Switch manga Plagiarism Confirmed, Series to be Suspended

topJapanese fans recently pointed out similarities between Rin Yoshii's manga Switch and photographs from the November 06 issue of the fashion magazine Sweet. This week the editorial department of Cookie (the magazine Switch is serialized in) sent out a letter confirming the plagiarism. As a result Switch will be dropped from Cookie, Rin Yoshii's two other series, Kurabeyou mo Nai Hodo ni (So Incomparable) and silent summer snow, will also be temporarily suspended to be checked for possible plagiarized content.

The images in question appeared in 2007 Issue 1 of Shueisha's Cookie magazine, some comparison can be seen here:

[ Original Image ] [ Switch Image ]
[ Comparison 1 ] [ Comparison 2 ] [ Comparison 3 ] [ Comparison 4 ]

The apology letter from the Cookie Editorial Department:

Notice of Apology and Publication Suspension

Thank you for your devoted readership of Cookie.

It has been confirmed that the opening and the announcement page illustrations of Switch (Author: Yoshii Rin), which was serialized in Cookie Issue 1 (released on November 25 2006) was reproduced from the gravure photo of a fashion magazine. As this is a clear act of plagiarism, all those involved sincerely apologize. With apologies to all of our readers who have been enjoying reading the series, after reflection, Switch will cease publication as of Issue 4.

In addition, regarding Yoshii's other two series, Kurabeyou mo Nai Hodo ni and silent summer snow, we will cease publication until we can confirm that there are no further instances of plagiarism. Once again, we apologize for betraying the trust of our devoted readers. From now on, we vow to strive to produce works with a sincere attitude, and make an effort to deepen our authors' and editorial department's awareness of copyright so that we can win back your trust.

Please continue to give your support to Cookie and Cookie's comics.

January 30, 2007
Cookie Editorial Department

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I wonder how this applies to

I wonder how this applies to parodies. Pani Poni Dash is well known for including references to a multitude of other works. Using the Cookie criteria for plagiarism, every DVD cover of PPD would be guilty of infringement.

They're different

Manga that reference other works (Hayate the Combat Butler comes to mind) are different. In this case, the image was "copied" from another work, in the sense that you take someone else's work, modify it a bit, then call it your own. In the case of "referencing," you make it clear that you're making a parody of someone else's work, and you're not actually claiming their work as your own.

That's not a copyright breach.

I don't see how this is covered by the term Plagiarism. This isn't a reproduction, or an attempt to pass off a photo as one's own, it's a drawing of a photograph. It is removed from its original contect and place within a work of art. This is no different from most of Roy Lichtenstein's paintings. It's got to be covered by parody and fair use, and if the cover character is actually given a character within a story, it isn't the personality of the model from the magazine it is a fantasy character. Granted, the cartoonist could have changed one or two items of clothing, even if it was just a slogan or the colour, but removing Yoshii Rin's work seems harsh.

This is surely fair use, and is even necessary to ensure an up-to-date depiction of 'real' characters. I think it must come under the same umbrella as a caricature of a politician or a movie star, or a sports star, or even a super model.

I agree.

I don't really see it as plagiarism either. Although the design of the shirt and hat could have been altered, it really does not strike me as being something so controversial as to completely stop the serialization of the manga series.

i agree to say that not copyright

totally agree. i think she just think the fashion were cool so she want to use it. you know like 'oh, this is nice. i should buy exactly like that.'
what's wrong with that? you can't buy the clothe exactly like the model use?

I couldn't agree with you

I couldn't agree with you more :D

When it comes to copying a

When it comes to copying a photograph, if you didn't take the photo yourself, or if you don't have permission, then it is plagiarism.

Reminds me of the news when

Reminds me of the news when Takehiko Inoue was "accused" of "copying" NBA photos for his Slam Dunk manga...

Unfair D:

So its one image, whats the big deal?
Its not like a whole storyline was ripped off of something else work. Besides i thought plagiarism only referred to written works.


...Are you kidding me? I see that it could be a form of plagiarism but this is really harsh. I don't want to play the form of "ignorant fan" over here but I don't think such drastic actions should be taken for a simple photograph just let them announce who took the photo and we'll be like, "oh. okay" I understand that the orginal photographer must be upset but it's not THAT big of a deal. If it was the whole story, then yeah, I would be ticked off. One outfit? C'mon.

I am unhappy

I could careless about all that, I just truly loved the manga and wanted to find out what would happen next.

i think she deserved it

the true goals of an artist is to make pictures. that effort of achieving something great is a lie if you copy something. My point is she copied the clothes, the smile,the eyes, even the camera angle and body position. And if people did this and was legal then people would be making more money while the people who actually had talent had to work even harder. Parodies are fine but not crediting and stealing work from other people and claiming it isnt. I'm fine with people who base their art style based on artist they like, that is fine with me because it helps evolve the styles and genres to create new ones.(like naruto creator who based his art style on the guy who made Akira, but its not 100% the same but it's unique)
As an artist I hate the fact that people steal my work and it sucks because im a procrastinator so I rarely post pictures, but my pictures were made with love and quality, and someone who copies everything and claims it their own sucks ass. My logo design was even copies and the artist's excuse was he based it off an image in a particular artbook.........but then i have the same artbook and that design is no where in the book. i even asked him what page it was and thats when he STFU.

It's a bit harsh, but she probably should have referenced it...

I have to say... This punishment is a bit harsh. Did she deny using the picture as reference? If she did, then I understand. But, if she didn't, then it might just really be that she forgot to reference it before it was published. I mean, I'm sure she has many pictures stored away, and she must have forgotten. Well, anyways, it's all said and done...