Friday, March 4, 2011

Update: “If the shoe fits, they’ll copy it:” Copyright and Fashion

(Quote from Christopher Muther)

Finding budget-friendly versions of the runway clothing may soon become more difficult, if a new bill to copyright fashion is passed.

The Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act will give designers exclusive rights to unique clothing, shoes, and accessories. The bar to qualify for protection is high to prevent frivolous lawsuits, but still provides added defense against knock-offs.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced legislation in August that would provide copyright protection to fashion designers. The bill will likely pass by mid-2011.

The Council of Fashion Designers of American (CFDA) has pushed the protection because the work of other creators, such as musicians and artists, is protected.

“This bill is good news in that it promotes creativity and thus strengthens the fashion industry’s significant contribution to a healthy and working economy,” said CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb. 

Women on a budget currently benefit from the lack of fashion copyrights in the United States. Without fear of lawsuits, companies produce high fashion at discount prices. Faviana sells imitation red carpet dresses for $200-$500, a small fraction of designers’ thousand-dollar price tags. The new bill is likely to discourage fashion imitations.

According to some experts, a possible benefit of the legislation is more innovative fashion because the strict qualifications may encourage creativity and new concepts.

Do you think designers should have some copyright protection? Do you buy knockoffs?

For the  original blog post, see here.

I recently started a blog on new media and its effects on society,Through and About New Media, so please check it out!

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Other Post You May Enjoy:

American Apparel and Footwear Association & Council of Fashion Designers of American. Schumer introduces legislation to protect fashion design. Press Release. Retrieved February 12, 2011 from

Raustiala, K. & Sprigman, C. (March 2010). Behind the scenes of Oscar fashion. NY Times. Retrieved February 12, 2011 from

Raustiala, K. & Sprigman, C. (March 2010). Is the Design Piracy Prohibition Act a good idea?. NY Times. Retrieved February 12, 2011 from

Raustiala, K. & Sprigman, C. (Aug 2010). Why imitation is the sincerest form of fashion. NY Times. Retrieved February 12, 2011 from

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