Back in July, suspects were arrested in connection with a notorious piracy site called Mangamura, including Romi Hoshino, the 28-year-old man who was allegedly the key figure behind its operations. Now, as of Monday, two suspects made their first appearance in court, and both ended up pleading differently.
One of the two suspects is a 26-year-old man named Kōta Fujisaki, who pleaded guilty to the charges. The other suspect—a 24-year-old woman named Shiho Itō—pleaded not guilty.
According to the prosecution’s claims, Fujisaki started working on updates for Mangamura in late 2016, followed by image gathering duties starting in February of 2017. Both suspects allegedly received instructions from Hoshino, and received payments twice each month.
For a look at the bigger picture behind all this, Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) estimates that the 620 million visits to Mangamura between September 2017 and February 2018 resulted in 319.2 billion yen (about US$2.92 billion) worth of damage to copyright holders throughout the country.
We’ll be sure to update on what comes of the court case as it progresses.