U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. Testimony of Steve Maiman in Opposition to H.R. 2033. 14 February 2008.
This source is the testimony of Steve Maiman, co-owner of Stony Apparel, against the Design Piracy Prohibition Act. Maiman is completely opposed to extending copyright protection to fashion design. According to Maiman, fashion has grown into a huge, thriving, competitive industry without any help from copyright protection. Nothing has changed recently within the fashion industry to suddenly need copyright protection now. He claims that enacting bill H.R. 2033 will be detrimental to the fashion industry and economy, reduce creativity, and hurt the consumers. He speaks against fashion design protection proponents by stating that customers in fancy boutiques are willing to pay more for apparel despite pirates creating imitation designs. He then addresses the negative consequences this bill will have on the fashion industry, especially firms like Stony Apparel. This bill will make financing firms extremely difficult since retailers will immediately return anything claimed, even falsely claimed, to be infringing. Invoices would become meaningless. Since retailers would also be held liable with this bill, retailers would refuse to do business unless the manufacturing firm can provide compensation for any possible loss. This new demand for compensation will create an even larger finanacial risk for manufacturers and retailers. The fashion industry is already an area filled with risk and this bill will simply add another layer of risk since everyone will have to now deal with the possibility of frivolous law suits. This fear of infringement will lead to an increase in the prices of apparel since designers will need to hire lawyers to interpret their every design out of fear of suit. In addition to price inflations, the innovation rate would slow down. However, the biggest consequence of this bill would be the effect on designers interpreting a trend. If designers are too scared to work with a trend, one of the biggest methods the industry uses to attract consumers will be cut off. This bill will only aid rich, established designers who can afford lawyers. However, the young generation of rising designers with fresh, new ideas will disappear. Fashion copyright will hurt designers, consumers, manufacturers, and retailers. Only lawyers will benefit. Benefitting lawyers is not worth splitting America into a class that can purchase copyrighted clothes and a class who cannot afford to anymore.
This is a very crucial source since it provides a primary account of a fashion manufacturer. Since it is a primary source, it provides real concerns plauging manufacturers and store owners within the fashion industry. Maiman actually has to deal with the consequences of the bill. So, what he has to say comes from experience and is very reliable. Although he is obviously biased since he has a stake in the outcome of this war, his arguments arise from legitimate concerns he would have to deal with if this bill passed. Secondary sources are just opinions of people outside of the industry looking in. He basically structures his argument around the negative consequences of enancting the Design Piracy Prohibition Act. He also addresses the concerns brought up by the other side and then explains why these are unreasonable. By showing the possible consequences of going through with fashion copyright for players in the industry besides himself, such as consumers, designers, and retailers, he effectively makes his position against protection appear to be beneficial for the majority of the industry.
This article is the testimony of Steve Maimon, co-owner of Stony Apparel. In the testimony, Maimon speaks out against the Design Piracy Prohibition Act. According to Maimon, the fashion industry has developed into a successful industry without the help of any copyright laws; thus, in his opinion, there is no need to enact protection now. He states that the laws will reduce creativity and hurt the consumers. In addition, firms like his own will be hurt since retailers will return any products claimed to be infringing, even if they are falsely claimed. Even as the fashion industry is one that daily deals with risks, with the enactment of this protection bill, even more risks will be present for manufactures and retailers, in the form of numerous new lawsuits. Furthermore, Maimon foresees an increase in prices of products since designers will need to hire lawyers to help fight against lawsuits. In Maimon's view, only lawyers will benefit from the protection of fashion designs.
I think this article is important because it shows an opposing testimony to the one I have already cited. Whereas Rodriguez was arguing for the protection acts, Maimon is clearly fighting to eliminate the possibility of the protection for designs. As a primary source, the concerns and fears are legitimate. I also think that because he does not only cite the negative consequences that the bill would have for retailers as himself, his argument is more effective. Instead, he notes that the bill would be detrimental for consumers, designers, and retailers. In addition, he is speaking from experience, as one who directly would be affected by the passing of the bill, which make his claims more passionate and heart-felt.