Otakon is the first con to announce a “no fanart” policy for their Artist Alley, which outlaws the selling of commissions or prints that utilize any depictions of copyrighted material, even though the artwork involved is original and not a reproduction of any actual existing images (think Inuyasha on a Chocobo).
The issues relevant to webcomics relate to the possible banning of “sprite comics” or any comics that utilize depictions of copyrighted properties to tell their stories. If “fanart” is banned, then these most certainly fall under that distinction.
Copyright is a very important area, but Otakon’s absolute position will now prohibit many of the usual activities of a con that are expected by the attendees in regard to artists (such as being able to commission original artwork of their favorite characters), along with setting up a precedent that threatens Anime Music Videos, Cosplay competitions, and the appearance of many webcomics.
The webcomic Onezumi.com and it’s affiliated artists have been spearheading an inquiry into a major change announced on the Otakon Anime Con forums in regard to fanart that affects almost every artist involved with their Artist Alley, and also many webcomics by extension. Any questioning of this policy by Artists and interested parties has been deleted or modded on the Otakon forum, therefore squelching any form of debate. Onezumi.com has taken the discussion of this major issue in an unedited, uncensored fashion to their forum site Harknell.com in this thread.
As a major convention Otakon has the ability to influence the entire con scene, therefore debate on this change is paramount. Onezumi.com is starting a major campaign to inform artists and the community on this issue, please check their news page and their forums for information as it develops.