Love Live‘s official website has announced that the sale of all forms of doujinshi (manga, novels and other forms of unofficial merchandise) will now be treated as criminal copyright infringement, of which massive numbers of fans will likely be in danger due to the gargantuan size of the franchise.
Fans often create their own doujinshi as a way to share their love for their favorite series (with the widely recognized Comiket being a prime distribution venue of such); however, it seems Love Live!’s creators have become upset at products being made and sold by these loyal fans (with ero-doujinshi possibly being the biggest suspect) and have decided that they will be punished.
The message posted on Love Live’s official website:
“Unfortunately, despite repeated police investigations, Love Live! & Love Live! Sunshine!! merchandise that infringes upon copyright continues to be sold at events and on mail-order sites, as well as arcade prizes.
We will continue to deal strictly with copyright infringement, and continue our stance of resorting to criminal proceedings where these actions are malicious.
Please take care not to purchase these unlicensed illegal goods. Thank you for continued support of Love Live! and Love Live! Sunshine!!.”
Ambiguously worded at best, it may be possible that the warning is referring to counterfeit goods rather than unauthorized fan-made works – though whether these works are “malicious” in character is certainly in the eye of the beholder given some of the content typical of them.