Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) introduced legislation late Thursday night that will provide copyright protection to “unique and original” fashion designs, after the Council of Fashion Designers of American and American Apparel & Footwear Association reached a compromise on the stalled legislation that had bitterly divided the industry.


The Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act, if passed, would provide three years of copyright protection to “new and original” designs, while designs created in the public domain before enactment of the bill would be be exempt. The bill faces stiff opposition from retailers and an uphill battle in Congress.


Under the bill, only “deliberate copies that are substantially identical to the protected design” will be prohibited and consumers and retailers cannot be held liable for buying or selling “illegal” copies.

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