On December 1, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a bill introduced by Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York), called the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA, S.3728), that will give copyright protection to clothing designs, protecting them from copycats. The bill is a revised version of the Design Piracy Protection Act, which previously failed in Congress.
The revised bill is supported by both the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the American Apparel and Footwear Association. AAFA opposed the former bill.
Fashion law Professor Susan Scafidi calls it, “a significant step forward for both U.S. intellectual property law and for the fashion industry.”
But, not everyone is sold on the new legislation, including the California Fashion Association. California lawyer Staci Riordan’s has renamed it the, “Destruction of Affordable Fashion Bill.” Besides causing prices to soar, Riordan says that the legislation will lead to fewer options, tie up the courts’ dockets, and ultimately lead to lost jobs.
While it still needs the President’s signature, if passed, the bill could quite possibly have an effect counterfeit goods industry and the people who can’t afford to buy their lower priced designs. However, supporters of the bill assure that the legislation does not extend copyright law beyond the true artistic expression it already protects; rather, it applies the existing law to an area that, until now, was unprotected.
Photo By John Aquino.