Teen arrested for leaking manga comics online

A fourteen-year-old has been arrested in Japan for allegedly leaking manga titles onto YouTube before their release.

It’s believed to be the country’s first arrest for copyright infringement on YouTube.

The school student is suspected of photographing titles including One Piece, Naruto, Major and Gintama page by page, and uploading them as slide shows last winter. He then used Twitter to announce what he had done.

“The police high-tech crime unit caught what he had done while patrolling cyberspace,” a police spokesman told AFP. “He had uploaded 118 episodes of about 30 cartoon titles.”

Police are investigating how he got hold of the manga images in the first place.

“These acts of copyright infringement are truly regrettable,” a spokesperson for Shueisha, the publisher of several of the titles, told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. “To protect manga culture and the rights of manga creators, we’re taking every available measure.”

YouTube has over ten million users in Japan. The government recently amended its copyright laws to make it illegal to knowingly download copyrighted material without permission.