Stealing Beauty

When it comes to discussions of intellectual property and copyright, things tend to slant in two directions: pass stringent laws to protect creators and artists or, conversely, avoid any legislation that might encroach on individual freedoms. While these arguments address the rights of people and corporations, they tend to ignore the bigger picture. How do IP rights affect the advance of culture as a whole? Enter Ready to Share.

The Ready to Share project “explores the fashion industry’s enthusiastic embrace of sampling, appropriation and borrowed inspiration,” positing that the lack of restriction actually makes fashion a business leader and one of the most creative (not to mention profitable) business models going. The project includes participants from fashion and entertainment quarters, as well as academics, scientists, business executives and archivists, and has published several research reports. I have to say, I was really pleased to see fashion hailed as a visionary industry – especially when it’s so often dismissed as trivial by more, well, industrial types.

In the clip below, the smart and stylish Johanna Blakley explains why fashion is (or should be) the envy of innovators everywhere.

- G.