topCopyright infringement and plagiarism existed long before the internet became a household name. However, with the internet quickly finding its way into people's homes, and a little help from the ever-developing technology, more and more people are able to easily make their own website/blog.

The problem is that with so many people producing content, unauthorized use of someone else's content is now just a copy/paste away. This article won't look at the general issues involved with online plagiarism and copyright infringement (which have already been discussed many times elsewhere), but it will focus on a specific case of copyright infringement.

This article is the result of a collaboration between ComiPress, a Japanese law blog called Ahowota Law Student News, and many others who provided useful insights and comments. Due its length, the article has been divided into three parts. In Part I, we introduce the basic concept of copyright infringement and plagiarism, and how they apply to translating contents on the internet. In Part II, we provide a translation of Ahowota Law Student News's opinion on the subject. In Part III, we take the concepts explored in Part I and present them to other site/blog's authors, journalists, and people from the industry to get an outside view on the issue.

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Mainichi Daily reports that two of the three men arrested last month for illegally distributing manga on the P2P application Winny have been charged with with copyright law violations. The third person, a 17-year-old college student, could also face criminal charges as an adult.

Via: Journalista

topEarlier this year, Shogakukan announced that Doraemon - Last Episode, a fan-made conclusion to Fujiko F. Fujio's Doraemon manga, infringed Shogakukan's copyright to Doraemon.

On May 29th, Shogakukan announced that the 37-year-old amateur mangaka apologized to Shogakukan and Fujiko Production, and swore that such things will never happen again. Also, the mangaka admitted to his gaining of illegal profits from the work, and paid back a portion of his sales.

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ANN reports that three Japanese males in Tokyo, Morioka, and Osaka were arrested on May 18th for unauthorized file-sharing of manga.

The three males, aged 17, 26, and 29 respectively, scanned and uploaded manga from Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump and Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday on the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

Manga Jouhou translates an article from IT Media titled "Should Copyrights be Changed for Industries, such as Rakugo, Doujinshi and Software?" that looks at the issue of how copyright should be handled differs depending on the type of the industry.

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"I received a formal warning from Kodansha. As a result I have stopped the distribution of the Moyashimon tool. There is plan to distribute the tool again in the future."

What is the Moyashimon tool? Moyashimon tool is a desktop tool based on Masayuki Ikagawa's seinen manga Moyashimon. The tool's only function was to animate the fungus and viruses found in Moyashimon on your desktop. The tool was pretty yet functionally meaningless; nonetheless, it was well received by others for its cuteness.

In March, Kodansha, the copyright holder of Moyashimon, sent the creator of Moyashimon tool a warning letter requesting that the tool be taken down, or else it will be regarded as infringing Kodansha's copyright.

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Manga Jouhou has posted a reply from Libre Publishing regarding the CPM/Be Beautiful incident. According to Libre, the license agreement CPM had with Biblos became invalid after Biblos filed for bankruptcy. CPM has since failed to establish a new license agreements with Libre Publishing:

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In late 2006, Leiji Matsumoto accused J-Pop singer Noriyuki Makihara of plagiarizing lyrics from the Galaxy Express 999 manga, and announced that he would like to hear an apology from Makihara.

Now Makihara Noriyuk has filed a 22 million yen lawsuit against Leiji Matsumoto for "repeated demands for an apology and false accusation."

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Rabbit Valley, an online anime/manga shop, has announced that it will drop all CPM/Be Beautiful products from its catalogue due to the recent copyright issue with Libre Publishing:

NOTICE - Pirated works removed
It has come to the management's attention that several items we sold by the publisher "Central Park Media" doing business as "Be Beautiful" were not authorized, licensed reprints of an artist's work. We have pulled the following items from our catalog: "Golden Cain," "Embracing Love Volume 1," and "Selfish Love" volumes 1 and 2. It is the policy of Rabbit Valley (R) Comics to NEVER endorse piracy of any kind. Until the licensing issue is cleared up, these items have been pulled from the site. Further information is available from the original Japanese publisher's website at

Source: Icarus Blog

According to Yaoi Suki, in response to Libre Publishing's recent copyright infringement accusation, CPM's Managing Director John O'Donnell is currently heading to Japan to sort things out with Libre:

I spoke with Matt Geller, who works for Marketing Director David Hair. He did not have any comment yet, but promised to get back to me as soon as he did. He was, um, unaware of the situation. So, I gave him the link to the Libre site and showed him the notice.