A new bill to appease the fashion industry’s gripes with copycat issues has been proposed by Senator Charles Schumer. Interestingly, the bill doesn’t exactly cut down the Forever 21s and Steve Maddens, but proposes that construction, rather than an intellectual idea, is most key when considering a copyright case. Reports The New York Times: “The proposed legislation provides very limited intellectual property protection to the most original design. A designer who claims that his work has been copied must show that his design provides ‘a unique, distinguishable, non-trivial and non-utilitarian variation over prior designs.’ And it must be proven by the designer that the copy is ‘substantially identical’ to the original so as to be mistaken for it.” This puts designers in a weird position of not being able to call out potential knockoffs for color or patterns, so much as the unique construction of a garment. Keep reading »
Bureaucracy has not taken kindly to practitioners of African-American hair braiding. In Illinois, there’s been a crackdown on salons that offer the service and haven’t conformed to the state’s ridiculous regulations—if you want to braid hair, you need a cosmetology degree and a license, which takes hours of time and thousands of dollars. While this poses a financial issue to many hair braiders, the law also doesn’t cater to the art both for practical and philosophical reasons. Keep reading »
If I wasn’t already slightly embarrassed to admit that I grew up in Arizona, I am now. With the announcement of the new immigration laws, I want to boycott the state altogether, but unfortunately that’s not an option since my family lives here. In fact, I am here right now with my brother for a family visit. On the flight over from NYC, there was a guy sitting a few rows behind me wearing a baseball cap that said, “Don’t shoot! I’m legal!” Yes, it was meant to be ironically disdainful, but this issue is personal for my brother. His girlfriend is a Canadian citizen, which would make it potentially dangerous for her to come visit. That’s how over-the-top the new laws are. Speaking of visiting … Arizona has a famous visitor this week who is also deeply angered by the new laws. Keep reading »
If you ever, like Elin Nordegren, have the misfortune of finding out that an “outsider” has been interfering in your marriage, and you happen to live in Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota or Utah, there is something you can do—sue said third-party for “alienation of affection.” These laws date back to the days when women were considered their husbands’ property, so seducing your neighbor’s wife would have been regarded kind of like theft. Archaic as the attitude is, the alienation of affection laws are still used by both sexes today, in the states where the laws are still on the books. Keep reading »
Even though Paris is the fashion capitol of the world, it is still technically against the law for a woman to wear pants there. Someone should tell the police quick … they could have made a killing during Fashion Week. But seriously, how crazy is that? This ridiculous law has survived years of attempted upheaval. In 1892, the law was amended to say that trousers were permitted “as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse.” In 1909, female cyclists were declared exempt. After a couple more attempts over the ages, I guess the ladies (and police) forgot the law even existed and went right on ahead breaking it by proudly rocking their pants. That got me thinking. What other crazy kinds of laws are there that we don’t even know about? Wait for this one. I discovered that here in New York a woman can incur $25 fine for flirting! Oops … I broke that law like a million times. After the jump, some more archaic lady laws that need to be repealed pronto. [Newser, Dumblaws] Keep reading »
After hearing the appeal of a man who was caught using his mobile phone while driving and fined $350, a German judge is making the argument that this shouldn’t be illegal in the first place. In his ruling, Judge Albert Bartz wrote that if it is against the law to use a phone while driving, shouldn’t other dangerous activities be illegal, too? Examples he cited included masturbating or typing on a computer that’s sitting on the passenger’s seat. Sure, there have been studies proving telephone use while driving, especially texting, can lead to accidents, but there are a lot of other dangerous activities we engage in behind the wheel that aren’t illegal unless they distract you and cause an accident. After the jump, 10 things that aren’t illegal to do while driving but should be. [Spiegel Online] Keep reading »
Laws are supposed to protects us, but when the government decides to get in our pants, some crazy stuff goes down! Here are some actual sex laws truly for the record books! Keep reading »
After last week’s post about proposed legislation in San Francisco that would decriminalize prostitution and our poll that indicated that 73% of you not only supported decriminalization but legalization as well, we decided to take a more in-depth look at both. After the jump, we break down the differences and the pros and cons of both. There may be a soap box moment from yours truly as well.
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Storytime! Over at Feministing’s newly relaunched site, a teenage user on their new community board recounts a story of trying to buy a pregnancy test with her best friend at a drug store and being refused because of her age. When the teen presents the fact that she legally has the right to buy a pregnancy test despite being “underage”, the drugstore teller tells her she shouldn’t be having sex in the first place. After much back and forth the teens were finally able to procure the test, but only after a teller in his late-teens allowed them. This is why a person’s personal beliefs on sexual activity shouldn’t be a factor when they’re on the job. Oh and the teen wasn’t pregnant in the end, thank goodness. [Feministing] Keep reading »
Jenn Thompson at Mental Floss is on a roll! After yesterday’s “Origin of Wedding Traditions” article, today she’s got a follow-up on wedding laws that are still on the books. Would be guilty or not guilty of these ridiculous crimes?
1. In North Carolina, it’s against the law to check into a hotel room pretending you’re married. But what about all the harmless husband and wife role-playing games? Verdict: GUILTY.
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