The US manga publishers and licensors have an interesting relationship with the pirates.
In the last Japanese issue of mega-anthology Shonen Jump, the publisher ran an ad urging people to stop scanning and distributing chapters online.
And it seems certain sites have responded saying “okay”.
One site in particular, Ritual Scan Forge, the go to place for weekly manga “raw” (untranslated) files for scanlation purposes has chosen to shut down, redirecting traffic to the puiblisher’s home page. In the past they were the one stop “shop” for getting your weekly manga chapters out of quite a few magazine including the two most popular Shonen Jump (Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, HunterXHunter) and Shonen Magazine (Fairytail, Hajime no Ippo).
The ad and translation run below;
To all our readers –
There are now many people unjustly posting copies of manga on the internet. These unjust copies are inconsistent with mangakas’ feelings. They are also distorting the authors’ intentions of “I want the work to be read this way”. The actions of posting these unjust copies on the net, into which the mangakas have poured their hearts, are not only hurting mangakas in real life but are also against the law, even if done in a light-hearted manner. Every time we discover such “unjust copies”, we talk to the mangaka and consider every possible countermeasure. But the number of inconsiderate people is great, and at present we cannot deal with all of them. We have a request for all our readers. The unjust internet copies are deeply hurting the manga culture, mangakas’ rights, and even mangakas’ souls. Please understand once again that all of that is against the law. Also, the mangakas and Shueisha will severely deal with any unjust copies found on the internet. We ask that our readers please continue to support us.
Weekly Shonen Jump editorial department
The pirate scene is a bit of a grey area, because without online scans and translations, these series may well not have found the audience they have today. But with US publication and translation getting closer and closer to Japanese release date, and the potential of simultaneous US/Japan release, the piracy issues are getting to be more and more of an issue.