Why You Can Copy Anybody's Design and Get Away With It

creativity innovation Sep 15, 2017

Did you know that you can copy any item of clothing by any designer and it's perfectly legal? Designers 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 and sell it as their own design.

The only thing you can not do is copy brand logos and trademarks.

Johanna Blakley who studies the impact of mass media and entertainment on our world shares some really interesting perspectives in her Ted talk. She says the copyright laws that grip film, music and software industries hardly touches the fashion industry ... and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales. In her talk, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture.

Reflection Questions

Here are a few questions to reflect on to make the most of the clip and what Johanna has to say. 

  1. Why does the fashion industry have no copyright laws on fashion designs?
  2. Why does Johanna think the fashion industry benefits from not having copyright laws?
  3. Where do the designers, including high-end designers say their inspiration comes from?
  4. How can high-end luxury brands still be in business if their designs are being ripped off elsewhere? Clue - listen to what Tom Ford had to say.
  5. What is the key message you have taken from this video?

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