fashion copyright

#1
This isn't quite dance-related, but it might have effect on how dress designers operate:

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/20/copycats-versus-copyrights.html

In a nutshell - there's a bill in US senate which will extend copyright protection to fashion, which will make it illegal to copy fashion designs for a period of several years. So theoretically, if this passes, and a designer A sees a dress which is exact copy of a dress they made, they might have a legal ground to go after knock-offs maker B who copied their dress.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#2
while true...alot of specificity goes into making a case truly actionable...a concept would have to be so original that it was indisputable...it would have to be very thoroughly documented and trademarked, and in order for that to stand up there would have to be very significant evidence that the concept didn't have a reasonable degree of universality....imo, it would be very difficult in the ballroom world where there are so many common elements of construction and where putting an out fit out soon would greatly hamper the capacity to document it's trademark with aparticular designer...it is much easier for a one-time logo to be trademarked an protected than it is for the items sold under it to be protected....with a logo, you immeidately get it trademarked and it something similar comes out where you can demonstrate that there was confusion likely to be intentional, you have a case...as much as it is fairly easy to tell which designer did which gown, it would be very difficult to trademark the specifics in an enforceable way...
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#3
I think anyone that has seen a couple episodes of the Bold and the Beautiful knows that this won't work. And yes, I absolutely DO get all of my legal knowledge from television. :)
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#5
if it wasn't trademarked, unless no one else on the planet was doing any sort of style even remotely similar, it would be a very weak case, for the purpose of litigation...you would have to prove that the concept was so unique to that designer and only that designer so as to preclude any accidental conceptual similarity...and you would have to prove financial loss significant enough to merit a lawsuit.....ex...if I invent the cupcake gown and do nothing to trademark that...and all of a sudden everyone else is making cupcake gowns....shrug...too bad...there is no proof of who came first unless someone trademarked it....and then you'd have to be able to prove that you lost money specifically due to that...it isn't impossible mind you...and the vague-ness of it is the sort of thing that puts bread on my table every night...but it would be more difficult than alot of other intellectual property, IMO
 

DL

Well-Known Member
#6
Copyright law is increasingly bogus IMHO. I wish they'd leave it alone and concentrate on more fundamental/important issues.

ETA: I guess intellectual property law in general is mostly going in the wrong direction -- again, IMHO.
 
#7
Five differences

I'm not sure if this is just in the UK but there has to be five differences between an item to allow it to be manufactured. Primark have got in trouble a couple of times for not having enough/big enough alterations to the item they are essentially copying. Although perhaps it shouldn't be allowed it does mean that less well off people are able to afford items that look nearly as good as their more expensive versions.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#8
Copyright law is increasingly bogus IMHO. I wish they'd leave it alone and concentrate on more fundamental/important issues.

ETA: I guess intellectual property law in general is mostly going in the wrong direction -- again, IMHO.
my spouse would agree with you...
 
#9
I'm not sure if this is just in the UK but there has to be five differences between an item to allow it to be manufactured. Primark have got in trouble a couple of times for not having enough/big enough alterations to the item they are essentially copying. Although perhaps it shouldn't be allowed it does mean that less well off people are able to afford items that look nearly as good as their more expensive versions.
The example in the article was Chelsea Clinton's wedding dress. It's a Vera Wang, so it's probably insanely expensive. But in US a discount brand designer can make a copy of it and mass-produce it for less, and make some money off it without sharing with Vera Wang, and there's nothing Vera Wang can do about it. The article quoted someone saying that there are laws about that in european countries, and US should have one, too.

Anyways, I remember we had a thread about dresses a while ago, and there were some comments about somebody copying a designer dress off a photo for less than the original dress price. There was some controversy about that.
 
#10
There is a number of things that you can do to avoid getting sue. Besides, if someone was to copy Chelsea's dress & mass produce it, they will have change it enough to fit the $$$ (price point & effective way to mass produce, etc.) There will be plenty of knock offs for that dress & I'm sure vera wang would have made an inexpensive version for customers. By the time the dress is on the market, it won't look the same.

diane von furstenberg <-- one that definitely sues for copyright infringement. She copyrights all her prints & certain styles. *coughs* experience... All the private label companies will buys expensive designer garments & copy them. A lot of them will be too expensive to copy direct. You can always sub the silk w/ poly but some of the constructions will need to be changed because it's not cost effective, especially most of them are hand labor. By the time the dresses hit the market, some hand tucks will be sent out to machine pleating to accomplish the look or rhinestones will be subbed with rhinestuds, etc. They can achieve the look to a point. Also most designer charges enough that it pays enough for them to make a profit. Covered the cost of product development.

1 company I know will buy 100 yrds of italian printed silk. Out of that 100 yrds they will send 2 yrds to China to copy & print 1000 yrds. How will you know when you go to the store that XYZ dress is not out of the 100 yrds of fabric bought. Company's sneakiness. You cannot prove it. They paid for the product devlepment. 100 yrds from italy is about $15-20/yrd (depends on print) & from China $5-10/yrd..

That's business... Now if it's 1 of a kind & you have a whole storefull.. you're in trouble.
 
#11
Ballroom dresses, especially the expensive ones, are supposed to be one-of-a-kind. And I guess the issue isn't so much that the ballroom designers will start mass-producing their own stuff, it's more of an issue if someone decides to copy the dress from its pictures. If they do good enough job and it passes the 30-feet test, then it's a successful copy <in which case, I'd say it sucks to be the person who paid premium $$ for the original dress>.
 
#12
There's not enough of a demand to mass produce ballgowns for ballroom.

If ur paying top top, ur paying to be the first to be seen in it. That's what ur paying for. For ppl to say: oh so & so's dress, etc. If ur paying less but wants to look like XYZ, then it became last season's fashion or (oh it's XYZ's dress). There's aways end of season sales if u don't mind the wait. If u want to be fashion forward, pay the $$$. Hence it's more expensive & Designers made the profit. They have to eat too.

Or offer ur services & advertise for them! *shrugs* limited options. Keep the economy going!
 

dlgodud

Active Member
#13
I also wonder if it is very profitable copying the original dresses and do the mass production. It is not like a brand name shoes and bags that a lot of people want to buy. The gowns will be selling to limited number of people.

Also, fashion design world also make copies of someone's work. For example if you don't patent a shape of back pocket that is very unique, next day someone will copy yours. But, patent is a very complicated process so if you are not big enough to go all the process required, I don't see the benefit of doing it as a ballroom gown designer. Even though you do, there is still a way that someone can get away.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#16
correct...copyright is a very basic thing to do...anyone can fill out that paperwork and send it it....

patents and trademarks are diifferent
 

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