Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boat Hulls, Haute Frills, and Faux Bills

Fashion designs (and until recently, boat hull designs) are not protectable under copyright law, or really any law at all. Companies who make piles of millions from selling mass-produced consumer goods (which can get kind of indistinguishable anyway, let's be honest) are reduced to protecting their trademark, which is the reason behind all those purses covered in logos. Infringe this, bee-atch!

I have always enjoyed this freedom, not to copy or to be copied, but to just not worry about it. The only thing you can protect is the structure you have built. Ideas must be flown from it like paper flags, to be torn to pieces by the wind and replaced anew. Here are some reading materials so you can decide for yourself. Make no mistake, this ties in very closely with the protection and fair use issues that have shackled modern musicians & media artists even as they try to break away from traditional major label distribution and promotional structures.

Free your art, the rest will follow. bill info

washington post writeup
"Too often, copyrights are used to protect profit. It's no coincidence that the rise of the Internet -- which led to an explosion of low-cost distribution networks, new forms of competition and unexpected types of innovation -- has also led to calls for new and stronger forms of intellectual protection."
"Consumers have been told this is all for them. But it isn't. There's a reason we're skeptical of monopolies, and we shouldn't forget that even when they're dressed up as "copyrights." "

fibre2fashion industry writeup
"...this legislation will for the first time allow creative American designers to benefit from legal protections and at the same time continue to ensure the competitiveness of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry as it delivers fashionable and affordable clothing to consumers."
"As we move forward, AAFA (American Apparel & Footwear Association, supporters of the bill) will continue to seek the strongest trademark and copyright protections for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry competing in the global market for the benefit of their brand reputations, employees, and consumers."

Who do you believe? who is talking about artists and individuals, and who is talking about global market share?

1 comment:

  1. You should check with a patent and copyright attorney to make sure that is correct. I recommend Steve Swernofsky in Mountain View. I think he comes to SF too.