|Copyright Law Changes Would Affect Cosplay|
Media artist Kazuhiko Hachiya left a warning that if Japan joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the resulting changes in the Copyright Law of Japan would affect cosplay, among other derivative works.
TPP is described as "an Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement currently being negotiated among the United States and eight other partners" (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam). The agreement aims to make copyright laws uniform across all the signatory countries.
Japan is still not included in the signatory countries, but Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will be attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii this weekend and expected announce if they'll join.
Under the current law, the police and prosecutors cannot act against copyright infringement unless the copyright holders themselves file a formal complaint. But under TPP, such violations will no longer require a complaint for prosecution. The proposed changes under TPP would also allow statutory damages to be levied against defendants.
Hachiya said that he fears that the police would be given the discretion on what to prosecute, particularly on "erotic" material. He further asserted that even cosplay outfits can been prosecuted if the police decides that they are not allowed.
Many manga artists, including Akamatsu, creator of Love Hina and Negima. He stated that the changes "would destroy derivative dōjinshi." He added, "And as a result, the power of the entire manga industry would also diminish."