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Comics A.M. | Three arrested for illegally uploading ‘One Piece’

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Three arrested for illegally uploading ‘One Piece’

Legal | Japanese police have arrested three men on copyright violation charges, alleging they scanned and uploaded a chapter of One Piece from Weekly Shonen Jump to mangapanda, an English-language scanlation site. Police also arrested an employee of a delivery company who allegedly got his hands on a copy of the magazine at some point on its way from the printer to the newsstands and handed it over to the scanners. All four men are denying any wrongdoing. The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, which first reported the news, said this is the first time action has been taken regarding a foreign-language website. [Anime News Network]

Legal | Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency is considering revising that country’s copyright laws to fall into line with those of other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The changes may include lengthening the amount of time a work remains under copyright, from 50 years after the creator’s death to 70 years, which would affect some materials that are now in the public domain, and allowing the government to prosecute copyright violations without a complaint from the copyright holder. One area of concern is whether the stricter law would affect the creation of fan comics, or doujinshi, based on copyrighted comics; the largest comic convention in the world, Comiket, is a doujinshi con. [The Japan Times]

Creators | NPR’s Renee Montagne interviews Stan Lee about his upcoming graphic memoir, Amazing Fantastic Incredible. [NPR]

Creators | Zainab Akhtar interviews Natalie Riess, whose Space Battle Lunchtime is the first comic to be selected  by Oni Press from its open submissions. Oni editor Robin Herrera also speaks about the process of winnowing down the 2,500 submissions. [Comics & Cola]

Creators | Robert Triptow talks about his graphic novel Class Photo, which has its origins in an old class picture he found under a pile of trash — and his fevered imagination. Triptow has been making gay-themed comics for years, although Class Photo is his first full-length graphic novel — and the first to be carried in a bookstore in his home town of Salt Lake City. [Paste]

Comics | In an interview for CBC radio, Hope Nicholson discusses the anthology Moonshot, which collects work by 28 Native American creators, and how comics can push back against stereotypes and racism. [CBC]

Manga | Justin McCurry looks at manga as the preferred medium for difficult and controversial topics in Japan, from the Hiroshima bombings to the Syrian refugees. [The Guardian]

Manga | Rob Pereyda, CEO of the U.S. arm of the streaming anime service Viewster, talks about his company’s take on the subscription merchandise package, Omakase. The first one features a special edition of the manga Kill La Kill and a scarf based on one worn by a character in the story. “There is an episode where Ryuko, the main character, wears this scarf,” he explains. “It’s an iconic part of the show, but it never existed in official merchandise form. The cool thing here is that since it’s very much a ‘symbol’ without a giant piece of art, it can be worn in ‘stealth,’ just as a cool scarf, a fashion item.” [The Japan Times]

Graphic novels | Randy Duncan, David Stoddard and Michael Ray Taylor, all professors at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, have collaborated on a textbook titled Creating Comics as Journalism, Memoir and Nonfiction, which they plan to use in the nonfiction comics class they teach at the university. Duncan is the founder of the Comic Arts Conference that is part of Comic-Con International as well as several other comic conventions. [Arkansas Online]

Collecting | Here’s another one of those articles that crops up occasionally about how certain comics are bringing in big bucks at auction, citing a couple of sales of mint-condition #1s as proof (and sort of mashing it up with the popularity of superhero movies). This one also brings in a retailer for a reality check, but what caught my eye is the fact that Harley Quinn comics are now appreciating in value. [CNBC]

Conventions | Gary Sohmers, organizer of Northeast Comic Con, explains why he does it: “As nerds, we have a different mindset — you know you are a nerd if someone is bullying you. But this convention is a safe and fun environment and a creative opportunity to explore our interests. I only expect 8,000 attendees, so it’s not nearly as big as the New York or San Diego comic cons that attract as many as 150,000 people, but it’s all about offering entertainment value. I don’t run these shows to necessarily make that much money but to make an impact.” The con takes place December 5 and 6 in Wilmington, Massachusetts. [Boston Globe]

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