This is a Public Service Announcement for everyone I know in or around the Chicago area as well as cosplayers who have ever had their photos on the internet. Please BOYCOTT (do not but from or patronize in any way) Alternate Reality-Comicbooks. 3149 West 111th Street - Chicago, Il, 60655 - 773.881.4376
It has come to my attention that not only does this “business” operate a “Win or Fail” Cosplay album on their Facebook page— which by its very nature encourages people to insult, demean, or otherwise disparage the cosplayers and costumes in it (verging on out and out cyberbulling)— but does so by reposting the cosplay photos without the permission of, or credit to, the original photographers OR the people who are in the photos.
When this fact was brought to their attention, by way of a couple of the cosplayers in the photos asking for the photos of them to be removed from this album, not only did this “business” not apologize and comply, but they defended themselves by suggesting that because they "found them on google” that meant that the photos were “essentially in the public domain.” This response is as arrogant as it is incorrect and only adds to the outrageousness of this entire situation. As has been said elsewhere, “If you have a picture up of someone and they express concerns, the appropriate thing to do is take it down and apologize.” this applies doubly so if you are operating as a business and not just a private individual!
This behavior is not only morally dubious and abhorrent, but it is also utterly unprofessional and I also feel the need to add that it’s legally dubious as well. So please, if you live, work-in, or visit the Chicago area BOYCOTT Alternate Reality-Comicbooks. We as fans and consumers need to tell businesses that this type of behavior is not cute, it’s not okay and it’s NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Other things you can do:
1. Please check the album in question for photos that you have taken or that you are in, and report those photos to Facebook. Album can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1425586656
2. Please repost and/or reblog this in its entirety to get the word out to a wider audience.
3. MOST IMPORTANTLY WHATEVER ACTIONS YOU DECIDE TO TAKE PLEASE BE AS CIVIL AND WELL REASONED AS POSSIBLE. Going in half cocked and coming off like “crazy fans” will not be helpful.