High-end designers have been moaning about copyright protection and the proliferation of knockoffs for years, but after working with the American Apparel and Footwear Association to iron out a fashion copyright bill called the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, the CFDA just received some bad news: The AAFA has rejected the compromise bill, which they feel would not adequately ensure original designs get protection, and they fear the costs and lawsuits that would arise as clothing makers try to avoid being copycats. Also, we wouldn't be able to import stuff that might violate the new law. Problem! WWD reports:
"When we considered the risk and reward ratio, the unintended consequences were untenable," Peter Gabbe, AAFA's chairman, who is also chief operating officer of Carole Hochman Designs, said Monday.
But the CFDA is not giving up.
"We have invested a lot of energy and time into this. We are not abandoning this legislation," said Steven Kolb, executive director of the CFDA... "We are comfortable and glad that we went through the process because we have a tighter and stronger bill."
Fight as they may, the CFDA has only a small chance at getting the bill to reach a vote in Congress without the support of the AAFA. But you know what? Some designers, like Derek Lam, don't even mind if chains like Zara knock off their stuff. So even if this were to play out in some dramatic merchandise-affecting way that would turn Forever 21's world upside down, knockoffs — in some shape or form — will always live on. They'll just be called derivativities or imitatettes or some other vague, made-up, slightly less-insidious word.
AAFA Rules Out Copyright Protection Deal [WWD]
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Derek Lam Doesn't Knock Knockoffs