Johanna Blakely: Lessons from fashion’s free culture


I heard this amazing story about Miuccia Prada. She’s an Italian fashion designer. She goes to this vintage store in Paris with a friend of hers. She’s rooting around, she finds this one jacket by Balenciaga — she loves it. She’s turning it inside out. She’s looking at the seams. She’s looking at the construction. Her friend says, “Buy it already.” She said, “I’ll buy it, but I’m also going to replicate it.” Now, the academics in this audience may think, “Well, that sounds like plagiarism.” But to a fashionista, what it really is is a sign of Prada’s genius: that she can root through the history of fashion and pick the one jacket that doesn’t need to be changed by one iota, and to be current and to be now. You might also be asking whether it’s possible that this is illegal for her to do this. Well, it turns out that it’s actually not illegal. In the fashion industry, there’s very little intellectual property protection. They have trademark protection, but no copyright protection and no patent protection to speak of. All they have, really, is trademark protection, and so it means that anybody could copy any garment on any person in this room and sell it as their own design. The only thing that they can’t copy is the actual trademark label within that piece of apparel. That’s one reason that you see logos splattered all over these products. It’s because it’s a lot harder for knock-off artists to knock off these designs because they can’t knock off the logo. But if you go to Santee Alley, yeah. (Laughter) Well, yeah. Canal Street, I know. And sometimes these are fun, right? Now, the reason for this, the reason that the fashion industry doesn’t have any copyright protection is because the courts decided long ago that apparel is too utilitarian to qualify for copyright protection. They didn’t want a handful of designers owning the seminal building blocks of our clothing. And then everybody else would have to license this cuff or this sleeve because Joe Blow owns it. But too utilitarian? I mean is that the way you think of fashion? This is Vivienne Westwood. No! We think of it as maybe too silly, too unnecessary. Now, those of you who are familiar with the logic behind copyright protection — which is that without ownership, there is no incentive to innovate — might be really surprised by both the critical success of the fashion industry and the economic success of this industry. What I’m going to argue today is that because there’s no copyright protection in the fashion industry, fashion designers have actually been able to elevate utilitarian design, things to cover our naked bodies, into something that we consider art. Because there’s no copyright protection in this industry, there’s a very open and creative ecology of creativity. Unlike their creative brothers and sisters, who are sculptors or photographers or filmmakers or musicians, fashion designers can sample from all their peers’ designs. They can take any element from any garment from the history of fashion and incorporate it into their own design. They’re also notorious for riffing off of the zeitgeist. And here, I suspect, they were influenced by the costumes in Avatar. Maybe just a little. Can’t copyright a costume either. Now, fashion designers have the broadest palette imaginable in this creative industry. This wedding dress here is actually made of sporks, and this dress is actually made of aluminum. I’ve heard this dress actually sort of sounds like wind chimes as they walk through. So, one of the magical side effects of having a culture of copying, which is really what it is, is the establishment of trends. People think this is a magical thing. How does it happen? Well, it’s because it’s legal for people to copy one another. Some people believe that there are a few people at the top of the fashion food chain who sort of dictate to us what we’re all going to wear, but if you talk to any designer at any level, including these high-end designers, they always say their main inspiration comes from the street: where people like you and me remix and match our own fashion looks. And that’s where they really get a lot of their creative inspiration, so it’s both a top-down and a bottom-up kind of industry. Now, the fast fashion giants have probably benefited the most from the lack of copyright protection in the fashion industry. They are notorious for knocking off high-end designs and selling them at very low prices. And they’ve been faced with a lot of lawsuits, but those lawsuits are usually not won by fashion designers. The courts have said over and over again, “You don’t need any more intellectual property protection.” When you look at copies like this, you wonder: How do the luxury high-end brands remain in business? If you can get it for 200 bucks, why pay a thousand? Well, that’s one reason we had a conference here at USC a few years ago. We invited Tom Ford to come — the conference was called, “Ready to Share: Fashion and the Ownership of Creativity” — and we asked him exactly this question. Here’s what he had to say. He had just come off a successful stint as the lead designer at Gucci, in case you didn’t know. Tom Ford: And we found after much research that — actually not much research, quite simple research — that the counterfeit customer was not our customer. Johanna Blakley: Imagine that. The people on Santee Alley are not the ones who shop at Gucci. (Laughter) This is a very different demographic. And, you know, a knock-off is never the same as an original high-end design, at least in terms of the materials; they’re always made of cheaper materials. But even sometimes a cheaper version can actually have some charming aspects, can breathe a little extra life into a dying trend. There’s lots of virtues of copying. One that a lot of cultural critics have pointed to is that we now have a much broader palette of design choices to choose from than we ever have before, and this is mainly because of the fast fashion industry, actually. And this is a good thing. We need lots of options. Fashion, whether you like it or not, helps you project who you are to the world. Because of fast fashion, global trends actually get established much more quickly than they used to. And this, actually, is good news to trendsetters; they want trends to be set so that they can move product. For fashionistas, they want to stay ahead of the curve. They don’t want to be wearing what everybody else is wearing. And so, they want to move on to the next trend as soon as possible. I tell you, there is no rest for the fashionable. Every season, these designers have to struggle to come up with the new fabulous idea that everybody’s going to love. And this, let me tell you, is very good for the bottom line. Now of course, there’s a bunch of effects that this culture of copying has on the creative process. And Stuart Weitzman is a very successful shoe designer. He has complained a lot about people copying him, but in one interview I read, he said it has really forced him to up his game. He had to come up with new ideas, new things that would be hard to copy. He came up with this Bowden-wedge heel that has to be made out of steel or titanium; if you make it from some sort of cheaper material, it’ll actually crack in two. It forced him to be a little more innovative. (Music) And that actually reminded me of jazz great, Charlie Parker. I don’t know if you’ve heard this anecdote, but I have. He said that one of the reasons he invented bebop was that he was pretty sure that white musicians wouldn’t be able to replicate the sound. (Laughter) He wanted to make it too difficult to copy, and that’s what fashion designers are doing all the time. They’re trying to put together a signature look, an aesthetic that reflects who they are. When people knock it off, everybody knows because they’ve put that look out on the runway, and it’s a coherent aesthetic. I love these Gallianos. Okay, we’ll move on. (Laughter) This is not unlike the world of comedy. I don’t know if you know that jokes also can’t be copyright protected. So when one-liners were really popular, everybody stole them from one another. But now, we have a different kind of comic. They develop a persona, a signature style, much like fashion designers. And their jokes, much like the fashion designs by a fashion designer, really only work within that aesthetic. If somebody steals a joke from Larry David, for instance, it’s not as funny. Now, the other thing that fashion designers have done to survive in this culture of copying is they’ve learned how to copy themselves. They knock themselves off. They make deals with the fast fashion giants and they come up with a way to sell their product to a whole new demographic: the Santee Alley demographic. Now, some fashion designers will say, “It’s only in the United States that we don’t have any respect. In other countries there is protection for our artful designs.” But if you take a look at the two other biggest markets in the world, it turns out that the protection that’s offered is really ineffectual. In Japan, for instance, which I think is the third largest market, they have a design law; it protects apparel, but the novelty standard is so high, you have to prove that your garment has never existed before, it’s totally unique. And that’s sort of like the novelty standard for a U.S. patent, which fashion designers never get — rarely get here in the states. In the European Union, they went in the other direction. Very low novelty standard, anybody can register anything. But even though it’s the home of the fast fashion industry and you have a lot of luxury designers there, they don’t register their garments, generally, and there’s not a lot of litigation. It turns out it’s because the novelty standard is too low. A person can come in and take somebody else’s gown, cut off three inches from the bottom, go to the E.U. and register it as a new, original design. So, that does not stop the knock-off artists. If you look at the registry, actually, a lot of the registered things in the E.U. are Nike T-shirts that are almost identical to one another. But this has not stopped Diane von Furstenberg. She is the head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and she has told her constituency that she is going to get copyright protection for fashion designs. The retailers have kind of quashed this notion though. I don’t think the legislation is going anywhere, because they realized it is so hard to tell the difference between a pirated design and something that’s just part of a global trend. Who owns a look? That is a very difficult question to answer. It takes lots of lawyers and lots of court time, and the retailers decided that would be way too expensive. You know, it’s not just the fashion industry that doesn’t have copyright protection. There’s a bunch of other industries that don’t have copyright protection, including the food industry. You cannot copyright a recipe because it’s a set of instructions, it’s fact, and you cannot copyright the look and feel of even the most unique dish. Same with automobiles. It doesn’t matter how wacky they look or how cool they look, you cannot copyright the sculptural design. It’s a utilitarian article, that’s why. Same with furniture, it’s too utilitarian. Magic tricks, I think they’re instructions, sort of like recipes: no copyright protection. Hairdos, no copyright protection. Open source software, these guys decided they didn’t want copyright protection. They thought it’d be more innovative without it. It’s really hard to get copyright for databases. Tattoo artists, they don’t want it; it’s not cool. They share their designs. Jokes, no copyright protection. Fireworks displays, the rules of games, the smell of perfume: no. And some of these industries may seem sort of marginal to you, but these are the gross sales for low I.P. industries, industries with very little copyright protection, and there’s the gross sales of films and books. (Applause) It ain’t pretty. (Applause) So you talk to people in the fashion industry and they’re like, “Shhh! Don’t tell anybody we can actually steal from each other’s designs. It’s embarrassing.” But you know what? It’s revolutionary, and it’s a model that a lot of other industries — like the ones we just saw with the really small bars — they might have to think about this. Because right now, those industries with a lot of copyright protection are operating in an atmosphere where it’s as if they don’t have any protection, and they don’t know what to do. When I found out that there are a whole bunch of industries that didn’t have copyright protection, I thought, “What exactly is the underlying logic? I want a picture.” And the lawyers do not provide a picture, so I made one. These are the two main sort of binary oppositions within the logic of copyright law. It is more complex than this, but this will do. First: Is something an artistic object? Then it deserves protection. Is it a utilitarian object? Then no, it does not deserve protection. This is a difficult, unstable binary. The other one is: Is it an idea? Is it something that needs to freely circulate in a free society? No protection. Or is it a physically fixed expression of an idea: something that somebody made and they deserve to own it for a while and make money from it? The problem is that digital technology has completely subverted the logic of this physically fixed, expression versus idea concept. Nowadays, we don’t really recognize a book as something that sits on our shelf or music as something that is a physical object that we can hold. It’s a digital file. It is barely tethered to any sort of physical reality in our minds. And these things, because we can copy and transmit them so easily, actually circulate within our culture a lot more like ideas than like physically instantiated objects. Now, the conceptual issues are truly profound when you talk about creativity and ownership and, let me tell you, we don’t want to leave this just to lawyers to figure out. They’re smart. I’m with one. He’s my boyfriend, he’s okay. He’s smart, he’s smart. But you want an interdisciplinary team of people hashing this out, trying to figure out: What is the kind of ownership model, in a digital world, that’s going to lead to the most innovation? And my suggestion is that fashion might be a really good place to start looking for a model for creative industries in the future. If you want more information about this research project, please visit our website: it’s ReadyToShare.org. And I really want to thank Veronica Jauriqui for making this very fashionable presentation. Thank you so much. (Applause)




Comments
  1. I'm in great support of less IP and greater open-source its a catalyst for innovation and advancement and greater economic equality.. that is freedom but the ego appears to feed the need of people wanting praise and credit for their creations… in spite of the positive implications that said idea may rear in others.. to close this practice will actively support innovation unhindered innovation!

  2. @ksuwildkat yes but if my circuit board is mapped the same as yours or very similar to yours i can get sued or i have to pay you a fee

  3. @daxx2k fashion is, when you wear, what others tell you to wear.
    If you don't care about fashion-trends, the whole industry looses its usability.

    But that's kind of self-inflicted by the industry… when they started to think of people as walls that need to be decorated instead of people who need clothes for their everyday-life, designer-fashion lost it's functionality.
    applications without function are useless. "looking good" is not a function.

  4. @dingoperson actually the computer industry do thrive without copyright. If it was not or the lack of copyright enforcement in the 1980's, 1990's the fact is the computer industry would not be where they are today.

    DOS, Windows (Both NT and 3.1), Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Media Player to name a few are knock offs of other products. With strong copyright protection and strong patent protection these products would not have existed or alternatively have been 3 times the price.

  5. @Tnat1on actually fashion influence exactly what you wear. All the clothes you buy in the store are influenced by high fashion. As she have said in the talk what you wear in the street influences what you see on the walk.

  6. @Panpiper yet the movie industry copy freely. Walt Disney makes money of stories that do not have copyright so why should they have the protection.

    The other more interesting thing I would like you to look at is how much of this high cost of production is directly related to copyright protection or patents.

  7. Hmm, my comment was removed or something glitched.

    Pattern copyright is very, very common.

    A nice speech but if based on an outright lie…what's the point?

    'As we all know, grass is black'

  8. This will work anywhere that creating the first of a new object is relatively cheap and creating copies of it are relatively expensive. Movies are very expensive to make currently but are very cheap to copy. While the look of a piece of clothing or a car is relatively cheap to create but has high production costs. Medicine is another example of something that is hard to invent or create the first copy of , but is easy to reproduce.

  9. @vurtuality Style patents are also common, but like pattern copyrights they are virtually worthless and unenforceable. Taking a protected piece of material and tweaking it is trivial.

    Other idea that are more interesting are subscriptions. If you like what an artist has done pay her/him to do more. When enough people pledge to buy to make it worthwhile to the artists, the artist produces or releases what they have created.

  10. I wish there wasn't as much copyright police on youtube, if I'm doing a video with a song as background music, I'm not making any money out of it! Why should my video have its music removed?
    And remember it's not illegal download that kills the industry, it's the prices.

  11. Hard physical fact is: You can not own ideas. It is physically completely impossible. Thinking you can, is like thinking gravity would go away if you stopped believing in it.
    Because an idea can not be stolen. Because you can not take it away from someone(’s brain). Also, and idea that you don’t pass on, can not be proven to exist. At all. But if you pass it on, you by definition gave up control. And that’s also something required for it to be ownable.
    In fact, information is not a good.

  12. @liquidminds I don't know but still here in US people are still wearing blue jeans and tshirt like 50 years ago…

  13. Wow, I'm a huge jazz fan (don't read that aloud too fast) and love Charlie Parker, didn't see that one coming, interesting talk 🙂

  14. Another sign that the fashion industry is a lot healthier than the music: if you think about the big fashion designers, they are also the tycoons of the industry. The fashion designers own their industry. If you think about the big labels in the music industry, they are not led by artists. The artists do not own their industry…

  15. @hurkle the digital universe is abundant, but lazy people decide not to reference their sources and often plagiarize and claim the work as their own to create money. Copyright isn't about scarcity. It's about getting credit/reward for one's own work. Meanwhile, bloggers copy/paste other people's work so that they get paid from web traffic. Is it fair for someone else to get paid for the work you've done without at least some credit at the end of the quote?

  16. the comparison to music, movies, and books is glaringly fallible. stealing a design is different than stealing the handbag itself. a free movie online, placed there by well-funded online pirates, is a stolen handbag, not a stolen idea. i'm sure the fashion industry would have a different point of view if stealing their idea or design meant stealing their actual product.

  17. Here's my one problem with this talk. The Low IP protection industries are the ones that people need more than High IP protection. I'm not sure if she is skewing this intentionally or not but I don't like the approach she's taking. If you added a need factor to it then you would probably find that they all are similar. Possibly low IP ones will make slightly more.
    I agree otherwise like this talk and I like the concepts that she promotes.

  18. As a musician myself, I am all for people mixing up my music and putting their own brand on it- it would also mean I could take the best elements from other sources and mix them with my own to make great sounds. I think that the model of intellectual property being something that can be 'owned' is too much of a grey area for corporations.

  19. Or not! You see fashion,they make a good profit every year,just because they have to inovate. I think those people want is their own profit,they don't want other people getting profit,no matter what cost.

  20. its so strange every time i have a delema there is a hint that comes from somewhere to think about it. I was just wondering how i would deal with copyright if i had my own country and that it really a burden on society most of the time. Still dont have final solution but this video definitely helps me to shape the idea in my head.

  21. @idiallin You patented a 19 year old corpse. Good for you. At least I know she's still getting some in heaven.
    Dipshit.

  22. @serpico33
    I do not understand your analogy.
    The main difference I see between theft of design and theft of a product is that in the first case there is no direct loss to the creator (they still have their original design) and in the second case there is. Clearly this isn't what you are thinking of.

    A digitized movie is a set of instructions that allow a combination of hardware and software to decode and display audio and images. So sneaking in to a cinema fits your analogy much better.

  23. @Cradle2Venus
    If credit is the issue, then the creative commons license standard is enough, and classical copyright is unnecessary.
    If what's bothering you is that other people are making money off your work; if you would be getting significantly more income/traffic if the plagiarist didn't exist. In this case the problem is clearly that the plagiarist is decreasing the scarcity value of your content, and probably presenting it in a more accessible form. Otherwise, you haven't been harmed.

  24. @Paulginz
    if you download a movie instead of going to a cinema, you're taking money away from the creators of the content. multiply that by millions of downloads and the financial damage is tremendous. it's suspected that Iron Man 2 lost anywhere between 20 & 40 million dollars in opening weekend worldwide box office due to illegal downloads. the fashion industry never suffers this kind of loss unless someone burns down the Prada factory.

  25. This video does not present a resonable analysis with regards to IP protection. Copywright is not the only means to protection intellectual property. There's also patent and trademark — not to mention various licensing arrangements.

  26. @serpico33
    Your original argument was about different KINDS of theft. Let's forget about that then and consider relative financial impact.
    Indeed, as was said in the video, cheap knock-offs and high fashion have different consumer bases. Retail fashion is another story though since it targets the upper middle-class and hence DOES "steal" income from high fashion.
    If your figures assume that some unemployed pirate could have afforded 50$ to take his family to the cinema, they are useless.

  27. @Paulginz
    i'm not saying the pirate can afford to go to the movies. i'm saying the people who watch the stolen film online are foregoing the theater experience in favor of a free download which they should not have access to without compensating the people who make the content. in the same way, you wouldn't want someone using a Zac Posen bag without paying for it.

  28. @Paulginz
    but the unspoken problem is that google and other search engines become facilitators of theft by providing this stolen content. i'm sure as soon as google, like comcast, starts generating its own content, they'll be less inclined to provide it for free.

  29. @serpico33
    To recap, you are claiming that if Joe pirates a movie that he would not have seen otherwise (and hence by doing so does not influence the producer's revenue in any way), then his (victimless) actions are immoral. (it's not clear if this is because it's "unfair" towards those who pay or you simply believe producers should have full control.). Correct?

    However you see no problem if TopShop makes a (100% legal) copy of a Zac Posen bag (minus the logo) and sells it on the high street?

  30. @serpico33
    Google is a classical example of why practice overrides theory in this discussion. Search engines do not have the manpower to screen every web page for illegal content and they are a vital component of the web. The same applies to the hosting of user generated content.

    IMHO, an uncensored internet (not just the web), provides a protection against authoritarianism and disinformation which is humanly, economically and morally more important than Hollywood.

  31. @serpico33
    Consider this moral dilemma:
    IG Farben spends a large sum of money developing a miracle drug which cures everything (Cancer, AIDS, old age…). Production costs are ~0.
    However, they determine that due to the unequal distribution of wealth in the world, the best strategy to maximise profit is to sell only 10 doses a year for 10 billion $ each.
    Bill Gates buys a dose, reverse-engineers the formula, and gives away free drugs ridding the world of disease for ever. Is this immoral?

  32. @serpico33
    There is a solution to the dilemma which is to say all nations of the world should set up a progressive tax and pitch in to offer 1 trillion +1 dollars a year to the drug company in exchange for the right to produce and distribute the drug. That way everyone wins.

    In a sense, this is the solution that has been applied multiple times before with taxes on recordable media (cassettes, VHS, CDs…) called private copying levys.

  33. @Paulginz the issue is not about being harmed or not. It is about giving credit where credit is due. Consider it like this: Let's say each person in a neighborhood does their own landscaping in their front yards. There is no "harm" if someone decides to distribute small lawn ad signs saying, "Landscaping by ACME Landscaping". It would be false but those who respond to the ad are not aware of that. Plagiarism is either mental lethargy or dishonesty. "oops can't find my source" or "mine now".

  34. I like the presentation, but the graph on 12:32 is misleading.

    Since when are patents not a part of IP ?? I don't understand what is the basis for Ms Blakely's classification of Low IP and High IP

    I will give some figures instead:

    Automobile:
    Volvo – 8365 Hits
    Ford – 51402 Hitts
    General Motors – 24328 Hitts
    Audi – 12745 Hits

    Food:
    Coca Cola – 3495 Hits
    (These are the number of hits, MICROPAT, a patent search engine, gives, now I haven't standardised my search by adding subsidiaries)

  35. @Cradle2Venus
    I thought we were comparing piracy of hollywood movies with the situation in the fashion industry.
    When someone puts out a torrent of a hollywood production signed "l33thaxor release", they aren't implying that the film was directed by l33thaxor, and I doubt that anyone misconstrues them as saying so. Also the movie contains credits.
    The same applies to a Nikhe shoe.

    The problem is that clothes don't come with a reference list, even if the plagiarist is well-intentioned.

  36. @dingoperson She did mention trademark protection. In fact IMHO she explained it clearly.
    You might not be able to fly from china to paris with 100 Gucci bags, but you can do ti with nearly identical Guccy bags.

    Trademark protection is about protecting consumers from people who would otherwise con them by coasting on the good name of a competing company. There's a pretty big difference with IP which protects creator's control over the CONTENT of their creation, rather than the labelling.

  37. @InfectedDaemon
    In countries without public healthcare like the US, even after patents expire and a drug becomes generic, brand name drugs will keep selling at a premium price compared to the new generic versions.
    You overestimate people's capacity to compare value. Is Kellog's any different from supermarket-brand corn flakes? Lots of people think more expensive=better.

    For the rest of the world though government bureaucracies will act less stupid than people and will buy the cheaper drug.

  38. The simple physical fact is, that an idea/information/data is not a physical object. Hence it can not be owned at all. Search for what defines ownership. It does not fulfill the definition at all. You can not control it, it can not be stolen (since you still would have a copy), and most important of all: Why would you get money a second time, for what is just a copy of the result of the service that was already paid for the first time.

    Because all that is salable, is the *service*!

  39. @Composer1992 spot on 🙂 am a graffiti artist / painter and the colab work with others in the field will always spawn new, more complex and radical work than what one can do alone in a basement

  40. Copyright is utterly broken, as evidenced by the fact that fashion innovation flourishes while "protected" art forms struggle to maintain their place in new spaces. And the supporters of copyright as it stands sure as hell don't have an interest in your right to remix, revisualize, reinvent, collaborate, borrow, be inspired by, improve upon, artistically respond to, or otherwise share in the participatory culture of art that SHOULD belong to all.

  41. She completely misses the most obvious point: Fashion, furniture, auto-mobiles etc have copy-protection built in! You can't put a Prada shoe on a photocopier and produce a new identical Prada shoe. You can't take a picture of a sports car and have a laser printer print you a new car.

    Legal copy-protection in other creative industries is to deal with the fact you can make perfect identical copies of CDs, DVDs, (PDF) books etc at no (or close to no) cost.

  42. is it actually so easy.. a lot of bands work for a year or 2 and come up with 9 songs that represents their style… with fashion, it might be different.. there are hundreds of designs which people can buy; there is really one design for everyone… but with music, its also a question of quality.. the bands want all their songs to be good…
    furthermore, people need clothes to cover their naked bodies, people may not need music to survive…

  43. As neat as this was, it equivocates two very different things. In many ways, this video is dishonest to the real arguments surrounding Intellectual Property. Copyright, with consumer goods, can largely protect the consumer as well as the creator.

  44. I am an expert in information physics, and I have proven in multiple ways, that information can not be owned. Ever. Simply said: If you prove it exists (passing it on is *mandatory* to do that), you can not keep control. If you keep control over it, you can not prove it exists.
    You can try to punish people when you can prove they passed it on. But for all but a minute fraction you can never prove who passed it on to who. As that literally requires blocking DRM between your brain and your body.

  45. Why are people laughing so much in the second half? "Fireworks". Is that funny? It's food for thought, not funny. Kind of gives me the feeling that the audience is hand-picked.

  46. @Microbius88 Are you saying that a designer can't simply copy someone else's design completely without altering it at all? That's basically the same thing.

  47. @Microbius88 If people thought they could profit more by creating a new type of collar, then they would. You're making it sound like a new collar would be so successful that it would be more profitable than conventional collars. If that is the case, then there is still motivation to do that without IP law. Clearly if someone came up with a better idea, then they'd come out with that idea and compete with the other collars to try and make some money on it before anyone else did.

  48. The only thing IP law would be able to motivate would be for an unconventional collar that were unprofitable with respect to conventional collars. If those were copyrighted, though, then a designer would be forced to come up with something else. You're right there. That does not mean, however, that the unconventional collar will be better or even profitable, though. A profitable unconventional collar is just as likely to come about without IP law as it would if there were IP law.

  49. If I were to steal her ideas from this video and use it for my class presentation without giving her credit, would she be for or against it? *Note: This is a hypothetical, I'm not actually doing it*

  50. The only reason this works for the industries mentioned is because they can afford to organise high-publicity stunts to make sure THEIR idea is released as THEIR idea first. In niche industries like music where struggling artists can release a work of perfection but not achieve any stardom due to a lack of publicity, shouldn't they be protected from the faceless corporate giants who'd steal their genius, claim it as their own, and not given them credit??

  51. Can't help but think about the … for lack of a better term 'patent troll companies'. The sort that farm for patents, and make their revenue by sitting on a patent waiting for someone to sue, without using it.

    (Apparently a patent is owned for a highly effective anti-mosquito lazer that's cheap to make. Sounds silly, until you remember west-nile virus, and malaria. This idea that could save numerous lives, is just being sat on for money. I think they are awful people for that.)

  52. When she came up with the sales analysis, she didn´t even mention the fact, that people NEED to eat, NEED to dress (in any way), NEED to sit/lie/store their things somewhere, just to live or even to survive. –>

  53. Even if I say I "need" music/films or books, it´s not true in the existential meaning of the word. So even if I would be able to copy or sample anything or any idea of something l wanna have to allow myself to live a life of pleasure and entertainment, the (re)sellers of those things would never ever come close to the sales of such elementary things, they have to sell in the food/furniture/fashion-industry. so I guess that statistics are a bit populist. how was this statistics in the 1980ies?

  54. Anyone can file a lawsuit. Can you win? Diane von Furstenberg probably settled because she knows she won't be able to win in court. If she could win, she would have no reason to settle as the pay out will be larger.

  55. No it's not. The independent music growth has been double and triple digits within the last 10 years. One of the fastest growth industries. Why? Because independants WANT to be heard. They are much more open to people trading and sharing music. Instead of a handful of bands making millions, there are millions making some money doing music. The music industry is not hurting. The monopolistic legacy industries have lost their appeal. If copyrights are enforced, the industry will die.

  56. … and people NEED music, movies, software? Reciepies are not copyrighted, furniture is not. What is your point?

  57. Imagine introducing copyright and patents into the fashion industry. Companies would collapse, people would be out of jobs, there would be a culture of fear and confusion as to what type of clothes has been done before, nobody would be able to innovate since most things that can be innovated already has been, copyright holders would be immune from competition, and a company could control the worth of the clothes by having the key to the copy machine resulting in the powerlessness of resale.
    Ha.

  58. In the short term, yes it harms start up designers… but remember, the new designers could also copy and improve upon existing popular designers.

  59. yeah exactly, music is nothing like the fashion industry, that's what she is pointing out. The music industry has doubled/tripled but due to copyright restrictions it's stunted in growth compared to other industries like fashion. People break copyright law all the time with movies and music anyways, why does it need to be illegal in the first place?

  60. That was cool. What a clever lady. And even though she was really nervous I think she won her audience -they were with her all the way…
    I was only going to listen to a little but found myself compelled to continue to the end.
    Love her

  61. She is wrong, OF COURSE there is Patent Protection. Nylon, Gore-Tex, zippers, velcro, kevlar, various kinds of clasps and fasteners have all been patented at one time or another. Yes, those patents are not the artistic designs in and of themselves, but those patents are still constituent parts of those designs. So it is totally false to say there is no patent protection in fashion.

  62. She is also wrong in saying that things like Cars and Furniture are "Low I.P." What she should be saying is that they are "Low Copyright" but they are high in Patent and Trademark protection. Furniture manufacturer Herman Miller claims to hold over 160 patents for example. The sales figures are also misleading because everyone needs to eat and wear clothes and cars are comparatively expensive to movies and books and music.

  63. Cool lecture, very enlightening and fun. However, you just can't compare the gross sales of food and clothing with movies and literature, simply because every single human being needs to eat and dress, regardless of copyright protection! Can you imagine what it would be like? 😉

  64. It wasn't a very serious comparison. She was just trying to show people how big the industry without copyright protection is compared. Just a little visual for people to have an idea. She doesn't base anything on it.

  65. I still dont like the idea of someone putting a lot of time and effort into designing something only to have it be copied.

  66. And most of us don't like the idea of someone controling the way we are supposed to use some piece of knowledge we have in our possession

  67. There is a huge difference between copying a piece of music digitally and playing it with your own musical instrument. The same goes for software: cracking a program and sharing it is illegal while you are free to write your own that has the same functionality. That's why projecting fashion industry's experience on music, video and software is wrong. If you buy a Chinese copy of Givenchy boots your boots are anything but Givenchy. If you torrent a movie it is identical to the original one.

  68. The music and movie industry would love to have perpetual copyright on their "content." How much longer before they push to expand it further?

  69. I feel like the argument was pushed into a direction. Example: Automobile is considered low IP, where movies are considered high IP. I don't think that's true. You have tons of patents in the automotive industry. On the other hand, you can argue just as well that you cannot patent a story, a setting or camera work. 
    Also, linking food in there.

  70. I absolutely agree! Let's make a more efficient world by abolishing copyright laws =D Let's learn from fashion industry practices (y)

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