New fashion IP bill: Put it on HER tab!

Rag trade

But which “her”?  Two fashion blogs I know on two different coasts express two very different views about this… new fashion law bill thing.  I’m not even going to try to explain it — I bow instead to greater expertise.

First, local favorite Susan Scafidi at Fordham says like this on Counterfeit Chic:

The “yeas” have it – unanimously!  Now all the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA, S.3728) has to do is get through the full Senate and House and garner a Presidential signature — piece o’ cake.  (Yes, for this we’ll indulge in carbs.)

If you need a refresher, details on the bill are here.  .  . .

Please excuse the plethora of exclamation points in this post.  It’s been a long road — but I need to save a few for the day when our tenacious little bill finally becomes law!

You may read that as a “pro” view.  For the “anti,” check out California lawyer Staci Riordan’s post — whose title tells you all you need to know about where she stands:  THE “DESTRUCTION OF AFFORDABLE FASHION BILL” OR IDPPPA GETS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING FASHION LAW:

Consumers beware.  The cost of clothing is about to rise.  Reasonably priced fashionable items will be non-existent and affordable clothing will be utilitarian and boring.  Why?

The Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (“IDPPPA”) was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and now moves into the Senate for a full vote.

Deceptively called the “fake fashion bill” by its supporters, this bill has nothing to do with Counterfeit goods or Knock-off goods, which are covered under trademark law and are illegal.

This bill, more appropriately called the Destruction of Affordable Fashion Bill, seeks to amend copyright law and will:

  • put numerous small businesses that don’t have $400,000 to spend on litigation out of business;
  • cause 1.6 jobs to be lost in Los Angeles for every fashion job lost;
  • severely disrupt the fashion manufacturing process;
  • cause lenders to stop lending;
  • increase expediently the work load of the federal judiciary — the court that rules on copyright litigation;
  • narrow your choice of clothes; and
  • increase the cost of the few items you can buy by at least 30%.

Pretty scary right?

Husband imprisoned in department store

"Slave" to fashion

I guess.  The whole upper four floors of the department store scare me and I try to avoid them at almost all costs.  But it is fascinating to see the gulf of opinion between Susan and Staci here — especially considering that Susan is not, as you might think from a quick take on this, a copyright zombie by any possible stretch of the imagination.

Forget about having my brains eaten, though — just as I do at the shopping mall (see photo) I’m switching mine off on this topic.   So click the links; here’s your East Coast-West Coast rumble.  I’ll watch but I won’t take sides … for now.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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8 Responses to “New fashion IP bill: Put it on HER tab!”

  1. Tal Benschar
    December 5, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    How about start with the basics. Why do we have intellectual property laws? The Constitution tells us why. Congress has the power to create IP laws:

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    Rewarding authors and inventors is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end — the end being the general progress of arts and sciences. The theory is they give up their creations to the public and get a limited monopoly as a reward. The public then has benefit of their creativity to exploit and build upon.

    While I am glad that this new law does not have many of the awful qualities of copyright law (for example, there is a 3-year time limit on the IP, and you have to show both novelty and originality), the real question is, why is there a need for it? Is there some pent-up creativity in the world of fashion that will not be released with this law? Will we suddenly see a flowering of new fashion designs which we did not see before? In short will there be “Progress of Science and useful Arts?”

    Or, like the Copyright Act, will this law become a captive of a narrow industry segment which will exploit it to its own selfish ends. (For example, by voting itself repeated extensions on what is supposed to be a limited-time monopoly.)

    If we must have this, how about a ten-year experiment? Let’s have the law for ten years, and then let’s see how much creativity and Progress it has stimulated.

  2. December 7, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    Well, I agree with much of what you’re saying, Tal. That’s why I’m rather surprised at just how strong Susan Scafidi is coming on this.

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  4. Sara - December 5, 2010

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  5. 95years - December 5, 2010

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