With tens of millions of visitors per month, MangaDex is a real force in the manga community.
The site’s status as an unofficial provider of manga ‘scanlations’ (scanned copies with translations) is valued by fans, many of whom are keen to experience harder-to-find content in languages other than their native tongue.
Last week, however, MangaDex fans had to go without their usual fix. The site went down with staff reporting that a server migration and database maintenance were underway. The platform eventually returned yesterday but not under its usual .org domain.
According to an announcement by moderator ‘Zephyrus’, MangaDex was forced to switch to MangaDex.cc due to legal issues.
“Our .cc domain is temporary for now,” he writes. “Our .org domain was acquired via our reseller, who has removed us from CF and have stopped supporting us due to legal pressure.”
‘CF’ is a reference to Cloudflare, the US-based CDN company utilized by millions of regular sites as well as large volumes of ‘pirate’ sites and services.
While MangaDex was down, TorrentFreak discovered that during December 2019 the site was targeted in a DMCA subpoena filed by attorney Evan Stone on behalf of VIZ Media, LLC, mentioning a chapter of ‘Boruto’.
It remains unclear whether that specific problem caused the downtime during the past few days but MangaDex has now confirmed the reason for the DMCA subpoena.
“To anyone paying attention to the news, the Boruto chapter in question was an official English rip. Uploading official chapters has always been against our rules, and we’d appreciate your continued assistance in reporting any content that breaks our rules in the future,” Zephyrus notes.
“Thanks to all our users for staying vigilant and reporting all official sources, early releases, troll chapters and all other content that breaks our rules.”
Interestingly, someone claiming to be a former admin of a manga fan group hit Reddit yesterday to issue an apology for triggering the DMCA subpoena. Claiming to be from ‘Boltmangacolor’, a group that has been coloring Boruto manga since February 2019, the individual said it was their colored upload that caused the problem.
“We used to upload our works on imgur, but then switched to mangadex because of efficiency reasons; we meant in no way to infringe any rules, we honestly didn’t know such a rule even existed, and that it could cause all of these problems,” the person wrote.
“Please note that this is in no way related to the Boruto community or the Boruto manga itself, but only to us admins who uploaded and chose the scans to color. We stopped working with the team a month ago, so stuff like this will never happen again. We are deeply, tremendously sorry.”
In the meantime, MangaDex says it’s still in the process of migrating content, meaning that some older chapters may not be available on the new server. In any event, the forecast is for the site to be back to its previous form in the early part of this week.
Additionally, MangaDex says it also has issues in respect of funding the platform. The alarm bells don’t seem to be ringing too loudly at the moment but Zephyrus says that due to its reseller terminating support for handling site donations, other avenues are being explored. If all else fails, ads may appear on the site “as a last resort.”
The site is currently operating relatively smoothly via MangaDex.cc but the scanlation platform believes that it will return to MangaDex.org when the “transfer to our new provider completes.”