Two recent incidents from opposite sides of the world have pitted intellectual property owners against some of their biggest fans, who they accuse of infringing on their rights as owners.  The larger of the incidents involves Games Workshop, which has recently clamped down on fan animations.  It added a phrase to its Intellectual Property Guidelines specifying that "…individuals must not create fan films or animations based on our settings and characters.  These are only to be created under license from Games Workshop."

The increased enforcement has led some creators of fan animations to stop producing new content.  For example, the Bruva Alfabusa YouTube channel, which produces the 40K satire series If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device (which regularly draws mid-six figure numbers of viewers), announced that there would be no further new content back in late July.  The announcement video has been viewed over 580,000 times.

Reddit threads on the topic have also been popular, with a post urging a boycott of the company drawing 19,000 likes, according to the The Times in London.

Although there’s no explicit connection, it’s been noted that Warhammer+, Games Workshop’s subscription streaming service, launched in August, employing some of the creators that had been producing fan animations for YouTube in the past.

On the other side of the world, in Japan, criminal charges were filed recently against a Tokyo woman who was selling cakes decorated with characters from hit anime Demon Slayer on Instagram, according to Kyodo News, via AnimeNewsNetwork.  Over two years, the woman had sold cakes worth roughly $57,000, at prices from $114 to $132 per cake, according to the report.  Images were provided by the customers. Those cakes conflicted with officially licensed Demon Slayer cakes from Workshop Priroll.

The conflict between accommodating fans and building a business based on exclusive control of intellectual property rights is not a new one, but in these examples recently, it seems to be flaring.