First of all, CODA is not a snake, nor is it a brand of soda. CODA stands for “Content Overseas Distribution Association,” and it’s very important for manga and anime fans like you and me!
CODA is an organization that helps protect the rights of creators in Japan’s entertainment industry, including those in animation, film, music, and video games, by combating piracy and actively promoting international distribution.
As of 2013, CODA merged with the ACA (Anti-Counterfeiting Association) and together they divided their work into domestic (covered by the ACA) and international (CODA) sections. In total, they consist of 12 organizations and 31 corporate companies, and they are supported by 11 other companies and organizations. Among them are companies like BANDAI and familiar production companies like Universal Music, Toei Animation, and Studio Ghibli.
What does CODA do?
CODA focuses its anti-piracy efforts on other Asian countries, but it also provides its services in the U.S. and the EU. By gathering information regarding different pirating platforms and providing it to the publishers in Japan, the people at CODA hope to spread improved methods of preventing copyright infringement, as well as suggestions for improving distribution by legal means.
One of the methods they use for preventing privacy includes their use of the CJ (Content Japan) mark, which can be found printed on content produced by companies under the CODA umbrella. Because the CJ mark is trademarked, pirated materials without it are easily exposed, but pirated materials with it are infringing on the trademark and accountable for legal action. In fact, according to their website, this CJ mark led to a crack-down on pirated materials in Hong Kong, which started in 2008!
CODA also provides local support, in the form of training seminars, in areas where piracy is often a problem. In these training seminars, they teach ways to differentiate between official materials and pirated goods in an effort to improve the efficacy of their work. As of 2014, they had held 79 seminars in 25 locations in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other countries.
In June and July of this year, they began the third step of what they have called the MAGP (Manga-Anime Guardians Project) in an effort to “protect manga and anime around the world and to produce continuously greater works.” The two main goals of the project are to 1) eliminate pirating on the Internet and to 2) increase viewership of official materials by improving distribution.
For this third step, they teamed up with mangaka such as Adachitoka (Noragami), Hashimoto and Matsuoka (Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store), Mihona Fuji (GALS!), Mine Yoshizaki (Sgt. Frog), and others to create 16 anti-piracy manga you can read here (legally! and in English or Chinese!)
You can also read them with us at Manga Planet!
Organizations like CODA are important to help keep the industry running and helping international fans like you and me get better, legal access to the series that we love. With their support, the creators we care about get the rewards they need and deserve. Check out their about page for more information, and check out the anti-piracy shorts for some fun reads!
About Manga Planet: Read manga, support artists
In 2012, Manga Planet started as a joint project between Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. and FANTASISTA, INC. to research and explore the ways manga is read throughout the world. Aiming to bring new manga to fans from all over the world and support artists and the industry, Manga Planet pushes for affordability and access to manga through a subscription-based service.
Readers who subscribe to Manga Planet and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. By the end of 2020, subscribers will have unlimited access to at least 500 titles. To subscribe, please go to read.mangaplanet.com and create an account. More information is in our Guide.