Consumers beware. The cost of clothing is about to rise. Reasonably priced fashionable items will be non-existent and affordable clothing will be utilitarian and boring. Why?
The Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act ("IDPPPA") was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and now moves into the Senate for a full vote.
This bill, more appropriately called the Destruction of Affordable Fashion Bill, seeks to amend copyright law and will:
- put numerous small businesses that don't have $400,000 to spend on litigation out of business;
- cause 1.6 jobs to be lost in Los Angeles for every fashion job lost;
- severely disrupt the fashion manufacturing process;
- cause lenders to stop lending;
- increase expediently the work load of the federal judiciary -- the court that rules on copyright litigation;
- narrow your choice of clothes; and
- increase the cost of the few items you can buy by at least 30%.
Pretty scary right?
And legally, the Destruction of Affordable Fashion Bill will wreck havoc in the courts, tying up dockets (and your inventory) for years because:
- it violates due process because designers are not required to file a copyright registration on their alleged "original design;" and
- its has new, uninterpreted terms - like "substantially identical," "deliberate copies" and "independent creation."
just to name a few problems.
And, yes, the trial lawyers i.e. the plaintiff's bar that work on contingency fees, support this bill. Why wouldn't they? There is no loser pays provision in the Destruction of Affordable Fashion Bill, so if a plaintiff files suit on a design they feel is original and they lose, they never have to deal with the economic consequences.
When unemployment rises, your business collapses and the economy gets more depressed then it already is, you'll know where to send your thank you notes.
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