Art from reputable artists somehow sold by some vendor at S’pore’s Anime Festival Asia 2016
It looks like the organisers have stepped in.
Editor’s note, Nov. 25, 2016, 6.45pm: We have been informed that artworks identified as having infringed intellectual property rights have been removed and are no longer on sale. The organiser, Sozo, has also clarified that they were not the ones who told the event goer to refer the matter to the police.
Anime Festival Asia is one the biggest Japanese culture events in Singapore, and it starts today (Nov. 25) until Sunday (Nov. 27).
Other than concerts and cosplayers, merchandising has always been a big part of the festival. Ardent fans can purchase official merchandise from vendors, or fan merchandise from the Creator’s Hub.
One of these vendors, Xinbo Comic, was selling fan artworks, including those of the highly popular Overwatch video game printed onto scrolls, bags for S$50, and tumblers that are going for S$15.
However, an eagle-eyed event-goer found out that the art prints were most likely violating intellectual property.
These works looked eerily the same from prolific artists, including “Artgerm” Stanley Lau, who had illustrated comic covers for the likes of DC Comics (first row, first from right)
Sakimichan (second row, first from right),
Alex Negrea (third row, first from right)
and possibly, many more of these artists who may have had their work sold here without their knowledge and expressed permission.
Since none of them had announced at anytime to have collaborated with the vendor Xinbo Comic, the eventgoer had tried to alert the event organisers.
His effort was in vain, as the organisers then told him to simply report the matter to the police.
What’s even more puzzling was how they were even allowed to sell these products without permission: Xinbo comic is one of the registered exhibitors of the convention, with a total of eight stalls under their name in the convention grounds.
Lau, one of the artists affected by this, has already released a statement on this matter – before it was mysteriously deleted or privatised.
If this wasn’t disconcerting enough, Facebook user Omar Islam wrote a reply on Lau’s post, highlighting a possible stark outcome of the issue:
We’ll keep you updated if the organisers take any action.
Top image via