Blog: Copyright bill to stifle creativity?
Leonie Barrie | 1 May 2009
Everyone agrees that the practice of knocking off and marketing cheap copies of high-end designs is a major problem for the fashion industry. And it’s not just restricted to back-street fakers either; even international fashion stores “borrow” ideas from the catwalk as they try to temp consumers by tapping into the latest trends.
So it’s perhaps surprising that a well-intentioned piece of legislation reintroduced in the US yesterday to provide fashion designs with three years of copyright protection has also earned itself the unwelcome moniker the “fashion police” bill.
The Design Piracy Prohibition Act was kicking around last year, but never made it into law after being mired in controversy over the need to protect an already-thriving creative industry.
Closer to home, there were, and still are, concerns in the US fashion industry that the bill would be a logistical nightmare to implement – let alone police.
Here are just some of the debatable issues. At what point does one designer start a trend that inspires another? Or when does a copy become a homage? All designs are, to a large extent, simply an evolution of what’s gone before.
And what about the logistics and enforcement of the law? At what point does a garment become copyrightable – sketched on a design pad, at first sample, or in the retail store? And who is going to check the millions of garments designed each year for copyright?
The fallout from its passage is also likely to include higher clothing prices to cover the extra staff needed to register designs and possibly defend them in court. It could even keep up-and-coming designers out of the market.
And most importantly for the fashion industry, the Design Piracy Prohibition Act would stifle creativity and make the process of designing and creating a garment something of a legal minefield. And it’s one that every producer and brand in the apparel and footwear industry would have to navigate.
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...
Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....
Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...
- Trump and the apparel industry – Infographic
- $1.7bn package to boost Pakistan clothing exports
- Mexico riots hit apparel retailers and shipments
- Outlook 2017 – What next for apparel sourcing?
- Is China about to burst its apparel trade bubble?
- Cambodia clothing exports at risk from Brexit
- MAS Holdings planning second industrial park
- Apparel brands urge Bangladesh PM to address wages
- American Apparel to shutter all stores?
- JC Penney latest retailer to shutter stores?
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022