(Only once, in a case brought by the label Trovata, did the dispute even result in a trial. That ended in a hung jury; a lone holdout took the chain's side. Forever 21 settled on the eve of the retrial.), Smart move isn't it?
"Fabric prints weren't always copyrightable," says Scafidi. A court decision in the 1920s held that prints weren't subject to copyright, "but in the 1950s, the Copyright Office was expanding its scope of coverage, and one of the realizations it made was that paint on canvas or ink on paper is not that different from dye on fabric when you analyze it from a graphic perspective." Ever since, textile prints and lace patterns have been copyright. (Of course, a lot of designs are in the public domain, including basic prints like stripes, many plaids, ginghams, and houndstooth checks.)
The effect of copyright has been largely positive for the textile industry. "It's helpful for designers who have an interest in using prints, and the wherewithal to create their own prints, to get some protection," says Scafidi. "Because they can't for their clothing designs, but they can at least for their textiles."
Nonetheless, "It would surprise me if this case were to go all the way to trial," says Scafidi, because Forever 21 has a big incentive to settle. Because Feral Childe registered "Teepees," that would — in the event of a trial victory — entitle them to not only actual damages, but attorneys' fees and punitive damages as well. Forever 21 has no interest in seeing that happen, and it has deep pockets with which to buy off plaintiffs.
At first, said Scafidi, she was confused by Forever 21's tendency to get sued again and again over the same issues with taking other people's intellectual property. "But then over time I realized that
they've been caught so many times, they've been publicly exposed so many times, they've even been sued — although many fewer times, because all they do is settle — and the lightbulb went off: this is just part of their business strategy. They go ahead and they take what they want, and when they get caught, they pay up. It's probably cheaper than licensing it in the first place." Forever 21 did not respond to requests for comment.
Scafidi has spoken with many attorneys over the years who have pursued Forever 21 for copying their designer clients' original works, and says that the company's response is methodical, even phlegmatic. "It's not as though their attorneys are surprised and shocked that their client has been caught copying."
When Forever 21 settles a dispute over copying — which, again, the company has done more than 50 times in its 27 years of existence — it typically includes a non-admission of guilt, financial compensation to the designer whose work was copied, and a confidentiality agreement.
Forever 21 continues to copy because copying a dress design — even copying a dress design clearly made first by someone else, even copying a dress with stitch-by-stitch exactness — isn't in and of itself illegal in the U.S.
"So trademark can be stretched to cover the label. Trade dress, a subset of trademark, stretched a little further to cover very iconic designs. Copyright pulled in to cover jewelry and to cover fabric prints, jewelry because it is like a little mini sculpture and not merely a useful article. Occasionally, patent pulled in to protect functional elements, like Velcro, or a zipper...So intellectual property sort of stretches these bits to cover parts of fashion, leaving most of fashion naked and exposed. Which is why the need for the additional law, to finally say, Look, we can cover the core as well. We can cover the central aspect of any garment, and that is its actual design, if it is indeed innovative."
Scafidi consulted on the development of one such bill, supported by New York senator Chuck Schumer as well as fashion and retail trade groups, which is currently under consideration in the House.
Forever 21's main competitors — retailers that share a business model built on selling rapidly mass-produced runway-inspired stock, like H&M, Zara, and Topshop — don't knock off designers' works with anything close to Forever 21's avidity, Scafidi pointed out. "They're based in Europe," she explained, where copyright protection does extend to clothing designs. This, she argues, is better for the consumer, because anyone interested in, say, "those white blazers that were all over Stella McCartney's runway last season" or "those Prada stripes" can choose between H&M's interpretation, Zara's version, and Topshop's. Making chains unable to just rip off an existing garment exactly forces them to be creative about it.
why the sucess of this company even when they have been sued more than 50 times for stealing the work of other designers?, The answer is quite simple, PRICES.
An overage customer sees all this fashion shows and catwalks and wish to wear those very expensive and exclusive designs but it is just out of their budged, then A company like F O R E V E R 21 offers something if not exactly (even when quality may not be the same) very neer to the models of the International designers with a very cheap price without think twais they buy from them, this has made the company a multibilionaire chain which is worth around $3 billion and has 440 stores worldwide.
Backing to our dear Effa Abaya Boutique and all of us with small busines this are some of the things we can do to protect our pictures or products(Something I learn to do a while ago even when I hate it)
First, there are a variety of software applications for download that have tools to help categorize and protect your personal photos from unauthorized reproduction. Most of these software programs function differently, but many operate using the same safeguard procedures. The most commonly used method is a software device that allows the user to select a specific watermark design from a list of various watermarks. The software then takes the chosen watermark and applies it to any of the pictures or photos that the user designates.
Other software programs allow the user to create their own watermark, such as their name, their trademark, their business logo, or their company name and apply that custom watermark to a photo or photos. Many software applications even allow for the transparency of the watermark to be adjusted in order to apply a watermark that is clearly evident but does not greatly detract from the aesthetic value of the photo in question. Additionally, many of these software programs are compatible with all uploadable photo file formats such as TIFF, GIF, JPEG, and PNG.
It is also a good idea to apply for a copyright if you plan to share their photos on numerous sites and for various activities. Copyrights help enforce the intellectual property law and explicitly prevent anyone from using digital photos without permission.
Hope this information have been helpful for you.