Merchant Evicted from Australian Event

posted on 2005-10-01 14:31 EDT
Bootleg Related Eviction a First for Australian Conventions.

In what could be a first for the Australian anime community, trader Cartoon Passion was evicted from the traders' hall at the Melbourne Anime Festival (Manifest), an anime convention in Melbourne, Australia, after breaching the trader rules of conduct.

The eviction notice was issued on Sunday morning at approximately 9:50am Australian Eastern Standard Time, the last day of the two and a half day convention, held from Friday 23rd September to Sunday 25th September.

The Manifest Organising Committee (M.O.C.) has issued an official statement concerning the breach and consequent eviction. This notice was also circulated immediately after the eviction to all the other traders at Manifest.

According to the notice, the M.O.C. found that Cartoon Passion had harassed some of the convention's general attendees, was selling bootlegged merchandise, and was misleading in the pricing of items. The statement also mentioned the fact that Cartoon Passion were given two prior warnings which were, according to the committee, given during the course of Saturday

An M.O.C. representative has also provided extra details concerning the breaches in question. The representative mentioned that they believe there were at least three attendees harassed, although they are requesting that any other people who felt harassed to step forward. It was also explained that, in the opinion of the committee, Cartoon Passion's practice of pricing in US dollars but then giving a recalculated price in Australian dollars after inquiry by potential customers, was a case of misleading pricing.

As of 5pm Friday 30th September Australian Eastern Standard Time, Cartoon Passion had not returned any calls or inquiries regarding the event.

Sale of bootleg material has been extensively frowned upon in Australia and New Zealand, with all the conventions held within Australia and New Zealand currently having an official policy prohibiting the sale of bootlegged material. As well, all traders are not to harass attendees, or practice any sort of misleading pricing, as stipulated by law and by the various contracts. However, this is the first documented case of an anime convention in Australia evicting a trader outright by use of any of the clauses.

Previously, Supanova Expo's Brisbane show had enforced its anti-bootleg policy against Cartoon Passion in April 2005. The penalty imposed was a partial confiscation of bootleg material and a final warning was issued to the offending vendor.

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