Did Spirit Halloween rip off this Etsy dress design?

Thanks to Tumblr, we know that it’s possible to “illegally” download a dress, but this could be wholesale intellectual property theft

redditor noticed a striking similarity between a dress their cousin has been selling on Etsy since 2011 and a costume item that seasonal retailer Spirit Halloween began stocking just this year. Cue the lawyers!

The Etsy design is on the left, Spirit Halloween’s on the right—not that you hope to could tell without the tag:

Photo via Reddit

Sure, some could claim that all fashion is hopelessly derivative by nature, that frivolous copyright suits cost the industry millions, or even that the Etsy dress is a knock-off of one modeled at New York Fashion Week in 2008. But do we really want to be defending the sort of establishment that gouges you for $60 on a one-piece polyester pirate outfit? I think not.

Photo by George Lu/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Miles Klee

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions,  and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'