With this bill, the small world of cosplay is currently in turmoil in Japan

Since the appearance of the phenomenon, three decades ago, the cosplay has gradually made its way to become an integral part of Japanese culture today. A real business, with a whole ecosystem of different actors, has thus been built around the art of cosplay over the years.

A new law concerning copyright, which the government is about to put in place, however, has just wreaked havoc in the small world of fans, but also cosplay professionals. A bill which, if it succeeds, will change for good the face of cosplay in the land of the rising sun.

Photo by Charles Chen. Unsplash Credits

According to government statements, this law related to Copyright will not only be introduced to protect the interests of manga authors, publishers and producers, but will also protect the cosplayers themselves.

However, if this bill is successful, it will affect not only cosplay professionals, but also the simple enthusiasts who earn no money, but who do it just for fun.

Cosplay professionals in the government’s sights

In Japan, professional cosplayers can earn huge sums from the notoriety of the characters they look like. An example, Enako, a very famous Japanese cosplayer, can earn monthly up to $ 116,622 with this activity.

For these cosplay professionals, it is the shows, the merchandising but also the ads that bring in the money, especially when they are famous. Some cosplayers also make a lot of money selling photos or videos, in which they play various manga characters.

Except that cosplaying for commercial purposes is often done without permission companies to which the mimed or copied characters belong, which necessarily poses a problem. This led the Japanese government to reflect on this bill.

This law, although binding, will protect each party

The Japanese government therefore wants to develop a law requiring the agreement of the creators of these characters, as part of any activity highlighting the profit cosplay.

But it does not stop there. Indeed, with the new regulations, the whole world of cosplayers will be concerned, and not only professionals in the sector. Even simple enthusiasts will need to have various permissions, before they can post photos or videos on social networks otherwise they will be exposed to lawsuits for copyright infringement. And it is this situation that is causing a lot of ink to flow in Japan.

For the Japanese government, this new law will not only be implemented in favor of the creators and publishers of manga, it will protect also cosplayers, professionals or simple fans, as long as they exercise within the standards.

Negotiations are currently underway between the government and the main stakeholders in the cosplay world, and we await the continuation of this story which could change a lot of things in Japan.

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