The text that follows was published at the Council of Fashion Designers of America official webpage cfda.com. It's quite country-specific (about the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, a bill about to pass in the American Congress. Legally Blonde much?) but do read it, it is extremely interesting.
In 2006, the CFDA took a leadership role in supporting legislature that would protect designers’ intellectual property. President Diane von Furstenberg, as well as several CFDA Members including Joseph Abboud, Jeffrey Banks, Marc Bouwer, Nicole Miller and Zac Posen and Gela Nash-Taylor of JUICY COUTURE, traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with senators to discuss the importance of the issue.For more information on the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, visit www.stopfashionpiracy.com. Be sure to check the amazing video on the top of the page (it is quite long, but totally worth it) and the real vs fake section. Both are real eye-openers.
The Design Piracy Probation Act will protect original fashion designs for a period of three years from their registration with the U.S. Copyright Office.
CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb praised the bill, saying “We are grateful to this influential group of U.S. Senators for recognizing the threat that piracy poses to designers in America today, and we are pleased that they have introduced such a powerful measure to help put an end to it.”
Design Piracy describes the increasingly prevalent practice of enterprises that seek to profit from the invention of others by producing copies of original designs under a different label. These duplicate versions then have the potential to flood the market and devalue the original by their ubiquity, poor quality, or speed at which they reach the consumer. Technological advances to the means of textile and garment production, as well as increases in the number of distribution channels and the availability of cheap labor in emerging economies have created serious challenges to the growth of fashion design in America. The Design Piracy Prohibition Act grew from these concerns, and was initiated with two main objectives: to protect both the established and the up-and-coming designers whose development, growth and success helps to support the $350 billion U.S. fashion industry; and to preserve intellectual property.
And to add to the discussion, here is the craft world's point of view, via BurdaStyle:
If this bill is passed, what does this mean for the indie crafting world, as well as the fashion industry as a whole? On one hand, it would ensure that indie designers, who have quite often been victims of intellectual theft by bigger companies are better protected; it would mean that all the hard work gone into designing and creating clothing for sale are not all attempted in vain.I believe I have given you enough food for thought. What do you think? And please, let's try to see this matter as a whole, and leave specific cases out of this. You know who/what I'm talking about...
On the other hand, will the bill potentially stifle the creativity of young designers and crafters? Painters and artists often exchange ideas- in the past, this inspired artistic movements. When asked about their favorite fashion designers or influences, fashion students usually have a long list of names they’re able to recite by rote.
How does one specifically pinpoint where design elements come from, or who they’ve truly been inspired by?