“The Design Piracy Prohibition Act is very, very scary to all of us in the apparel industry. There are millions of jobs at stake if this legislation passes, and this act is simply being pushed by a handful of wealthy celebrity designers who continually pirate the “little guys” designs anyway. Basically, this act will kill my business along with thousands upon THOUSANDS of other small, medium and large design and manufacturing businesses around the US and the world if it is passed. It’s a big deal!”
Under this legislation, however, designers will need to consult with a lawyer throughout the design process to ensure that every new design created could not subjectively be found at a later date to be “closely and substantially similar” to one protected in the Copyright registry…Further, young, up-and-coming designers would be susceptible to legal intimidation from designing anything new at all, as they would likely not have the resources to fight a legal challenge in court…
While the bill purports to keep all fashion designs that have existed in the past free and open for all to use, the legislation would allow the ability to copyright non-original design elements in the public domain if arranged in an original way.
Moreover, since there is no test for originality, the registry will begin to be populated with designs that from the public domain. Thus, a designer who draws upon inspiration from the public domain, can easily find himself/herself stuck in costly litigation.
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