With Cosplay Mania in the works within a few weeks. A controversy in fashion of the government mysterious senate inquiry on a criminal case. Cosplay.Ph, the large organization with the domineering share in the profitable cosplay “industry” and events was discovered to had done effort to “safeguard” its IP by registering the word “cosplay”, giving its organization the leverage on charging royalties or file for copyright infringement to anyone they find fancy of.
While they release an official statement in response to the sentiment of the “communities’ ” concern over the possible setback to the profitable event organizing, assuring them that they have the best intentions in mind. With it giving the green approval to any organization that wishes to use the word “cosplay” in its brand. It draws concern to any future possibilities. In turn I also thought of similar cases where IP holders may have the best of intentions, we should never assume that it will be the case in the future.
You can read their statement here.
H.264 HTML5 Case
Inserting my knowledge in general IT. I would put the case with cosplay.ph with an ongoing debate in the continuing draft of the HTML5 standard. Just to give people a heads up. Youtube is offering its users to use a non-flash variant of its players. This move is to eliminate the dominance of the Adobe technology that has been for many years and to also provide access to users that doesn’t support the technology (thanks to Apple’s resilience to not include flash in its mobile products). Kids around the first half of the decade would had not witness that dominance of websites that has flash technology dominating in their site (you can still see an example by going to myheronation.com).
With the move to have websites free from any copyrighted technology (subjected that any flash website at the mercy of Adobe), particularly in delivering video content to its users.
In response to the issue, the holders of H264 promises that the format is free to use and will not invoke its right to anyone that uses it. But browser makers can’t just go with the word of its patent holders, which often the case with any organization, is subject to change in philosophies and ideologies in time. While they may allow people to use their technology, they may sue people in the future under a different management. This prompted the fragmentation among the browser makers to use different open formats to use. With Mozilla (Firefox) and Opera prompting to use Ogg in their browsers, while Apple (Safari) chooses H264 in its format technology where as Chrome prompted with its own open standard WebM.
Monster Cable Products Case
From a good-will IP holder to a more extreme case of aggressive stance, Monster Cable Product is an organization that can best reflect on the case of cosplay.ph in case they turn bad in the future. Other than that they sell cable products with absurd claims and overpriced compared to other cable products. They are also well-known to file infringement case to anyone that uses the word “Monster” in its brands. They even went as far as target Pixar’s work, Monster Inc for using the word “Monster” in its film name. Their stance is to defend their trademark or otherwise they will lose it.
The actions presented by Monster Cable can be taken if a profitable organization uses “Cosplay” and proved to be good in their endeavors, can swing their copyright claim to that organization to prevent it from competing in the market. Again. While this case may not be present in at the moment. Once they change their management, the risk of them suing organization will be present.
I would suggest that organizers that are not affiliated with cosplay.ph should avoid using the word “cosplay” in their future brand. As hard as it might be. It would be better to relieve yourself in the risk of any case that maybe filed to you by the organization than thread the waters and be subjected to a suit.
I would also like to quote on their statement that implies the risk of such.
Since the wordmark was approved, we have not enforced it in court nor asked for any royalties from any organization that uses “cosplay” in their event names; and, in cases where there was too much of a similarity between our branded events, we simply requested that they adjust their event title to avoid confusion. In fact, in these cases, we even ended up assisting them in their endeavors.
It can also be interpreted in this manner.
In cases that you use our brand. We will demand to you to adjust it so that you can not piggy-back on our fame and our brand. If you insist on using our name. We will force our way into your event and perhaps charge you such for our services (if they charge services).
In the end. Better be safe than sorry. Use a different name in your event. We could always use its similar, synonymous noun and perhaps be more influential since its known to majority of the people.
Images Used are under Fair Use.