Tag Archives: Mangamura

Japan Pirate Site Traffic Collapsed 50% in Four Months, With a Little Help From Cloudflare

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/japan-pirate-site-traffic-collapsed-50-in-four-months-with-a-little-help-from-cloudflare-191108/

During April 2018, the government in Japan introduced emergency websites blocking measures, seeking assistance from ISPs to block three pirate sites – Mangamura, AniTube! and MioMio.

Just four days later, one of the sites – giant manga platform Mangamura – suddenly called it quits, shutting itself down and creating a massive gap in the piracy market.

It transpired that a criminal investigation was underway into the activities of Mangamura, which eventually led to the arrest of the site’s alleged operator in Manilla, his deportation to Japan, and subsequent arrest by authorities there.

The gigantic scale of Mangamura has never been in question. However, a report published by the Motion Picture Association now reveals its importance not only on the pirate manga market, but also on the pirate market overall in Japan.

Starting with a list of 2,600 sites, the report – covering the period July 2017 to July 2019 – homes in on the most frequently accessed piracy sites/apps targeting Japan that offer movies, TV shows, anime, and manga content. Sites focusing exclusively on music, games, and porn were ruled out, leaving a balance of 1,447 ‘pirate’ sites.

The top 10 most highly-visited sites accounted for around 50% of visits to the 1,447, with the top 100 accounting for more than 90%. All sites with more than 100,000 visits per month (624 in total) were the main focus of the report.

In respect of Mangamura, the report classifies that now-defunct platform as an ‘online reading’ site, meaning that people viewed its content using a browser. The chart below shows the dramatic rise and fall of the niche the platform operated in, plotted against other forms of ‘pirate’ consumption.

The rise and fall of Mangamura

As the image shows, in addition to ‘online reading’ sites, all other types of ‘pirate’ consumption took a big hit around the same time that Mangamura shut down.

The report notes that the government’s urging of ISP blockades against Mangamura, Anitube, and MioMio “greatly affected the number of visits to other piracy sites”, resulting in an overall decrease in traffic. However, it appears that all three shut down before they could be blocked.

Nevertheless, the overall effect on the pirate markets detailed in the study appears to be significant, due to the shutdown of those major manga platforms and the government’s anti-piracy stance.

According to the report, in March 2018 the total number of monthly visits to the sample 624 sites was measured at 640 million. A month later, monthly visits had collapsed to just over 400 million. By June 2018, traffic had reduced further still, to a low of 320 million visits per month.

Since June 2018, there has only been a modest increase in traffic to the sample sites. Noting that overall levels of infringement are “still large”, the report states that current visits have increased by just 20 million, to an estimated 340 million per month.

Finally, no piracy report seems complete these days without Cloudflare getting a mention, and this one is no different.

While those who carried out the study were able to identify the ultimate hosting locations of 39% of the 624 pirate sites (top three hosting countries were the United States 9%, Japan 6%, and Netherlands 5%), 61% couldn’t be geolocated. Of these, 86% were ‘hidden’ behind Cloudflare’s services.

The interesting twist, however, is that in response to a request from Japanese publishers, it was Cloudflare that handed over information which allowed investigators to identify the operator of Mangamura, which ultimately led to his arrest and previously, the shutdown of the site.

The full report, ‘Study Benchmarking and Tracking Online Film & TV Piracy in Japan’, is available here (pdf)

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Alleged Mangamura Admin Arrested By Japan During Deportation Flight

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/alleged-mangamura-admin-arrested-by-japan-during-deportation-flight-190925/

Over the years, many piracy-related sites and services have been accused of facilitating massive copyright infringement but on sheer scale, few come close to now-shuttered manga site Mangamura.

According to Japan-based anti-piracy group CODA, Mangamura caused around $2.91 billion in damages to the local manga industry. And that was from a standing start in 2016.

While the site closed in 2018, apparently voluntarily, authorities worked to bring its alleged operator to justice. In July 2019 there was a breakthrough when the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines announced they’d arrested the Japanese-German-Israeli “fugitive” Romi Hoshino.

The 28-year-old, also known online as Zakay/Sakay, was arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport as he attempted to board a plane to Hong Kong. The arrest was coordinated with Japanese authorities who were seeking his deportation to face charges connected with the operation of Mangamura.

After reportedly being held in custody at a detention facility in Taguig City, Hoshino boarded a deportation flight to Japan yesterday. Once onboard, he was arrested by Japanese police and flown to Narita Airport, near Tokyo.

A Mainichi report states that Hoshino was arrested in Japan under suspicion of copyright violations.

The report also carries a photograph of the suspect at the airport wearing a blue t-shirt displaying the text ‘Manilla Mura’ with his personal web address – https://romihoshino.com – printed underneath. That site currently displays a ‘maintenance mode’ message.

Hoshino was interviewed by Japanese police last year, before he flew to the Philippines in May 2018. According to unnamed sources, he denied being involved in the Mangamura site. He further denied fleeing from Japan, instead citing business and other reasons for his departure.

In addition to action against Hoshino, the noose appears to be tightening on other players allegedly involved in Mangamura.

Earlier this month, 26-year-old Kota Fujisaki pleaded guilty at Fukuoka District Court to uploading copyrighted images to the site, contrary to copyright law. On the same day, a 24-year-old woman, Shiho Ito, pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

The prosecution claimed that images from the 866th episode of manga series ‘One Piece’ were uploaded to Mangamura from Fujisaki’s home in May 2017, where Ito also lived at the time. It’s further claimed that the pair conspired with Hoshino, with Ito receiving payment for the uploads.

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Mangamura Uploader Pleads Guilty, Another Denies Charges

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/mangamura-uploader-pleads-guilty-another-denies-charges-190909/

After being founded in 2016, ‘pirate’ manga-focused site Mangamura was blamed for facilitating huge volumes of pirate downloads.

Previously, local anti-piracy group CODA estimated damages to the manga industry of around $2.91 billion. That all came to an end last year, however, after the site mysteriously shut down.

For those who contributed to the platform, the past is proving more difficult to leave behind. In July, alleded site mastermind Romi Hoshino, 28, was arrested in the Philippines when attempting to board a plane to Hong Kong. This morning, two alleged upoaders appeared in a Japan court facing charges of copyright infringement.

The first, a 26-year-old man called Kota Fujisaki, pleaded guilty at Fukuoka District Court to uploading copyrighted images to Mangamura in violation of Japan’s copyright law.

However, 24-year-old woman Shiho Ito pleaded not guilty to the same charges, Jiji reports.

According to the prosecution, Fjisaki and Ito uploaded images from the 866th episode of blockbuster manga series One Piece to Mangamura. The infringement was reportedly actioned from Fujisaki’s home in May 2017, an address where Ito also lived at the time.

The prosecution alleges the pair conspired with former site operator Hoshino to upload content to the site for the public to view without permission. It’s further alleged that Ito received payment for the uploads, cash that was used to cover the living expenses of the pair.

The manga series ‘One Piece’ is proving somewhat of a magnet for police and prosecutors in the Mangamura case. Last month, police in Fukuoka arrested a 37-year-old man under suspicion of uploading images of the hit series to the same site, again in May 2017.

Anime New Network reports that a man believed to be Adachi previously contacted the police trying to turn himself in for questioning. He was arrested at Fukuoka airport, after he arrived there from the Philippines via Taiwan.

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Alleged Mastermind of Giant Pirate Manga Site Arrested in Manilla

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/alleged-mastermind-of-giant-pirate-manga-site-arrested-in-manilla-190710/

During April 2018, the Japanese government introduced emergency website-blocking measures aimed at reducing levels of copyright infringement in the country.

Several ISPs responded by blocking three leading pirate sites including Mangamura, AniTube! and MioMio, all of which had huge followings in Japan.

As the largest player, Mangamura was of particular interest. Founded in 2016, the manga-focused site was blamed for facilitating huge volumes of pirate downloads. Using a one-visit, one-infringement calculation, local anti-piracy group CODA estimated damages to the manga industry of around $2.91 billion.

Just days after the web-blocking announcement Mangamura disappeared, but police in Japan said they were still focused on catching its operator. Authorities in the Philippines say that person is now in custody.

According to an announcement from the Bureau of Immigration, on Sunday its agents arrested a Japanese-German-Israeli fugitive wanted by Japanese authorities for breaches of copyright law.

An intelligence officer of the Bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) is said to have identified 28-year-old Romi Hoshinko (aka Zakay/Sakay Romi) at Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the person wanted in connection with running Mangamura between January 2016 and April 2018.

ABS-CBN published a photo of the arrested man on Twitter.

The allegations of infringement against Hoshino are several times greater than those leveled at Kim Dotcom and Megaupload. In this case, however, there won’t be a drawn-out extradition battle when expelling Hoshino, a foreign national, from the country.

Philippines authorities say that after acting on a request from the Embassy of Japan in Manilla, the arrest of Hoshino was carried out in coordination with police in Tokyo. This will now lead to his deportation from the country.

“His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security,” said Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

“We are in close coordination with our foreign counterparts who send us information about criminals who might be hiding in the Philippines. Upon knowledge, we immediately seek, arrest, and deport these fugitives.

“The Japanese embassy informed us that they will conduct the necessary coordination with the Israeli and German Embassy regarding the fugitive’s deportation to Japan,” he concluded.

In the meantime, Hoshino will be detained at a detention facility in Taguig City.

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