Last week, the Tokyo District Court (pictured above) ruled that publishing manga dialogue online without permission is copyright infringement.
According to NHK (via ANN), a “spoiler site” published almost all the dialogue verbatim from manga between January 2019 and May 2020. In total, 63 volumes were uploaded.
The manga in question is Kengan Omega, and the spoiler site also uploaded panels. As ANN points out, legal action has previously been taken against individuals for uploading manga panels without authorization. This ruling pertains to the text and requires that the web server’s company release information about the uploader.
Kengan Omega is published by Shogakukan, and the company’s attorney called the ruling “groundbreaking.”
“The number of websites posting all the details of a manga’s content is increasing one after the other, and this is becoming a major problem,” said Shogakukan’s editorial department, adding that it will be resolute in defending the rights of creators.
Shogakukan’s attorney explained that there are now more people reading piracy sites than ever, with more individuals at home because of covid-19.