Japanese Government Consider Codification of Law for Cosplay


Japanese Government Consider Codification of Law for Cosplay

Fanwork is a gray zone in Japan seeing that it is illegal to make a product from a series without permission, but its promotional ability is so strong that there is an unwritten agreement on what activities the license holder will tolerate. It's just that for cosplay it seems that this deal will no longer be the same.

According to online news site Nikkan Sports, the Japanese government plans to enact laws to reduce ambiguity in current copyright laws. While non-profit cosplay activities will not be affected, photos of cosplay posted to social media, and cosplayers who make money from the event can face a penalty of foul play.

There are currently no official decisions, and the government is in discussions with Japanese professional cosplayers such as Enako, who is well known for her significant income from cosplay and is also a Cool Japan ambassador.

I think there is some misconception about the information being spread out there about changing cosplay copyright, but this article is easy to understand. I had a discussion with Minister Inoue, and we're looking at ways to protect copyright without intruding on today's cosplay culture.


I also haven't heard anything about the ban on cosplay photos on social media as written in other articles, so I am eager to find out the truth. I'm not really in a position to easily make a statement on the matter, but personally I hope the changes won't govern social media posts and fan-generated activity if not for profit.

A relevant article states that "Non-profit cosplay will not infringe copyright, but submitting photos to membership-based exchange (SNS) sites such as Instagram, or receiving remuneration at events may violate copyright."

It's strange that Instagram is being used as an example and it is clear that this decision needs to be discussed further.

By the way, I've said it many times before, but when I'm on TV, or any show for profit, I consider copyright and avoid licensed character cosplay, so I go for original costumes. Whenever I cosplay a character from an official work, I do it after getting permission from the publisher.

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