Cosplay Is Serious Business: Atlanta-based cosplay designer Yaya Han files copyright infringement lawsuit against Happy Sun Enterprises
October 1, 2010
Atlanta, Georgia – Costume designer, model and cosplay artist Yaya Han announced today the filing of a copyright infringement lawsuit against Happy Sun Enterprises, a Georgia-based distributor of anime-related products.
Travis Tunnell, of the Atlanta, Georgia law firm Anderson Dailey, LLP filed the suit on August 17, 2010, in the Federal U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The style of the case is Yaya Han v. Happy Sun Enterprise, Inc. et al., No. 1:10-cv-02574-TWT.
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized use of works covered by copyright law in a way that violates one of the copyright owner's exclusive rights granted by law under 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. According to the United States Copyright Office, the owner of a copyright has the legal right to authorize or prohibit others from taking the following actions:
Travis Tunnell, counsel for Ms. Han, said that, “Artistic works are usually the result of creative talent and a significant investment of time, money, and energy. Nevertheless, once an artist creates a successful work, it is often very easy for others to copy and exploit the work without paying the creator. Copyright law encourages creativity by giving authors an opportunity to gain a financial reward for their efforts in creating artistic works by preventing unauthorized copying. Ms. Han’s copyrighted works represent one of the cornerstones of her business, and we filed this action seeking to protect her intellectual property rights.”
Public Statement from Yaya Han:In order to clear up any confusion or rumors, I would like to reiterate that it is not my intention to corner the market on cat ears at conventions or claim ownership over the idea of wearable cat ears. There are countless ways to interpret cat ears, and I am only trying to protect the unique expression embodied in my designs - Product 1, Product 2.
I am friends with other artists who have created their own unique versions of cat ears and we happily send business to each other all the time. I fully support the rights of other designers to create and sell their own unique style of cat ear or animal ear products.
As an independent artist, I make my living through my designs. As such, I know how devastating it feels to have your hard work and ideas taken away. I know it may not be the most popular decision, and I am sure there will be those who will criticize me, but I am standing up for myself and my legal rights because I believe in my designs and products.
I only hope that my situation can be an inspiration and motivation to my fellow artists out there who are seeking to protect their artistic creations to follow my lead and defend their intellectual property rights. You can do it!