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"A Fitting Business"
That's what this knock-off queen below calls profiting from the work of others. I call it something else. Here's the press release I got via email last night. (I'm not making the links live, because the last thing I want to do is advertise for this woman.)

Have you always wanted a Chanel suit, Escada dress or Vera Wang wedding gown. but didn't want to pay the high prices? Or couldn't find it in your size? Jane Langdon wanted a Chanel suit for a 2002 New York city trade show and found one on eBay in a size 8 for $800. She was a size 12 and was unable to loose the weight as the time drew near. She found a wonderful seamstress to copy it and received many compliments at the show. As a result, she started a custom couture business with Natasha, her seamstress, named SEW BEAUTIFUL By Natasha and Jane at www.sew-beautiful.us.

Jane already had successsful internet businesses. House of Rose at www.houseofrose.com which makes long lasting, alcohol free perfumes, Martha Stewart Ponchos at www.sew-beautiful.us/marthestewartponcho, Pill Proof at www.sew-beautiful.us/pillproof which makes medication reminder kits and Your Net Store at www.sew-beautiful.us/yournetstore that helps people build websites. They got orders from around the world. Some women were concerned about how well the clothing would fit and Jane explained that men have been oderering suits this way for many generations from tailors in Hong Kong. Their measurement chart is very extensive.

CHANEL fabrics and buttons are available as well as other top designer fabrics. The linings are top quality 100% silk. They can create exact copies of any designer outfit or work from your sketches or ideas. They make dresses, suits, evening gowns and bridal attire.The Halle Berry oscar dress has been popular and they have the maroon embroidered bodice fabric made in Italy. Other much requested items include are the spring Chanel suits with fringe details and the pink Jackie O suit in "Legally Blonde 2". So if you have a dream outfit you want created, your dream can come true.

CONTACT INFO:
Sew Beautiful LLC
Jane Langdon
5670 Pennwall Street
Madison, WI 53711
USA

Here's the response I sent back:

"Have you ever wanted a Chanel suit, Escada dress or Vera Wang wedding gown. but didn't want to pay the high prices?"

Sure, but making and selling a copy of one would be stealing the fruits of somebody else's labors...right?

Jane: tell me why it isn't stealing to copy and profit from another person's work. Come on...tell me.

As a writer who holds a trademark and copyrights, I value other people's trademarks and copyrights, and thus, would not buy a knock-off. How do you have any right to use Martha Stewart's name as part of your product name? This woman spent years building a business and an image. How dare you try to profit from her work?

Oh, and how generous of you to say on your Web page that you'll give the lady who designed the poncho 10% of the profits. (Is that net or gross?) Perhaps she deserves at least 50% as the creator? Of course, she's in jail, she most likely has no lawyer negotiating for her; she has to just hope people she's doing business with will be fair. Oops!

By the way, that's a copyrighted photo of Reese Witherspoon on your suits page -- http://www.sew-beautiful.us/SBsuits.html -- I'm sure you got permission and paid to use it...right? And the same goes for the Chanel name...right? And for the photos on your suits page that seem to be from the runway from Chanel shows. Surely, you paid Chanel and the models for use, and the photographers, too...right? Surely, you paid the photographers for use of the photos of Halle Berry and Kate Winslet...right? And surely, all those photos that seem to be copied from catalogs are actually originals, bought fair and square from the photographers. Riiiight.

If you aren't clever enough to design profitable enough items of your own, perhaps you should be in business supporting people who have enough talent to create instead of merely copying and profiting from the work of others. --Amy Alkon, syndicated columnist

UPDATE: Apparently, Langdon, who insisted over and over that she had rights to all the photos on her site, did not. Brian Sutera, from Carmela Sutera, was most grateful for my intervention, and wrote Langdon giving her a week to take down the photo on her site of the Carmela Sutera wedding dress (which is in the current collections on Sutera's site)! More at the link below.

Here's the whole story, complete with a link to a site Langdon created about me, USING MY COPYRIGHTED PHOTOS SHE COPIED OFF MY SITE AND ONE OTHER! I spoke to my entertainment lawyer this morning, who told me that this was "a slam-dunk copyright violation." I mean, it's hard to believe this woman is that stupid. I posted the potential fines at the link above, but I offered to let her propose a settlement rather than take this to court!

I totally support her right to speak her opinion about me, as much as she wishes, as a supporter of free speech. What I will not allow is unpaid use of my intellectual property -- those photos.

Posted by aalkon at March 24, 2005 7:52 AM

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Comments

Hi Amy –



This whole patent infringement racket (aka "knockoffs" or "copies") regularly receives huge TV and newspaper coverage here in France. Not a week goes by without TV showing a) bulldozers crushing pirated software or copied porcelain or fountain pens or kids' toys and b) containers of Chanel / Dior knockoffs from China and other countries in the Far East being torched and c) very unhappy tourists (!) after being fined for bringing in a "Rolex" on their wrists or a "Lacoste" on their backs from the knockoff shops in Italy, just over the border on the Riviera.



If this woman comes here and tries to sell her schlock, they'll put her away for a few years after fining her out of existence. If a buyer in Internet orders quantities of such stuff and has it sent, the customs people will swoop instantly.





L'Amerloque

Posted by: L'Amerloque at March 24, 2005 4:37 AM

I don't think you can "copyright" a dress design, can you? I believe as long as you're not using someone else's (trademarked) logo on the dresses, you're not breaking any laws - but IANAL.

Posted by: Frank at March 24, 2005 10:03 AM

I don't know...they get them for knocking of Hermes purses. I believe it isn't illegal in the US to buy these bags and dresses, but it's illegal to sell them. A cursory search (I'm writing, or should be) says that seems to be the case.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 24, 2005 11:27 AM

If clothing designs are copyrighted, how the company ABS get away with presenting, on national television, knock-off copies of gowns worn at the Oscars mere days after the awards show?

Posted by: Bev at March 24, 2005 3:22 PM

I don't know, and I'm not a copyright or trademark expert, and the ones I engage are far too pricey to talk to unless it's absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, even if it is legal, that doesn't mean it's moral. It's always surprising to me when people define behavior as good or bad by virtue of its legality or illegality. Actually, it's not surprising at all. My mail from readers every week is rife with automatic thinking; ie, nonthink. Must morality be dictated to everybody on stone tablets? I'm a godless girl and I manage just fine without Jesus, Moses, or any of the rest of it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 24, 2005 6:35 PM

Are Fox's Trading Spouses and ABC's Wife Swap mutually illegal in some way? They should be.

Posted by: Little ted at March 26, 2005 1:39 AM

I am the owner of Sew Beautiful By Natasha and Jane LLC. Dresses can not be trademarked, patented or copyrighted. I am within full legal rights for what we do. ABS (Alan B Schwartz)has done it for years. Our customers say our quality is better than CHANEL. See testimonials from clients from eBay on our site at www.sew-beautiful.us. Is it moral for Chanel to charge $12,000 for a suit that costs them $400? I think it is moral to offer women affordable couture clothing as we do. In addition, Chanel has no problem with selling us their fabrics.

All the major yarn manufacturers are using the Martha Stewart name in their patterns for ponchos as well as many home crocheters selling them on eBay. Are you writing to all of them to complain? I am the ONLY one giving Ms Hernandez any money. (% is gross profits). I have contacted Martha Stewart about how we are using her name. She has no problem with our doing this.

Most of our profits go into our non profit Medication Compliance Research Inc to help save the lives of over 125,000 people who die each year as a result of not taking their medication properly.

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 26, 2005 2:04 AM

Our non-profit company can be seen at ...

http://sew-beautiful.us/medicationcompliance

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 26, 2005 2:30 AM

Contact these Companies for using the Martha Stewart name ...



1. Seems like everyone admired the graceful lines and cozy texture of Martha Stewart's "Freedom Poncho"—and who better to give the definitive interpretation than Lily Chin, knit and crochet diva and fashion designer extraordinaire. Using two of Coats & Clark's most stylish yarns (Red Heart Casual Cot'n and Red Heart Symphony),

http://www.interweave.com/knit/events/freedom_poncho_pf.asp

2. March 24, 2005 -- The Lion Brand Yarn Company (http://www.LionBrand.com) today announced that 505,585 "Coming Home", poncho patterns, inspired by Martha Stewart, have now been downloaded from their Web site.Original Poncho Pattern
Everybody has been talking about that poncho that Martha Stewart wore when she made her swift get-away from Camp Cupcake. It appeared to be quite comfortable and just the right thing to wear as she was whisked away from prying eyes. In case you are wondering, they have posted information about how to get a free pattern to make your own version of Martha's ponco.
i-Newswire, 2005-03-15 - One unanswered question about the now-famous poncho worn by Martha Stewart has been answered in a live chat transcribed on the MarthaStewart.com web site. When asked about the poncho, Ms. Stewart responded, "It is soft and thick and made from Lion Brand Yarn.
The yarn company has posted the free poncho pattern on their website."

3. Herrschners Yarn Company
Match "Martha's" Poncho Pack
As featured when Martha Stewart left prison - you can create this free-flowing poncho in your choice of colors using Bernat Galaxy yarn (Featured in color #3110 Neptune). http://www.herrschners.com/products/product.aspx?sku=200010-3110
4. Martha Stewart's Poncho Pattern Sought After by Bloggers
Seems like more and more crochet fans are talking about the poncho Martha Stewart wore after her release from prison last weekend. While television started the buzz, blogs and bulletin boards will likely help to keep the word of mouth going.
On Martha Stewart Living.com's bulletin boards, one of the longest threads asks "What if we put our heads together to recreate Martha's poncho?" Clearly, many Martha fans are enamored by the stitchwork of her apparel, which was reportedly made by hand by one of her fellow prison mates.
http://www.thinkwareblog.com/archives/2005/03/martha_stewarts.php

5. eBay AUCTIONS for MARTHA STEWART PONCHOS - 85 people
http://search.ebay.com/Martha-Stewart-poncho_W0QQfkrZ1QQfromZR8

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 26, 2005 2:56 AM

Jane...I understand that you want to deflect criticism from yourself, but why not answer the questions about your company, and assure us that you paid for all those photos on your site, etc.?

I don't think it's right that anybody uses anybody else's name to profit -- I go after anybody who violates my trademark -- but Jane, there are myriad issues above I don't see you addressing. Did you or did you not use photos you did not pay for on your site?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 26, 2005 9:10 AM

Jane, did you file a 501C3? And are you making any profit from those pill things? How much are you getting for overhead? See, once I saw those uncredited photos, I started wondering. You don't address so many points...you deflect. Come on...address what I wrote head on. Showe us the letter from Chanel telling you how THRILLED they are to provide fabrics so you can knock off their designs. And from Martha Stewart. Talk is cheap.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 26, 2005 9:16 AM

Hmm, just looked at that page again. Jane, aren't you selling those pill cases for a profit? Isn't that page you sent the link to simply a page where people can donate? Eagerly awaiting your reply!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 26, 2005 9:58 AM

Well Amy, you are wrong on all counts.

I have paid for ALL the information on my site that is necessary. My lawyer is a business expert and I can assure you he is familiar with business law. Why do you assume I have not done this?

We have also many more than 200 clothing items with our own designs which have been copied by others including ABS. We find this flattering as they are a large company who goes to the Hollywood awards each year and copies many gowns.

When you say "clearly this makes you a thief", you are not only making an assumption but that is SLANDER and we could sue you for this. You are lucky I am not that kind of person.

Our not for profit is legally incorporated as such. I do not owe you any letters from Martha Stewart, CHANEL, etc. PILL PROOF kit are sold at cost and we have donated many to various organizations. Nor do you have any business asking whether we give net or gross to our non profit. Why are you making this YOUR business?

By the way, I could not say on our website that I use CHANEL fabrics if that were not ture. They would sue me if that were so.

What issues have I not addressed?

Remember people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks or make slanderous statements.

Jane Langdon, Owner
Sew Beautiful by Natasha and Jane

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 26, 2005 11:45 AM

Amy... The following statements you made about me and our company on your Blog are slanderous and they are false. You have no basis for making these remarks.
"I especially love your argument that your customers like it. I'm sure the guy who gets a stolen TV really cheaply from a fence is thrilled as well. DOES Chanel really know what you're doing? I doubt it."
"I'm loath to believe anything you say"
"...there's much you're doing that's illegal"
"Your rationalization of it is absolutely disgusting"
"Clearly, you are utterly unconcerned with much but making a profit."
Jane Langdon, Owner Sew Beautiful by Natasha and Jane

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 26, 2005 12:03 PM

Jane, I don't allow free advertising on my site, so, while I will permit you to rebut remarks made about your business practices, I'm erasing the two posts above advertising all your various businesses, ie, "Looking or hard to find perfumes" etc. -- well, I did leave the bit where you complain about me -- about what have I done? Well, I would say this blog and my column are a pretty good contribution. I do other things as well, but I don't crow about them, generally speaking. One of them, however, is answering hundreds of pieces of mail every week from people who don't have anybody else to turn to. For free. Pieces that will never, ever make it into my column.

Here's the bit in response to your double posting on this item and the other one about your company, just so it can be seen here. Jeez, you work so hard to write up all this information, yet you have yet to respond with the assurance that you have rights to the photos and stars' images on your site.

----

Slanderous remarks, first of all, are spoken, not written. Second, I'm a professional writer, and I am very careful about my speech, as I know the laws -- which protect my right to give my opinion in a public forum. Note that most of the above (cited in your post accusing me of "slander") is simply my opinion and is clearly stated as such.

Regarding "there's much that you're doing that's illegal" -- this is explained, and I'll explain it again:

I see countless photos on your site of Hollywood stars, taken at runway shows, and ostensibly from catalogs. I see no credit or copyright notices (that you were granted rights to use them). This suggests they were not licensed, paid for, or permitted in some way by the creators and photographers. Am I wrong? Did you get permission for every one of those photos, pay Halle Berry, pay Kate Winslet, pay Reese Witherspoon, and the photographers, and license them for use, and simply forget to include the copyrights (as typically contractually mandated, in my understanding, which is why you see photo credits, ie, so-and so at Sygma in those little cutlines in magazines).

Well, DID YOU?

If you simply neglected to note the copyrights at the bottom, but paid Halle and all the rest for the use of their images to sell your products, well my sincere apologies. What is the going rate on Halle doing advertising for a product these days...a million, a million-five? You must be one successful lady!

In my opinion, you're doing something that is ethically wrong. I am entitled, as long as we still have a First Amendment, to state that opinion. We do still have a First Amendment, don't we? (I've been out all day -- you can't be too sure of these things these days!)

Moreover, opinions are different from facts. An opinion can be neither true nor false; it's simply what I think, and clearly presented that way.

So, how much did Kate Winslet charge you to use her photo to advertise her stuff? I was thinking of getting her to advertise my column. If you could afford her rates maybe I could, too. Or did she just let you use her image to advertise her stuff out of the goodness of her heart? It's possible!


Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 26, 2005 3:58 PM

And on to the law library:

"In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed that only factual misrepresentation is to be considered libel or slander, not expression of opinion."

http://www.answers.com/topic/slander-and-libel

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 26, 2005 4:11 PM

"When you say "clearly this makes you a thief", you are not only making an assumption but that is SLANDER and we could sue you for this. You are lucky I am not that kind of person."

Ah, but Jane, I said no such thing. See the law library thing above for slander defense. I'm merely complaining about something that I feel is morally wrong. Here's my actual quote, and in context, too:

"Perhaps I'm making an outrageous assumption, but from the photographic evidence I see on your blog -- pictures of movie stars without credit to the photographers and pictures from runway shows and apparently, catalogs paid for by the very people whose work you're profiting from...it seems quite likely to me that you're a thief...and many times over. You don't say you paid for those photos."

You seem allergic to that question, because you dance around to all sorts of other topics and never respond to it.

I don't live in a glass house. I value other people's intellectual property rights, which is why I will not go downtown to LA and buy $20 designer knockoff purses in Santee alley. It's wrong. If Miuccia Prada or Kate Spade designs a bag, they should profit from it, not some counterfeiter. I speak up about all manner of wrongdoing I see. I give my opinion for a living. In other words, it's my job. You make the world a better place by not simply remaining silent and looking the other way. Well, "you," in the general sense, I mean!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 26, 2005 4:19 PM

David E. McCraw, Counsel for The New York Times Co. I figured the counsel for a newspaper as prestigious as the New York Times would be able to provide some good insight on libel for bloggers:


With blogs now being published under the writer's name, and easily identifiable and writing on public topics, there's no reason why blogs are not being sued for libel.

In public figure libel cases, the public figure has to prove that what's written is maliciously known to be false. The private individual, though, only has to prove that a reporter is being careless - was the individual called? Were questions asked? In reporting, these are the questions that need to be answered to protect against libel.

Bloggers, though, blog on belief. Bloggers are like disc jockeys rather than reporters - they say what's on their mind.

There are three interesting set of legal issues for bloggers:

Originator Liability: the Website can't be sued, but you can be sued. If you post on a blog, even though it is a neutral conduit and is protected, the originator is open to liability. The safe harbor is not true for everyone.


Unfortunately, many bloggers think that their blogs fall under the protection of the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling. This isn't so. If a blogger posts libelous content that is original, it is still libel.

Do bloggers deserve the same protection as journalists? On one side, it obvious that bloggers are journalists, and on the other side, people are just having private conversations. Bloggers are trying to site on both sides of the fence - citizen journalists and personal journals. They want the protection of shield law as a journalist, but at the same time not worry about fact checking since it is just a blog.

Originally, people thought that since blogs had low readership there was no real reason to worry about libel. But, now the way that search engines work, blogs are being easily found - with comments and posts of an unflattering nature.

What happens on blogs now is that posts are being picked up by major media outlets. The lonely, personal essayist is no longer true for blogs. There are now blogs that are influential and being picked up, and if it construed as factual information, there needs to be a level of fact checking. If it is false, the original source - the blogger - may be subject to liability just as much as a newspaper.


Bartlet Brebner, of The Brebner Law Firm, noted that “First Amendment is such a moving and shifting area of law – new court decisions alter the lay of the land, the jury instructions – that nuances come along and change what can be done all the time.”

Why should we care about this in public relations? To protect myself a little bit, I did add that the blog is "my opinions and views" - that it's my views and opinions. But, as McCraw noted, that's not enough protection against libel. Simple labeling that something is an opinion does not make it so - the writer has to use "opiniony" words so that it is easily identifiable as not fact, less factual, while showing the basis of the opinion.

As amorphous communications grows, and blogs become part of the communications mix - both pitching to bloggers and having a corporate blog - we as public relations professionals need to keep in mind what we can and cannot say. And, we also need to be very aware of what is being said about our clients, and at times, about us. As McCraw noted - and I can attest to - bloggers blog on beliefs and emotions. Sometimes, that can be a dangerous combo that will lead to a libel suit.

It's obvious that individuals are unaware of the risks of libel and invasion of privacy, and don't realize that what they're saying on these websites could set themselves up for libel lawsuits from individuals and entities from around the world," Baron says. "We've gotten a number of calls here, either by or on behalf of individuals who had no idea that what they were saying on these chat boards and blogs could subject them to litigation."
Professional journalists almost always have one or more courses in libel law as part of their training, and traditional media outlets rely closely on the advice of lawyers to keep themselves from crossing the defamation line. Old media strives to function as a gatekeeper, keeping libelous commentary from being published. In new media, anybody with a computer and online access can say whatever they like, instantly. And when they do, they are no more protected from libel claims than the New York Times.

"Once you publish something, you're a publisher, whether you're a priest, housewife, or shareholder," says Baron. "People need to learn to curb their enthusiasm before they post."

They should also familiarize themselves with the basics of libel law, something that no one outside of journalism and publishing ever had to bother with until the Internet arrived. LRDC offers a bare-bones primer here. The Associated Press Stylebook, which has an updated section on libel law, is a must-have in newsrooms, and probably should be on the desk of every blogger.

One great thing about the Internet is how it allows ordinary citizens to bypass the old-line media, and bring fresh, sometimes-urgent commentary and reporting directly to readers. Yet the temptation all bloggers face is to post first, ask questions later, if at all. As Fr. Rob Johansen is learning, that can be a costly mistake."We hate to spoil the fun, but there's something you newbie bloggers need to know before committing journalism on your shiny new Web sites: You are now a publisher and could be sued for libel.

Libel law, as it applies to this new Internet form of journalism, is still being worked out in the courts. But bloggers and those who post comments on chat boards should be aware that in most cases, the same libel and privacy laws that govern the conduct of professional journalists also apply to them.

One important distinction: A blogger generally cannot be held liable for libelous material posted by someone else on the blogger's Web site. But any content created by the blogger is subject to a libel claim.

On libel, do your homework. If the blogger is going to make negative statements about a company's or individual's business activities, "he's really got to do his research and make sure what he's saying can be proven to be true and not just believed to be true."


Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 27, 2005 9:21 PM

EVERYTHING ON ALL OUR SITES IS LEGAL...All parties have been paid. There are NO copyright, trademark or patent infringments. PERIOD!

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 27, 2005 9:25 PM

Reese Witherspoon has been paid? Halle Berry has been paid? Kate Winslet has been paid? All those models in all those photos have have been paid?

Jane, it's real cute that you're posting stuff on libel. Perhaps you should read what you posted.

I am entitled to my opinion.

You should go back and reread what I wrote and sound out all those "opiniony" words like "likely." I think it's likely you're doing what I suspect -- using actresses images without payment to them for use of their images to advertise your products. I find it highly unlikely that Reese Witherspoon or Halle Berry or Kate Winslet would allow their images to be used to promote knockoff dresses. You have yet to cough up a number for what you paid Reese, Halle, or Kate. Do tell!

The facts are always the best defense!

Furthermore, I am completely entitled to my opinion that what you are doing -- profiting from the creatiive work of others -- is DESPICABLE and CREEPY.

My opinion. O-P-I-N-I-O-N.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 27, 2005 10:33 PM

http://www.aaquino.com/stock.htm

note the quote:

Designer Runway Fashion Shows Editorial Photos
Madrid, Toronto, New York, Paris, Milan, Miami, more.
-- For Editorial Use Only --


Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 27, 2005 10:53 PM

This is the last you will hear from me on this blog. EVERYTHING ON ALL OUR SITES IS LEGAL. ALL PARTIES HAVE BEEN PAID. How much they were paid is none of you business. The fact that you keep asking me for information on the fees we paid is DESPICABLE & CREEPY!

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 28, 2005 5:11 AM

Amy you quoted the following...

>>>"http://www.aaquino.com/stock.htm

note the quote:

Designer Runway Fashion Shows Editorial Photos
Madrid, Toronto, New York, Paris, Milan, Miami, more.
-- For Editorial Use Only --">>>

ON THE SAME PAGE JUST BELOW IT, I quote...

"Fashion - For Commercial and Editorial Usage -
Non-runway and runway style stock photos, studio and location images
- Casual, Formal, Jewelry, Accessories, Runway"

Guess you just didn't read far enough.

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 28, 2005 6:51 AM

Yes, but you're showing runway photos...with the designers names behind the models! Let's say that's legal -- to show a photo from Carmela Sutera's very show, complete with the model Sutera used, so you can knock off her dress -- that doesn't make it moral, now does it?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 7:39 AM

" The fact that you keep asking me for information on the fees we paid is DESPICABLE & CREEPY!"

That's rich!

No, the fact that you seem to think nothing of profiting from others' work, not my concern for intellectual property, is DESPICABLE AND CREEPY!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 7:59 AM

Of course YOU INVENTED the ADVICE COLUMN. How much have you given to the former ANN LANDERS and the many prior to you? It was not your idea, but you are profitting from the idea.

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 28, 2005 8:42 AM

I didn't invent the dress, either, nor did I invent the book or any other forms of media! What I'm not doing, however, is copying Ann Landers' words and thoughts, publishing them, and profiting from them. I'm writing my own words, and giving full credit to those whose ideas I quote in my column to support my ideas, including listing their books so they can profit from the fruits of their labors. Are you really that dim that you don't understand the difference between writing in a format that others have written in before and copying their work and profiting from it? Is Michael Crichton stealing from Aristotle because both wrote in book format?! Now, I'm starting to feel a wee bit sorry for you. I still think what you're doing is despicable. My next door neighbor designs clothes, too, and quite successfully. Her line is sold in the USA and Japan, and certain stars are huge fans of her clothes. Her designs, however, are her own. I'm pretty sure she'd be embarrassed to profit by knocking off others' work.

Do you really not understand the difference here?!! Jeez, elementary logic.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 9:00 AM

PS Ann Landers didn't invent the genre either, but I'm not going to give you a history of the advice column, going back through Conduct Books. I hate to tax your wee brain any more than I appear to be doing already.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 9:01 AM

Here are other companies copying designer clothing....
DESIGNS FOR THE MASSES; BANKING ON ITS KNACK FOR KNOCKOFFS, ABS IS READY TO TACKLE THE SHOE BUSINESS
Allen Schwartz has built his career on his remarkable ability to create with rapid-fire speed designer-look eveningwear and up-to-the-moment daytime clothing at reasonable prices. The question is, can the ABS design director, also known as "King of the Knockoffs," apply the same formula to footwear?
Schwartz, whose Los Angeles-based company is probably best known for its Oscar Watch collection -- eveningwear inspired by the fashions actresses wear to the glamorous Academy Awards ceremonies each year -- said he is confident he can provide women with shoes that embrace the ...
A.B.S by Allen Schwartz is a multi-million dollar company and is sold domestically to leading department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and Lord and Taylor. Retail price points range from $98 - $400 across all the collections. A.B.S by Allen Schwartz is also sold internationally to stores in the Far East, Canada, Europe and most recently London and Australia. A.B.S also has four freestanding company boutiques across the United States and is carried in over 1200 doors.
Casadei will re-create five Oscar gowns. Owner Eletra Casadei had decided not to do Oscar knockoffs this year because of the war and the truncated red carpet. But she changed her mind after seeing the night's beautiful dresses and hearing from stores that carry her re-creations.
Their picks:
Renee Zellweger's red Carolina Herrera gown (A.B.S. and Casadei).

Imagine Saks, Neimans & Bloomingdales carrying knockoffs.

Are you going to contact these people as well for being immoral?
Kidman's midnight blue Jean Paul Gaultier couture gown (A.B.S. and Casadei).
Berry's beige tulle Elie Saab couture gown (A.B.S.).
Jennifer Garner's pale blue chiffon Atelier Versace couture gown (A.B.S. and Casadei).
Julianne Moore's emerald-green Yves Saint Laurent gown (Casadei).
Kate Hudson's light gold Atelier Versace gown (A.B.S. and Casadei).
Julia Roberts' vintage black Jean Jourban Paris halter gown, circa 1970s (A.B.S.).
A.B.S. will have its copies ready to show to marketers this week and in stores by late April/early May.
Casadei's can be viewed on her Web site, www.casadei.net, in two weeks. They will be in stores by Aug. 30.
Prices range from $350 to $800.

Oscar Knockoffs
Nicole Kidman was pretty in pink, Julia Roberts beautiful in classic black, and Jennifer Lopez's gown was perfectly peachy. At this year Oscars, every single star had their own sense of style.
Those big name designers may mean sky-high price tags, but you can have the look without serious loot thanks to designer Victor Costa. He says, “I look at the Oscars for something I can make miss America across the country feel like a star.”
Victor's job is to watch the red carpet and recreate the star's style at a fraction of the cost. He says, “I'm looking at what's going to be the very best, what women will relate to."

Just moments after we saw the celebrities on the red carpet, Victor went to work. So which frocks caught his eye? Victor says, “The most impressive dresses were the relinquishing queen, Julia Roberts. I loved Halle Berry's dress because it had all the makings of star power.”

And the price is right. Halle's and Julia's dresses would both run tens of thousands of dollars, but Victor's prices are little more pleasing: $800 for Halle’s and $225 for Julia’s. Now you can look like a million bucks without having to spend it!

Saks, Neimans, Bloomingdales. They all sell it. Are you going to contact them for being immoral & creepy? I doubt it!

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 28, 2005 10:21 AM

Because lots of people do it doesn't mean it's right. I don't go looking to defend everybody's work -- but you sent me a press release crowing about knocking off the fruits of others' labors. I found that obscene.

Hey, there were lots of Nazis in WWII. Doesn't make it right to murder Jews, homosexuals, and gypsies. "Everybody's doing it" doesn't make it moral. What's so disturbing is the energy you put into defending your taking the work of others and profiting from it. All of the above knockoff artists sicken me. It's wrong to profit from work that is not yours -- whether or not there's some hole in the fence of the law that permits you to sneak through and do it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 10:45 AM

Oh yeah, since it's clear you don't respect the work of others, it's no surprise that you didn't quote from and link to the people who wrote the stuff you're quoting above. Kindly do that in a post below. This is a site that respects the intellectual property of others.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 10:46 AM

Links and attributions (bylines, if provided), please.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 10:47 AM

PS I'm assuming those places you quoted from don't have disclaimers on their site prohibiting copying of their work without permission. They don't have those...do they? You so often emphasize how law-abiding you are in putting up photos on your own site, as if you're careful about such things. I can't imagine you'd violate anybody's copyrights to post on mine!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 28, 2005 10:53 AM

Posted by: Jane Langdon at March 31, 2005 5:06 AM

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