Thursday, March 30, 2006

Piracy on the Runway

An interesting story in the New York Times today, addressing the issue of copyright protection for fashion designers. The question at hand is how much should the work of designers be protected from duplication? Is it OK for a company to copy a dress seen on the red carpet and charge 1/10 the price?

The head of the company responsible for the Oscar dress knockoffs says "There is no such thing as an original design. All these designers are getting their inspiration from things that were done before. To me a spaghetti strap is a spaghetti strap, and a cowl neck is a cowl neck." Right - and all the words in "To Kill a Mockingbird" can be found in the dictionary and Lennon and McCartney never used a note Mozart hadn't used.

Artists, writers, designers...they all do something magical by assembling existing components into all new forms, and their efforts should be protected from those who wish to profit from piracy.

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