Romi’s Revenge: Notorious Manga Pirate Launches Explosive Book, Demands Retrial
In 2021, Romi Hoshino was sentenced to three years in prison for operating Mangamura, the world’s most notorious manga piracy site. Freed last year, the 31-year-old will release a book tomorrow which promises to tell the real story of his prosecution while exposing Japan’s judicial problems. Twenty-four hours later, Hoshino will demand a retrial: “This time, we’re aiming for the world.”
Actions taken against specific pirate platforms are shaped by policy, resources, and other practicalities, meaning that less significant sites may face no immediate threat. Others aren’t so lucky.
In Mangamura’s case, a site founded in 2016 targeting the Japanese market became extraordinarily successful in a very short space of time. That it did so by exploiting culturally-valuable manga content, in the backyard of the world’s largest manga publishers, pushed Mangamura to the top of the enforcement list.
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