Pro-cosplayers Kat Gunn and Reika talk to us about Japan's recent attention to the rules around copyrighted character cosplay. We'll look at why cosplay is okay if you're only fans, but not okay if you're ON OnlyFans.
Ollie recommends a boba boat.
Bobby tries out a sink or swim fitness regimen.
Topics discussed on this episode range from:
- A law firm in need of a good law firm
- Kat being our first ever guest who's never been to Japan... except for that time she won the All Japan Dead or Alive 4 River Boat Open and Costume contest, obviously
- A brief check-in with a Brian in Fukuoka
- How influential Japan produced content is for Kat, personally and professionally
- How industries like pro-gaming and streaming that were already largely online have been affected by the pandemic
- Whether the pandemic-driven influx of celebrities and new faces into game streaming has been good or bad for OG gamers like Kat
- The mental toll that an increase in screen time takes
- Ollie's gym regimen
- Japan's look at revising the rules around professional cosplay
- How exactly people earn money through cosplay
- When booth babes were a thing, and what the thing is now
- The intellectual property legal issues at the heart of this story
- What Reika is concerned about in terms of how the attention to pro-cosplay might negatively influence cosplayers (not so much the legal consequences, but the idea that cosplayers are doing something illegal or harmful).
- How the possibility of more stringent requirements (if they happen) might make it harder for up and coming cosplayers to grow their fanbase
- In what ways cosplay might do financial harm to copyright holders
- The proposed "registry" of copyright holders, and how that might actual help cosplayers
- What happened to draw Japanese attention to the money cosplay is generating
- Why Kat thinks cosplayers themselves can be the strictest about making sure credit is given where it's due
- Matt Alt's on-the-record quote about how he sees this as akin to licensing music samples
- What Kat wants to ask Ollie about how "transformative" diminishes the rights to the portrayal of characters
- Why SHITTY cosplay might be the safest cosplay
- What copyright is good for and why rights holders should have moral control over their content
- Whether or not there should be concerns about permission being given out in ways that are non-inclusive
- A reminder that you don't HAVE to apply rule 34 to make something "your own"
- Are there legal protections about whether or not you can be discriminatory in who you give permission to?
- How Kat has experienced the downside of "not fitting in with the image"
Topics discussed on the extras include:
- How Reika sidesteps copyright violation when she gets paid to attend to events in character
- How Reika equates Dojinshi (or other forms of fan art) to cosplayers selling photos of themselves, and what she sees as the motivation for the bulk of cosplay or other forms of artistically expressed fandom
- What Reika thinks about direct-to-fan private content sites, and why she doesn't think copyright issues apply to those sites in Japan
- Why Reika thinks it's important that the people who create these rules get it right
- What Reika thinks is MOST important to preserve and protect here
- Who did Nezuko better? Kat or Bobby's kids?
- How cosplayers evaluate each other
- Kat's favorite kind of cosplay
- Japan's Jimi Halloween
- The Rules of Cosplay, and the rules for all the ways you can tweak a character (carbon-copy, gender bending, boudoir, etc)
- Kat's Adventures with her first ALL-FEMALE PRO-GAMING COSPLAYER TEAM with Jessica Nigiri and Linda Le (Vampy Bit Me)
- How cosplay and gaming have achieved legitimacy, and how real legitimate fandom plays a role
- The challenges of managing the egos and the interpersonal relationships of a cosplay gaming team, and how Bobby and Ollie "get it"
- The business and politics of cosplay, and how money corrupts fun
- The grind and the downside of playing video games and dressing up when it's your job
- HOW PUTTING YOURSELF ONLINE CAN AFFECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH and what Kat is trying to do to provide support to people struggling with that
- Trolls, trolls, trolls
- Why online fans and online haters are equally unreliable
- How to navigate that
- Sifting through what's constructive criticism and what's online misogyny
- A very rare Bobby's ex-girlfriend story about praise that isn't based on how good you are, it's just because someone likes you
- The mental health struggle with staying online or choosing to go offline when you're in an industry that depends on you being online
- The difference between being a stripper and being a porn star
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Kat Gunn: Twitter | Instagram
Reika: Twitter | Instagram
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What is Japan By River Cruise?
Stand-up comedians Bobby Judo and Ollie Horn purport to report on the Japanese river cruise industry each week.