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Fashion 101: Copyright Laws in Fashion


Johanna Blakley: Lessons From Fashion's Free Culture

Left, Steve Madden Shoe, Right, Balenciaga Shoe. (Source:
Left, Steve Madden Shoe, Right, Balenciaga Shoe. (Source:

June 7, 2010, [London] - I watched this very interesting TED talk last week, it is Johanna Blakley talking about "copyright law's grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry ... and (how) fashion benefits in both innovation and sales."

The video is 15 minutes long, but defintiely worth watching, and it also raises some intersting points about copyright protection in the fashion industry.

The video looks at how the fashion industry had fewer regulations than other creative industries, and how fashion ideas are very difficult to protect.

The first example she discusses is that of Miuccia Prada, when out shopping, buys a vintage Balenciaga jacket, in order to copy the idea and put it into her own collection.

My readers in the fashion industry will be aware of this type of activity, it is called research. Essentially, part of the process of finding ideas for a collection is to take other designer's clothing, and translate it for your own collection. As the TED talk points out, in some industries this might be considered copyright infringement. In the case of fashion, it is just how we get our more





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