterring effects on online and manga piracy.
As loopholes will always be found and exploited by pirates, as seen through history, asking the help of a manga piracy expert such as agents who are working in taking down online piracy can also prove an effective countermeasure.
Onsist has been battling online piracy for the last decade. ”Stop Losing Your Revenue to Piracy“ has always been the motto of Onsist, using advanced automated tools to report and takedown illegal content from the internet. The vision of Onsist has always been to protect brands from all over the world against online theft and piracy.