Five people have been charged and arrested for violating copyright laws in the piracy and leaking of various One Piece chapters, reports The Asashi Shimbun. Ryoji Hottai, Yo Uehara, and three as-yet-unidentified persons were arrested over the course of the past two months for posting images of the One Piece pages on websites they allegedly ran.
The suspects allegedly obtained advance copies of Shonen Jump, which serializes One Piece, and scanning them to run online before the official version is released to the public. Japanese police say that the group obtained the stories from an unidentified store that sells books before their release date.
The suspects are said to have earned over 379 million yen ($3.47 million) in advertising revenue through the leaking and piracy of manga over the course of several years.
One Piece is a creator-owned manga by Eiichiro Oda that is published by Shueisha Inc. in Japan.
“The manga was created by the author who devoted his heart and soul to it. We feel strong anger that the suspects published it in an inappropriate manner and earned revenue from it," said Shueisha in a statement. "We hope that these arrests act as a warning against the continuing piracy epidemic and wrongful use of publications.”