In the ongoing debate over copyright in the fashion industry, I find more and more that its hard to choose a side. Unlike the decision to get highlights or bangs, extending full copyright protection to designers is not an impulse buy that can be easily undone with some do it yourself home remedy.
This article on the pros and cons of such a measure makes a lot of thought provoking points. Setting aside the nature of copyright law and its origins (to encourage creative productions and provide incentives to authors of ingenuity and culture) there is the issue of determining who actually owns the rights to the work itself (only the owner has the right to reproduce, among others). The example provided in the article of the National Jazz Museum not being able to publicly distribute a valued recording to the many fans around the world due to inability to ascertain original copyright ownership, is an illustration that would be amplified in fashion. Imagine trying to decide who really was the first to bring the speedy bag to fruition? (Probably the first ever medical doctor, since the speedy is really the doctors original bag).
I'm not abandoning hopes of extending protection to those who dedicate their lives to creating only to have their ideas ripped and reproduced by the likes of Forever21 and Steve Madden (thank you, new job) but its not as black and white as a Chanel tweed jacket.