This is a bill pending in the United States Senate that would broaden the already existing Copyright Act of 1976, extending copyright protection to fashion designs for a period of three years. Under this act, the rather ambiguous terms relating to fashion are clarified. For example, the bill extends protection to "the appearance as a whole of an article of apparel, including its ornamentation." Furthermore, the bill identifies what constitutes the term "apparel," including, "men's, women's, or children's clothing, including undergarments, outerwear, gloves, footwear, and headgear." If a designer wishes to receive the three-year protection, he or she would be required to register with the U.S. Copyright Office within three months of going public with the design. In addition, the bill lists the monetary penalties for any individual who is guilty of copyright infringement under these terms.
I almost did not include this bill in my project, but I found it very noteworthy how many of my sources referred to this bill. Thus, I found it important to actually read and have in front of me the primary source of many of their arguments. I also think it is interesting to see how designers would be protected under law. I am planning on arguing whether or not designers should have protection under law for their designs, so it is helpful to see an example of how proponents of fashion copyright hope to protect fashion designs.