On Saturday, March 5th, TradeJustice activists leafletted at the Big Apple Convention, a comic book and pop culture show at the Penn Plaza Pavillion across the street from Penn Station on 7th Avenue. Our objective was to in warn fans that TPP's intellectual property rules threaten to criminalize popular fan hobbies including:
fan subbing - adding subtitles to anime and other films to make them available in additional languages
Read more about this issue here
From around 11 AM until 7PM, we distributed hundreds of fliers and asked cosplayers to take pictures with our sign, which read "Save Fan Culture: Stop TPP! TradeJustice.net"
Since the final text of TPP contained unexpected surprises and even more surprises were found after the legal scrub (http://boingboing.net/2016/02/17/back-room-revisions-to-tpp-sne.html), we checked with intellectual property expert Jeremy Malcolm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation to see if the concerns about TPP's impact on fan culture were still a concern.
Here's what he wrote:
"The change in the legal scrub has if anything, made the risks slightly
more stark. As you know, the changes in legal scrub made it more difficult for countries to avoid criminalizing commercial-scale copyright infringments regardless of lack of harm to the rightsholder.
Therefore, if you perform cosplay at a large (commercial) scale fan event, and the rightsholder doesn't suffer any harm, you may still be liable to the criminal enforcement provisions.
So yes the concerns are still an issue, and if anything now more so."
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Contact your Senators and US Representatives and urge them to publicly commit to voting against TPP! You can learn who represents you and how to contact them here.
Thanks to Wendy Scher and Steven Kostis for their work on this event!