On January 24, the Kanagawa Prefectural Police filed charges with the Yokohama Prosecutor’s Office against a 44-year-old man, accusing him of violating the Copyright Law valid in Japan. The crime? Illegal trafficking in counterfeit dakimakura cases.
According to the Japan Computer Software Copyright Association (ACCS), the man, a resident of Ofuna town in Kanagawa Prefecture, had in his possession 72 counterfeit items with the image of twelve characters from ten different anime seriesaccording to a partial list from the ACCS:
- Of Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden: Iroha Tamaki.
- Of Dead or Alive 6: Marie Rose, Honoka, Rachel, Christie, Hitomi and Leifang.
- Of Granblue Fantasy: Europe, Monika.
- Of To LOVE-Ru Darkness: Momo Belia Deviluke.
As always, the investigators arranged the evidence for the press photos, in which we can also see Makima from Chainsaw Manand Dark Magician Girl, from Yu-Gi-Oh! Oh, and there’s also Asuka Langley from Neon Genesis Evangeliongritting his teeth over what appears to be permanent marker.
The man, who bought and resold the covers online, is accused of violating copyright law, and has admitted to the charges. Meanwhile, prosecutors say they will ask for “exemplary punishment.” At this point, some may wonder why this issue is treated as a crime while doujinshi, self-published comics by fans that can use pre-existing copyright-protected characters, are often allowed free rein in Japan. Although the police have not made any official statement in this regard, the key factors in ignoring doujinshi copyright infringement are usually the quantity, timing, and method of distribution.
Publishers and the police tend to let doujinshi pass as long as it is produced in small batches for sale at short-term events, such as the Comic Market (Comiket). In this case, however, the covers were continually being sold over the Internet, and In a search of the man’s house, about 600 more appeared, in addition to the 72 that were initially found.. Between 2018 and last summer, when its operation was closed, it is estimated that the man made an income of around 12 million yen (more than 93 thousand dollars) in sales of counterfeit dakimakura cases.
Font: Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) via SoraNews24
The entry Man arrested for ‘trafficking’ dakimakura cases was first published on Kudasai.