This could be a bad sign for the future of the manga industry.
Apparently, Japan is considering making some changes to its copyright laws, opting to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
In a nutshell: The changes would “destroy” doujinshi (self-published) works, and the power/visibility of the manga industry would diminish greatly (Anime News Network).
Comic Book Resources gives a thorough explanation of just why the manga industry would hurt as a result of Japan’s copyright changes. Specifically, the article cites the prevalence and popularity of doujinshi, fan-made comics that circulate in (mostly) modest numbers among the community.
Further, CBR notes that many in the industry consider doujinshi as being good for the manga market, because it builds interest for the series and characters and provides a training ground for new creators—perhaps the best known being Rumiko Takahashi, creator of InuYasha and Ranma 1/2, who got her start creating doujinshi under the guidance of Lone Wolf and Cub artist Kazuo Koike.
These changes would directly threaten the doujinshi community because it would allow for police and/or prosecutors to target individual violators without a formal complaint by the copyright holder. That’s dangerous for anybody who would be involved with doujinshi or the import/export of anime/manga products without specific copyright permission.
Clearly, this is an issue of interest to anybody who cares about anime/manga culture. These changes could radically change the name of the game.
What do you think about the prospect of sweeping changes restricting the circulation and existence of doujinshi?