In cosplay, there are crafters who make costumes not only for themselves to wear, but for others as well, because let’s face it, not everyone can make proper costumes or are too busy to. However, it seems that making costumes for others is breaking the law.
Oshiete Goo!, a Japanese question and answer website, recently asked Yuuji Ookuma, a lawyer with the Toranomon Law and Patent Office, if cosplaying as anime characters is against the law, and to this, he replied that it indeed was in violating the law. He said that
” it infringed on reproduction rights (protected by Article 21 of Japan’s copyright law) and adaptation rights (protected by Article 27).”
However, he did admit that making a costume FOR PERSONAL USE is not breaking the law. He said that since it is “reproduction for personal and private use,” then it’s OK with the law. However, making costumes for your friends or making costumes for commission would not count as “for personal use.”
He then advised cosplayers to “first investigate who holds the copyright for the characters they are impersonating, but acknowledged that obtaining their permission ‘would not be so easy in a hurry.'”
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