Monday, 23 August 2010

Fashion and Copyright Laws

Kelly from Proficiscamur posted this fascinating and informative video on her blog here: proficiscamur!: Fashion and Copyright Laws.

I found it a real eye opener which has turned my thinking on this subject on its head and so I've reposted. After my own musings on the ethics of copying in the fashion industry, I found this presentation extremely enlightening and comprehensive in its treatment of the issue.  The speaker argues that the absence of copyright protection in the fashion industry has forced it to be more innovative and has actually allowed designers to elevate a utilitarian item (clothing) to a form of art.  She beautifully explains how the culture of copying is a factor in establishing trends and contributes to the overall profitability of the industry by generating sales each season.

A staggering comparison is made of the gross sales achieved in high intellectual property businesses versus those with low intellectual property.  The results are surprising to say the least!  Worth watching if you've ever had a guilt trip about buying a designer rip-off!

6 comments:

  1. I found it so interesting, thank you for posting!!

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  2. I'm glad you found it interesting! Copycat fashion seems to be on so many bloggers' minds lately. Goldenmeans.wordpress.com recently discussed Anthro's habit of knocking off actual vintage items, and that's a whole other sticky issue!

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  3. I also found this video very intriguing! (I was a legal student in a past life! LOL)

    I think it makes sense in a way that copyrighting fashion designs would definitely hinder the creative evolution of fashion and I can definitely understand why designers don't want other people copying their designs, especially the higher end designers. But at the end of the day, there are so many different markets to cater to, that's there's room for everyone! (I mean we all have to wear clothes!)

    This may even be a great topic for Friend Friday! You should run it by Katy! :)

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  4. @MJ - that is a good idea! As Kelly says it seems to be on many people's minds and there is obviously strong debate about the issue. Thought it was interesting that DVF is trying to push through more copyright protection despite the low support for it and the benefits of a copycat culture outlined by the speaker. There are obviously differing views amongst designers about its supposed benefits. Will send Katy an email.

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  5. In a course I studied that discussed the topic of copyright it was so interesting that there is no copyright protection in the fashion industry. When designers take ideas from other designers they call it inspiration and consumers buy those garments because they are cheaper. A lot of consumers consider an inspiration a way of attaining that look without paying the high cost.

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  6. i had to comment, i usually save commenting for the weekends when i'm not as brain dead. today is an exception. this video is a real eye opener. i've seen the posts and articles for years now of fashion knock-offs vs fashion "originals," but have learned to not be overly concerned with it as a consumer. i don't sell these "fake" items, but i do purchase them. and, I know which items fit easier into my budget 97% of the time (buying an original for $1000 raaarely happens in my life or will happen in this lifetime).
    Blakely's presentation had really really great noteworthy points. thank you, and Ms. Kelly for sharing!

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