IGF 2023 WS #69 Manga Culture & Internet Governance-The Fight Against Piracy

Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (05:45 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (07:15 UTC)
WS 3 – Annex Hall 2

Data Governance & Trust
Cross-border Data Flows and Trust

Organizer 1: Takatsuka Yoshimitsu, Kodansha Ltd.
Organizer 2: Kensaku Fukui, Kotto Dori Law Office
Organizer 3: Naohiro MATSUNO, SHOGAKUKAN INC.
Organizer 4: Hiromi Sugiyama, KADOKAWA CORPORATION
Organizer 5: Hiroki Watanabe, SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
Organizer 6: yasuhiro zenzai, KODANSHA LTD.
Organizer 7: ATSUSHI ITO, Shueisha Publishng Inc.
Organizer 8: KAORU YAKUBO, Shogakukan Inc.

Speaker 1: moto HAGIO, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Nicole Rousmaniere, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Andy Nakatani, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Jun Murai, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Kensaku Fukui, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Takatsuka Yoshimitsu, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


Takatsuka Yoshimitsu, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


Panel - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. What is the essential framework for the protection of authors and their works internationally, especially Manga artists, in an era where information is quickly copied by the Internet and spreads throughout the world? B. How do the domestic and global legal frameworks apply to the online circulation of copied works? And how should we approach the dearth of adequate legal resources? C. How might Internet governance be structured to encourage greater cultural advancement? What systems and frameworks do you believe are required to achieve this?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants in the session will first discover the attractiveness of Japanese Manga culture, its worldwide development, and the crises it is currently experiencing. 1) Specifically, how much harm is being done by the production and distribution of illicit copies of Manga on the Internet, and how much harm it is causing to Japanese Manga artists. 2) Furthermore, by discovering the reality of the anti-piracy measures being implemented by a group of Japanese publishers and lawyers, they will learn that in order to completely eradicate piracy, international cooperation between the various parties involved in Internet governance is required. A deeper understanding of how the Internet community can assist the dissemination of a wide variety of Manga works will result from this expanded conversation.


Japanese Manga Culture is loved by many people around the world, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or age, for its originality and entertainment. However, it’s under threat. Numerous Manga are being illegally copied and made accessible online without compensating anything to the creators. If the number of illegal copies viewed in Japan in 2022 were converted into the price of the authorized electronic distribution, the amount read free will exceed US$3.6 billion, almost equaling the size of the manga market in Japan. Numerous pirate sites use CDNs and ISPs which won’t require identification and repeat hopping domains, making it crucially difficult to track down the operators, and some hosting providers won't respond to infringement notices from copyright holders, leading to increased damage. Even when the site operators are identified, many of them are located in certain countries/regions where law enforcement is challenging, making them more difficult to expose. To solve the problems, we believe that it is essential to discuss with network professionals around the world for solutions to the “Internet abuse”, which has become a hotbed of many crimes and human rights violations and to collaborate towards appropriate measures. Therefore, a team of five Japanese publishers, working against piracy organized this proposal. ([https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxZDuAi6zUo] Anti-piracy video released by the team and ABJ [https://www.abj.or.jp/] For Evaluators Only) The speakers will include a legendary Manga artist, a researcher served as the curator of the British Museum's "Manga Exhibition," and Jun Murai, an Internet Hall of Fame awardee who is committed to promote Manga. They will talk about the importance of creativity and what is required to safeguard creator’s rights. Our goal is to achieve a society that safeguards not only the Japanese Manga culture, but creators and users around the world, by fostering cultural development on the Internet while ensuring data free flow.

Expected Outcomes

Further growth of Manga Culture through worldwide recognition of the necessity to combat Manga piracy and the creation of Internet governance initiatives. The initiatives discussed could potentially be used to distribute free data for other works protected by copyright, advancing the Internet's cultural landscape. A publication will be produced, based on the discussion during this session, on the attraction of Japanese Manga Culture and the effectiveness of anti-piracy measures, as well as efforts to protect manga artists and their creations to further advance Japanese Manga Culture. Furthermore, we will continue to plan seminars to discuss about the subject within the international framework.

Hybrid Format: Half of the session time will be used by the four (tentative) speakers to report on and debate the current situation, and the other half will be utilized to actively encourage interaction with the speakers and participants from both onsite and online by allowing comments and questions. When a panelist is speaking, we will present relevant manga works, articles, and videos to help participants deeper understand. The setup of the system will enable simultaneous viewing for both onsite and online participants.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

It was encouraging to know that so many people, not only the members of publishing community, are aware of manga piracy. It is necessary for stakeholders in many fields to cooperate.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

If a language is not supported at the time of authorized distribution, manga fans who only understand that language will inevitably have to rely on pirated copies. Manga publishers should actively promote multilingual support for authorized editions as part of their efforts to fight against piracy.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

"Manga Culture & Internet Governance - Fight Against Piracy"

The following five speakers presented their arguments and proposals on the topic from their respective standpoints.


Moto Hagio, Manga artist/Nicole Rousmaniere, Research Director, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, UEA/Andy Nakatani, Senior Director of Online Manga, VIZ Media/Jun Murai, Distinguished Professor, Keio University/Kensaku Fukui, Attorney at Law.


Moderator Kensaku Fukui, to start the discussion, introduced how Manga is accepted around the world, and continued with the current situation of Manga piracy, how the piracy sites operate, the results achieved in the fight against Manga piracy which has been going on for years, and the new problems being faced every day.


Nicole Rousmaniere reviewed the Manga exhibition at the British Museum which she curated.

She reported that what she understood from the Manga exhibition was Manga culture has been embraced by all generations of all races, and that the majority of the visitors took away an emotional, rather than intellectual, outcome, and that Manga has the power to transcend borders and boundaries. 


She stated, “Manga is one of the most precious treasures of Japan and becoming something really really special worldwide. For the future of Manga, we need to protect it, we need to protect the artist, we need to protect their ability to work with the publishers, and piracy is something that endangers the thriving industry”.


Andy Nakatani introduced that there are English translated pirated Manga chapters released even before the official release of the original Japanese version.  To combat that, publishers created various official Manga platforms which releases English translated chapters at the same time the official Japanese versions are released.  However, the impact of piracy on the industry and the artist is still obvious, he stated, not only potential revenue loss but devaluation of the perception of what Manga really is, and all that Manga artists put into their work. 


Manga Artist Moto Hagio emphasized how painful and sad it is for Manga artists that they are not compensated when their works are read by pirated Manga.  She also introduced her motivation for becoming a Manga artist, "I became a Manga artist because I knew that in the world of Manga, there is a world where people work together, comfort each other, and trust each other, and I wanted to inherit such a world” and that is still the world of Manga that she would like to seek.  As for opinions on piracy, Hagio argued that she learned there is justice in this world by reading Manga.  The choice between reading the legitimate version or pirated version of Manga may be a matter of how we live.


Jun Murai, recalled discussions with the ITF and WIPO on how to handle intellectual property in the Internet space at the dawn of the Internet, and stressed that it is still important to collaborate among industries and Internet organizations.  Especially, he says, in the fight against piracy, which simply is a crime, it is necessary to collaborate with people from many fields.  In Japan, for example, the publishing industry is working together with multiple industries, including internet and telecommunication industries, legal experts, law enforcement agencies, Internet organizations and governments around the world to combat piracy.  Collaboration is the key, and the multi-stakeholder spirit of IGF is very important to the fight against piracy. 


The following comments were made by the audience.

  • It is good to take a firm stand against those who steal money, but please don't be too hard on Manga fans.
  • I hope that Manga will be made available in many languages as cheaply and as timely as possible, with the involvement of fans.
  • Opinion of Moto Hagio was excellent and I understand that we must support Manga, but please remember that there are people in the world who can only read Manga in a timely manner through pirated copies (due to language problems).
  • One of the problems may be that intellectual property is not properly understood. To protect the right holders, it may be important to educate people.
  • In countries where there are no legitimate platforms, piracy is a reality, so I think that one of the measures against piracy can be taken by developing legitimate platform.
  • How many young people are involved in the fight against piracy? If they know that they may not be able to read Manga in the future because of piracy, the younger generation may rise up and fight by sharing their skills.


Comments from the audience suggested the importance of accessibility and awareness. Discussion of the speakers emphasized the power of Manga, which piracy is taking away,  and the importance of collaboration.  The Organizer of this session, Japanese publishers, took these opinions seriously and understood that they need to continue their efforts to deliver legitimate versions to people around the world in a timely and reasonable manner, and that they should work together with more stakeholders than ever before in the fight against piracy.