New fashion copyright bill will let big companies own public domain designs and bury young, indie designers in legal costs

Miss Jess sez, "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.

Fashion-Incubator: a good idea while it lasted

(Thanks, Miss Jess!)