Japanese publisher fighting comic bootlegs

April 26, 2009 at 2:32 PM

TOKYO, April 26 (UPI) -- A Japanese publisher says it will post Japanese manga comics online in English for U.S. residents in order to fight bootlegging.

Shogakukan Inc. said by offering an authorized version of the Japanese language comics online, it hopes to limit the spread of illegal copies of its comic books in Europe and the United States, Japan Today said Sunday.

The appearance of the comic copies online mere days after the published works are released in Japan has become a major problem for Japanese manga publishers.

The English versions of popular manga comics will be available on the Web site of VIZ Media, a media group set up by Shogakukan, the Shueisha Inc. and the Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Company.

Shogakukan said the online English versions of works by popular manga artists like Rumiko Takahashi will not be printable for registered viewers. The Web site can only be browsed by visitors in the United States, Japan Today said.

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