Friday, September 21, 2012

Design Piracy Protection on Capitol Hill (Again)


I co-author on http://fashionbosslaw.tumblr.com/ , another wonderful fashion blog, and this is what I had to say on this topic.
Will Design Piracy Protection finally Pass?
On September 12, 2012, Senator Charles Schumer of New York re-introduced modified legislation to protect fashion designs with copyright law in the United States. However, this is not the first attempt for this bill. The bill is entitled Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA). Earlier versions of the IDPPPA, which would extend copyright protection to fashion designs, were turned down even with full support from Fashion Industry groups such as the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) and the Council for Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). (modification to the legislation can be found http://fashionlawcenter.com/). 
The fashion industry is a trillion dollar business and everyday a lot of entrepreneurial hardwork, originality, and money is victim to design counterfeiting and pirating. Fordham Law Professor Susan Scafidi, Director of the Fashion Law Institute, said that the IDPPPA “is a significant step forward for both the U.S. intellectual property law and for the fashion industry.”
On the other hand, opponents of the IDPPPA say that it will put many small businesses out of business by severely disrupting the manufacturing process; increase the cost of affordable clothing; and deter innovation in the fashion world. Also, some scholars say that nothing in fashion is original- each idea is developed and inspired from a former idea, therefore, this bill will essentially stifle fashion design creativity . 
Just reaching the Senate, this bill will have to be accepted and moved to the House of Representatives before we get the know whether it passes or not, so check back here for more updates. 

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