Japan Tightens Piracy Law, KissAnime and KissManga Taken Down:
Following the strict piracy laws from Japan, both the official KissAnime and KissManga sites were taken down permanently, after almost a decade on the internet. The KissAnime support team posted on their discord saying that "All files are taken down by copyright owners. KissAnime and KissManga will be closed forever. Thank you for your supports. Thank you for those years". The official websites have been taken down from the servers and cannot be accessed by the users. The shutdown reportedly took place at around 10 pm PST on 14th August 2020.
It certainly is not the first time the anime and manga scene was affected by Japan's strict piracy laws and it won't be the last. On a report by Kyodo News in June, the Japanese parliament had revised its anti-online piracy law for copyright control and banned illegal downloading of videos, manga, magazines, etc. that were already in the existing laws. As per reports, by January 1st, 2021, the ban on illegal downloading will be on effect. And the restrictions and bans on piracy sites will be put into effect from October 1st, 2020.
Japan's Top Studios to Collaborate Together to Stream Anime For Free on
Toei Animation, Kodansha, Nippon Animation and other Studio brands are teaming up together to create a Youtube Channel for free streaming of Anime contents to tackle the problem of illegal and unlicenced websites that anime studios had been facing for many years.
According to Variety, the Youtube channel is called Animelog, and so far it is only available to viewers in Japan, but the plan is to open it to the overseas market by adding sub-titled contents. Its main focus will be on the English and Chinese speakers as both markets still rely on torrent sites. "There exists a problem of illegal video distribution service these days, but Animelog will distribute only officially licenced animations and operate as a safe channel that families can enjoy together," as stated by AnalyzeLog, the company behind the channel.
Anime is a flourishing business and has been expanding at a huge rate every year. The Association of Japanese Animations revealed that it generated $20 billion in revenue in 2019, which is a record growth for the sixth straight year. Animelog's launch in Japan has been steady, with shows like the "Black Jack" series, and "Future Boy Conan", a 1978 anime co-directed by the highly acclaimed director, Hayao Miyazaki.
SOZO Launches AFA Station Online Festival:
The Anime Festival Asia convention is one of the largest Japanese pop culture events in Asia. With the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in and around the world, large scale physical events had been cancelled. SOZO Pte. Ltd., the organiser of the Anime Festival Asia conventions announced on 11th August 2020 that it will hold a new digital event known as AFA Station on 29th August, and September 5th and 6th,2020. SOZO announced a new AFA digital platform - "AFA STATION Festival Online" to bring the Anime Festival Asia experience online.
"AFA STATION" is a fully-curated "Festival Online" hosted on a dedicated platform employing various functionalities from video streaming, interactive content scheduling and community functions - combining everything you love about Anime Festival Asia, covering genres such as anime, games, music, lifestyles, culture, cosplay, and more!
"AFA STATION" will stream exclusively curated appearances and performances, featuring its own e-commerce marketplace, host online community discussions, and will even let you chat with fellow attendees - all in one place! Anime Festival Asia had hosted more than 30 events across nine major cities and had been a successful event over the last eleven years, with more than 1.8 million visitors, 1060 exhibitors, and 425 performers.
Sources: Anime News Network