Splendid 19th century imperial robes from China inspire modern fashion designs in a new costume exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (titled: China Through the Looking Glass). A fascinating element of this exhibit is that the imperial robes and the modern, couture gowns are displayed side-by-side. While the styles, silhouettes and lines of the old and new fashions are drastically different, the inspiration linking the old and new is clear, including, borrowed colors, designs and artwork.
Borrowing colors, designs and artwork isn’t always free and easy. Copyright laws in countries around the world vest the original creators and owners of designs and artwork with a bundle of exclusive rights to control the use and copying of their original designs and artwork. However, these exclusive rights only last for a finite period of time. The duration of these exclusive rights varies country by country depending upon the national copyright laws. The copyright laws in each country outline the length of time that the exclusive rights last (also known as the “term of copyright”). Once the term of copyright expires, the work becomes part of the public domain and is free to use and copy.
Treat yourself to a visit of this exhibit, if you can. I give it two glamorous thumbs up.
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
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See also: other blog posts on public domain at http://wp.me/p10nNq-ft and www.iplegalfreebies.wordpress.com/category/public-domain; a blog post on Traditional Knowledge of indigenous people and tribes which can be an exception to public domain works at http://wp.me/p10nNq-AC; information about the MET costume exhibit at http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2015/china-through-the-looking-glass/images; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.