Just days after a coalition of Japanese and U.S. manga publishers threatened legal action against 30 scanlation websites, the effort has scored its first victory.
Administrators at scanlation aggregator MangaHelpers announced this morning that they’ve begun shutting down the site, disabling uploading and linking for scans and making existing files available only to scanlators so they may back up their work.
“The publishers will no longer sit idly by and watch the scanlation community spread their work,” reads the announcement. “They have identified some 30 larger websites, and have given a last warning to the scanlation community to voluntarily remove all infringing content, or face legal repercussions. Yes, we believe MangaHelpers is one of them, despite not being contacted by any legal representatives about this specific announcement at this time.”
The website also announced the launch of OpenManga, a platform designed to allow manga creators to distribute their work digitally.
On Tuesday a group of American publishers revealed they had joined forces with the 36-member Japanese Digital Comic Association to fight unauthorized online distribution of manga. In a press release, the coalition issued a warning to scanlation sites to “take it upon themselves to immediately cease their activities.”
“Where this is not the case, however, we will seek injunctive relief and statutory damages,” the group’s spokesperson said. “We will also report offending sites to federal authorities, including the anti-piracy units of the Justice Department, local law enforcement agencies and FBI.”