What would you do if you were a cosplayer and saw yourself on full display – front and back – on a body pillow? You’d probably freak out. Pillows are intimate objects, especially body length ones. Cosplayer Carrie Wink at AnimeNext noticed vendor 2ImageSolutions was using photos to sell pillows of various sizes featuring cosplayers she knew. It struck her as weird.
Once word about the pillows got out, the featured cosplayers mentioned the agreements they’d signed when they had the 360 photos taken didn’t seem to cover this kind of usage. Dustin Dorough told io9 the following:
His legal rights are highly questionable at best, but his moral rights are non-existent. Even if he had an iron-clad model release (which he doesn’t), selling these images on pillows without telling the models is despicable. Even if these aren’t “body pillows”, they are still pillows. Something that goes in someone’s bed. I’m sure many costumers would be severely creeped-out having their pictures on something of this nature. It’s simply not right to do that without talking to them about it. Prints are one thing, while pillows are another entirely.”
Though at first the company pushed back, 2ImageSolutions told io9 they’re discontinuing the sale of the cosplay pillows.
The unique service that 2imagesolutions offers is to provide the attendees of these events with a 360° record of their costumes. It’s a fun way for the people we photographed to be able to remember how they dressed at these events. We still believe that is a fun way to see and show off our costumes to our friends and family.
At our booth, we had pillows and prints of a few costumes that were available for purchase. We were VERY selective with the ones we chose, and out of the hundreds and hundreds of panoramas we have taken, only a handful were used (about 10 of them). We chose the ones that we felt were the best of the best and exemplified the spirit of the event. Although each of the people we used signed a model release, some of people were upset that we used their images. We did not mean to upset people, and felt that people chosen would be flattered to be among the few chosen.
As a result, our business model has changed: In the past, we were selling products with images of others as well as custom-ordered prints of themselves. This was meant to inspire people to elevate the level of their own costumes. We would like to assure participants that any pictures of them that we have taken WILL NO LONGER BE SOLD AT OUR BOOTHS OR AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. The products will be available ONLY to those of whom the pictures were taken. Any future products will be special-order so that the attendees will be able to order prints and merchandise of themselves and themselves only. We would like everyone to know that their privacy is of utmost importance to us and that we did not intend to violate their privacy in any way.
2imagesolutions will still honor our commitment to send the attendees the 360° pictorials by email in a Flash file, but would like to reemphasize that they will not be distributed in any way to anyone other than themselves without their express permission.
We are instituting this change as a result of feedback we received. We appreciate your understanding and assure you that our intentions were to celebrate the events and attendees of these events for their enthusiasm and the efforts they put into creating fun and unique costumes.
I’m glad they listened to cosplayer outrage and feedback.
Check out Carrie Wink’s video about the pillows below: