The fashion designers and corporate behemoths that run their labels are fighting for the ability to copyright fashion designs may be on the wrong side of the issue, at least if they want to maximise their profits.According to UCLA law professor Kal Raustiala and UVA law professor Chris Sprigman, who penned a piece for the New York Times’ Freakonomics blog, companies that rabidly copycat designer duds are helping to create trends. New trends keep consumers interested and encourage them to spend money.
“For this reason, fashion designers’ freedom to copy does not harm the fashion industry, and indeed may be one key to the industry’s continued success,” said the professors.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America has been pushing for years to get Congress to pass a law which would extend copyright protection to fashion design. They argue that copycatting is “just counterfeiting without the label.”
It’s doubtful that Congress will ever be willing to extend protection to fashion wares. But even if they did, would the business bust that Profs. Raustiala and Sprigman hypothesize outweigh the advantage company to designers, especially considering the cost of legal outlays that enforcing their copyrights would require?
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