Translated Japanese Comics Made Available For Free to Combat Piracy

In order to combat comic piracy Japanese manga publisher Shogakukan Inc. has decided to offer translated versions of Japanese comics online only for visitors to their site from the United States. According to the Japan Today article Shogakukan Inc. hopes to limit the spread of bootleg copies of their comics in the United States and Europe.

The English versions of popular manga comics will be available via viz.com, which is a media group set up by Shogakukan Inc. Popular manga comics from artists such as Rumiko Takahashi are already viewable on the site. The first manga they have chosen to make viewable is Rin-Ne. When you attempt to access the comic as a non United States resident you are greeted with a friendly “We’re sorry, this content is not available in your region.”

Shogakukan’s attempt to limit piracy will most likely not work. For almost all popular manga series being published today fully translated versions of the latest release are available on the web within days of being released. The more mainstream a comic is the faster the translation is made available. Famous comics such as “Naruto” and “Bleach” are available the day of release. Today even older and lesser known comics are being translated and being made available to the public.

Due to manga comics being popular worldwide limiting this service to only United States residents will do nothing to limit the spread of bootleg copies in the rest of the world. Proof of how popular manga comics are worldwide can be seen by the large number of comics that are translated in to languages other than English. A search of the web will quickly reveal illegally translated versions of mainstream manga series are available in many other languages other than English.