Cosplay In Japan Might Be Subject To Strict Copyright Laws Soon

Everyone can cosplay without any problems, right? That might no longer be true even in its origin home country of Japan soon. The Japanese government is considering creating more stringent and stricter copyright laws pertaining to cosplay.

What this might mean in the future is that while cosplay that is not for profit will be unaffected and can continue unabated, cosplay photos posted to social media, and cosplayers who make money from events may become liable for copyright infringement.

According to Japanese publication Nikkan Sports, cosplay that is not for profit will not infringe copyright, but submitting photos to membership-based exchange sites (SNS) such as Instagram, or receiving remuneration at events may violate copyright.

You could be fined simply for cosplaying if you’re deemed to be infringing on copyright law or profiting from your cosplay.

However, Japan is still mulling over introducing this law, but professional Japanese cosplayer Enako has shared her opinion on the matter.

She posted on Twitter:

“I think there are some misunderstandings on the information being spread out there about the changes to cosplay copyright, but this article is easy to understand.

I had a discussion with Minister Inoue, and we’re searching for a way to protect copyright without interfering with current cosplay culture.

Also, I haven’t heard anything about the ban on (cosplay photos being posted to) social media as was written in another article, so I’m anxious to find the truth.

I’m not really in a position to easily give a statement on the issue, but personally I hope that the changes will not regulate social media posts and fan-made activities if they are not for profit.”

She also said:

“By the way, I’ve said it many times before, but when I’m on TV, at events, or anything else for profit, I take copyright into consideration and do not cosplay characters from published works, but go out in my own original outfits instead.

Whenever I cosplay characters from published works, I do so after obtaining permission from the publisher.”

Cosplaying used to be a safe hobby for many fans of anime/manga, comics and pop culture, but if this new Japanese law goes through, less people will be inclined to try out cosplay and express themselves for fear of lawsuits and fines.

Author: Alleef Ashaari

Aspiring writer. Born in Amsterdam, raised in Malaysia. Comics are my passion. A gamer and science fiction enthusiast. PSN: AlleefAshaari

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