A schoolboy has been arrested for copyright infringement for using the “free” file hosting service MegaUpload to distribute pirated manga to the public.

Police swooped on the 18-year-old schoolboy’s Akita prefecture home, arresting him for copyright infringement and seizing his computers.

His crime was to upload popular manga he obtained online to MegaUpload, and list the files on his site, “” – in this manner he made thousands of manga titles available to the public, accruing 2,500,000 accesses.

In common with most web-based piracy, his objective was profit – he used Google AdSense advertising on the site, banking some $3,500 thanks to Google’s ambivalent stance on copyright violation. He also apparently made gains from MegaUpload itself. The site was also hosted on Google’s “Blogspot” service.


Google notionally prohibits the use of AdSense on shady sites, but in practice generally ignores them and only moves against sites it deems “pornographic.” Google also ignores most complaints about copyright infringing use of its “Blogspot” hosting service.

MegaUpload is of course used chiefly to distribute copyrighted material without the relative hassle of using a P2P service – however, as long as they comply with takedown requests and everything is uploaded by users, this is essentially legal in the US under the provisions of the DMCA and similar legislation, which is quite liberal in certain respects.

The investigation itself was launched based on copyright complaints by Shueisha, Kodansha, and 3 mangaka.

The case is significant, as using overseas file-hosting services to distribute copyrighted files had previously been considered a completely safe option by most Japanese Internet users.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    00:56 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.9)

    The only reason this is such a big deal is that the person was making money off of it. They would have nothing against the boy if he had not been making money off of it.

    Avatar of papuanewguineapunk
    Comment by papuanewguineapunk
    06:07 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I don't know if that's true. I think they're making an example of him, like they did here in the US a few years ago with people downloading from TPB, etc. It was in the newspapers for a while and everybody got scared, but it didn't stop anything. It actually brought to light the fact that you can download for free what most were paying for. It may have actually made things worse. I'm sure we'll be hearing more stories like this from Japan in the near future, until their legal system gets too tied up from it and they realize it's a waste of time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:18 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    $3500? maybe 4000 including the other profits? Wow thats only 1/100th the average working wage yearly, and thats what he overall earned? Thats proof enough to me that they are using him to make an example out of, although if it's because they think it's morally wrong to justify earning money off of their work then they are right. However who are we kidding it's all about the money, and they are probably just jealous they didn't think of uploading their own work in such a way.

    Avatar of shinryou
    Comment by shinryou
    19:37 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uh, $3500 buys less here than it does in the US I guess. Housing, food, etc. is kinda expensive here in Japan. It would probably last you for about 3 months if you don't drink alcohol or eat out much. (That is in an urban area, for a decently size 1DK apartment.)

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:55 10/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ummm, that's 1/3rd of my annual income as a college student. Trust me, you can go far with that kind of money

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:06 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Except it doesn't say how long he was running it for. What if it was less than a year, look better? Also, remember that this is Japan, $3500 there should be worth a lot more than it is here, and he barely had to do anything to make it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:51 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Down with cowards! The boy is a HERO!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:00 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If that were true, Tazmo would've been arrested a long time ago.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:57 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    since when is an 18 years old, just a _boy_?

    any way, something tells me that they _waited_ until he was 18 before them move against him.

    Avatar of renstalon
    Comment by renstalon
    10:32 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Japanese Civil Law states that an adult is those of 20 years or older. He is considered a minor in Japanese courts and thus a boy under the law.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:46 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    in japland, you have to be 20 to be acknowledged.

    didnt you know that at 18 you still cant do a lot of shit? You can fuck but you cant drink alcohol, cant vote etc.

    jap cops have a lot of time for irrelevant shit like that but things that matter they ignore them ffs

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:32 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Since everything past 20 years counts as "an old guy/girl". At 30 you're practically seen as an elderly person.

    Avatar of CowExtract
    Comment by CowExtract
    04:28 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    So I guess that means that I'll be getting senior discounts in three months as I'll be turning 30...

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    He is a "schoolboy" in that sense.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:27 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    If you host thousands of manga from the big publishers, in such a glaringly obvious way AND you are dumb enough to try and make money of it....yeah, then i guess you deserve this fate. That guy should also get an additional trial for stupidity.

    Golden rules are: Low profile, don't go overboard AND DON'T TRY TO MAKE MONEY OF WAREZ.

    People who don't follow these simple rules are the prime target for the net-hunters. The guy in question here broke all the rules and then some.

    Avatar of Superior_to_you
    Comment by Superior_to_you
    01:30 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    >for using the “free” file hosting service

    What's with the cheeky quotation marks?

    Comment by Kudeh
    02:12 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Megaupload charge for premium membership and thus probably make a profit. I assume that's what Artefact had in mind.

    Avatar of Mr.Demon
    Comment by Mr.Demon
    03:33 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    If you upload a archive of less than 100mb and it's download from certain countrys Megaupload give you a MegaPint that can be exchange for up to vitalice premium membership and up to 10.000$!!

    With 100.000Mpoints you can have 1year of premium service and 100$...

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:30 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    It's a very broad definition of the word "free", for every party involved.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:51 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.5)

    "In common with most web-based piracy, his objective was profit"

    Do you believe that yourself?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Do you doubt it? See many torrent sites with no ads, do you?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:40 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Just because of ads you count them as profit oriented? I doubt that they are making much profit with that. Things like Usenext is what I define as profit oriented.
    In this case:
    "Thousands of manga" doesn't sounds like he build this page during a weekend. It rather sounds like months of constant work. And with all this work he only made 3500? A part-time job would most likely pay better.

    I'm sure he just did it for the sake of doing it. Or in other words "For fun".

    Avatar of Daisuki-chan
    Comment by Daisuki-chan
    06:12 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    We all know how much someone here likes ads. Projection... ;p

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I don't think you have a clear understanding of just how much money these kinds of sites make, how little a torrent site costs to maintain, and how many of them are managed by companies behind the scenes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:54 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    properly SEOd sites with good content similar to this case profits more than just $3500. If you're having lots of visitors you'll get more than that.I do not believe that it just amounts to a total of $3.5k but if my experience applies, it amounts to more than that. maybe $3.5k/month is a much better approximation. I know Artefact had experience with this

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:23 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anon 6:21 here.

    Ok yeah I believe this is a profit site but just want to add in the fact that I don't see anything wrong with it. Just to be clear. Sankaku is not doing anything illegal after all. Just posting Info and allowing people to read and comment on it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:40 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    So is Sancom a "free" site??

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:26 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Same, people who do not use adblockers are tools. I laugh at everyone of them, who contracts a virus from an ad they could have blocked.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Sancom is also profit oriented then. Fucking corporate scums.

    Avatar of Jozle
    Comment by Jozle
    00:41 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.5)

    Pirating for the people who can't get it directly from the source, FUCK YEAH!!

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    He was distributing Japanese manga to Japanese people on a Japanese site.

    Avatar of Hakufu
    Comment by Hakufu
    00:54 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Where is the fabled 2Ch response? We get them on dirty foreign scum bag piracy articles, but yet nothing when the glorious homeland is involved?

    Come on I wanna see 2Ch eat their words it would give me some lulz this morning.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:02 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    What caught my attention was the impressive police display of the tools of his lawbreaking ways. Computers, a laptop, external drive, and DVDs, the horror is too much.

    Surely access to equipment like this should be controlled, licensed, and restricted so that others can't commit these awful crimes against intellectual property.

    What was the street value of the contraband he made available?

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:04 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I imagine that they'd at least try to peg some of the blame on the fact that the hosting was in a foreign country. MegaUpload is corrupting poor Japanese youth to pirate manga, don't you know?

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:34 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If they don't i think they will score a record for speed in "reaching new lows in cowardice".
    hmm let's see:
    1. cowards don't fight agains China(islands)
    2. cowards don't fight agains censorship(why the hell didn't they take iShitHara down allready)
    3. cowards don't fight against North Korea( )
    4. cowards don't fight against Sankaku Complex readers criticising them

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:24 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    well yeah, like those cocksuckers will admit their shit stinks too.

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    06:04 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4) 2ch..I guess it's not just "dirty foreigners" pirating now is it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:19 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.3)

    I thought he was distributing manga to Japanese people on an American site?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:53 09/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    apparently he was mostly distributing money towards himself
    he didnt make the manga, nor host the files and since it was thousands of titles he certainly didnt buy or even just scan them either
    just uploaded and sacked the profit
    i support sharing, but hyenas dont deserve any better

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    The site was in Japanese and hosted on a Japanese language hosting service. It's clear he was intent on distributing solely to other Japanese.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:34 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    And yet Tazmo still makes all sorts of money off of other peoples work? Okey dokey then good to know that priorities are set right.

    Avatar of Yasuo
    Comment by Yasuo
    00:54 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's not like he prevented profit anyway, no one buys manga in Japan anymore, they just read it in their convenience store weekly or when it's a tankobon read it standing in book off

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:29 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    At least they have other legal ways to get their fix. This is also another reason why this case is so sad.

    Avatar of Vu Le Khoa
    Comment by Vu Le Khoa
    00:37 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    the boy will leave the younger generation to continue the honor work for him... You can't stop pirates =))

    Avatar of Taiga-sama
    Comment by Taiga-sama
    00:39 09/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    true. he's such a hero !!!

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    02:08 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    He only uploaded some scans, let's not get too carried away.

    Do the impossible / see the invisible

    Touch the untouchable / break the unbreakable

    Avatar of CaptainFawful
    Comment by CaptainFawful
    00:40 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Doesn't Megaupload have copyright filters? Why couldn't they just delete the files from their site if they were against the policy? And if they weren't against the policy in the first place, whats the big deal?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:00 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is if you want to save the trouble of filing a lawsuit.. but if you want to set an example then you can just leave it as it is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:33 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Megaupload really isn't the crux of the matter in question.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:54 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    *Is too busy gawking at the loli armpits of that "Demonbane: Al Azif Beat Ver. PVC" figure way below the bottom of the article to comment*

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:47 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Here we go again... *ding ding ding*

    Avatar of fxc2
    Comment by fxc2
    00:49 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The motive was profit. That makes him a hero in your eyes?

    Avatar of Taiga-sama
    Comment by Taiga-sama
    00:50 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    as long as someone can get the raw and get it translated. why not ?

    Avatar of renstalon
    Comment by renstalon
    10:41 09/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with this. If you don't respect intellectual property and don't support the artists, they will not make money and not be able to continue their work. If you truly like the work you should contribute and pay for it legally.

    If you spent a number of months writing a great story, put your heart and soul into developing a story, and then couldn't sell it because everyone stole it for free, how would you feel?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Even if he is solely concerned with making money at the direct expense of Japanese mangaka?

    Comment by Anonymous

    >get the raw and get it translated
    if it's the case, he should send private raw to those groups instead of releasing public raws in a website that every1 can access

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