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Fab Flash: Senate Bill Targets Knockoffs

Fashion designers may finally get what they've been longing for: a law to protect their fashion designs from being knocked off.

Yesterday, Senator Charles Schumer presented his Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which aims to protect original fashion designs for three years after they are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Current law only protects creative ornamentation (meaning it is virtually impossible to protect a whole piece of clothing), and current trademarks only protect brand names and logos.

Under the new legislation, however, designers would be able to photograph the front and back of whatever they wanted to protect, send the images to the copyright office, pay a fee of about $30, and the design would be registered. Already existing designs would not be covered.

If the bill goes through, it will be interesting to see how this affects the future of certain companies, as well as the availability of so-called fast fashion! I know you all love our Looks For Less, like the one above...thoughts?

Join The Conversation
MuffinGal MuffinGal 10 years
Damned Congress. Always more concerned with corporate interests. They need to concern themselves with more important issues.
weezy weezy 10 years
i dont think this bill should be pass.. i cant afford designers clothes.. at least not every single piece.. anyhow.. how would you wear this blouse? i have the same piece and i would like some opinions on how to make it work!
paradisee paradisee 10 years
i would kill 4 one in other color of course i look UM. not so good in white T^T
mshoney18 mshoney18 10 years
I understand the designer's concerns but knock offs are often a little different and I think that's fine
mills mills 10 years
You have to understand the "essence" as such, of the whole fashion brand concept. If everyone had a Hermes Birkin, whether crocodile or ostrich, it would not be envied, wanted, niether would you aspire to buy it. Luckily I got given mine for my sixteenth birthday, to commemorate something. Others recieve theirs after severe saving due to hard work, whilst some may be purely lucky with their choice of husband. Ready-to-wear lines are available everywhere. But the concept has to remain that you would rather own a capecoat for winter by Chloe, than See By Chloe. Everyone wants a Clark, not a Moss. But an Ossie Moss is now being provided to all. By that I mean you aspire to own a primrose yellow gown by Ossie Clark, rather than a Topshop Chanel-"inspired" smock, which is plastered everywhere, in the end you just end up getting annoyed with it - much like you may get annoyed seeing Kate Moss everywhere. How many people turn up at a ball or event in Ossie Clark? A select few. How many people parade round Chelsea in Topshops latest? Too many. Top brands provide, or used to provide for just a small slice of high society. It gives you something to aspire to if you do not come under that category. High fashion should create an upper boundary. The reason fashion changes weekly these days, is that awful shops like H&M are making Dolce Gabbanas transparent travel bag available to the girl who also admires her Juicy Couture knock off velour tracksuit, in the same breath. Call me snobby, sloaney or pompus, but high fashion should create a cut above the rest.
MiyabiNa MiyabiNa 10 years
pps. I totally agree with sugar_substitute too! I hope it bites them in the ass if that happens! Doesn't runway get "inspired" by a trend every season? That can be taken to court! Some guy on the street wears an outfit, a designer says HEY that's hot lemme do a spin off on the runway. Then that guy should TOTALLY go sue for the artistic rights!! Bit 'em in the ass!!!!!!
MiyabiNa MiyabiNa 10 years
ps. I totally agree with megln!!! I hope they view it this way!
MiyabiNa MiyabiNa 10 years
just call it "inspired by" instead of "knockoff" and we'll be okay ;) cuz it really isn't a KNOCKOFF. I mean...a brand is just producing a item that was inspired by the runway so that everyday people can afford nice fashion. We all know the quality isn't as it would be if you bought brand name, but at least your fashionable! I know I'll be sad if it all goes away. I can't afford name brand ALL the time, but I don't want a wardrobe of ugly frumpy clothes from "affordable" stores just cuz some rich snobby designer doesn't like that another place can mass produce a similiar look. I hope this thing gets dropped.
BonitaBella BonitaBella 10 years
I bought the knockoff above...i don't think the bill can pass because several designers make similar staple and trend items
mlen mlen 10 years
i think there is a huge difference between a look for less and a knockoff. for example- there are only so many ways you can make over a t-shirt or t-shirt dress, or pair of jeans. that isn't a knock off- its just different brands having the same idea and playing off the same popular style. now knockoffs like the fake louis vuittons and diors and other things like that where they are blatent knock offs (haha like in that movie where they are like that doesn't said prada it says prado!) i mean that's just copyright infringement (well if they actually copyright it it would be!)
katlovesclothes katlovesclothes 10 years
Honestly, it seems like a distraction from the disaster that is the War, and frankly, compared to the numbers of the dead, dying and wounded pouring out of that... I find it hard to rally any support against cheap plastic knock-offs sold at Forever 21.
guineapiggin9 guineapiggin9 10 years
good for the designers...but bad for those of us who don't want to spend hundreds on one article of clothing.
Neekoh Neekoh 10 years
While I understand the need for designers to protect their work, I do think they're hurting the wrong market. Those people who will suffer most are young women (mostly) on limited budgets. The people who buy the high-end fashion can afford it; they're in a completely different class. I think protecting designs is really only going to hurt consumerism rather than help the trade of clothes making.
redegg redegg 10 years
Return to crappily designed clothing if this passes. Even though it falls apart in a month and is as thin as a tissue we had the comfort that it had a good inspiration behind it.
Brandycat Brandycat 10 years
Sounds like the economy and the style of millions will take a hit if this bill passes. I don't see it as ripping off the designer if it is not being sold as the real thing. Fake LV bags, bad. A pair of Steve Maddens paying homage to an unattainable pair of Pradas, GOOD. It's the trickle down effect of fashion. Next Victoria Beckham is going to sue anyone who mimics her haircut because she wants to protect the integrity of her artistic vision.
avocado_seed avocado_seed 10 years
Hmm.. I assume this is more to protect the originality and the exclusiveness of their designs.. with so many Louis Vuitton knockoffs, the bag becomes less of a status symbol..
sugar_substitute sugar_substitute 10 years
The funny thing is many of these "designers" get thier inspiration from street fashion. I bet they'll soon find themselves on the end of plenty lawsuits too if this bill passes
Hootie Hootie 10 years
I think it bites.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 10 years
Don't be so sure that this won't happen, similar legislation is already in place in the European Union, and last week Topshop had to remove from their shop floors and destroy thousands of pinafore dresses that were based on a Chloe dress after Chloe took them to court. Marks and Spencer had to destroy thousands of handbags before christmas because they were based on a Jimmy Choo bag design and Jimmy Choo THREATENED to take them to court. M&S basically figured it would cost them more to defend a court case so they destroyed the bags instead. There have been several other high profile cases in every European country since the law came in, and I have to say, even though I can't afford designer prices and I won't be buying designer whether or not a knock-off is available, I always feel a little conspicuous and ridiculous wearing a blatant knock-off in any case, so it hasn't affected me in the slightest. I think it'll just encourage more creativity at the High Street level and things will be still be "inspired" by designer originals but they'll have their own twist, and it's good for designers that their intellectual property will be protected. "Look for Less" RIP :(
loveforstacy loveforstacy 10 years
I really dont think this bill should pass. People on tight budgets would die from the lack of fashion...including myself. A lot of smaller companies that make clothes for the normal people in life would go out of business. And I'm highly guessing that Forever 21 & Wet Seal would not have anything to sell since they do a lot of "inspired" pieces. And since designer stuff is overpriced, and if that creator has a monopoly on that style, it would make the dollar worth a lot less and weaker than it already is. Having it protected for 3 years is too long. Things dont even stay in style for that long. I see where it would help from a high end designers point, but think about all the people and all the stores that would be affected by this bill. Its a lot more than the few luxury stores out there.
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 10 years
A B S is gonna go out of business I guess. :(
syako syako 10 years
First of all, since it's a free market, designers can price their merchandise any way they please. So if they think a pair of shoes should cost $700 they can charge that. I agree that some designer prices are getting a little crazy (like Theory and Prada Sport "made in china") But if there's a piece that is artistic, made in Italy and from a designer that is well-known for quality I'll pay the price for it. It's just like copyright law. If you were a musician and Avril Lavigne was stealing every song you produced, you'd want to go after her, right? Why should she profit from your hard work? Same with artists, if you paint something and an ad agency uses it in a magazine without your permission, you'd want to get back at them, right? So why wouldn't it be the same with fashion? This is art too, and it deserves to be protected.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 10 years
i understand how designers want to protect their product, but at the same time, their clothing is over-priced and available only to the rich few who have the "privilege" of purchasing it. fashion is fleeting and to put a 3 year period where it can't be copied is ridiculous when it's not going to be "in-fashion" in 2 months.l i also think the bill won't pass. there are probably more lobbyists for mass manufacturers anyway.
Wicked Wicked 10 years
Sucks for those (like me) that can't exactly afford designer fashion.
lemuse20 lemuse20 10 years
If designers don't want to lose money, then they should make their clothes more affordable so everyone would be buying THEIR clothes, not knock-offs. Like someone else said, even if it passes it doesn't mean people are going to spend $150 on a plain t now that there isn't a knockoff. Designers still won't benefit.
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