AUGUST 28, 2008
Regarding the Alley 2008
By: Matt Smiechowski4>
Otakon's Alley remains one of the largest and most successful marketplaces for original and fan art in the convention world. However, it has come to our attention that some confusion remains about our policies and how they are implemented.
First, there were several complaints this year about a group of individuals who obtained 14 tables, all of which allegedly showcased one artist's work. Our members were concerned that this group "gamed the system", and while we did investigate, it was not possible to prove this claim at the convention itself. That said, there was certainly sufficient concern among our staff that we are reviewing the Alley reservation rules and process, in hopes of making such rules-bending less likely in the future. Whatever changes we make will be announced when they are ready.
Second, we've also heard that some people were under the impression that we have changed or relaxed the Alley rules that protect intellectual property and limit the sorts of products that can be sold. This is not the case; the rules have not changed since the 2006 convention when they were first implemented. Otakon takes copyright and intellectual property concerns seriously, but while there was a lot of initial concern among the Alley regulars, we've found that in practice the community has policed itself, and we've seldom had to take direct action. In fact, we were delighted that several reviews cited this year's Alley for the abundance of original art to be found there.
As always, we are "by fans, for fans" -- and we encourage active participation. We'll always answer questions about our policies and we take your suggestions and concerns seriously.