Vox examines the legality of high-fashion knockoffs for an insightful new video.
As Vox‘s visual breakdown explains, “Knockoffs are everywhere in fashion. So is the controversy they inspire.” While counterfeits might draw the ire of authorities, clever “knockoffs” are always a legal way to circumvent fashion standards and legal restrictions.
“In the Constitution, Congress has the power to stop copying by giving authors and inventors ‘the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries,’” reads Vox’s Why this Gucci knockoff is totally legal synopsis. “But there’s a catch. These protections must “promote the progress” of creative industries. Conventional wisdom holds that copying kills innovation and hurts industry progress. But within the fashion industry, experts like New York University law professor Christopher Sprigman say the ease of copying is actually good for creativity.”
“Knockoffs are mostly not counterfeits. People tend to conflate them, but they are not the same,” Sprigman explains.
“Knockoffs … just resemble the design of the original. And, that’s usually fine,” Vox‘s own reporter add. “That’s because intellectual property laws only protect some kinds of designs.”
You can check out Vox’s entire breakdown of why knockoffs are legally acceptable above.