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Best conference session ever - Unjapanologist
In your texts, interrogating them from the wrong perspective

Nele Noppe
Date: 2012-06-24 21:34
Subject: Best conference session ever
Security: Public
Tags:copyright, dojinshi, fandom, open source, research
Today was the last day of the Japan Society for Research in Cartoons and Comics' annual big meetup, and the topic of the final session was doujinshi and copyright. On stage were a manga researcher, a fan researcher, an IP lawyer, a representative from a large publishing company, and a professional mangaka with strong ties to doujin fandom. They spent two hours tossing around ideas for how to legalize doujinshi and make sure that possible tightening of Japanese copyright law (via, say, the TPP) won't harm either doujinshi creators or media companies.

Every single discussant made only constructive contributions throughout the whole session, and everybody started from the assumption that fanworks are an essential part of a healthy manga culture and very much worth protecting. They were all very eloquent and to the point, and they had the full attention of every single person in the audience the entire time. People were constantly clapping and laughing. It was awesome.

Apologies if I sound a bit dazzled here, but for someone who's used to the mutual distrust and semi-trench warfare of fan-industry relations in much of English-speaking fandom, this show was pretty impressive. I'll do a full writeup once I've obtained access to a few of the presentations; some of the discussants spoke so quickly that I couldn't make proper notes. For now, I need to go catch up on sleep so I'll be wide awake for my first proper visit to the Yonezawa Yoshihiro Memorial Library of Manga and Subculture tomorrow. They were closed for inventory the last time I managed to get to Tokyo, but this time I will get in.

(A minor thing next to the general amazingness, but I was also thrilled to hear the IP lawyer propose a sort of fanwork licensing very similar to what I was mulling over last year. Validation of far-fetched ideas from an actual legal professional, woohoo! I ambushed him after the session and got his e-mail address plus permission to bother him on Twitter. To be continued when I'm done spazzing.)

(Minor thing two: I'm seriously considering taking a year off from current PhD research to properly study international copyright law. If I'm going to keep on developing weird ideas about legislation of fanworks, I want to do it right.)

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