According to the press release of 1 February 2018 by the Anti Counterfeiting Association, 9 prefectural police in Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Ishikawa, Gifu, Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Shimane and Yamaguchi raided 9 sites and arrested 5 members of the Hanhuazu(*1), unauthorised Chinese translation and subtitling group, on 30 January 2018 (as of 31 January 2018).
Whilst there is no reason for statutory exclusion, translating, copying and/or uploading to the internet of intellectual properties without prior consent of the right holders is infringement upon copyright and other intellectual property rights, and may be subject to imprisonment of 10 years or less or a fine of not more than 10 million yen or both as criminal penalty. Moreover, in addition to criminal penalty, an offender may receive civil claims such as monetary compensation and file deletion.
Copyright is mutually protected in most countries of the world by the Berne Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention amongst various IP related treaties. As Japan is signatory to these treaties, using a Japanese copyrighted work without permission outside of Japan may still be a copyright infringement in such countries.
Do not infringe copyright but respect the author and the right holder to protect the contents.
- It is said to be a fluid organisation composed of volunteers on the internet and that they translate Japanese comics, animation, games, magazines, music, etc. to Chinese and distribute same in China without authorisation from the right holders.