At least if you’re in Britain or Europe: “Mid-century design classics, such as Charles Eames chairs, Eileen Gray tables and Arco lamps are set to rocket in price [in Britain and Europe], following EU regulations which came into force this week that extend the copyright on furniture from 25 years to 70 years after the death of a designer.” Low-cost knockoffs of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair, for example, will be banned until 2039, 70 years after his 1969 death. [The Guardian] Alex Tabarrok has some thoughts on why consumers might rightly be seen as getting the short end, and notes this (via Daily Mail): “Companies which publish design books may have to get numerous licences to reproduce photos because designs have come under copyright.”
- Murder victim’s family sues Schwarzenegger for commuting sentence [KTXL]
- Easter egg in Dodd-Frank: Lawmaker’s pet “conflict minerals” proposal, to be enforced by SEC [Protess] More on costs to automakers and others: WLF, Carter Wood, more. Further: Bader.
- Push is on again for fashion design copyright protection [NYT, earlier] Another skeptical view of bill [Katy Tasker, Public Knowledge]
- Charges dropped against woman who videotaped cops from her front yard [Rochester D&C]
- “Mom Charged with ‘Child Endangerment’ When Tot Wanders Off” [Free-Range Kids]
- Live off the land? Better not try that in rural L.A. County [Cavanaugh]
- Does the U.S. maintain diplomatic relations with this strange realm of “Gould, Arkansas”? [Volokh, Underhill/Forbes]
- More criticism of $671 million California nursing home verdict [Tracy Leach/Examiner, California Civil Justice, earlier]
- Community service as precondition for college tax credits? [Charlotte Allen/Minding the Campus, earlier]
- Casket-making monks vs. Louisiana funeral regulators [Ken at Popehat]
- Careful about repeating claims that bad stuff in the environment is causing children to go through puberty earlier [Sanghavi, Slate]
- Grilled chicken: “California Restaurants Lose Appeal On Cancer Warnings” [Dan Fisher/Forbes, earlier]
- Randy Maniloff on the uncertain foundations of insurance bad faith law [Mealey’s, PDF]
- “Why Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Fashion” [Raustiala/Sprigman, NY Times, earlier on design “knockoff” legislation here, here, and here]
- On a personal note, this week I completed my relocation from the New York to the Washington, D.C. vicinity. I look forward to seeing more of my friends both at the Cato Institute’s offices and elsewhere around D.C.
Eduardo Peñalver (Cornell) and Sonia Katyal (Fordham) discuss at the American Constitution Society’s ACSblog. Earlier on the Design Piracy Prohibition Act here and here.
A very dubious idea — federal legislation aimed at copycat producers who “knock off” fashion and apparel designs — rears its head again. (guest posters Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman at N.Y. Times “Freakonomics”, earlier).
A bill to extend intellectual-property concepts — and litigation based on those concepts — into the world of fashion and design is pending in Congress. Kathleen Fasanella, whose Fashion Incubator site has done much to advance the CPSIA fight, warns the law will be enough to sink many small apparel and fabric firms that can’t afford lawyers to fight big firms’ infringement claims — and that it could spell an end to her own advisory/website business as well. “If CPSIA was an amputation, the Design Piracy Prohibition Act is a beheading.” A view in favor of the legislation: Counterfeit Chic. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, representing many big-name fashion design houses, has pushed for the bill, while “the largest industry group, the venerable American Apparel and Footwear Association” is opposed, predicting it will lead to “an environment of ubiquitous lawsuits between legitimate companies”.