Conventional Protections for Commercial Fan Art Under the U.S. Copyright ActRachel MorganNote - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Conventional Protections for Commercial Fan Art Under the U.S. Copyright Act
Rachel Morgan

  The full text of this Note may be found here.

31 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 514 (2021).

Article by Rachel Morgan*




or many years, artists and consumers of pop culture have channeled their artistic skills into creating derivative works of their favorite fictional stories and characters. In the United States, fans of Japanese anime and manga have made a living selling artwork of their favorite characters at anime conventions, large gatherings that bring in fellow fans from all around the country. Despite the prevalence of this practice, there is a glaring legal issue: these fictional characters are the intellectual property of the authors who created them, and fan art is blatant copyright infringement. However, there are still many economic advantages to permitting the sale of fan art. This Note will propose a way to apply the fair use defense to commercial fan art in a way that protects the economic interests of both authors and fans.

* Rachel Morgan is a third-year student at Fordham University School of Law and a Senior Notes and Articles Editor for the Intellectual Property, Media, and Entertainment Law Journal. Prior to law school, she attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where she majored in History and Italian Studies. She wrote this Note as an independent study in the spring of her second year. The author would like to thank Professor Courtney Cox for her guidance and supervision throughout the Note-writing process, as well as her fellow Executive Board members on the journal for their help in editing and publishing this Note.