This is honestly a first of its kind, as a few individuals might be facing jail time for allegedly uploading scanned pages of the "One Piece" manga before the issue was officially released to the market.

Yo Uehara, Shizuka Nagaya, and Ryoji Hottai are among the individuals arrested, as they managed to get their hands on an early copy of the upcoming "One Piece" manga, and other franchises, before proceeding to upload it to online spoiler websites.

Copyright law

This act is a violation of the copyright law in Japan, as their website is earning revenue by uploading illegal content without the approval of the author.

Something similar did happen in 2015 when Kyoto Prefectural Police arrested a handful of individuals for translating parts of "One Piece" into English and uploading them, but this is the first time that local distributors have been targeted.


Japan's copyright law provides the author the right to chose when and how their work will be made public. In this case, the when might be more important than the how. Expanding on this basic right, the author can control how their work is reproduced and transmitted.

In terms of punishment, breaking Japan's copyright law could result in a sentence of up to 2 years in prison. Alternatively, fines of around two-million Yuen are common as well.

As this is the first of its kind, there is no precedent for how severe of a punishment might be in-store for the suspected individuals, if found guilty.

'One Piece'

Written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, the manga has been a stable on Shounen Jump since 1997.

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The best selling series in Japan, the adventures of Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates continue to capture the imagination and love of readers from all around the world.

It is a bit ironic that, from all series, the one about pirates resulted in an arrest for piracy. Over the last few years, most countries have taken steps to try and reduce illegal downloading. Internet Service Providers are starting to track an individual's online behavior, and it is possible to get fined for either streaming or downloading copyrighted content.

In most cases, the individuals who make the content available to others serve as the primary targets for police agencies, as it is always better to take out the source rather than the target.


The outcome of this investigation could shape how online piracy, especially when it comes to websites directly dealing with manga or comics, are handled.