We do a lot at Nineteenth Amendment to educate designers on legal issues that affect the fashion industry. Recently we had lawyer Michele B. of Beeline legal blog about the importance of trademarks and copyrighting fashion design. While we want designers to be aware of their legal rights and protect themselves, we also want our designers to understand when they may be infringing up others’ rights. It’s never ok to use copyrighted images publicly without permission, even if they serve as inspiration. On Nineteenth Amendment, designers have the ability to upload images, from inspiration to product photos, to the platform and, in doing so, certify that they have the legal right to distribute these images.

Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re in the clear when posting others’ work:

  • Double check images rights, or find images labeled for reuse, using Google’s Image search by clicking on Tools > Image Rights.
  • Get written permission by all involved parties (i.e. models, stylists, photographers, creatives etc.) for photography before posting publicly. If requested make sure to properly tag and credit each photo.
  • Photographs, drawings, illustration, and art can all be copyrighted. You can purchase a license to most copyrighted material by contacting the owner or source (i.e. museum legal department or a magazine’s legal department).
  • Whenever possible, credit the source of the image when uploading inspiration in the comments and description section tied to that image.

Copyright infringement is serious and can cost your brand hundreds or thousands of dollars in copyright infringement settlement. Many copyrighted images gathered from the web can be traced. If you post one of these images without permission, even for a short period of time, you are liable and you can be approached by a copyright protection agency even years after the posting. So, remember to be safe and double check that you have permission to share or better yet create your own images!

Got a question about how to add references to your Showroom? Email us.