from the don't-mess-with-dojinshi dept
However, many in the fan fiction -- dojinshi -- market in Japan are now worried that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement may now kill off that happy, mutually beneficial (even if technically infringing) setup. At issue is that the TPP may require more stringent enforcement of copyrights, even when the copyright holder has no problem with what's happening.
Usami and other creators of fan fiction, however, could face the possibility of legal prosecution as copyright violators in the future, depending on the outcome of TPP negotiations.The more cynical among you might point to the fact that the dojinshi market's proof that copyright maximalism can be counterproductive, and allowing free flowing "infringement" among fans creating derivative works, so bothers some people that they feel the need to kill off such an important counter-example to the maximalist narrative. However, those involved in the space in Japan recognize that not enforcing copyright law has been better for everyone:
Some countries are apparently demanding that Japan clamp down on knock-off and pirated works in the intellectual property arena, even if the copyright holder does not object to it.
Many experts say the Japanese anime and manga subculture has thrived due in part to a tacit understanding in society that fan fiction should be accepted to a certain extent to allow room for amateurs to shine.Some are even worried that it might extend to cracking down on cosplay:
The recent Comic Market is one indication of the level of demand for dojinshi and other works of fan fiction. A total of 520,000 visitors attended--many of them teenagers or in their 20s--while about 35,000 groups sold dojinshi and other related goods.
“The creation of derivative works has helped the expansion of the market (for anime and manga), a rich gray zone built based on a gentleman’s agreement between original artists and amateur creators,” [lawyer Kansaku Fukui] said.I would imagine that the various negotiators of the TPP probably aren't all that familiar with anime, manga or cosplay -- but pissing off fans of all three probably isn't particularly wise.
If the copyright law was enforced without a formal complaint, not only dojinshi, but also parodied creations of movies and literature, could be subject to a crackdown, Fukui said.
He added that even cosplayers could be a target, especially if their costumes were elaborately made and if a video of the costume play was uploaded on the Internet.
“If people think about the possibility of coming under questioning, they might cower,” he said.