We've seen Oscar dress look-a-likes parade through talk shows immediately after awards day for years.
Wanna look like Charlize? Here's a close mock-up for only $150!For decades, fashion design has existed outside the realm of copyright protection making innovation quite hassle-free. In other words, if you're feeling inspired by Project Runway, you can make Angela's crazy doggie skirt willy-nilly. She can't come after you.
Now there's a movement and a House bill (hearing cast here - funniest moment at 1:26:27) to add protections for copyright. This seems like a rat's nest to me because where in the heck will we ever draw the line between original and derivative designs in an industry built on inspiration from existing designs? Fashion (and all creative art, really) is about building on history, so I would hate to see these protections become law. In fact, I can't even fathom the litigation consequences for designers.
How is this supposed to work for a $335 billion-a-year industry (that's how much money Americans spend on clothing) that has been built on a copyright-free model for decades? - Laurie RacinePublic Knowledge has done an awesome job explaining and examining the issue with blog contributors Laurie Racine and Sarah Zenowicz. I won't try to recreate the wheel but I will point to a few "pro protection" links as well:
- Q&A with Diane von Fursternberg, where the fashion maven argues protection is needed
- Current U.S. laws are counterintuitive because they protect and reward the knockoff artists as opposed to the creative, imaginative and risk taking designers.