While many in Japan consider the sale of bootleg merchandise a bad thing, they treat fan-made works or doujinshi differently. Even most anime companies and studios treat these fan-made works as “free advertising” for their various series. They also treat doujins as possible ways to cultivate up and coming talent in the manga industry. In fact, some famous mangaka started out making doujins. However, it looks like Girls und Panzer is looking to restrict doujinshi for the series, along with other unofficial merchandise.

They announced the restriction via twitter where the staff said that they will consider the production and sales of any unofficial Girls und Panzer merchandise as copyright infringement. These include bootleg merchandise or unofficial copies of actual Girls und Panzer merch. However, this also includes derivative works and self-produced merchandise, which of course includes doujinshi. It then urged people not to purchase unofficial merchandise.

The news comes after police arrested a man in Okayama for selling unlicensed Girls und Panzer stickers without permission. These stickers bear the crest of the various Girls und Panzer schools.

Love Live! also restricted these fan-made merchandise, but was a bit vague in their announcement. They didn’t specifically say that they’re banning doujin manga, which meant that doujin creators were still allowed to use Love Live for their content, and which is why you still see Love Live manga being sold during events like Comiket. The Girls und Panzer announcement also didn’t specify anything about doujin manga. The interpretation for the ban has been divided, with some fans speculating that the ban is only for GUP doujin merchandise like key chains, button pins, dakimakura, etc., and do not include the doujin manga.

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