Picker, Randal C. "Of Pirates and Puffy Shirts: A Comment on the Piracy Paradox: Innovation and Intellectual Property in Fashion Design." Virginia Law Review, Forthcoming; University of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 328. http://ssrn.com/abstract=959727
This article takes the side of those individuals supporting the enactment of fashion copyright. This argument is made using past attempts at employing fashion copyright laws to protect designs and the results of these attempts. One major example used to support this claim of positive effects resulting from design protection is the Fashion Originators' Guild of America. This guild basically organized registration and monitoring for apparel with a threat of boycott of any retailer who sold knockoffs. The claim here is that this increased intellectual property protection resulted in greater innovation efforts. Although the Federal Trade Commission took down this organization, the article argues that the fact that it formed demonstrates that high end designers do want greater protection. This argument is made against other claims that the members of the industry do not even want increased protection. The argument then continues into the present time and the benefits these laws would endow on the fashion industry. With fashion design protection, high end designers can make credible promises to their consumers, which is impossible with the current amount of knockoffs in the market. With the ability to make credible commitments, high end designers could raise their prices and make more money off their original designs. Therefore, there is clearly a benefit to high end designers that accompanies increased protection. Also, the author argues that imitation in the industry is only one sided with the high end designers having to deal with the rapid imitation of their original designs. With copyright, these designers could promise their consumers that this rapid copying of the apparel they are buying would not occur. Basically, the author here argues that the rampant copying in the fashion industry is detrimental to the high end designers and their customers. Therefore, copyright protection is necessary to protect their rights and keep low end designers from exploiting the low protection regime of the fashion industry.
Although this source complicates my thesis by working against my claims that fashion copyright laws should not be enacted, sources like these are absolutely necessary to develop a strong paper. These claims will provide something for me to argue against and prove incorrect in my argument. Without addressing opposing opinions, the argument and paper would be weak. This article clearly utilizes an analysis of the high end or elite designers to support the claim for increased fashion design protection. However, it avoids looking at the effect of copyright laws on the rest of the fashion industry. However, it is still a useful source as it provides the perspective of a high end designer, the biggest victim of piracy or imitation.
Time Inc. "Dress War." Time Magazine, 23 March 1936.
This newspaper article from the 1930s presents a more in depth view of the Fashion Originators' Guild of America. This article was written when retailers began noticing the guild was abusing its powers. This article gives examples of the guilds' abuse of power. The guild basically believed it had the power to decide which pieces of apparel were copies and which were not. If a retailer did not agree to remove whatever the guild instructed them to, the store would be "red-carded." In other words, the guild would inform all designers and manufacturers to boycott this retailer. So, Filene's Department store uses this abuse of power to accuse the guild of attempting to monopolize the fashion industry by blacklisting disobedient retailers and creating heavy penalities for anyone who broke the guild's rules. This particular battle between Filene's and the guild is the core of this newspaper article. However, the author takes the reader through the history of the guild and why it began in 1933. The guild began as a way to pick up the fashion industry during its low point in the Great Depression. The members of the guild agreed not to purchase anything known to be a copy of original designs by guild members. The members agreed to these terms for apparel in the higher priced range. This protection did indeed decrease business mortality and increase original design creation in the high end market. However, once the guild's power began to increase, they starting imposing these protection rules on lower priced apparel as well. The retailers were not happy with this power abuse since they could not compete with chains who were selling these lower priced pieces with no restrictions. In addition, customers buying clothing in this range do not care if their purchases are imitations. So, the guild was basically just abusing their power rather than creating rules to benefit the industry.
Although this article does not necessarily provide direct support for either side of the fashion copyright debate, it is an extremely important resource since it provides the history of a previous attempt at fashion design protection. Therefore, this article will provide a way for me to demonstrate why copyright laws should not be enacted in the present. Although current proposed laws will likely learn from the mistakes of the guilds, this article shows that even in the 1930s, only high end designers wanted protection. For the rest of the industry, copyright laws would cause more harm than good. This article is structured to show the many different and conflicting desires of the various players in the fashion industry. This makes any effective and lasting protection very difficult in this industry. Therefore, this article provides a historical example as support to why effective copyright laws for fashion are not only nearly impossible, but also somewhat harmful.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1995 .G663 2006
Blockbusters: A Reference Guide to Film Genres, by Mark A. Graves and F. Bruce Engle, is a book that outlines all the different genres of film, their respective places in film history, and the most notable films of each genre. In chapter 7 dedicated to Musicals, Graves and Engle differentiate between six subcategories of the musical: The Backstage Musical, The Revue, The Showcase or Star Vehicle, The Screen Adaptation, The Dance Musical, and The Animated Musical. The Showcase or Star Vehicle, described by Graves and Engle, is a film that’s purpose “is to showcase the talent of a musical personality whose success has already been achieved in radio or through recordings.” As an example of such musical films, they refer to A Hard Day’s Night, the first film by The Beatles, an already established musical group that was using film to further launch their career. They also go on to discuss the history of musical film in the 1960’s claiming that the large-budget musicals, such as Mary Poppins (1964), were now becoming rare and were instead being replaced by “smaller-budget films [that] exploited the popularity of rock-and-roll music.” A Hard Day’s Night is a prime example of the popular musical that started emerging in the 1960’s.
To make a valid argument that A Hard Day’s Night was the first film to successfully unite the popular cultures of film and music, and therefore the first true rock and roll film, I must be able to claim what the popular culture of film was at the time of its release. According to Blockbusters: A Reference Guide to Film Genres, the musical of the 1960’s was often infatuated with the new emergence of the rock and roll popular culture of music. A Hard Day’s Night therefore, has a subject matter very representative of its time in film history, but as I have learned from my other sources, portrayed the pop culture of music in a way that was unique (showing a day in the life of The Beatles rather than The Beatles acting as other fictional people in a fictional story in the same way Elvis did). Consequently, this source is instrumental to my thesis, as it supports the claim that A Hard Day’s Night was not only representative of music’s pop culture, but also film’s pop culture of the sixties.