A schoolboy who uploaded manga to YouTube in advance of its release has been arrested for copyright infringement.
Police from Japan’s national high tech crimes unit in Kyoto allege that the 14-year-old boy, a resident of Nagoya, used a digital camera to take photographs of pre-release manga which he would then compile into short movies, each page onscreen a few seconds, and these he would upload to YouTube.
The manga uploaded covered key shonen titles, such as Naruto and One Piece, from top shonen rags Jump and Sunday, most being 4-5 days ahead of their release dates, although over the New Year’s holidays he managed a 9 day lead.
In total, over a 3 month period of activity he is said to have uploaded 118 chapters from 30 titles, amassing a total of 8 million views.
He also further galled publishers by using Twitter and his own “spoiler information office” blog to publicise his releases.
YouTube rapidly deleted all his uploads, and he was repeatedly forced to create new accounts, but still he continued.
Police are still clueless as to how he acquired the manga ahead of official release. He freely admits the crimes.
The usual remarks about publisher shortsightedness in overlooking a market desperate enough to resort to YouTube distributed manga seem to apply here.
YouTube in particular offers advertising revenue sharing for content owners who allow their works to be distributed there, making publisher refusal to adopt any form of inexpensive distribution other than the telephone-directory thick wodges of toilet paper quality paper they seem so attached to all the more pigheaded.