Former JP Manga Pirates Now Trying to Raise New Manga Artists, a site that once hosted scanned manga online without permission (resulting in 3 people being arrested), is now trying to raise new manga artists. Currently is negotiating with the manga business world on copyright issues, and is also accepting works from manga artists. is also planning to hold a "New Mangaka Grand Prix."

Article on's Arrest in February 2006:


Three Japanese have been arrested for illegally uploading manga scans on the Web in spite of being warned by publishers and authors. They were the first such arrests in Japan.

The website, (pronounced "Read!" in Japanese), was intended as promotion for the manga and internet cafe "Ichigo" in Oota-ku, Tokyo. Touted as "Free Manga Browsing," the scans amounted to over 17,000 volumes, including 1,300 titles by nearly 700 authors. Nine titles named in the investigation were Akamatsu Ken's "Love Hina," Akimoto Osamu's "Kochi Kame," Adachi Mitsuru's "Touch," Ichijou Yukari's "Tadashii Ren'ai no Susume," Inoue Takehiko's "Slam Dunk," Urasawa Naoki's "MONSTER," Shigeno Shuuichi's "Initial D," Takahashi Rumiko's "Maison Ikkoku," and Fujisawa Tooru's "GTO."

In September 2005, several major manga publishers and an association of authors warned suspect Muramoto Toraji, 52, to cease distribution, but by December the website was still open. On January 5th, publishers and authors complained to the police, who investigated the website.

On January 25, police searched the suspects' homes and business premises and confiscated servers, PC's, and scanners, as well as 17,552 volumes of manga with bindings removed. Muramoto was arrested on February 14, along with Takei Naoto, 43, who built the servers, and Yamauchi Hiroko, 34, who scanned.

Muramoto stated in regards to the investigation, "To promote the manga cafe, we showed 1 or 2 pages of each title, but I thought if we were going to get caught infringing copyrights anyway, let's show all of them. I thought we could pay the copyright fees later."

The suspects had planned to switch the site to a paid membership system at 380 yen per month. From January 23-25, they had already collected about 2 million yen from 1,000 people towards several months of membership.

- translated by Sceadu
- link submitted by ocean