Inferior Good: Diminishing Marginal Stupidity in Action

Monday, September 18, 2006

Intellectual property rights and fashion

Here’s an interesting WSJ article on intellectual property rights and fashion. Apparently, some prominent fashion designers are lobbying for three years of copyright-like protection on original works of fashion (similar protections exist in Europe).

The key question is innovation; would copyright-like protection encourage innovation or stymie innovation? Who would benefit from such a law? What would the unintended consequences be?

I suspect counterfeiters would benefit from passage, since they probably compete to some extent with the knockoffs that would be handicapped by the legislation (illegal counterfeit fashion features a fraudulent designer label, whereas a legal knockoff is similar in design to a designer item but does not carry a fraudulent label.)

You can read a previous post of mine on intellectual property rights and food here.


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