In a recent development, a fashion designer has come forward with allegations of design inspiration theft against renowned musician Pharrell Williams and luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton, potentially casting a shadow on their collaborative success.
Louis Vuitton bootlegger claims she was defrauded by Pharrell
The controversy surfaced when an independent fashion designer named Kellie Ford shared a video clip online, claiming that Pharrell and Louis Vuitton had appropriated her idea for a bag in their latest collection.
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Ford recalled gaining significant attention in 2021 for her innovative repurposing of Louis Vuitton’s iconic shopping bag.
While some individuals have expressed support for Ford’s claim, others have raised the point that Ford initially utilised Louis Vuitton’s image, potentially affecting the strength of her copyright claim.
As of now, neither Pharrell Williams nor Louis Vuitton has responded to these allegations, leaving the situation unresolved and raising questions about the origin of the design inspiration behind their latest collection.
Can Kellie Ford file a copyright claim?
In the United States, copyright infringement laws provide legal protection for original works of authorship, including literary, artistic, musical, and other creative works.
When it comes to counterfeit products, copyright infringement can occur if someone reproduces, distributes, displays, or performs copyrighted work without permission from the copyright holder.
Here are some key points to understand about copyright infringement laws in the United States:
Copyright protection is automatically granted to original works as soon as they are fixed in a tangible form, such as a book, painting, or recording. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required for copyright protection, but it offers additional legal benefits.
Copyright holders have exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, display, perform, and create derivative works based on their copyrighted works. These rights allow them to control and profit from their creative endeavours.
Counterfeit products are unauthorised copies or imitations of genuine products. Counterfeiters may illegally reproduce copyrighted works such as books, music albums, movies, artwork, or software without obtaining permission from the copyright holders.
Copyright holders can pursue civil remedies against individuals or entities that engage in copyright infringement. They may seek injunctions to stop the infringing activities, actual damages or statutory damages, and, in some cases, attorney’s fees. In some instances, criminal charges may apply if the infringement is willful and for commercial purposes.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
The DMCA is a federal law that addresses copyright issues in the digital environment. It provides certain protections and limitations for online service providers (OSP) and offers mechanisms for reporting and removing infringing content from online platforms.
Online Counterfeit Issues
Online platforms and marketplaces play a significant role in copyright infringement cases involving counterfeit products.
In some situations, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbour provisions may protect online platforms from liability if they promptly respond to takedown notices and implement certain measures against repeat infringers.