The Yomiuri ShimbunThe government on Friday decided to call on internet service providers operating in the nation to block access to “pirate websites” that allow users to read manga and magazines for free online.
The urgent measure is to protect the rights of creators. It was decided at a joint meeting of the government’s Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters and Ministerial Meeting Concerning Measures Against Crime. The government will ask providers to take voluntary action as a temporary measure until a relevant legal framework is established.
The pirate websites the service providers have been advised to block access to are Mangamura, Anitube, Miomio and other similar sites. Blocking access to particular sites requires providers to monitor which sites users visit. This likely could infringe on privacy of communications. However, the government concluded it would not be illegal if it meets the requirement of averting present danger under the Penal Code.
The government will also set regulations over “leech websites” that entice users to pirate sites. It aims to submit legislation to an extraordinary Diet session to be convened in autumn.
The government also decided to set up a council comprising relevant business operators and experts under the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters to realize a swift procedure for blocking access to pirate sites immediately after such sites are detected.
At Friday’s meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “If the profits that were supposed to go to mangaka and creators are stolen by pirate websites, the future of our nation’s content industry could be shut down.”