One of the questions about copyright that comes up most often at fan conventions is whether or not cosplay is “legal.” It’s a good question, but it gets into some of the murkiest areas of copyright law.
Today, President Trump announced that the United States has reached an agreement in principle with Mexico during negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including a variety of provisions on intellectual property. At present, Public Knowledge understands that the agreement would require a minimum copyright term amounting to the life of the author plus 75 years. If enacted, this would effectively extend the copyright terms in existing U.S. law.
So you have a popular Instagram account on which you post original memes for mass consumption and potential monetization. Everything is going great: you’re racking up thousands of followers per day, each post getting hundreds of thousands of likes—life is good. You have managed to create a career for yourself just by being Very Online and humorous, and we are all jealous of you. Good job.
How many images or videos have you seen of Minecraft? If you’ve seen versions of the game with fantastic characters from some of your favorite franchises or exotic lands, then you may have been looking at a mod. Modifications (or “mods”) are how members of the gaming community add to the games they love. Companies realize that mods are great for business and keep games alive and popular, enabling them to stand on their own for much longer.