The Problem of the "Professional Cosplayer" Label

The Problem of the "Professional Cosplayer" Label

Many have used the term "professional cosplayer," but the more I think about it the more I realize it's an inaccurate term.

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After reading, I agree it's inaccurate, but I don't think it's likely to change. Model and entertainer are job titles that are easily understood, but they don't cover the full spectrum of what those men and women do.

Im finding the article very confusing, to be honest. Theres a lot of throwing around "copyright" and "trademark" almost as if theyre interchangable and I cant figure out when a particular activity is being referred to as one or the other, which really renders half the article as not making much sense.

I'm surprised you got guff from Disney for using quotes from the Tron people actually liked and not that disjointed shit heap Legacy. Figured they would have caught on about 5 minutes after it was released.

surely terms like Actor/Actress or heck even the original Thespian would work as they perform the character

Caffiene:
Im finding the article very confusing, to be honest. Theres a lot of throwing around "copyright" and "trademark" almost as if theyre interchangable and I cant figure out when a particular activity is being referred to as one or the other, which really renders half the article as not making much sense.

I think she just meant trademarked really with some outlier exceptions I don't think cosplaying is much affected by copyright law.

piscian:
I think she just meant trademarked really with some outlier exceptions I don't think cosplaying is much affected by copyright law.

True, but by the same token it doesnt seem like trademark applies to a lot of cosplay either. It would be very hard for companies to argue many of the common elements that are considered in circuit tests regarding dilution of trade or likelihood of confusion, so long as the costumes arent being sold.

Interesting. So I know there are party services where you can, for example, have men or women show up dressed like Disney Princesses or Thor or Spiderman or what not for Kids' b-day parties, but I never considered those people to be "cosplayers". Even the name "cosplay" is based upon "costume play", which to me implies something done for fun, not to turn a profit.

I get that there are a handful of cosplayers who are hot enough that they can literally make money off of it (like Jessica Nigri) but do comic conventions or what-not actually pay people to show up dressed in costume? To me, once you start to turn a profit off this, you're not really a cosplayer anymore, you're an actor/actress or at the very least a model.

Most "professional cosplayers" I know earn their living crafting costumes to other people. That doesn't mean abandoning the "fun" part of it, though, as attending conventions, being photographed and parading about is how they get their clientele. Do a badass futuristic armor with LED lights and you're bound to get commissions from people who want, say, a Mass Effect costume. Do an eye-popping Madoka and you're gonna get swarmed with magical girl requests.

That may translate into one hell of a paycheck, as there's no shortage of fans who would love to dress up as their characters but lack the skills or equipment to make their costumes themselves. I even knew of a traditional seamstress who started making costumes to her daughter's friends and eventually decided to branch out and accept cosplay commissions.

I've never heard of much heat coming from trademark issues, but that's probably because I live outside the US. There's also the fact that anime cosplays are much more popular than Western ones around these parts.

 

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