Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Fashion Design Bill Offers Breathing Room For DIY-ers

By Jen Paulousky of Blue Alvarez

Earlier this month in the NY Times Cathy Horyn wrote a great post in the style section about the re-write of the proposed fashion copyright protection from last year:

One of my other heroes, Kathleen Fasanella, also has some great thoughts on the new and old bills in this post from last week.

Image from

To get people up to speed who didn't know about last year's proposed bill, here is a great and thoughtful post from the guys who brought you Freakonomics on why the original DPPA (Design Piracy Protection Act) was deeply flawed. There is also a podcast interview I did with Guido from It's a Purl Man which shares more of my thoughts on the old bill.

The gist is that the former DPPA was so broad that, like the original CPSIA it threatened to do more harm than good, making it easy for companies to bring lawsuits against each other over trivial differences in design, and potentially harming the DIY industry, which takes a LOT of inspiration from designer fashion, and in some cases is directly supported by designers themselves. Prior to the bill crafting was largely left to its own devices because any copying was considered for personal use, and besides how many people are really going to knit themselves a Rodarte sweater anyway?

If what Cathy and Kathleen are broadcasting about the revised bill by Sen. Schumer is true, I am rather excited about it. We definitely need better protection in the US for our designers, and hopefully this will help us achieve that without squashing the free reign of creativity in an open market that the US is also so famous for.

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