Romi Hoshino, the alleged administrator of now-shuttered site manga piracy Manga-Mura, was arrested on copyright charges in 2019 after a global manhunt. Today, the Fukuoka District Court found the 29-year-old guilty.
As reported by FNN and Nikkei (via ANN), Hoshino has been sentenced to three years in prison and slapped with two fines: one for 10 million yen ($116,717) and another for 62,000,000 yen ($724,669). The last fine was for the income Hoshino earned from the piracy site.
Shueisha, the publisher of some of Japan’s most famous manga including One Piece, held a press conference after the ruling, with a spokesperson saying the court’s decision was just.
Manga-mura launched in 2016 and within two years, it was already under investigation by Japanese authorities after complaints from major manga publishers. Hoshino, a Japanese citizen, relocated to Manila in 2019, and the Japanese government created a special task force to launch a manhunt and track him down.
The site, which was taken offline in April 2018, was frequented by around 100 million people each month and made around 60,000 manga available free of charge.
Mainichi News previously reported that the Content Overseas Distribution Association estimated that Manga-Mura cost $US2.93 ($4) billion in copyright violation damages, making it the worst copyright violation in Japanese history.