Friday, May 8, 2009

Tim Gunn Goes to Washington

Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, along with Project Runway judge Tim Gunn and the show's Season 5 winner Leanne Marshall, boarded a 6 a.m. train at Penn Station bound for Washington, D.C. They had appointments lined up for the entire day to gain the support of lawmakers for the proposed Design Piracy Prohibition Act, introduced last month by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, among others. If passed, the bill would provide designers with copyright protection for their creations. With the bill's passage, designers would be able to register their designs (for the price of $30) by emailing a photo or a sketch of a garment to a copyright office, which will ensure a copyright protection of three years. (The bill would not extend retroactively to designs that have already been on the market.) With Mr. Gunn and Ms. Marshall in tow, Mr. Kolb paid visits to politicians, explaining that unlike Europe, India and Japan, the U.S. has no copyright laws when it comes to design. And, if other art forms like film, literature, and music are protected, why isn't fashion? - Irina Aleksander, NY Observer