1. User Generated Conflict


While the language of the leaked TPPA is in dry “legalese” and doesn’t refer to cosplay and fan art directly, there are worrying sections that relate to copyright law and general tightening up of enforcement in cases of copyright infringement.

The Japanese Manga industry had already raised concerns over threats posed to by the TPPA to their Dōjinshi industry; self published manga that usually feature copyrighted characters from more famous series, often exploring plots or themes that the original series wouldn’t depict.

Currently most manga companies turn a blind eye to these fan works and the sale of them at fan events such as Comiket (コミケット /Komiketto), treating them like free publicity. Under Japanese law if the copyright holder doesn’t sue for copyright infringement then there’s no case to answer to. Proposal’s in the TPPA, however, could remove the need for the copyright holder to object and require law enforcement to shut down ANY copyright infringement regardless.

Japanese fans have been slightly calmed by the news that copyright infringement may be overlooked if it  doesn’t affect the profitability of the copyright holder but this leaves a lot up to the copyright holder. While Japanese companies have been OK with Dōjinshi, U.S. companies have been notorious in the past in going after copyright infringers for ridiculous amounts in damages for downloading even just a single song or movie.

While Japanese fans breathe a sigh of relief, these same sections could in effect be applied to popular fan-made costumes, cosplay and fan art industries, especially for anyone who sells the costumes they make, prints of photos of them in costume or fan art of copyrighted characters.