The Nihon Manga Kakyokai (Japanese Manga Association) posted a statement on their website about their view on manga pirate sites.
The statement is as follows:
With digital technology such as personal computers and mobile phones, the way that people are reading manga has changed a lot over the years as technology develops.
It has become easier for people to access manga work and that is a wonderful.
People can read, watch and listen to a manga creators work and enjoy it. And when that work reaches the heart of everyone and people get a sense of fulfillment, it gives manga creators a a sense of accomplishment and giving them the inspiration to do their best for their next creation.
But it is very important that creators and everyone having access to that work are connected within that circle.
Unfortunately, creators are now being driven out of that circle because pirate sites and people not involved in the creative effort are making it unprofitable for manga creators.
While there are plenty of work aside from manga in the world, when one views or read them, are they created properly within that circle? Can you please think about this? No matter how hard we work on our manga projects, we can not allow our work to operate outside of our circle.
If this continues, Japanese culture will be weakened and will eventually be destroyed.
We are very worried about that.
“Ashita no Joe” mangaka Takamori Asao said, “A young manga artist will not be able to grow” due to pirated manga and manga magazines in Japan, which is being uploaded on the Internet without permission from the author. Manga artists are noticing that a website that infringes on copyrights are still giving access to people months after starting and manga creators and publishers say it’s a major crisis in their industry.
NHK recently aired a news portion of how easy it is to gain access to pirated manga.
Interviews with anonymous people were saying that children and adults were accessing manga from illegal sites and that people no longer need to purchase manga. And discussion of illegal pirated manga sites are being mentioned on Twitter quite frequently.
The latest issues of popular manga magazines and manga are being uploaded without permission and on pirated sites, they are classified as “Shonen Manga” and “Manga Magazines”.
NHK ran a pool and many people said they are aware or are using illegal sites to access manga.
One woman said she can access over a hundred manga every day because its free and everywhere and that she accesses the site everyday.
A college student explained that reading at home, connecting to wi-fi and not feeling guilty about it. It’s very convenient to access free manga without having to pay for it.
NHK reports that the people they interviewed, 30% know of manga pirate sites.
Video Research Interactive who has been investigating the growing number of pirated sites said the growth of users have increased from October last year to December, with 230,000 people accessing illegal manga sites.
42% of those accessing illegal pirate manga sites are in their teens, 21% are in their 40’s, 19% are in their 50’s and 14% are in their 20’s, while 5% were in their 30’s. The use of illegal manga sites are spreading through the younger generation.
Damage caused by manga piracy is estimated to be at 50 billion yen according to a report compiled by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and there is concern that the damage is even more severe.