The government of Japan is taking into consideration the best way to regulate cosplay using copyright law protecting both the rights of the cosplayer and the owners of the relevant IP.
Cosplay means costume play and is defined as the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book, or video game and often depict their role and appearance. The main sources of such cosplay characters are from animation, comics, and graphic novels which are copyrighted by their writers.
Over time Cosplay has become increasingly popular among people, resulting in cosplayers earning large sums of money from endorsements and as social media influencers.
It is said that the Japanese government is considering whether to issue new copyright rules to regulate the disputes between the cosplayers and Ip owners as there are unclear and insufficient regulations to protect both.
The current regulations say that if a person engages in cosplay as a hobby then it not breaking of law but if they are earning money from it and their images are being shared online or sold then they are in contempt of the law.
However, it is a known fact that it is difficult to contact the original creators and get their approval for depicting their characters through cosplay.
The discussion on this topic area part of Japan’s “Cool Japan” Strategy which is being led by Japan’s IP Strategy Headquarters.