Maryland's Katsucon Revises Policy on Fan Art

posted on 2011-02-07 19:30 EST by Gia Manry
Reworded policy announced after fans criticize "zero-tolerance" stance

On Monday morning, the Maryland-based anime convention Katsucon announced a reworded policy on the sale of fan art and other potentially copyright-infringing merchandise at its convention. The new policy, described to ANN as similar to that of YouTube and other websites, states that fans selling art at the convention are given the benefit of the doubt unless the actual copyright holders lodge a complaint about materials.

This announcement came days after the convention's earlier policy for this year, which demanded that fans provide proof that they have copyright owners' permission to make and sell fan art. Katsucon attendees complained about the policy on the convention's forums, stating that artists should have been informed prior to the start of artist registration, and that anime music videos and other potentially infringing materials were not subject to the same level of scrutiny. The earlier marketplace guidelines for this year also specifically exempted dōjinshi sold in the commerce area from requiring similar proof.

A Katsucon representative expressed regret for the "harsh" wording of the earlier policy, but stated that reaction to the new policy was largely positive, despite frustration on the part of attendees due to the "flip-flop."

Several anime events throughout North America offer an "artist's alley" (or other area for artists to sell their handicraft) and have specifically banned the sale of items which violate copyrights. Anime Iowa's 2009 and 2010 guidelines have a similar policy, as do Ohayocon 2011's guidelines. However, many other conventions do not specifically address the sale of fan art in their guidelines.

[Via YPComic, OtakuJournalist, Katsucon forums (link 2)]

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