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Shonen Jump Use Pirate As Face Of Anti-Piracy Campaign

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.

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76 Comments

  • How about making the stuff cheaply available for online reading? Like what OpenManga tried years ago and which all the publishers denied cooperation. I say fuck them. They couldn’t be bothered to modernize ten years ago, they may as well suffer the consequences now. Manga will be fine. Publishers (and those fucking editors that constantly ruin novel Manga) won’t necessarily be.

    • Different copyright laws and distributors for each country, all supported by an extreme archaic films industry bureaucracy that hasn’t changed since the 60s.

      What we need, are international copyright laws that allow content to be distributed and bought globally. Even Netflix and others suffer a lot from all this bullshit despite their deep pockets, shit’s only worse for manga.

  • Are they STILL thinking “pirated things” = “lost sales”? Because I got news for them: even if something was not piratable, that STILL wouldn’t turn it into a guaranteed sale, the end user would just look at something else that’s free. Is that really so hard to grasp?

    • In the end all they are doing is bullshitting themselves. Piracy is everywhere, you cannot stop it now, you cannot stop it in the past, hell it may certainly be impossible to fight back against in the future anyways.
      All means of accusations about losing sales is not because of piracy, but merely lack of interest, or in the event of economic scale: simply not having enough to afford for it.

    • That is correct. Many who pirate something wouldn’t read or watch it if they had to buy it, and ironically, sometimes pirating something makes them a fan, so they go out and buy it afterwards.

      Piracy is sometimes free marketing, and some studies (which were repressed and covered up, like one in Europe) actually showed a relationship between Piracy and INCREASED purchases with things like games.

  • 99% I’ve read were translated by the fans. Several times i donated to these translate-groups about $3-5 for server and food.
    Newest official manga release in my country is 3 year old manga, already finished. What sells they talking about?
    Ok, I’m gonna pay about $3 (Shonen Jump price is 300 yen) for magazine if it will be in stores 2-3 days later than in Japan and translated. No? Then fuck off.

  • Thing is if there was a official website that kept up to date and was translated with a reasonable subscription service i’d be willing to pay but as far as I know there isn’t so i’ll keep on reading muh manga the way i have for years.

    • Viz has that for some Shonen Jump titles. Not for all the series in that magazine since they can only hire so many translators, and some series probably aren’t worth that extra effort since they likely either won’t appeal to an American audience or possibly won’t even last that long in Japan’s Jump.

      It’s a lot harder to have something like that where it’s just one company holding the license to a whole bunch of series being published in various magazines, just because of all the licenses to deal with and even how different companies in the US have licenses to different series. Manga’s still a niche subject, so it’s not likely it’d work out like Netflix’s success with TV shows and movies.

      • And the worst thing is that they do their utmost to prevent foreigners from buying legally the manga, since they hold the rights only for the United States.

        Meanwhile, their own manga gets read on a pirate website by people from Malasya, South Africa, Argentina and Norway.

  • The real “enemy” of manga is free entertainment.

    People used to go to the opera too, or watch puppet shows, but obviously the culture and entertainment industry changed.

    Welcome to the 21st century where there is a mind-boggling amount of free entertainment to compete with.

      • You underestimate the free entertainment out there. Even if you don’t count the all-absorbing black hole that is social media as entertainment, there’s still YouTube and Twitch, mobile games, online video games (LoL, Hearthstone, and many others are free). These days you can even watch some cable TV for free on your smartphone. Just Google “most popular forms of online entertainment” and you’ll see the reality. Ask yourself, is the majority of time you spend entertaining yourself online paid/pirated? Did you need to pay money for this Sankaku Complex article and comments section to entertain you? It’s true that the highest quality produced entertainment tends to not be free, but people are not as hung up on it as you think, or as the manga industry thinks.

  • Yeah, pirate manga is killing the market, is that not the drakonian ways to work, or other entertaiments, of course.

    I read a lot of pirate manga, and I can read in that way a lot of manga that NEVER will be in paper to buy, so… in fact I have bought a lot of manga after read it for free in internet so…

  • How do you explain to Japan that most people find One Piece unreadable if they don’t skip like 200++ chapters in the manga and 50+ episodes of the anime, much less that everybody else doesn’t treat it like a cult?

    Or that the west will never buy their 4 episodes for 65++++ dollars blu-ray crap with anime?

    Overpricing everything and acting like it’s as needed as a utility like electricity is just retarded..

    • >the west will never buy their 4 episodes for 65++++ dollars blu-ray crap

      But the Japan market will buy. And so to preserve the pricing in this Japan market, the producers will never licence their products to the West cheaply; the money they earn from the West will not make up for their loss if the Japan market switches to buying cheaper Western imports.

    • And that is exectly why no one in Japan cares about western market. All those ‘fans’ who don’t understand even half of content, list in translation. They will never get a simple thing: supporting = ‘paying’. Not ‘talking on twitter’. Not fans, just loud plebs.

  • They sell the weekly issue (which usually gets tossed out in mountainous stacks a few days later), then they sell the tankobon, then they air the anime which is sponsored and full of commercials, not to mention that most Shounen Jump anime is full of low quality, time-wasting padding, and filler arcs, then they sell the anime again on blu-ray, and then they sell the merch (shirts, figures, candy, cup noodle, etc), and then they sell the gacha-ridden mobile games, and the console video games, and the arcade games….. And after all of that, SOMEHOW, manga authors aren’t making enough money and profits are down for Shounen Jump.

    But piracy is the issue.

  • If the mangaka are truly starving, maybe they should pay their workers better instead of blaming some boogeyman. This is identical to how the gaming industry complains about piracy and yet the corporations are making massive profits using essentially slave labor.

    As many of us have already said, many of us pirate because we are not be able to (financially or otherwise) buy anyway. I don’t read/pirate manga (have in the past but due to a full time job I don’t have time to keep up) but I do pirate some anime. There is no way in hell I am going to pay $250 for a fucking box set of a poorly dubbed anime I may not even like when I could simply pirate a good fansub and drop if I don’t like it. Mind you that $250 would be the difference between me filling up my car’s gas tank and having food for the month and starving + no job because my car has no gas to get there.

    Not to mention a lot of the stuff that does eventually end up here ends up being 2-3 years old and/or shown on Adult Swim anyway (if you don’t mind extremely poor dubs using the same terrible voice actors over and over again and heavy censorship with ads every 5 minutes). None of the more obscure yet good anime ever makes it outside of Japan.

    • That’s a very good point. Which is exactly the reason why even if I am using a legal online manga service, I’d probably STILL pirate anyway, because all those 90s and obscure series no one cares about, will never be translated in to English.

  • Manga labels have caused more harm to Japan’s comic industry than any amount of piracy ever could. By keeping the industry chained to dated and archaic standards that don’t work with the modern, digital age. They also apply pressure against artists seeking to pursue digital methods of distribution.

  • Hey! Hello! Even if I subscribe to online services, many things are just not available, even less if you are not in the US. So sorry. But as long as distribution is this limited, I have no other option.
    And hey! If all the pirates stop watching anime and reading manga, kiss goodbye to a large amount of income from merch sales. Cos yeah, I pirated Ghost in the Shell. But I have a wall scroll, imported from Japan, that was more expensive than buying the DVD.

  • One thing most people should realize by now is no matter how cheap even 0.1 cent people just won’t stop pirating. In reality we have many people who CANT use online payment of some form and majority of these are KIDS.

    These day KIDS can pirate too and KIDS can also distribute legal things on the other end.

    It isn’t unusual that kids pirate these manga and will continue as they have no mean to pay for them or rather why pay when there is free down the corner.

    Jump is losing money for japanese pirating not foreigner, their content target japanese not intended for oversea so don’t bother account oversea loss.

  • I hav no monee
    I live in a hole
    My bed is Pine needls
    I hunt skwerl
    Clothes are wooden
    Crotch is itch
    No monee 4 monga
    My water run out now
    Serch close water plase so can serviv 2 nex 1 peese

  • Blaming piracy again eh? You never learn do you? You don’t wanna reach foreign markets then face the smugglers that deliver the goods for cheap. Not exactly our fault that the manga that’s available here is from 90’s. Grow a pair and actually think of a better plan than playing the victim card. Yeah I know it’s easy, but we here aren’t having a good time finding your damned physical copies either so, two for two I guess.

  • It’s about time these idiot publishers stopped region blocking entire chunks of the world while preaching ANTI PIRACY. You can’t say we’re against piracy, offer a tiny section of the world something to watch for free while region blocking the rest and expect people to support it.

  • Toei had their oversea office over here where they produce some anime series, yet they don’t sell some mercs or setup their own store here (even just for a small profit) but only available in JP and US that are blocked from here.

  • How did they calculate losses? [downloaded]*price = loss? Taking something free is not the same as buying. Also how can I buy manga if it not even selling in my country? Stupid dickheads on the way to realize thta PIRACY is MAKING NEW READERS of your manga, and NOT STEALING your MONEY.

  • First off who the hell cares what character they use for a anti piracy campaign. That is the dumbest thing to focus on.

    Next I have to agree with some in how the manga industry should modernize more and I can tell that their drop in sales is bull shit since merchandising still gets sold in order to promote their product if their sales were as bad as that then there would be a clear difference in anime community today.

    The low pay issue comes from the fact they don’t pay their employees enough and overwork them to the point of exhaustion which makes them tackle multiple projects where even then is mot enough to pay the bills.

    • on the other hand it doesnt, for whoever know about one piece, they would know their pirate has nothing to do with piracy in the real world… while people who doesnt know about one piece wouldnt even know luffy is a pirate

  • Japan doesn’t give a fuck about making their manga as ubiquitously available in other countries as in their native country, so why the fuck should I care to stop reading pirate manga?

  • To paraphrase Lord Gaben, piracy is a service issue. Until Japan’s entertainment industries understands that they are going to have these problems. If they want western money translate it within a reasonable time frame, make it easy to buy, and sell it at a reasonable price. Otherwise look forward to more starving artists and pissed off otaku.

  • I know this is somewhat off topic but I remember when I was younger buying whole VHS sets of Dragonball z (uncut) where the VHS was like $25USD each & you only got 2-3 episodes (I felt ripped off spending $500usd+ on a season). These Anime/Manga artists are too greedy, they really should have gotten with the times many years ago & offered a online reading service similar to “Cruchyroll” but only Manga. Paper Media is Dead!

  • I used to buy pocket books all the time, but unfortunately the country i live makes this harder now. So im forced to watch it free on manga sites. I do however support anime by being a member of crunchyroll. Even if they dont always have the anime im looking for due to licenses

  • I would stop pirating if we got actual manga and anime publishers in my shithole of a country, but that ain’t never happening. one single video game costs quarter my monthly paycheck.

  • release jump worldwide then, I dont pay 7€/$ for a manga that is 2 years behind the jump release
    release episodes worldwide, i wont pay for a dvd 2 years later or wait for a fucking dub

    • Actually, an official manga reading website just like a sort of “Netflix” for all sorts of mangas, would be the best thing. Like an official “Mangafox/Kissmanga/whatever”.

      You’d pay 10 dollars a month and read all the manga you want, Shoujo, Shounen, Seinen or Josei, doesn’t matter. Also, you’d be able to read in any country in the world, not something specific to the United States, United Kingdom or w.e Country.

      But yeah, those companies aren’t interested in an idea like this, because they’re not interested in what’s best for their readers, only on what’s best for their pockets.

      And even some company start doing that, it’d either have a very low amount of manga or most of the manga would split up into different websites just like how it happened with Netflix and HBO…

      • There’s no such thing as a lost sale in this case. A lost sale involves an interested buyer with the necessary funds that didn’t buy from you, but from someone else. Someone else got the sale, thus you lost a sale. To someone else. That’s how this works. With piracy however, there isn’t someone else making the sale and there isn’t necessarily an interested buyer. Let’s not even talk about the necessary funds. Just because you take something if it’s free, doesn’t mean you would’ve taken it if it wasn’t. Like if someone offers you a free drink.

        • And then there’s people who can’t even buy even if they wanted, either because the manga’s not on sale on their country, outright forbidden due to stupid reasons or because English publishers won’t sell their material for other countries besides the ones they work with.

  • Oh boy incoming hypocritical wannabe white knights trying to tell us whats wrong and right, when they download copyrighted music, porn, games, and software for free. Shut the fuck up its the internet all of us have dirt on our shoes. Want to be a police? then get your ass up away from the dusty Cheetos keyboard and do something about it.