Wednesday, June 8, 2011

20 One Piece Volumes Publicly Posted on Tokyo Co-op's Site

The first 20 volumes of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga were posted without restrictions or authorization onto the website of the cooperative association Co-Op Land Tokyo. The unauthorized uploading was allegedly done by the company entrusted with maintaining the website. The 20 volumes were available on the site for about nine months since last September.

Word of the volumes' availability spread on the online forum 2channel (2ch) around 10:00 p.m. on Monday in Japan (9:00 a.m. EDT). As a result, the home page was overwhelmed by 70,000 hits at around noon the next day, effectively denying service to the website as it became unreachable.

According to an investigation by Co-Op Land Tokyo, the president of the company maintaining the home page had accidentally uploaded unauthorized electronic copies of the manga last November. As a result, the manga files were available for reading without restrictions. There was no link to the manga files on the actual home page of Co-Op Land Tokyo, but the files could be accessed by net searches.

Upon being notified, the 53-year-old president of the company maintaining the website deleted the files. According to the president, he had received the unauthorized manga scans a number of years ago from a friend or an acquaintance. He said that he only looked at the manga once and mixed the manga files with regular data files being uploaded onto the server. The president said that he was unaware that files were unauthorized and that he did not remember how he came to have them. He added that he is himself a Sunset on Third Street (San-chōme no Yūhi - Yūyake no Uta) manga fan, and does not know One Piece well. Nevertheless he asked for forgiveness from the publisher and author.

Co-Op Land Tokyo, which has been doing business with the website maintainer for seven to eight years, are looking into apologizing or another form of response, given the possibility of copyright infringement. Shueisha, the publisher of the manga, said it was still looking into the matter.

Source: Sports Hochi

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