“Of course all the money is yours to keep!” says Eiichiro Oda while announcing temporary free-for-all.

One Piece is a tale of pirates, but that doesn’t mean the franchise takes a lenient stance towards anime/manga piracy. Series star Luffy has prominently appeared in anti-piracy awareness campaigns, and the protection of One Piece as an intellectual property has resulted in multiple arrests in Japan.

But this week One Piece, and creator Eiichiro Oda, have announced a new, very permissive policy, as they’re temporarily waiving part of their copyright.

As revealed in a tweet from the official One Piece account, fan artists will be free to produce, sell, and profit from One Piece character artwork stamps for use with the LINE messaging app. As Japan’s favorite mobile messaging platform, and with the country’s penchant for punctuating communication with expressive illustrations, LINE stamps are healthy revenue streams for many otaku-oriented franchises, and One Piece allowing anyone and everyone to use its characters is an extremely generous move.

“Hey, did you hear? It’s OK for you to draw and sell you own One Piece character line stamps!” shouts Oda excitedly in his hand-written message. “Of course all the money is yours to keep!! Ordinarily this is something you can’t do, because the copyright won’t allow it.” The artist even offered a few illustrations himself, sketching some of the series’ stars using his left hand (which explains the wiggly line work).

Oda goes on to say that before the official announcement, he mentioned the plan to some of his professional manga artist buddies, and they’re totally psyched for it. “Some amazing people will be participating! People that everyone knows, drawing pictures like we’ve never seen from them before! It’s gonna be awesome, and I’m really looking forward to it!” he says.

But that doesn’t mean you need pro-level skills to offer your stamps for sale. “And I’m looking forward to your pictures too,” Oda says, addressing the series’ fans. “This is a rare opportunity, so whether or not you’re an artistic person, please participate, maybe with your parents, kids, or friends!…I’ll be buying your stamps!”

There are a few rules to be aware of, though. First off, the copyright-free status will only be lasting a year (which is all the more reason to get drawing right away). Artwork has to be original, so no tracing, and must not be construed as “inappropriate.” Finally, LINE stamps are sold in collections, and so you’ll need to bundle at least eight stamps together before you can offer them for sale.

Still, those are some pretty low hurdles to clear, and with Oda himself urging fan artists on with “After all, isn’t it fun to see the One Piece cast drawn by a lot of different people?,” we can’t wait to see what shows up on the LINE stamp store, and in our One Piece-loving friends’ text messages.

Source: Twitter/@OPcom_info via Kinisoku
Featured image: Twitter/@OPcom_info
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