Weekly manga anthology Shonen Jump has taken part in an anti-piracy campaign, ironically using a pirate as one of its figureheads.
Shonen Jump has attracted some attention for using noted pirate Monkey D. Luffy in its recent campaign against manga piracy, with some internet users pointing out the irony of using the One Piece protagonist as part of the project.
Their official Twitter account has sent out the following message:
“Let’s stop looking at illegal sites of pirated manga! This is a notice for the ‘STOP! Pirated versions’ campaign that many publishing companies are participating in. It’s connected to empowering and protecting manga authors so that they can continue producing new content. We ask for your cooperation.”
The organisers of the “STOP! Pirated versions” campaign have also produced a brief four-panel manga, detailing in rather dramatic fashion the effects of piracy on all levels of the manga industry:
Translation, courtesy of SoraNews:
“Panel 1: Manga artists
Sales have decreased due to the proliferation of pirated copies. Manga artists can’t survive. ‘I can’t eat!’
Panel 2: Editors
New talent can’t be cultivated in the manga industry full of hopes and dreams. ‘I can’t find any newbies!’
Panel 3: Bookstore staff
Due to declining sales and revenue, the status of bookstores is in trouble. ‘Manga’s really not selling anymore, huh.’
Panel 4: Readers
If the cycle of manga creation is broken, then ultimately the readers are the ones affected. ‘There’s no interesting manga!!!’
Let’s protect the cycle of creation. STOP! Pirated versions”
The half-century-old weekly anthology has teamed up with other publishers such as Kodansha and Kadokawa to inform manga fans about the scourge of online piracy, which it blames for the loss of $500 million worth of sales in Japan and $12 billion worth of sales in the United States. A single illegal distribution site, Manga Mura, is accused of costing the industry ¥320 billion.
Figures for the potential losses from piracy in other parts of the world are not given, which may give some indication of the industry’s attitude to minuscule markets such as Europe and continental Asia.