03 December 2010

Must Read for Metaversal Fashion Designers

If you're into the habit of adapting in any form from RL designs for metaversal avatars, you may want to speak to your congressman about the "Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act" NOW.

This act (PDF of original US Senate Filing here) was recently passed in the US Senate on the Wednesday week as this blogpost.

Essentially, it prosecutes any attempts to replicate a design for anything wearable. Articles protected under this law must:
  1. be "the result of an individual's own creative endeavour" and
  2. provide a unique, distinguishable, non-trival, non-utilitarian variation over prior designs for similar articles of clothing.
This could possibly leak into the translation of such designs into virtual formats such as those used by Second Life, Frenzoo, Blue Mars, IMVU, Poser artists et al. The danger exists that this proposed new law may be enforceable across the RL/Metaverse barriers.

I would like to urge discussion on this topic (which for a change, is not frivolous, at least not compared to my usual stuff) - this is important, because last I checked, we do NOT go naked in most virtual worlds (clotheshorsing / clothes tailoring is, in fact, a major activity in Frenzoo!). While there is no place for blind copying of fashion (especially in light of the limited amount of dynamic cloth that many RL clothes rely on), I feel that this Act may have possible chilling effects. After all, how similar is 'similar'?

Comment civilly, retweet if this meets your interests, fret. And if applicable, write in to your Congressman.

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