Monday, 26 November 2012

You Copycat!

Copyright is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when creating work, and not just in the fashion industry. Copyright refers to the act of giving the creator of their work the legal rights to it, to stop others from doing the same. Copyright doesn’t just refer to works but also to brands and branding. For example luxury brand names and even high street fashion stores such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Topshop and Zara are copyrighted so anyone wanting to start up a brand could not use these names.

Anyone can copyright his or her work, at a starting cost of £12 in the UK and in American $35. This can be anything from art, music, movies, plays, dances and so on and the work must be issued when applying for copyright.

Burberry (left) Primark (right)       

Christian Louboutin (left) Topshop (right)

With regards to the fashion industry, many companies have been involved in lawsuits due to luxury fashion houses complaining fast fashion brands are stealing their ideas by creating cheaper imitations of particular garments. For example Forever 21 has been sued for copying designers more than 50 times including Anna Sui and Diane von Furstenberg. But they are not the only culprits of this so called copycatting. Primark released a coat practically identical to that of Burberry and Topshop’s studded pumps are very similar to Christian Louboutins’ Spiked loafers. This however doesn’t stop brands from producing cheaper dupes for the high street consumer. This sort of behavior is what makes the industry so competitive and it will forever be like this as there is no official copyright in the industry.

When creating my own work, I must think about copyright as for my first project titled Fashion Retail & PR, I have to rebrand Lanvin’s fragrance My Sin. As there are so many perfumes around and major competitors such as Lanvin, Chanel and Dior are striving to be better and better and keep on top, it’s important my ideas are original, and don’t compare to perfumes recently launched. However there is the opinion that nothing is never ‘new’, we just haven’t seen it before due to the inspiration being before our time. For example, Madonna’s Material Girl video and Marilyn Monroe’s Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend but because of the time between them, this is seen as taking inspiration from influences.
If I were to make a viral campaign for my relaunch and I did want to use well-known music or something that I hadn’t created myself I would have to gain permission from them and credit them for it unless I had made or modified it in some way.

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