Japan is considering changing its intellectual property laws so that professional cosplayers would have to pay a licensing fee to appear as copyrighted characters. The proposed regulation wouldn’t affect those who dress up as their favorite characters just for fun, as it only applies to cosplayers earning money through cosplay.

The considered change would affect the professional cosplayers who profit from their work, such as from participation in promotional events, subscription or membership services such as Instagram or selling their costumes, Anime News Network reports.

Japanese gov’t weighs amending copyright law so creators can request fees from professional cosplayers. (And it’s a real issue: the most successful can make upwards of USD$500K/year.) I believe this is the first attempt on the part of a national government to address cosplay? https://t.co/G9m0FJTmB3

— Matt Alt (@Matt_Alt) January 24, 2021

Last year, top Japanese cosplayer Enako reported a yearly income of 50 million yen, which translates to roughly $480,000 USD. The 26-year-old cosplayer earned the money through cosplay and merchandise sales.

Following the reports, Enako shared her opinion on Twitter, saying that she hoped that “that the changes will not regulate social media posts and fan-made activities if they are not for profit.”



— えなこ (@enako_cos) January 24, 2021

Also, I haven’t heard anything about the ban on (cosplay photos being posted to) social media as was written in another article, so I’m anxious to find the truth.
I’m not really in a position to easily give a statement on the issue, but personally I hope that the changes will not…

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