Market Day fan art policy


The short version

By applying for a stall at Papercuts Comics Festival’s market day, you agree that you will not sell or display any unlicensed fan art at the market day.

The longer version

What is fan art?

When we say ‘fan art’, we mean artwork that features intellectual property (IP) which the artist does not own, or does not have a license to use in the way they are using it. Fan art includes (but is not limited to) prints, commissions and sketches. IP includes any copyrighted or trademarked material, including characters.

Why the ‘no fan art’ policy?

Papercuts Comics Festival wants to celebrate local creators and their original work, and to encourage audiences to engage with the wide variety of stories that can be told through the medium of comics and graphic novels.

We are not against people creating fan art. We understand the desire to pay homage to other people’s stories and characters that you love. However, we want visitors to the market day to discover your own stories and characters.

Are there exceptions?

There are three main exceptions to Papercuts Comics Festival’s fan art policy:

  • If you have done paid work on an IP in a published comic for the IP owner, you can sell or display art featuring the IP you have done paid work on. We regard this as ‘pro art’ rather than ‘fan art’. This is a Papercuts exemption, not a legal exemption. If the IP owner asks you not to sell your ‘pro art’ featuring their IP, that overrides this exception.
  • In Australia, there are specific exceptions to copyright infringement known as ‘fair dealing’. Parody (or satire) is one of these exceptions. If your work qualifies as fair dealing, then it does not fall under our definition of ‘fan art’ and you can sell or display it at the market day.
  • Interpretations of characters or properties that are in the public domain do not fall under our definition of ‘fan art’ as they do not feature currently copyrighted or trademarked material. You can sell or display such work at the market day. 

Please note that the above does not constitute legal advice! We are not lawyers. You may need to seek legal advice to determine whether a work qualifies as parody or satire, or to establish whether characters or properties are in the public domain.

How will the ‘no fan art’ policy be enforced?

If your application to be a stallholder at Papercuts Comics Festival’s market day is successful and you are observed selling or displaying unlicensed fan art at the event in breach of this policy, you will be asked to remove the fan art from display and stop selling it. If you are observed a second time, you will be removed from the event and will forfeit your deposit.

Please contact us if you require further clarification.