Open Source... Sewing?

from the stitch-it-up dept

Apparently this is the month for the fashion industry to teach some lessons to other industries that you don't need to focus on protecting your intellectual property when, instead, you can use it to promote products to sell. First there was the research showing how a lack of intellectual property protection on fashion designs helped grow the industry by making it faster to change and faster to innovate. Now, Portia writes in with an example of a company that sells high-end sewing patterns that has decided to adopt an "open source" attitude. Basically, the company has recognized that obscurity or disinterest is a much bigger risk its business than "piracy." So, with that in mind, it's removed the copyright on its designs, asked people to feel free to improve on them -- and even encourages people to make money selling the improved designs. The only thing the company asks for is attribution of where the design originated from. What gave Hubert Burda, the chairman of the company, the idea? "He said we should not make the same mistakes as record companies did with copy restrictions."

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  1. icon
    chris (profile), 16 Apr 2007 @ 6:50am

    innovation in fashion?

    forgive me for being so ignorant, but just how has the fashion industry innovated anything since the 1800's?

    the last technological advance in fashion that i can think of was levi strauss during the gold rush in 1849.

    pants technology pretty much peaked then and hasn't progressed much since then.

    the fashion industry is good at invalidating last years "innovations" and replacing them with this years "model"... but it's not like shirts and pants are able to do things that they weren't able to do 10 years ago.

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