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Following the Money for Fashion Copyright

July 20, 2011

I decided to do some more background research on the fashion copyright crusade for my broader plagiarism project, and I noticed something that I don’t think anyone else has pointed out before.

Its funding could be in violation of federal law.

The CFDA website states that “The Geoffrey Beene Foundation has made a financial contribution of $250,000 to support the CFDA’s effort to extend copyright protection to designers.” In context this refers to support for the CFDA’s copyright legislation.

The U.S. tax law prohibits a private foundation from lobbying or giving a grant earmarked to support a lobbying effort. The penalties for illegally funding an attempt to influence legislation are severe for the foundation and the managers who approved the expenditure.

I tried to find a report of this lobbying grant to the IRS but came up empty handed. This raises the possibility that the CFDA and the Beene Foundation are funneling money earmarked for lobbying through charitable grants that would not raise any red flags.

A reporter or scholar with a greater interest in these issues may want to look into this matter further. Maybe it’s only a badly worded webpage, but it sure looks like evidence of something worse.

From → Lobbying

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