Recently, I exchanged emails with Fabio from Italy, who contacted me about honto.jp’s eBooks, particularly regarding the legality of it. As it seems, he was able to buy and read eBooks/eMangas on honto’s PC program found here: http://honto.jp/ebook/dlinfo.html.
But his inquiry to me was how legal was it? Would honto.jp just delete all your ebooks one day when they find out you don’t live in Japan?
I couldn’t find much information on the internet about this, only in their FAQs that it’s only supported within domestic Japan. As a result, he contacted honto’s customer service in English and honto replied back in Japanese. It seems that they understood his inquiry and he sent me their reply for translation. I am not going to copy and paste the email here, but the gist of it is that:
Their eBook service is limited to customers within domestic Japan. It is a possible to purchase eBooks from overseas, but using, or the means of using the computer/devices overseas is outside of their support (basically they are not subjected to providing support for their eBooks outside of their region).
They do not explicitly say it’s illegal or that it will someday disappear…just that if you buy and can’t read it for whatever reason (no supported devices), you would be on your own. For the most part, it should work! but only on the Windows app (no native Mac app at this time; you can Bootcamp or run Windows on a VM for Mac).
See Fabio’s screenshot below for what the Windows app looks like:
There is also a protection lock for the program that prevents you from using 3rd party programs to capture pages of the ebook.
Maybe the browser plugin works for reading honto ebooks as well. I do not sure
Don’t forget that you still would not be able to read the ebooks/emanga on a non-Japanese tablet/smartphone and quite possibly, if you’re not living in Japan (because of region lock for app store). It has been confirmed by ETf that the honto app on iOS does work; however, non-Japanese Android devices may not work. From my previous post, I mentioned that the honto app is not available for out of Japan devices to download (if you don’t own a device from a Japanese mobile provider). I have not tested installing the honto .apk file outside of the Play Store. If you haven’t read my previous post on what doesn’t work for honto’s eBooks, it’s at: https://kaizora.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/honto-jp-ebooks/
Hope this helps! Thanks again, Fabio!