Raustiala, Kal and Sprigman, Chris,Where IP Isn't. Virginia Law Review, In Brief, January 22, 2007; UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 07-05.
This paper argues that while most areas that require creative ideas for profit advocate strong IP, the global fashion industry is an exception. The general argument in favor of a strong IP consists of three claims. The first alleges that new projects are usually very complicated and expensive to produce. Second, once a new work is created, other individuals can easily and inexpensively copy it. Finally, the individual who does copy this work will sometimes make more money than the original inventor and still keep all of the profit. So if this is the case, why is the fashion industry so successful despite the fact that it operates under a weak IP? This is known as the 'piracy paradox.' Fashion possesses this piracy paradox for two reasons. The first is induced obsolescence, which argues that because in wealthy societies high fashion signifies a high status, it must be created at a fast pace. Once a design reaches down to the rest of society, its value declines and the designers must create a new design to satisfy their affluent customers. However, this repeated cycle is only made possible through a weak IP. Other designers, usually lower ones, are able to copy high-end designs without the copyright problems, and thus the cycle is able run faster. The second reason is anchoring, which also works to keep the IP low. In order for a design to be quickly exhausted, the industry must somehow find a way to make the design popular. It achieves this by 'anchoring' different, but limited, versions of a certain design each season. For example, the design 'anchored' for Fall 2008 is high-waisted skirts. At this moment, hundreds of different types of high-waisted skirts from various designers are for sale. Soon, however, high-end designers will innovate a new design for Spring, and then it will be re-produced once again by lower-end designers and the cycle take place once again.
"Where IP Isn't" explains that the piracy paradox is necessary to keep the fashion industry successful. If IP was not as low as it is, the cycle explained earlier could not operate, thus forcing the fashion industry to weaken and eventually die out. Therefore, this paper will help me argue that a fashion copyright is needed to avoid relentless lawsuits, but it must be a weak one so that most designs can still be re-produced for the cycle. This article will also give me many useful examples to support the claim that a weak fashion copyright is optimal.
Pearson, Lisa, Lauren Estrin, and Ling Zhong. "In Vogue." Copyright World Apr. 2007: 1+.
"In Vogue" is a magazine article that also discusses the consequences if the Design Piracy Protection Act ever passes, but it also explores different types of IP and certain laws that pertain to these different types, including copyright, trademarks, and patents. Because different elements of a design may be protected under these different types of IP, this article addresses which of these elements pertain to which type of IP. Then the article continues by stating the advantages and disadvantages of each IP.
I chose this as a source because it is important to properly explain what IP is and its different types in my paper. Because many of my other sources focus on explaining why a fashion industry works best under a low IP but hardly explains what it is, my audience needs to know the definition of IP and how it pertains to my topic. This way, when I actually address my thesis and support it, my readers will understand the argument.