“The law is proving to be a major challenge for young fashion designers”

Tribune. The world of fashion is a world of dreams, as recent fashion weeks have once again reminded us: to see these young people with the allure of angels evolve on the catwalks as if they were in the middle of a representation of the Swan Lake, dressed as at the court of Louis XV, all this invites oneirism.

However, behind this facade, and beyond the issues related to the economy and the creative industries, the law is proving to be a major challenge. Indeed, if the fashion shows are in the middle of the kinds of masses where one consecrates the creations of the biggest fashion houses, for the legal world these events fall rather in the category of the living spectacles.

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And they thus arouse a large number of questions, which range from human rights (isn’t the representation of the perfect body an attack on health?) To more venal issues such as competition law ( what rules regulate the supply chain?).

The legal definition of “public”

Among them, the question of the protection of copyright and intellectual property is particularly sensitive: what is the definition of creation in the fashion world and how to protect these creations? Copyright protects any creation regardless of its form as long as it meets two criteria: the formal realization of the work and its originality. It is not necessary to dwell on the first criterion because fashion shows are precisely the material representation of works in front of an audience.

Obviously, this representation raises questions of a legal nature, such as the legal definition of “public”, the direct and indirect communication of the representation, and so on. But it is above all the criterion of originality that continues to cultivate a form of vagueness, because even if the definition of the term applies to all creations protected by copyright, originality retains its own characteristics. to the fashion world.

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It thus continues to fuel numerous disputes and disputes in Europe and the United States: what is a copy, a reproduction, a source of inspiration, an imitation, a counterfeit, etc. ? Copying has always challenged the world of art and culture. Seminars, conferences and even exhibitions such as the one organized by the Louvre Museum in 1973, entitled ” Copies, Replicas, Pastiches ».

The definition of copy

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