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Thread: Is cosplay legal?

  1. #1
    A fan of anime and video games. Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555 is infamous around these parts Videogamer555's Avatar
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    Default Is cosplay legal?

    When you dress up as a character from an anime or video game, are you violating copyright law by using the likeness of a copyrighted character without the permission of the copyright holder? Except in the case of some costumes sold at stores (usually around Halloween time) where the costume makers pay a license fee to make the costume, dressing up as a character means making your OWN costume without paying the license fee. To then go and wear it at an anime or video game convention is publicly displaying the likeness of a copyrighted character without the permission of the copyright holder is then the crime of "copyright violation", isn't it?
    Last edited by Videogamer555; 11-07-2010 at 03:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    eh.. not really.

    You're not saying "this is MY costume design, I take Full credit for coming up with the idea for it" and then proceed to sell your costumes to people as if you were the original designer. That might get you in trouble.

    Dressing up for fun and stuff is completely fine.
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    Junior Member WolfChildBaby is on a distinguished road WolfChildBaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    From a clothes making stand point there are no copyright laws for clothing patterns and clothing designs. So your more in the wrong if you were to draw an anime character and try to pass it off as your own than if you were to make and sell a costume of them. Because lets face it only 5% of cosplayers ever really look, face and body, like a character. Since they can't copyright the clothes they design in the anime there's no law being broken.

    Not only that but if cosplay was illegal there would be some sort of rules at the conventions and the conventions themselves would be probably be shut down by now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    And to add in with everyone else, I think the freedom of Free Speech protects you. No one can't tell you what you can't and can wear. Plus, cosplaying is like promoting a company. =) If there was more people around my place, I'd cosplay with them and walk around public as if it was nothing. ^_^

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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    If it's illegal, then every summer more than half of the 30,000 Otakon attendees here in Baltimore would be engaging in illegal activities, not that Baltimore needs any more crimes.

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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    It seems perfectly legal from my point of view.
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    It's legal. It's only when you try to make money off of things or claim them as your own does it become an issue with copyright.

    For example bakeries cannot put certain characters on their cakes due to copyrights. [Mostly Disney characters because they are uptight meanies] unless the bakery has permission. See putting a full character on an object and selling it is different than taking the objects clothes and then proceeding to wear it.

    Lets but this into a more real world example. I'm wearing a brown jacket pink t-shirt and some lime green shorts at the moment. Apparently this is what I'm known for wearing. I wear it every day of my life. It's who I am. So I see someone else wearing the SAME exact outfit as me because I'm their role model. I wouldn't go "OMG I NEED TO SUE THAT PERSON! THIS IS MY ATTIRE!!" Instead I'd go "Oh.. Thats pretty cool.." It's not illegal for human to human to do that. So why should it be any different for character to human?

    Companies promote things like this and even do their own cosplay contest from time to time.
    Last edited by blueangel06661; 02-03-2011 at 04:55 PM.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    Yes i somewhat agree with the wolfchild baby and indeed there are not copyrighting laws till now for the dress deisgns and even it is not possible to protect designs by copywriths because the market is huge ,but for your characters i dont think there is not much harm n moving them out.

    Thanks
    ManishG

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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    In terms of Copyright laws, you are dressed as something closely representing the creation of another.

    Technically, Cosplay, along with Fan-Art and Fan-Fiction is illegal. In all of these cases, you are using a character protected by law in your new creation, and it is considered to be Copyright Violation.

    The reason it is accepted is only because the Owners and creators of the media it is used in, don't really care. Things like Fan-made creations are accepted because the creators are not losing any profits on it - in most cases, it is helping to promote their creation! If you posted an episode of Naruto to YouTube, it would be taken more seriously, because they are losing official views or DVD sales.

    Websites like deviantART even have a Fan-Art section of the Site's Gallery.
    Although it is unlikely to happen, the copyright owners are completely within their rights to delete such pictures, should they wish to.
    This also explains why people have had cosplay videos removed from YouTube.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    LOLWUT? Cosplaying is not illegal in any way. Fans do it all the time at cons and stuff like that. Promoting characters is more like it.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    It's legal since it's already accepted. And you are just portraying a character. You aren't claiming that you designed it yourself.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    I think the only part of it being "illegal" is claiming rights to the character being portrayed. Most cosplayers don't do that.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is cosplay legal?

    I'm fairly sure if you're not making money from something or stopping the rights holders from doing so it's legal. I'll use fangames as an example - clones or updated versions of existing games get slammed hard, fan sequels almost never are unless the company making the actual games could lose out. Think Square Enix - that wicked looking 3D fan remake of Chrono Trigger got stomped, Final Fantasy games don't seem to get a cease and desist even when they become quite prominent.

    And I know a guy that screenprints shirts for kids who was approached by a rights holder and once it was established he wasn't making money, things were fine and he still does it today.
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