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:

Read More » reports that the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), the organization that manages music copyright, along with 16 other similar organizations, are planning to create a centralized database for "art," "photography," "scenarios" and "manga."

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ANS reports that Japanese fans are accusing mangaka Rin Yoshii's manga SWITCH of copying a photograph from the November 06 issue of the fashion magazine SWEET. A comparison between the original photograph and the SWITCH manga scan can be seen here and here (the scan is from the January 07 issue of Shuisha's Cookie).

imgJapanese anime news site AnimeAnime has released a 2-part follow-up to their previous report on fansubs and the anime industry." In Part 1 and Part 2, Romi (the writer) talked about the history and problems of fansubs. In Part 3, Romi (the writer) talks about the future of the anime industry, and why the companies are having a hard time dealing with fansubs.

Fansubs and the Gloom of the Anime Industry - Part 3
- by Romi

In 2006, rumors spread about anime distributor Central Park Media's bankruptcy (which did not happen). Also, a friend of mine was fired by a major anime distributor he worked for; he was involved with many well-known titles, so I was shocked. The fact that even major distributors need to dismiss its capable staffs proves that the anime industry is getting worse.

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There will be a meeting between JASRAC (Japanese Society for the Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers) and YouTube Executives.

Last week JASRAC sent YouTube a letter requesting the website to step up their anti-piracy regulations. YouTube responded by saying they plan on meeting the demands, and "will come to Japan to discuss these issues with [JASRAC]."

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The Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) and the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) have released a report estimating the damage caused by the peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program Winny to the Japanese entertainment industry.

A test was conducted on October 10th, where Winny activities were closely monitored during a 6-hour time period. According to the report, there are currently over 210,000 Winny users illegally pirating anime, manga, games, softwares and music, causing over 9.5 billion yen worth of damage to the Japanese entertainment industry.

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Leiji Matsumoto (68) is known for creating Space Battleship Yamato, Captain Harlock, and many other classic series. Recently Leiji Matsumoto announced that parts of his script from Galaxy Express 999 has been stolen by the 37 years old J-Pop singer and songwriter Noriyuki Makihara, and was used in the singer's lyrics in Chemistry's recent album "Yakusoku No Basho" (Promised Place).

Although Leiji Matsumoto said that he won't incriminate the singer, he Noriyuki Makihara will apologize to him: "We are interested in his next action."

According to Leiji Matsumoto, the phrase stolen came from volume 21 of Galaxy Express 999: "時間は夢を裏切らない、夢も時間を裏切ってはならない" (The dream never fails the time, and the time also never fails the dream.) The phrase was also used in the live-action play of Galaxy Express 999. In the "Promised Place," the phrase was modified into "夢は時間を裏切らない、時間も夢を決して裏切らない" (The word order is reversed).

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imgPirated Gundam products (videos, toys, etc.) has always been very popular in South Korea. In 2005, when Sunrise, which owns the rights to Gundam, tried to register "Gundam" as a trademark in South Korea, they were turned down by the South Korean agency.

Naturally, Sunrise appealed to the Korean courts. However, Sunrise lost the appeal for the incredible reason that "In Korea, 'Gundam' is a general term for robots which appear in anime" (韓国では『ガンダム』とはアニメに登場するロボットの一般名詞である)!

The "Gundam Trial" was so shocking to Japanese people that it had come to be seen as an urban legend. However, it was proven that it was no joke, but an actual trial. For more info, see here or here (創通=Bandai).

When "super robot" anime and manga were gaining momentum during the 80's, the popular shows weren't as easily accessible in South Korea as they are today. Surpassing even the modern fansubbers, people in South Korea began releasing Japanese animations as "Original South Korean Products" under different names, many of which were televised by Korean TV stations. Below are some examples of the "Original Korean Products" and their Japanese counterparts:

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Katsura Hibiki's latest BL novel, Mirage to Shakunetsu no Koi, published by Shinkosha under its Chocolat Novels Hyper label, was found plagiarizing the work of another author. This was pointed out by the author of the plagiarized novel as well as its readers, however, the author has asked to keep the name of the said novel from being released to the public.

As a result, all of Katsura Hibiki's works have beem recalled, and her upcoming releases have been cancelled. Katsura Hibiki said in her apology that she regrets what she has done, and has decided to quit her job as a writer to show her regret.

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Qiang Qiang, the new mascot for the 21st Shandong Provice Sports Game (Shandong 21st Game) was recently unveiled to the public. However, the new mascot was met with severe criticism as its design was accused of being copied from a creature in Pokemon.

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