According to a recently released report by the Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA), which is based in Japan, Japanese entertainment piracy in 2021, which included music, anime, manga and video games, cost these industries ¥1.9 to ¥2.2 trillion yen (US $14.2-$16.5 billion). This study, which is based on requests and questionnaires from consumers, shows a significant rise from 2019, which CODA attributes to the increased popularity of piracy following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and rampant streaming services.
Anime and Manga Piracy Losses
The report showed a loss of ¥906.5 billion to ¥1.4 trillion yen (approximately US $6.8-$10.5 billion) for anime and other video piracy. Published media and manga piracy saw ¥395.2 billion to ¥831.1 billion yen in losses US $3- $6.2 billion).
Industry Losses Due to Manga Pirating Outstrips Legal Deals
As per the Authorized Books of Japan (ABJ) trade organization, manga piracy cost the legitimate manga industry ¥1.19 trillion yen or US $8.76 billion in the same time period as the CODA study, which is more than a quadrupling of losses (4.8 times over what was once two times). In comparison, The Research Institute for Publications reported that official deals increased just 1.6 times during that period, which amounted to a rise of ¥612 billion yen/US $5.33 billion. Profit losses calculated by the ABJ were derived from website views and did not include downloads.
According to the financial news organization Nikkei Asia, manga piracy cost the manga industry approximately ¥800 billion yen (US $6 billion) in just the period between January and October of 2021. This is more than the yearly request for authorized published works, which Nikkei Asia estimates at ¥600 billion yen (US $5.19 billion) annually.
Efforts by the Japanese Government to Stop Piracy
The government of Japan has been trying to battle piracy, such as through its 2019 revision of the country’s Copyright Act and, in 2010, by creating the Anti-Piracy Promotion Association. But despite these efforts, piracy is still an ongoing problem within Japan’s entertainment industry, and both publishers and creators continue to experience huge financial losses.