Colman, Charles E.

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    About Ned
    (Harv. L. Rev. F., 2015) Colman, Charles
    The great peculiarity of the privacy cases is their predominant, though not exclusive, focus on sexuality - not 'sex' as such, of course, but sexuality in the broad sense of that term: the network of decisions and conduct relating to the conditions under which sex is permissible, the social institutions surrounding sexual relationships, and the procreative consequences of sex. Nothing in the privacy cases says that the doctrine must gravitate around sexuality. Nevertheless, it has.
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    Trademark Law and the Prickly Ambivalence of Post-Parodies
    (U. Pa. L. Rev., 2014) Colman, Charles
    This Essay examines what I call 'post-parodies" in apparel. This emerging genre of do-it-yourself fashion is characterized by the appropriation and modification of third-party trademarks-notf or the sake of dismissively mocking or zealously glorifying luxury fashion, but rather to engage in more complex forms of expression. I examine the cultural circumstances and psychological factors giving rise to post-parodic fashion, and conclude that the sensibility causing its proliferation is grounded in ambivalence. Unfortunately, current doctrine governing trademark "parodies" cannot begin to make sense of post-parodic goods; among other shortcomings, that doctrine suffers from crude analytical tools and a cramped view of "worthy" expression. I argue that trademark law-at least, if it hopes to determine post-parodies' lawfulness in a meaningful way-is asking the wrong questions, and that existing 'parody" doctrine should be supplanted by a more thoughtful and nuanced framework.
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    The History and Doctrine of American Copyright Protection for Fashion Design: Managing Mazer
    (Harv. J. Sports & Ent. L, 2016) Colman, Charles
    In order to be copyright-eligible, a component of fashion design must be not only "fixed" and "original" (as discussed in the previous installment of this five-article series, On 'Originality'), but also constitute a work whose aesthetic characteristics are separable from the "utilitarian" material to which it is affixed.1 In this installment of The History and Principles of American Copyright Protection for Fashion Design, I trace the trajectory of the courts' rulings on the copyrightability of certain aspects of fashion design in the wake of the Supreme Court's pivotal 1954 decision in Mazer v. Stein.' I will begin with a discussion of the background and substance of the Supreme Court's Mazer decision. I will then provide a series of more or less detailed chronologies of lower-court rulings on the copyrightability of fashion design between the mid-1950s and mid-1970s, resulting in the crystallization of certain categories of presumptively copyright-eligible fashion works-namely, fabric patterns and lace; focal images placed on wearable objects; jewelry design; and some costume works.
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    The History and Principles of American Copyright Protection for Fashion Design: On Originality
    (Harv. J. Sports & Ent. L, 2015) Colman, Charles
    As discussed in the previous installment of this five-part series, A Strange Centennial, lawyers and non-lawyers alike have often parroted the refrain that U.S. copyright does not apply to articles of fashion design. The American legal system's actual treatment of fashion articles is far more nuanced. If pressed for an accurate generalization, one might reasonably state that certain components of fashion design are copyright-eligible, but even those elements tend to receive less consistent and robust protection than that accorded to most other types of "artistic" or "expressive" works under the law.
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    The History and Principles of American Copyright Protection for Fashion Design: A Strange Centennial
    (Harv. J. Sports & Ent. L., 2015) Colman, Charles
    Between 1914 and 1916, the United States Congress saw the first serious round of lobbying by advocates seeking more robust legal protection of original industrial design and applied art, including fashion design. In the subsequent hundred years, the fashion industry has become a powerful (if fractured) force on the American legislative scene-yet fashion designers and their allies have continually failed to persuade Congress to amend federal statutes to provide greater rights in the appearance of their creations. At the same time, these stakeholders have pressed their cause in the courts, with varying results. This series of articles examines the U.S. federal courts' adjudication of the resulting disputes. In the process, the articles to come will highlight tacit assumptions, unacknowledged inconsistencies, and irreconcilable tensions in the case law. At the same time, this series will seek to shed light on largely unrecognized consistencies, coherent but under-theorized quasi-doctrines, and systematic principles that characterize-and, in many instances, are arguably unique to-U.S. "copyright-for-fashion" jurisprudence.