Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Catwalk Meowing

My favorite train newspaper, the New York Post (the one with headlines like "Headless body found in topless bar"), had a story today on a copying of design sketches for Bravo's "Project Runway" show. Here's the link. The story states that contestant Keith Michael "may have plagiarized" design sketches he submitted in his application to be on the show. The article states that "some people suggest" (this is journalism, after all) that Michael used Photoshop to scan photographs and convert them into drawings. He would, according to the theory, then have submitted the drawings as if they were his. The article has side by side comparisons.

Michael is not reported in the story as necessarily denying this, although "Speculation is high that the judges may have known or learned later that Michael submitted copied sketches and will boot him out of the contest on an upcoming episode."

Leaving aside whether ethics play a role in such an industry, on the copyright side of things, there would be little chance of infringement of a design interest, although the photographer whose photos was copied might.

2 comments:

Berne Baby, Berne said...

I don't think that Photoshop was used because the negative spaces, edges, and angles don't line up. The sketches and photos can be viewed on sites such as Counterfeit Chic. Nonetheless, the similarities between the photographs and the drawings are very strong. This brings up the irony that the clothing designs (in three dimensions) are not protected but the photographs (two dimensions) of the designs are. By the way, the proposed Design Piracy Act is scheduled for a hearing on July 27.

William Patry said...

Berne baby:
Thanks for the link which has much better pictures. And then there is the seeming gender (if not sex) change in the first set of images.