Shueisha DMCA Subpoena Targets Two Dozen Manga Piracy Sites

Home > Anti-Piracy > DMCA >

Japan-based publisher Shueisha is maintaining the pressure on sites distributing vast quantities of pirated manga content. A DMCA subpoena obtained at a United States court reveals around two dozen targets, some with relatively low traffic but many enjoying millions of visits per month. One stand out platform is currently ranked the 14th most popular site in Vietnam, period.

manga-pirates-sAny content that can be digitized is immediately vulnerable to being pirated. The speed and scale at which that happens is ultimately governed by two key factors; how easily the content can be obtained, copied, and distributed, and how popular the content is with consumers.

In this respect, Japanese comics, better known as manga, effortlessly earn top marks across the board. That has led to unprecedented levels of piracy on what appears to be a near perfect consumer product, one for which ongoing demand is relentless.

Based in Japan, the leading manga publishers are facing a monumental struggle, and not only due to the scale of the infringement. Enforcement challenges exist at almost every turn, in particular the overseas locations of the largest pirate sites and the apparent reluctance of local authorities to intervene in any meaningful way.

What the publishers aren’t doing is giving up. Authorized Books of Japan (ABJ), which represents companies including Shueisha, Kadokawa , Kodansha, and Shogakukan, estimates that between 2022 and 2023, through various means, piracy rates reduced by 25%.

At the start of 2024, piracy rates were still around 80% higher than they were in 2020, with 1,176 pirate sites still offering publishing content in various languages; 277 sites offering content in Japanese, 446 offering English translations, and the remainder offering everything from Chinese and Vietnamese, to Turkish, Italian, and Russian language content.

Obtaining Personal Data From Cloudflare

A persistent issue according to the publishers is pirate sites’ use of Cloudflare. They view the platform as a benefit to many pirate manga sites but a hindrance to their investigations. Meetings have taken place with Cloudflare in Japan over the past couple of years, but it’s unclear what progress has been made, if any.

In the meantime, working on the basis that Cloudflare may hold useful information on the owners of sites using its services, publishers including Shueisha file DMCA subpoena applications at courts in the United States. These compel Cloudflare to hand over whatever information it holds on site operators.

Shueisha Obtains a DMCA Subpoena in the U.S.

In general, the usefulness of information obtained this way tends to vary. That being said, other major rightsholders use the same mechanism regularly, so it seems likely that the process can be useful.

After Shueisha filed DMCA takedown notices with Cloudflare on May 2, the company followed up by filing a DMCA subpoena application at a California district court on May 10. It was signed off this week, so Cloudflare will soon be handing over information relating to around two dozen domains that offered titles such as One Piece without permission.

A sample of the alleged infringementshueisha takedown - one piece

The domains and their recent estimated monthly traffic are listed in full at the end of this article. The stand-out sites with the most traffic, including,,,, and others with over a million visits per month, can be seen in the images below.

Top targets (click to enlarge)shueisha top targets

Out in front in terms of traffic is, a site that appears to cater exclusively to Vietnamese speakers. That reflects in its traffic data, with almost 98% of its 43.1m visits coming from Vietnam. Such is the popularity of the platform, locally it’s currently the 14th most popular website in the entire country.

The site no longer operates from the domain in the subpoena listed above, however. Like many similar sites with Vietnamese connections, this domain switch isn’t the first and is unlikely to be the last.

In common with all domains listed in the subpoena, Cloudflare is required to comply with Shueisha’s comprehensive request for information, the details of which are as follows:

• Name(s), last known address(es), last known telephone and/or cell phone number(s)
• Any and all email address(es); account number(s)
• Billing information (including, but not limited to, names, telephone number(s), and mailing and billing address(es) of each of all of the payment methods (including, but not limited to, credit cards, bank accounts, and any online payments system), hosting provider(s), server(s)
• Any other contact information and any and all logs of IP address(es), relating to each individual or business entity that operates or owns each of the Infringing URLs, and each individual or business entity that has hosted content, uploaded content, and/or has contracted with others to upload or host content using the Infringing URLs, from any and all sources, including without limitation billing or administrative records with timestamps from the time of the registration of each Infringing URL until the date of this subpoena.
• All access log information (IP addresses, corresponding port numbers,corresponding dates and times, access type, and corresponding destination IP addresses) relating to each of the Infringing URLs listed below.

All documents for Shueisha’s DMCA subpoena application can be found here (pdf)

(Inc. subdomains)
Est. Monthly Visits
(SimilarWeb Data) 3,500,000 3,900,000 3,400,000 21,200,000 5,300,000 9,400,000 1,500,000 43,100,000 5,000 no data 273,000 4,000 99,000 1,300,000 3,000 69,000 11,800,000 1,900,000 3,000 1,500,000 2,000 11,000 36,000 no data


Popular Posts
From 2 Years ago…