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Japan to clarify copyright rules to prevent cosplay violations

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Because this is what's important right now. Am I right?

29 ( +31 / -2 )

Oh.. Japan and its rules... Now this?

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Let me guess: the ministers came up with this while visiting a hostess club late at night, where some staff were dressed as characters from 鬼滅の刃?!

19 ( +21 / -2 )

the government plans to review commercial copyright rules regarding fair use by the end of the fiscal year in March.

While wearing a character costume does not infringe copyright, a violation could occur if an individual is paid to do so, such as to make an appearance at an event.

These cosplayer enjoy promoting Japan and Japanese manga, anime and game Industry for free. Now they'll be charged for that?

Even if these player paid, it takes some amount of money for them to develop their custom. If someone willing to pay for their appearance it's because those player have done that for years which cost them lot of money to reach that level.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Because this is what's important right now. Am I right?

Nailed it!

Oh.. Japan and its rules... Now this?

so many useless rules...

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Because this is what's important right now. Am I right?

Life goes on despite the pandemic, not every part of the government does just that.

So yes this may just be something that section of government needs to look into if that is their domain.

Do people have to complain about everything Japan does?

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Oh.. Japan and its rules... Now this?

Another shot at Japan.

Well it was the USA corporations that have gone way way way beyond anything being looked into here.

The "Disney law" AKA extension of copyright was specifically made so Disney could keep exclusivity over its characters, it was Disney that went after Deadmau5 claiming his dead mouse head was a copyright infringement. It is Hollywood that goes after Syfy convention goes for wearing star trek uniforms with authentic looking Starfleet emblems.

The reality is that in the cosplay world Japanese companies and rules are far more relaxed and far less litigious than other countries.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Short-sighted. Many cosplayers make a living through their skill and art. Making it so they can't be paid to do what they and their fans love will inevitably reduce the number of people who can cosplay professionally, and the fandom world will be poorer for it.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Now they're going to need sponsorship just to off-set the cost of their costuming. So they'll either be walking around with Zozotown.com logos on their chests or they'll be shaking it on the corner.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Good to see that our legislators are focused like lasers on the vital issues of the day...

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@Lazarus Knows

Most true cosplay people know what they can and cannot do.

My daughter has been involved for well over a decade in that world.

This is all the fault of Mario cart go-cart business.

Until that came along things had a balanced understanding.

Japanese companies turned a blind eye to people doing their own anime car wrap even if the company was pretty sure they actually didn't do it themselves. Most Japanese cosplay costum makers understood the rules and made orders without certain details in order to not infringe on copyrights and they again turned a blind eye when the purchaser added the final details that would have been an infringement.

It is actual businesses like the Mario cart and others that took things to a full in business level that are responsible for what is going on now.

Those in the cosplay community are upset and have been warning about such a move once those carts became a thing.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Using someone else’s work without paying them for it is theft. Just because it’s a creative work doesn’t change that. No one is going to stop cos play or dressing up, but if an individual makes money from it, without the consent of the originator, that is wrong. Why should creators expect to give away their work for free? Those idiots running Super Mario kart rides around Tokyo - that’s breaching copyright. They need to get Nintendo’s permission and pay them for usage. Or hopefully Nintendo will say no.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I wonder if this all started when former Prime minister Abe cos-played Mario at the Rio Olympics. Probably not, but Mario go-cart didn’t help, that’s for sure.

However, if you’re asked to perform at an event dressed as some anime character I hope you’re getting paid. If you’re getting paid, I hope you share the wealth with the creator of the character you’re performing as. Perhaps most large companies like Nintendo can charge a nominal fee per year or per X number of events.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Didn’t Abe dress up as Mario? Start with him to set an example.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

To be fair, if you create a character and someone is making money off it without your permission, you have the right to be upset. It is certainly not the MOST important thing right now, but it has its place among things that need to be addressed.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Copyrights concern me, being an artist painter and having my works online. Sometimes, I get a request to use one of them. If it's for personal use I usually allow that. If it's for commercial use I request a reasonable fee. Some of those I don't hear from again.

As for Cosplay costumes I'm not sure about that. If I dress as Elvis I need permission from his estate?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Didn’t Abe dress up as Mario? Start with him to set an example.

People do realise that was in cooperation with Nintendo, right?

If not then now you know.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

If I dress as Elvis I need permission from his estate?

Yes, if you are being paid to do so, Elvis's image has been copyrighted by his estate and under the new USA Disney law (AKA extend copyright law) Elvis impersonators must pay his estate royalties.

How well they pursue those doing it is another question.

Disney goes after just about anyone or anything they possibly can.

Ex: Deadmau5 for using a dead mouse head they claim looked to much like Mickey ( they list that one).

Nintendo is quite flexible but the Mario cart thing was one step to far and the courts finally shut the carts down siding with Nintendo.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Can’t they simply dress-up cute like a figure that has no copyright violations behind? One out of old fairytales, Cinderella, Snowwhite, any other self-designed phantasy princess, a vampire like Dracula , Momotaro and such? I don’t understand why they just heavily insist in going for those characters that bring the problems and violations.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

LudditeToday  11:41 am JST

Using someone else’s work without paying them for it is theft.

I would think that was something obvious but judging by how many minus votes you got, I see that most here must work for free.

I wonder how they live and pay bills?

Or do they think only Their time and work is of value.

My daughter has a side business creating original anime characters, logos, 3D animation to use in YouTube videos, etc..

She puts her time and cost of equipment into these and she is paid but regularly someone thinks just because it is on the internet or someone else used it in their video ( someone who actually paid) that they can just take it and use it.

It doesn't work that way.

If you own a car can I just come by a take it, use it without you permission?

No, right?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@Sven Asai

Many do, and in reality the creators actually like those that dress up in as their characters.

Where the problem is, is the fact some are marking costume of other people's characters and selling for a profit, or dressing as a copyrighted character and being paid to show up.

Companies like Sanrio, Nintendo, actually have services that people can pay to have one of their characters show up.

But third parties are trying to do the same for less and without paying royalties.

Best example of using images and costumes without permission or paying royalties was Mario go-carts

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

I think by the number of down votes and no comments as to counter most here voting either use Copyright material without permission, or worked/owned The now closed Mario go-carts.

If you are going to disagree at least try and put a few words together as to why.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Because this is what's important right now. Am I right?

Agreed, during the worst global pandemic in 100 years and one of the worst outbreaks on Earth in Japan, the government decides to tighten copyright rules for cosplay.. No other country goes this strict with copyright laws.. I guess this is "unique" Japan..

10 ( +11 / -1 )

No other country goes this strict with copyright laws.. I guess this is "unique" Japan..

Seriously?!

Japan's copyright laws are some of the most loose.

The USA has the most restrictive especially now with the Disney law copyright.

The Japan bashing is off the charts at this point.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

These cosplayer enjoy promoting Japan and Japanese manga, anime and game Industry for free. Now they'll be charged for that?

Hear hear! You know, if it wasn't for cosplayers, piracy, fan art and other free promotions, a lot of series would not have made it as big as they are right now. I wonder how tight would the rules be to prevent cosplayers for violating the rules? I wonder if this also applies to anime artwork on those itasha cars and doujin manga. I don't support piracy but Japan's obsession with regulating everything just amazes me.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

wonder if this also applies to anime artwork on those itasha cars and doujin manga.

Present laws technically already cover that but the companies have traditionally ignored as long as it was not a full on business.

Most of these cars are done by having the print done and jobber garage puts it one the car.

Now if a garage actually actively started offering to make the wrap and install as a real business then the anime companies would come down on them.

As for individuals making their own costumes the companies and the new proposal will not change anything.

What has been happening is that companies like the Mario go-carts, and other companies offering to send for a fee live cosplay people in copyrighted costumes.

The new proposal will affect these people and companies, not the free for fun cosplay people.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

We definitely need this law because there are sooooo many of them running around making all this money and not paying the copyright fees. Pathetic waste of public money!

"To further promote 'cosplay' culture, it is important to have an environment in which people can feel safe and enjoy themselves," Inoue said.

Hmmm??? I didn't realize public felt so threatened by the fact that the person in one of those outfits might not have paid the copyright fee. And then how do we identify the ones that have from the ones that didn't??? I know! Hang a big ID card round his neck so that he/she can be identified from 10 meters away or stick a flag pole down his/her back with a flag saying "I paid the fee"

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japan's obsession with regulating everything just amazes me.

Japan has far loser regulations regarding copyright than the USA and by far loser Japan's regulations are like a pebble the USA is mount Everest.

Long ago the Syfy conventions had Hollywood inspectors walking around going after individuals for making star trek uniforms that included Starfleet badges that were not officially merchandise, so no homemade badges they only stopped after public outrage.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Present laws technically already cover that but the companies have traditionally ignored as long as it was not a full on business.

I don't have an intimate connection with these industries, but I'd not be surprised to learn that things like cosplay, fan comics, fanfic etc. are tolerated by at least some original creators as, even if the person is getting paid for transforming someone else's IP, it acts as free advertising for the original. For example, if you read a neat fan comic about, say, Death Note (to pick something else in the news today), you might be compelled to buy the original.

Do you think this is a fair assessment? I ask since your daughter, as you say, is a cosplayer, so you probably have a better insight than I do.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Paul

Did you actually read the article or did anyone?

It is only for those being PAID to preform or show up at events and not the amateur cosplayers.

Think of what Disney would do if some guy was running around charging to show up at events dressed as Mickey, they would shut them down in a split second.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

@Lazarus Knows

My daughter has been in that world since before jr high.

She works now in the AI side of it as well as other AI work.

She has a side business of anime and is at all the conventions and show often with her own booth. ( Her present employer is actually fine with her doing this even give time off go attend the shows)

So when I am saying something I am doing so based on the information and knowledge of a professional in the industry.

The companies have no problem with the amateurs, they even look the other way on individuals that may be doing a few copies for a small fee.

The problem is as I pointed out actual full on businesses doing it.

My daughter told me years ago that the Mario go-carts things was going to cause serious trouble in the industry and it did.

It is not a coincidence that changes are being proposed now right after the final court case which Nintendo won to shut down the go-cart thing.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The Mario Kart thing is, in my view, a completely valid suit on Nintendo's part. I'm a bit of a Nintendo shill, but it seems to me that if Nintendo looked the other way on a business that genuinely puts people at risk, no matter how small, of injury or death, in the event something goes wrong then it will seriously damage Nintendo's image.

I think a skilled cosplayer dressing as, say, Tuxedo Mask and getting paid to appear at a convention on the basis that they're incredibly good at making costumes is a different kettle of fish.

I'm not trying to besmirch or question the credentials of your daughter, by the way! I was just wondering if you thought my "free advertising" hypothesis held water, and you seem like the right kind of person to ask, since as you say, you're pretty close to the industry, so you would know better than me.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Ok let me give a better example.

Lately there have been YouTube takedowns of professional imitators dressed as Miku not only are the uploading and monetizing on YouTube but charging for live shows.

Not only do They dress like the 3D AI singer they are also using a variety of mixing their own voices through vocaloid or just flat out Miku vocaloid tracks as they perform on stage or in video.

Up to now most takedowns are based on the music not the cosplay but all it takes is for one of these people to do something really stupid to hurt the brand/character image.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I understand that, but I think generally if a Miku cosplayer beats someone up, or something, people will say, "Jane Doe, Miku cosplayer, is a bad person, and I won't donate to their Patreon [or whatever] any more", not "Miku is bad and I won't buy Miku stuff any more", you know?

I think monetizing just copying the music, yeah, probably fair to take that down, or demonetize it. If it's a transformative cover, I think it should stay up, and stay monetized. I don't think what someone wears should come into it.

Just, one more time, do you agree with my hypothesis on the free advertising thing? I don't mind if you don't, I really just want to hear your opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To be fair, if you create a character and someone is making money off it without your permission, you have the right to be upset. It is certainly not the MOST important thing right now, but it has its place among things that need to be addressed.

It is important if it is your living and money is necessary to live. Theft is an important issue.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think a skilled cosplayer dressing as, say, Tuxedo Mask and getting paid to appear at a convention on the basis that they're incredibly good at making costumes is a different kettle of fish.

In the USA such people make a lot of money they even have their own tv shows but they are very careful not to produce any costumes that are not either original designs or that they have gotten permission from the copyright owner to do.

In many cases they are easily given permission as long as they do not sell the costume.

Laws in the USA are far more restrictive and enforced.

Same goes for Canada and much of Europe.

Japan has a far looser fair use.

You can see this almost daily with logos advertising that are clearly near copies of famous anime, people even brand names and nothing happens.

Then we get Disney going after deadmau5 for having a head dress that even slightly may look like Mikey silhouette.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree the copyright laws in Japan are very weak. We’ve had problem with people using our work without permission.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is important if it is your living and money is necessary to live. Theft is an important issue.

Do you really consider cosplay to be theft, though? Like, if I were a manga artist, and created a character that a professional cosplayer dressed up as, it's not like I've lost money: I wasn't going to dress up as the character, so in another world where the same professional cosplayer didn't dress as my character, I wouldn't have somehow gained money.

Obviously piracy is bad. If you just copy the manga, TV, whatever that someone has made, that it theft. I'm just not sure cosplay is.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I guess all the down voters are the free loaders who expect us to work for nothing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just, one more time, do you agree with my hypothesis on the free advertising thing? 

I thought that what I was saying was quite clear.

Yes I agree they get free advertising from cosplay but far more from the amateurs than the professionals.

Now let me turn that idea on its head.

Why do people pay 5 times the value of a shirt if it has a Nike logo in it than if it didn't?

The plain shirt is the same its just a logo but that logo changes the value and if you tried selling running shoes that copied the Nike design and look but instead of Nike you put Mike, you would be shut down in a split second.

I don't understand how people think it is ok to use and anime character to make money without permission but not ok to make copies of brand named products like clothing, shoes etc... Louboutin goes after anyone that puts a red shoe sole on their shoes even if they don't look like anything Louboutin makes and the brand name doesn't even come close they even tried suing yves saint laurent for using a deep pink sole on one pair they created.

So honestly the anime industry is one of the most tolerant around.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I thought that what I was saying was quite clear.

Yes I agree they get free advertising from cosplay but far more from the amateurs than the professionals.

Cool, thanks! Sorry, I didn't get that from what you wrote. Don't you think that professionals, who have clout online and whose fans will stick with them, have more influence than amateurs?

So honestly the anime industry is one of the most tolerant around.

Yeah, I agree. And I want it to stay that way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ain’t it COOL? We’re ALL friends here. Well, let’s look closer : It’s ALL about J- IP’s & potential tax revenue.

*“the govt plans to review ..copyright rules regarding fair use by the end of the fiscal year. .*..it plans to share specific examples... in which cosplayers may be asked to pay for copyright. *The gov’t has heard from creators...Some pointed to the need for a framework ...to secure permission. Taro Yamada, a member of the ruling LDP's Research Commission on Intellectual Property Strategy, has proposed creating a database ...to easily identify copyright... "We need a framework to protect both* (creators & cosplayers),".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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