Gigazine and TorrentFreak reported on Thursday that Japanese manga publisher Shueisha has filed a legal application with Google and internet service provider Hurricane Electric to disclose evidence to identify and prosecute another party for copyright infringement. Shueisha is claiming that a number of sites that feature one or more of the following words – “‘buzz /’, ‘https://ssl.asiax.cloud/’, and ‘https://ssl.appsx.cloud/'” – are connected to the Japanese-language pirate website Mangabank. The Mangabank website is currently offline, with a message saying that it is closed due to “server maintenance costs.”
Before filing the request, Shueisha asked the network infrastructure company Cloudflare to disclose information using a Digital Millennium Copyright Act subpoena. Through Cloudflare, the publisher discovered that domains allegedly used by Mangabank were hosted by Hurricane Electric. In addition, the Mangabank allegedly used services provided by Google, including a Gmail address and AdSense account. The related Internet Protocol (IP) addresses also led to China.
Shueisha and a San Francisco law firm filed an application on October 27 to the California District Court to permit discovery of information. Shueisha aims to find the information of the alleged pirates and sue them.
According to market data analyzer Similarweb, more than 81 million people access Mangabank monthly, making it the 44th most popular site in Japan.
Earlier this year, Twitter had locked numerous accounts and deleted uploaded images in response to copyright claims allegedly under the name of Shueisha. Many of the images deleted were related to Shueisha properties, in particular to the manga One Piece and Dragon Ball Super, and included fan art and cosplay photographs.
Shueisha told ANN that the copyright takedowns were not from Shueisha, but from a third party using the company’s name without permission. Shueisha denied any involvement in the takedowns. Shueisha also issued a statement on its MANGA Plus website on Thursday, saying that it has been “falsely misrepresented by an individual” sending in copyright claims, and is currently investigating with social media platforms to decide on a course of action.