Do you think conventions will ever be struck by copyright laws? With all the fanart debates and character rights arguements, what do you think the odds are of cosplayers and fan artists being hit by lawsuits?
Pretty non existent till they try to sell their stuff on a larger scale.
Cosplay doesnt pose a threat to the copy right holders, its free advertising and an expression of fan passion. But if you start to mass market stuff you cosplay, like say, if you cosplay a disney princess and decide to start selling disney princess dresses on a bigger scale than individual commissions, thats when the cease and desist letters might stop dropping.
The cosplayers in question were only told to stop when they started to sell their uniforms, at least to my understanding.
The way copyright allies to garments is a 1000000% different ball game than 2d art. While a fanartist making an illustration featuring a character whose original depiction was also an illustration is violating copyright (arguments about transformative work aside), making a three dimensional garment based on an illustration is not. Garments can't really be copyrighted on the same sense - you can copyright sewing patterns and the illustrated pattern on fabric and once in a great while you can patent means of production if you can prove they're very innovative. But not an outfit. This is why Walmart et al sell purses that LOOK LIKE designer purses but the print on the (faux) leather is different.
So if you were wearing a dress of spoonflower fabric covered in pokeballs it would be a violation but if you dress up like a giant paper mache pokeballs it isn't.
Garments are not subject to copyright protection but character designs are, as are things like Storm Trooper helmets. A lot of the superhero type characters are also trademarked. So some cosplay is 100% legal and some of it is clearly infringing, and then there's some stuff in between.
Are you trying to make a living off someone else's art? If so yes, you can get sued. It would be more responsible to get a normal job instead of being +30's robbing neckbeard fans.
Yeah but trademark enforcement is different than copyright. There's also some gray area between the outfit being trademarked versus their symbols (supes, batfamily) being copyrighted....
Yeah, it's different in that it technically requires you to go after everyone who's infringing or you lose your trademark, but with the way the comic industry works, they don't go after people using the trademarked Batman logo in fanart, etc. I'm sure their in house guys keep an eye on it because they want to both keep their IP and not squash the fan culture that largely keeps them afloat, but if it became an issue from another corner, they would do something about it.
Exactly. As long as you don't call yourself Elsa or use pictures of Elsa, you can have a dress that looks exactly like hers with a blond wig and be fine.
That said, party princess companies and Disney have a wink-wink agreement. The kind of parents hiring some awkward college girl in a cosplay dress to entertain their daughter aren't the ones with the means to go to disney world, so it's not like it's stealing money from the mouse, and those parties require decorations, plates,cups, wrapping paper, all that shit, all with Elsa all fucking over it and bought directly from disney.
They went after Tracy because she was selling things with the Ariel name. She's still selling shitty mermaid merch but removed the trademark shit so now they can't do fuck all.
The irony of Disney is they themselves took advantage of expired copyrights.
So not all of Disney's works are considered original in that sense.