Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA/PIPA: Faux Pas!

As you read this, the US Congress is considering legislation that would directly contradict our beloved First Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

I don't believe in piracy.  As someone who loves all things that are beautiful and a supporter of the creative genius behind most fashion houses, I don't support fake or counterfeit goods.  I am not talking about seeing a beautiful design and buying an affordable "inspired" piece.  I often can't afford the designer item for weeks, months, sometimes years (Chloe Paddington, I am looking at you!) and I go out and buy something similar to pacify myself until the trend passes or I realize that I've worn the item over and over and should go ahead and accept the fact that I am not giving up on it.
I am talking about actually buying something that is stamped with a Chanel or Louis Vuitton logo and is trying to pass off as an actual Chanel 2.55 Reissue or a Louis Vuitton Alma.  I understand the desire to buy the hot trend.  I want it, too! And this doesn't seem to be the year that I will get that Chanel on my list either, no matter how I try to rearrange my budget.  I am fortunate to have a couple of LV pieces; they were not easy pieces to acquire and now I really wish I'd gone with something in the same price range that was more classic instead of being overwhelmed by the giddiness of "It's on SALE!" Some lessons cost us more than others, I guess.  Harper's Bazaar has a great campaign, Fakes are Never In Fashion.  The counterfeit business is booming and now you see ALL designer goods are being faked from the ubiquitous Louis Vuitton handbags, to Louboutin shoes and even the gorgeous Alexander McQueen scarf that I've had on my wishlist for over a year!
That said, I don't believe that the proposed SOPA/PIPA Acts will actually help to protect against counterfeit goods.  All that SOPA/PIPA will do is create more litigation for those organizations that we use everyday to search for information.  The brunt of SOPA(Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) is aimed at shutting down foreign sites that the government believes are "facilitating the commission" of copyright infringement.  While I think we can all get behind the spirit of that law, the enforcement mechanism hasn't really been thought out.  Currently,  the enforcement portion is solely to hold search engines and web hosting companies in the US like Google and Bing or YouTube and Facebook responsible for user content.  If I post a photo of anything without crediting the proper source and Google doesn't shut my entire website down, Google would be in violation of the law.  Can you imagine the litigation nightmare that will be?  Then all those stupid posts about Facebook charging for service would REALLY take hold!

I don't want to get too personal on this site because this is just a small part of what I do everyday.  Everyone gets dressed each day; I just happen to document what I am wearing on a regular basis.  However, I am very grateful that many years ago, my parents left the only home they'd ever known and came to the United States to start their family.  At their tender ages, they were wise beyond their years and knew that if they wanted a better life for the family they wished to start, their home country was not the place to do it.  We live in an amazing wonderland.  We have the right to say whatever we want in whatever manner we choose without fear of reprisal or retribution.  Even today, there are people all over the world who can't say that.  As a country, we've been attacked because our freedom is a slap in the face to tyranny and oppression the whole world over.
I don't believe that the bills that are currently in Congress are the way to protect us from piracy and counterfeits.  In fact, I strongly believe that they go against the very spirit of the freedoms of speech, and expression that we value and cherish as Americans.
Today, I am so grateful that I have this platform to share my opinion and I am humbled to rediscover why we live in such a great nation.  When individual citizens can affect the outcome of their governance, that is democracy in action.  These bills are the first step to curb that democracy and everyone who creates content should be paying attention.  If your website can be removed for copyrighted content tomorrow, what will be grounds for censorship and deletion the day after?

If you live in the United States, you can contact your Congressional Representatives here.
All images from this post were found via Google Images.


  1. This was a fantastic post - informational and exactly what I needed. I've heard about the initiative and because of you I know more details.

    Red Soles and Red Wine

  2. Thanks, Jen! I know style blogs aren't supposed to be political, but I thought the issue was an important one.


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